HARLEY TO SELL SILENT BIKES
TWO recent bicycles launched on fund raising platforms show the world’s entrepreneurs are increasingly tapping into a need for cheap, healthy transport in congested world cities.
WAVE ELEGANCE GOODBYE
In California, Aaron Brady and Justin Bransmit are raising funds for what they wrongly call “the world’s most affordable electric bike, ever” at an early bird price of R6 588. The full price will be R11 981.
There are several cheaper electric bikes on Chinese websites, while in Cape Town Relectro offers a seven-speed e-bike with a 250W front mounted motor at R11 750, and around the corner Ezee bikes sells demo e-bikes from R8 500.
Their erroneous advertising patter aside, the decision by Brady, an organisational psychologist and self-styled business guru; and Bransmit, a “manufacturing and marketing genius”, to capitalise on California’s need for cycles by slapping together relatively old bicycles and a hub motor shows there is money in them than mountain bikes.
Their Wave beach cruiser weighs a hefty 22,7 kg — and that is without the battery. The weight does not matter, however, as a 750-watt hub can push the Cruiser bike’s thick wheels through sand and up to 45 km/h over smooth surfaces.
A removable 48-volt 12-Amp hour Samsung battery can be charged in five or six hours with standard charger. At its most efficient speed of 32 km/h it can travel up to 42 km on full electric, and around 80 km with pedal assist.
LAY BACK, BUT STAND TALL
On the other side of the world, Australian manufacturer Hiele has created the Trivek — a frontwheel drive semi-recumbent bike that lets its rider sit high enough to look over most sedan roofs.
It has a patented steering system that allows the trike to lean into turns, keeping the trike upright even on cambered roads.
Hand controls on the underseat handlebar allow riders to adjust the damping of the steering system on the fly to make sharper corners in traffic but more gradual turns while moving fast.
Lewis Freiberg, who cofounded Hiele in 2013, said: “We aimed to build something that rides like nothing else. With our first product we’ve nailed it!”
He invites potential distributors to contact them on hiele.co The group is also raising production funds for the Trivek on Kickstarter, asking $1 899 (R22 800) for a Trivek.
Australia’s design brief for a recumbent trike was simple — make it higher and let it lean. Hiele is now raising funds for this rather nifty pedaller.
Not exactly the cheapest as advertised, but this ungainly assembled collection of cheap bike parts shows Americans really will buy anything.