YikeBike is a statement about using smart technology to solve the problems of our increasingly congested, polluted, stressful cities. It is the first commercial expression of the mini-farthing concept, created up by a bunch of successful entrepreneurs, engineers and dreamers. We sat down to try and answer:
- What is the simplest way to get from A to B with the aid of a machine?
- What is the smallest wheel you can have to get a stable, safe, comfortable ride?
- Can you make something small enough to be able to go with you anywhere in a city?
- Wonder if we could make a unicycle dramatically easier to ride and fold?
We were intrigued by creating something that could dramatically change urban transport, enabling city dwellers a fast, safe and easy way to navigate their environment.
The result was the mini-farthing concept and its first expression, the YikeBike. It employs state-of-the-art technology, engineering and industrial design to create a new class of personal transport.
I continue to wonder whether we might see a technology so lightweight and reliable that it would become universal for short-distance travel to the point of eliminating the need for local bus services -- at least in low-density markets. I'm not sure this is it. Recycling a 19th century idea, though, is certain appealing.
Downside: It starts at US $3595, so we're a bit away from mass production.