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LOOK: YikeBike LOOK: YikeBike

LOOK: YikeBike

by Adam Starr
March 31, 2010

How one entrepreneur wants to electrify your urban commute.


As urban bike ridership continues to grow all over the world, cyclers are being inundated with two-wheeled options. Now, thanks to New Zealand entrepreneur Grant Ryan, urbanites have another rather different way of achieving efficient mobility: the YikeBike.

In addition to its slick aesthetic, the YikeBike is the smallest electric bike in the world, weighing half of what any other folding electric bike on the market does. Grant notes the bike's foldable design as a key to its utility, giving city dwellers the ability to cruise quickly between home and public transport, seamlessly switching from walking to biking to riding. The bike was built to be quickly shouldered and carried in a bag, a design feature that makes it an ideal travel companion "anywhere in a city, train, bus, car, or elevator."

At $4,800, the bike isn't cheap, but Ryan explains that the "total cost of a YikeBike is about the same as the cost of running a car for a year. The average cost of running your YikeBike on electricity for a month is less than a Big Mac meal." He also points out how you'll save the time and money you spend on parking if you ditch your car. Plus, you won't have to worry about theft because the YikeBike's compact frame lets you take your wheels with you wherever you go.

The bike has a top-speed of 15 mph, a weight of around 20 pounds, and its fast-charging lithium phosphate battery promises a fluid commute. The bike is currently launching in Europe and New Zealand but Ryan says the bike would work well in dense cities like New York and San Francisco.

As a personal transportation device, the bike is a tool that complements and increases the velocity and range of your daily commute. For the millions of people who live in crowded urban areas and ride public transit to and from work, their ticket to "urban freedom" can now come with a sleek set of electric wheels.

Image courtesy of YikeBike.
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