Remember the Bicymple? First announced in 2012, it's a rather goofy bike with optional two-wheel steering and pedals located directly on the rear wheel. Now, its creators – Josh Bechtel and Gabriel Starbuck – are back with the penny farthing-inspired Bicymple Nuvo.

The original penny farthings had huge front wheels, making them difficult and somewhat dangerous to ride. Those big wheels were necessary in order for the direct-drive bikes to go fast, though, as gearing systems for bicycles weren't available.

Because the Nuvo has an optional 2-speed freewheeling front hub transmission, its front wheel doesn't need to be quite so enormous in order to achieve a comfortable cruising speed (riders shift between the high and low gears by clicking their heels). At 36 inches, however, that front wheel is still pretty big – enough so to turn a few heads. By contrast, in order to stay with the penny farthing aesthetic, the bike's rear wheel is a puny 24-incher.

Stopping is handled by a front rim brake and a Tektro hydraulic disc in the back, or front and rear discs on the singlespeed version. The cro-moly frame should fit riders ranging from 5'3" to 6'3" in height (1.6 to 1.9 m).

Perhaps not surprisingly, given its quirkiness, the Nuvo is currently on Kickstarter. Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of US$1,099 will get you the singlespeed, with $1,499 required for the 2-speed. Delivery is estimated to take place in August.

The Nuvo can be seen in action, in the video below.

And for examples of modern electric takes on the penny farthing, check out the Concept 1865, the Yikebike and the LIFEbike.

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