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Motorised aquatic bike capable of 20km/h, there's a manual version too

If the vision of these Kiwi entrepreneurs is realised, then commuting could be about to get a whole lot different - with the upcoming release of the world's most advanced hydrofoil bike. 

Proclaimed as "the next frontier on water", the Manta5 has an electric motor that you can glide over the water using a pedal assist or simply throttling with no effort at all. The carbon fibre hydrofoils make it impressively lightweight, with the motorised version coming in at 20kg and the manual 14kg. A streamlined profile makes the bike hydro and aerodynamically efficient, and although Manta5 believe it can go faster with more R+D, at the moment it can reach an impressive 20km/h.   

Manta5 car.png

Manta5 car.png

A modular design means the Manta5 is easily transportable

Manta5 say they are now in the final stages of development to "enhance the ride experience", and although there is no official pricing information or release dates at the moment, we understand via an article on stuff.co/nz that the bikes may be available in their native New Zealand before the end of the year. You can visit the Manta5 website and join their mailing list for updates. 

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since.  He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake. 

8 comments

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John Stevenson [311 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

Is not being able to get the saddle high enough a design feature?

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beezus fufoon [973 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

now Mark Beaumont has no excuses for skipping bits of his global circumnavigation

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DaveE128 [981 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

"We’re busy putting together the final touches needed to enhance the ride experience"

The cynic in me reads this as "at the moment it handles like a giraffe on ice"!

I wonder how big the market for these can be?

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Jack Sexty [69 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

beezus fufoon wrote:

now Mark Beaumont has no excuses for skipping bits of his global circumnavigation

Indeed - round you go again Mr Beaumont, what a slouch! 

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Jamminatrix [190 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Looks like it sinks when you stop pedaling. That's a problem. It also is made from carbon fiber. It should be polyethylene like most kayaks...no need to get space age on a toy, or ruin the whole thing if you hit a hidden rock or log underwater. I'd bet the price will be around $10k if it is anything like the models in the video.

So I have to ask...why this over a pedal drive kayak?

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reliablemeatloaf [108 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

Once again, technology answers a question nobody asked.

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gmac101 [196 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

Foiling is all the rage in dinghy sailing at the moment.  Google "international moth foiling"

The real advantage is getting the bouyant part of the hull with all its wave making drag and skin friction out of the water to reduce your drag and this accelerates the vessel.  These bikes seem to sit too low in the water to take advantage of that (they leave a reasonable size wake behind them).  Its interesting that they only show them on a smooth surface, they seem to have a "sensor" in front them but the big trick is getting a foiling boat to "contour" over larger waves.

They are using carbon fibre to reduce weight - every extra gramme means a bigger foil.

 

 

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Drinfinity [37 posts] 4 months ago
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Jamminatrix wrote:

So I have to ask...why this over a pedal drive kayak?

For a normal displacement hull like a kayak, the speed is limited by its length. To be able to travel at the claimed 20 km/h, your pedal drive kayak would need to be about 17m long. 

Using a hydrofoil breaks out of these rules, so it can be faster for the same size vessel. 

Edit to add- world record in a kayak over 5km is just over 16km/h, but using a very pointy and unstable boat to beat its bow wave.