Having lived my entire life between Baltimore and D.C., I am no stranger to terrible traffic, averaging about 3 hours of driving per day! I am also no stranger to sitting in that traffic and watching bicyclist after bicyclist pass me with ease. Well…here might be the solution!
The Yike Bike is an electric bicycle was invented by New Zealander native Grant Ryan and introduced to the world on September 2, 2009 at the Eurobike Trade Fair in Germany. It was debuted to critics claiming it has the potential to become the most commonly owned transport device in the world. The bike consists of a carbon fiber frame, an electric, chainless drive and even electric anti-skid brakes. One feature that really seemed to please the public is the fact that the Yike Bike weighs just 21 pounds, thanks to the use of carbon fiber. The bike can also be folded in just mere seconds and placed in a bag which is roughly 2’ x 2’ x 6” and carried into your destination, which eliminates you walking outside after work to a bike frame with no wheels.
Thanks to modern technology, the Yike Bike features the latest in Lithium Phosphate (liFePO4) battery which has a life of at least 1,000 charges. The battery is charged to 100% in less than 30 minutes. A charged battery will allow the rider to travel approximately 6 miles at a top speed of approximately 12.5 mph. So even when riding downhill, the bike will not travel faster than the maximum speed of 12.5 mph!
We spoke with Brent Tucker of River Carbon Technology who was able to give us some interesting information on producing the Yike Bike:
We were one of 3 companies in New Zealand that produced the carbon fibre parts for the 8 bikes. We made the main frame and one side of the front wheel cover as well as cured the other side of the wheel cover for an other company in our autoclave. The main frame tool has nine plants due to it’s complex shape and is one of the most complex parts I’ve ever made.
In order to safely and comfortably ride the Yike Bike, it is recommended that the rider and gear weight no more than 220 pounds and have a height between 5’3” and 6’5”. The company hopes to have the ability to design a wider variety of bikes for more riders in the future, including a bike for children.
There are a few downfalls to the Yike Bike however. The first being the ability to purchase it! While the plan is to release the bike for sale to the general public in early to mid 2010, it is only available for the first 100 ordered. The bike will also only be initially sold in England, Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden and New Zealand. The price is also a little hefty, $5,100-$5,700! Yike is right! And then there is the lack of exercise benefit.
To get a good idea of how this actually works, take a look at the following video from Yike Bike:
If you like the sleek look and the light-weight advantages of a bike made of carbon fiber (without the steep price tag and lack of exercise benefit) be sure to check out these other carbon fiber bicycles we’ve covered: