Quirky vehicles like the elliptiGO and Bionic Runner may offer a different take on pedal power, but the fact none has made much of an impact on the bicycle market hasn't stopped a Texas-based team from coming up with yet another pedal system. The LFN Bike combines a vertical pedal drivetrain with electric power for a totally unique way to get your legs pumping on two wheels.
At the core of LFN Bike's approach is its unique riding position. Designed to keep your body nice and straight, the bike has upright handlebars and standing pedals that are reminiscent of an indoor stair machine.
The standing pedals move up and down on a stainless steel slide bar with a travel of 20 in (51 cm), and connect with the seven-speed cassette on the rear wheels through a patented gearbox mechanism that makes use of industrial gears and bearings. While the team says this means the gearbox should last for "years and years," they also recommend getting an extra gearbox as parts won't be available at your local bike shop.
Electric boost comes from a 350-watt front wheel motor drawing on a 48V, 10 Ah battery. Working independently of the pedals, the motor is able to carry you at speeds of up to 20 mph (32 km/h) thanks to a motorbike-style throttle. The bike is also kitted out with an LED display, giving riders control over their electric boost level, as well as offering up a 4 mph (6 km/h) cruise function.
We'd imagine this is designed for use in a crowded city center, because that's not fast enough to be of use to anyone actually trying to get somewhere. Pure electric range is pegged at 20 miles (32 km), and you should be able to cover somewhere between 35 and 60 miles (56 - 97 km) with pedal assist.
The LFN Bike campaign is currently live on Kickstarter, where it's raised just under US$500 of its $100,000 goal with 57 days remaining. Pledges start at $300, which reserves you a bike at its $1,449 early bird price. If you're able (or willing) to pay $1.499, that will also reserve you a bike at just under half the expected retail price of $2,899.
Should the project get off the ground, the LFN team expects to be shipping bikes in January 2017. Although it will ship overseas, backers outside the US will only get a 250-watt electric motor.
Oh, and for anyone wondering what LFN stands for, it's "Looking For Name."
The LFN Bike can be seen in action in the video below.