Despite its small size, odd shape and unfamiliar handlebar placement, the Yike Bike is poised to change the way urban commuters get around in a big way.
Common issues, like size, safety, and storage space, make it difficult for many urban residents to become bike commuters. And let's face it, for those with longer commutes, getting up tw0 hours early only to arrive sweaty doesn't sound like an attractive summer activity.
Yet bikes allow us to be more nimble in traffic, avoid parking wars, and eliminate the need to buy $4 gas all together. It was both these problems and benefits that inspired the YikeBike.
Created by brothers from New Zealand, and initially inspired by the Segway, the YikeBike is the smallest, and at 10kg (22 pounds), the lightest electric folding bike in the world, enabling people to take it on buses, trains, and cars and store it easily under a desk or in a cupboard.
The upright position on a YikeBike is remarkably comfortable and safer than traditional bikes because it is easier to both see and be seen. At a top speed of 25 kph you are never going fast enough for wind resistance to be an issue (and the electric motor is doing the hard work anyway).
YikeBikes can be bought exclusively at the YikeBike online shop. They are for sale in Europe, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. They are priced at US $3,595, £2,422 in the UK, €2,872 in Europe and AUD $3,909 in Australia. The price does not include delivery, duty and tax, but does include a 1 year warranty for the country of delivery.
If you think you'll have a hard time explaining the expense to your significant other, think of it this way:
The total cost of a YikeBike is about the same as the cost of just running a car for a year. And aside from the initial investment, the average cost of running your YikeBike on electricity for a month is less than a Big Mac meal. For the technically minded this assumes 20 km per day 5 days per week @ 20c/kWh and not up-sizing your Mac meal.