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:
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.