“It’s like getting your first Big Wheel all over again — and you don’t even have to pedal.” writes Time Magazine as it picks the YikeBike 15th out of the 50 best inventions of 2009. An innovative electric bicycle-design concept derived from the old-fashioned penny-farthing, the YikeBike debut in September 2, 2009 at EuroBike with an exciting prospect of becoming a commonplace mode of transportation. It weighs 9.8 kilograms (22 lb) and when folded, it is small enough to fit in a backpack. The YikeBike was invented by Grant Ryan and designed by a team in New Zealand over 5 years. It is the smallest and lightest electric folding bicycle in the world.
The vehicle has no chain pedal, gear box, mechanical brake, cables or levers. These functions are provided by a 1.2 kW electric motor and controller. The YikeBike has electronic anti-skid brakes. There are also built-in lights, indicators and brake lights for safety. The YikeBike weighs roughly 20 lb. (9 kg) and runs on a lithium phosphate battery that can be charged to 80% capacity in 20 minutes
The rider sits on the seat, holds on at the sides and zooms around at a top speed of 12 m.p.h. (20 km/h). You lean left or right to steer, and it even comes with electronic antiskid brakes. By mid of last year, the first 100 YikeBikes were made available only in New Zealand as well as the U.K. and selected countries in Europe. Now it is available in Australia, Canada and the U.S. at a retail price of $3,595, a steep price for an average enthusiast. It is listed as one of the reasons why the YikeBikes have not gained tremendous following. Some say riding on it makes you look a bit silly. Others feel it does not give you that cool posture like when you’re on a racing cycle or a motorcycle. But considering overpopulation, pollution and everything else happening, YikeBikes could catch on but you would need a lot of confidence and money riding on one of these contraptions.
You may order it at http://www.yikebike.com with a turn around of 1 week shipment.