Big ef­fect from Penny Far­thing’s li’l wheel

The Witness - Wheels - - BIKING -

IN some ways, it makes sense to put small wheels on elec­tric scoot­ers — they ac­cel­er­ate quickly, and al­low the ve­hi­cle to re­main on the small-and-por­ta­ble side. On the other hand, they can also eas­ily get stuck in pot­holes, caus­ing the rider to fly over the han­dle­bars.

A group of Mon­treal-based en­trepreneurs have cre­ated what they see as a good com­pro­mise, in the form of the SnikkyBike.

As can be seen, al­though the scooter has a li’l 16-inch mo­torised wheel in the back, it has a full-size 700 c bi­cy­cle wheel in the front.

This ar­range­ment is claimed to com­bine the fast ac­cel­er­a­tion of a small drive wheel with a larger front wheel’s abil­ity to roll over ob­sta­cles in­stead get­ting stopped by them.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the short wheel­base lets it stay nim­ble and ma­noeu­vrable, as it needs to be in ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments. The han­dle­bars and foot­boards like­wise fold up when not in use, mak­ing it eas­ier to carry and store.

Its top speed is 32 km/h, with one charge of its re­mov­able 36volt lithium-ion bat­tery al­low­ing for a range of just over 30 kilo­me­tres — re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing helps it reach that fig­ure. A full recharge takes ap­prox­i­mately two hours.

The SnikkyBike is cur­rently the sub­ject of a Kick­starter cam­paign, where a pledge of $1 050 (R15 700) will get you one, if and when they reach pro­duc­tion.

The planned re­tail price is $1 199. — Giz­mag.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

The SnikkyBike is a nim­ble new take on the Penny Far­thing.

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