Cyclists who hate hunching over their handlebars or worry about male numbness and potential prostate problems might very well rejoice at the Halfbike. Currently being crowdfunded over at Kickstarter, the Halfbike is an ingenious personal transport vehicle that allows the rider to pedal and maneuver in an upright position.
Designed by architect Martin Angelov, co-founder of Tuscon, Arizona-based transport design company Kolelinia Lab, the Halfbike has been characterized as a "low-tech Segway" which the rider controls and brakes through a single, central handlebar. Holding onto this central stick, user balances on the pedals, which drive the main front wheel forward through a chain, while the two smaller wheels at the back provide extra stability.
The designers liken the movement needed to propel the Halfbike to low-impact running or "bike-jogging." Turning is achieved by leaning one's body, and when users get the hang of it, the ride feels like "gliding":
Its combination of cycling and smooth assisted running provides a remarkably quick and fun way of urban travel. Its innovative rider position, at the same time both upright and higher, gives you a new perspective on the city.
Halfbike's compact, lightweight 17-pound design means that it can be easily taken aboard public transportation, elevators, carried up stairs or stored in smaller spaces that would not fit a conventional bike.
The handlebar is made from impregnated plywood, while the laser-cut, hand-welded frame is made from aluminum. Though the frame currently only comes in white, six colours will be offered if funding surpasses the $150,000 mark.
Made to cover short distances with ease, the Halfbike looks like a delight to ride; backers can get one of their own this summer if they pledge $899 or more. Check out Kolelinia Lab and the Halfbike Kickstarter page for more details.