At Eurobike last week, Kiwi inventor and entrepreneur Grant Ryan launched his foldable electric "bike" called the YikeBike. Inspired by the Segway, Grant, together with a team of designers, wanted to take a fresh approach to cycle design to give people the freedom to commute easily and quickly in a crowded urban environment, all with a minimal carbon footprint.
After five years of tweaking and testing, the initial mini-farthing concept was born. A farthing or penny-farthing as they were called, was a bike with a large front wheel and a smaller rear wheel, invented in the 1870s.
The mini-farthing YikeBike version now comes with a 20-inch front wheel that enables the rider to safely traverse any sort of ground or pavement. An upright riding position gives the rider better visibility in an urban environment, while at the same time making them more visible to others.
A custom 1.2kW electric motor drives the front wheel and is powered by the latest nano-lithium-phosphate (LiFePO4) battery, taking only 30 minutes to fully charge. A fully charged battery gives the YikeBike a range of about 6 miles and should be good for over 1000 charges. Indicators, lights and driving controls are situated on the hand grips to the side of the seat. The YikeBike will reach a full speed of 12.5 mph and anti-skid brakes enable the bike to come to a quick stop.
Weighing only 22lbs, the YikeBike easily folds up to a 5.9in by 23.6in by 23.6in portable package. You can reserve your YikeBike from the Company website for a €100 down payment on a hefty €4000 price tag. Do you think the YikeBike would make it up the hills of San Francisco?