Halfbike takes minimalist bicycle design to the next level
The team behind the bicymple may have simplified the humble bicycle with their minimalist design, but Mihail Klenov and Martin Angelov have gone even further with their aptly-named Halfbike. Aimed at inner-city individuals in need of something to go distances of 5 km (3 mi) or less, they've created a compact three wheeler that ditches the traditional seat and handlebars.
Klenov and Angelov, the founders of Kolelinia, both have architectural and cycling backgrounds and designed the three-wheeled Halfbike for urban maneuverability and to easily fit on public transit. With the exception of the big wheel in front and two small tires at the rear configuration, the Halfbike is roughly premised along the urban solution transport lines as other devices like the Me-Mover, the clown-like Urb-E and the Aeyo. A traditional bike pedal arrangement drives the trike’s front wheel, while the back pivoting wheels let the rider steer and maneuver by leaning.
The Halfbike's compact design is intended to make it an ideal option to the traditional inner city bike. Measuring out at 100 x 40 x 130 cm (40 x 16 x 51 in) the bike, with its aluminum frame and plywood pole steering device, weighs in at lean 7.8 kg (17 lb).
The unorthodox design and its lack of seating means riders are required to engage their glutes, quads and buttock muscles continuously to retain forward momentum and remain upright. But in spite of the constant butt workout, the Halfbike’s pivoting-rear suspension and short wheelbase means its maneuverability could make it a better option for navigating Europe’s narrow streets than say a traditional bike. Carrying groceries or the dog, however, may not be ideal as both hands are needed to hang on to the pole for balance and to work Halfbike’s singular brake.
Halfbike is using Kickstarter to raise funds to build and promote its three-wheeled device. The company is looking to raise US$80,000 in order to manufacture and sell the bike for $800.
If all goes to plan, deliveries of the Halfbike with start in June or July of 2014 on a first come first serve basis. Videos of the Halfbike in action can be found on the company's website.