Our aim when we started this project was to design something that could become the most commonly owned transport device in the world and we think we may be on to something. That is such a bold statement as to be laughable but read on and feel free to let us know what you think.
The most commonly owned form of transport in the world today is the bicycle – there are about 2 billion with another 130 million sold per year. The modern bicycle is a truly remarkable design and the basic configuration has not changed for 120 years. The most commonly sold bicycles types are mountain bikes (equivalent of 4WD) or racing bike configuration (stable at 50-60 km/hr) neither of which is ideal for a modern congested city.
Our aim was to design a personal transportation device that was as safe, manoeuvrable and as easy to ride as a bike but was designed for lower speeds 20km/h and vastly smaller so that it can be easily taken anywhere in a congested city. Rather than take a normal bike and crunch it up like most folding bike designs we took a step back to see if there was another safe stable configuration that is vastly smaller when folded.
We started from the assumption that you need a decent sized front wheel so you can go through pot holes, up curbs and over bumps in a safe comfortable way. You can see from the development history that it took a lot of trying to find a stable easy to ride design. Although we started with pedal only versions we found that we could make a smaller lighter more useful version using latest battery, motor and controller technologies.
Below are the reasons we think a mini-farthing has a chance of becoming more common than a traditional bicycle in modern congested cities
- Links seamlessly with other forms of transport (trains, buses, cars, walking etc) making it often the fastest way to get from point to point.
- Easier to store in apartments & offices because vastly smaller and lighter.
- Less effort to use.
- No parking issues.
- Less problem of theft because you never leave it outside.
- Ultimately it could be less expensive to make.
Given the estimated price of YikeBike that last point may sound crazy but we can imagine a version from injection molded plastics using similar technologies to electric power tools that could be very inexpensive. In a similar way that Tesla has stimulated electric cars by developing a high performance quality product YikeBike aims to make a truly exceptional product that is highly desirable.
At YikeBike we love cool gadgets and freedom. We didn’t want to create a namby pamby device but we wanted something that would genuinely give you more freedom to rapidly move around a city. YikeBikes are built for people who love that mix of quality, design and usability. So our optimization is not to be cheap, but rather high performance, quality finish, and great usability giving you more freedom in your life.