The first mini-farthing bicycle has made its way to market.
The YikeBike is an electronic powered transportation device that folds up to fit in a backpack.
Weighing less than 22lbs (10kg), it’s designed to go wherever bicycles do, plus some. Fold it, pick it up and hop on a bus, or even into a taxi.
YikeBikes can handle short curbs and bumps and have a tight turning radius.
Combined with the anti-skid brakes and speed that is electronically restricted to around 12mph (20kph), YikeBikes claims this makes for a much safer ride.
None have shipped yet, though you can put down a €100 deposit to reserve one. When production nears, you’ll learn the full price, estimated to be between €3,500-€3,900 ($5-6,000).
Overall design is based on the penny-farthings, the Victorian hi-wheels that were the first actually efficient bicycles.
The YikeBike is motor-powered only, but the New Zealand-based company is looking for others to license designs to create a pedal-assist version, as well as a small size meant for kids.
They also postulate about future mini-farthing highways: light suspended roadways traversing a city; a kind of private public transit system, where the bikes could be freed to go much faster.
[Via print edition of Time Magazine. I knew print was good for something.]