Currently looking for funding on Kickstarter, here’s Halfbike, a short-distance urban bike that’s one of the more, erm, intriguing crowdsourcing pitches we’ve seen.
The invention of architect Martin Angelov, Halfbike is a seatless, short-wheelbase pedal-powered trike that you steer by leaning. Martin says it’s intended for short urban rides - between the office and the train, for example — and the idea is that it’s compact enough that you can take it on the train easily, and then get it in the lift up to your office.
It’s rather like a pedal-powered Segway, though Martin clearly hopes it will be used by more than just mall ninjas.
On Halfbike’s Kickstarter page, Martin says: “It all started from my passion to optimize things that surround me and my love for bicycles. I started sketching different concepts for a simplified bike and soon reached a point where I needed to test these concepts in real life.
“For some of the early prototypes I used old bicycles and parts I found at the attic. I was amazed how well people reacted to the idea and that made me want to keep up. Along the process other people were drawn into the project creating a small team.
“After further development and experiments with various rider positions followed by even more prototypes, the desired level of control was finally achieved. What we have now is a patent pending new type of personal vehicle ready for the market.”
Martin is looking for $80,000 and with 28 days to go $24,234 has been pledged, most of it from the 25 people who have signed up to get themselves a Halfbike for $799.
Here's the Kickstarter video:
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.