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Hal­brad is a sim­pler com­muter bi­cy­cle that looks per­fect for the small­est city apart­ments

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - CC WEISS

WHY spend time fold­ing your bike in half when you can just jump on half a bike and ride? A unique last mile so­lu­tion, the Ger­man- de­signed Hal­brad ( that’s “Half­bike” in English) packs the two wheels, ped­als and han­dle­bars of a bi­cy­cle on a re- en­gi­neered rear tri­an­gle.

This half­bike ac­tu­ally looks more like a third of a bike, and it ped­als the streets and car­ries and stores eas­ily thanks to those com­pact di­men­sions.

We’ve be­come fairly numb to odd­look­ing cre­ations of the bi­cy­cle ( and tri­cy­cle, quadri­cy­cle, uni­cy­cle) va­ri­ety, but even we had to do a dou­ble- take when we first saw the Hal­brad.

It looks like de­signer Felix Kr­uschardt lit­er­ally sawed off the rear tri­an­gle of a reg­u­lar bike, welded a sec­ond seat tube with han­dle­bars be­hind the first seat tube, and se­cured a small wheel at the bot­tom. It’s a more lit­eral in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the half­bike than oth­ers, like the Half­bike and Half­bike II.

Clearly aimed at the ever- grow­ing per­sonal ur­ban mo­bil­ity mar­ket, the Hal­brad is a sim­pler com­muter bi­cy­cle that looks per­fect for the small­est city apart­ments and tiny houses.

To ride the su­per- com­pact bike, you sit on the sad­dle, grab hold of the han­dle­bars that run be­low the sad­dle, and pedal away — it’s not un­like the tiny Burke 8. It looks more sim­i­lar to rid­ing a uni­cy­cle than a bike, but the Hal­brad web­site says that it only takes min­utes to learn. The bike fea­tures a two- speed drivetrain and a coaster brake. It has a 35- inch ( 90 cm) turn­ing ra­dius and can stand by bal­anc­ing the front wheel and pedal.

At 99 cm high by 79 cm long and just un­der 20 lb ( listed at 9 kg), the Hal­brad is de­signed to be easy to pick up and carry — per­fect for tak­ing on a train or in­side an of­fice. Its com­pact size also makes it eas­ier to store than a full- sized bike. It’s not quite as light as the light­est fold­ing bikes we’ve cov­ered, such as the ( 5,5 kg A- Bike, 6,5 kg Hum­ming­bird or 8,5 kg Ul­tra X, but it’s def­i­nitely lighter than the av­er­age folder.

It’s also a lot sim­pler since you just get off, grab it and start walk­ing – in a pretty seam­less mo­tion if you get as good as Kr­uschardt him­self.

Kr­uschardt and his team are busy rais­ing money on Ger­man crowd­fund­ing site Start­next and tour­ing Ger­man bike shows like last month’s Ber­liner Fahrrad­schau and this month’s up­com­ing Spezial­radmesse.

A num­bered pro­to­type is on of­fer at the € 1 250 ( around R20 000) pledge level — so while we’re talk­ing half a bike, we’re not talk­ing half the price tag. But if your life­style only has room for a tiny bi­cy­cle, the Hal­brad looks worth check­ing out.

There are also a num­ber of lower pledge lev­els and re­wards for those that might want to sup­port the project but not go all in on a Hal­brad. — Giz­mag.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Like a rolling rear tri­an­gle, the Ger­man- de­signed half­bike can cross soft and hard sur­faces with ease and car­ries eas­ily onto taxis or buses.

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