Electric scooter channels the spirit of the penny farthing

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The SnikkyBike splits the difference between large and small wheels(Credit: SnikkyBike)

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In some ways, it makes sense to put small wheels on electric scooters – they accelerate quickly, and allow the vehicle to remain on the small-and-portable side. On the other hand, they can also easily get stuck in potholes, causing the rider to fly over the handlebars. A group of Montreal-based entrepreneurs have created what they see as a good compromise, in the form of the SnikkyBike.

As can be seen, although the scooter has a li'l 16-inch motorized wheel in the back, it has a full-size 700C bicycle wheel in the front. This arrangement is claimed to combine the fast acceleration of a small drive wheel with a larger front wheel's ability to roll over obstacles instead getting stopped by them.

Additionally, the short wheelbase lets it stay nimble and maneuverable, as it needs to be in urban environments. The handlebars and footboards likewise fold up when not in use, making it easier to carry and store.

Its top speed is 20 mph (32 km/h), with one charge of its removable 36-volt lithium-ion battery allowing for a range of about 20 miles – regenerative braking helps it reach that figure. A full recharge takes approximately two hours.

The SnikkyBike is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of US$1,050 will get you one, when and if they reach production. The planned retail price is $1,199.

Check out the video below, to see the scooter in action.

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