Created as a solution to the congested ways of urban living, the YikeBike provides an aesthetically pleasing and fun mode of transportation for urban city dwellers. Similar in purpose as a Segway, but designed in a totally different manner, the YikeBike is touted as the “cooler” way to get around.
Developed by a group of entrepreneurs, engineers and dreamers, they all wanted to create something that would provide the simplest way to get around with the smallest wheel that would provide a stable, safe and comfortable ride, as well as being small enough to travel anywhere in an populated city.
The result is the YikeBike, a modern take on the old school unicycle, which utilizes state-of-the-art technology, industrial design and a new and unique way of getting around. While it may look as if it’s a children’s toy, the YikeBike is anything but.
You sit on it as you would a chair, and place your feet on pedals that sit on each side of the 20-inch large, front wheel (the back wheel is 8 inches). Its handle bars are to your sides and also act as hand brakes (stopping power comes by electric anti-skid and regenerative brakes that will yield you and the YikeBike on nearly any surface). While it may look uncomfortable at first, it’s only natural that you’d put your hands down to your sides when sitting in an upright position that the YikeBike requires in order to safely and properly ride one.
With its one-kilowatt electric motor that emits zero emissions, you’ll also leave no carbon footprint, making it a great alternative to a motorcycle or car. But don’t expect to be a speed demon on a YikeBike because it tops out at 14.3 mph, just enough speed to get you cruising the city.
Its LiFEPO4 rechargeable battery allows for a 6.2-mile range and has a 120-minute recharge time with a standard charger, but an optional fast charger drops the time to only 50 minutes. However, if you add another battery pack, you can get 12.4 miles and two additional battery packs ups the range to 18.6 miles on a single charge.
An advanced LED light system is always on so that you can be seen at all times, day and night. Just like any other bike, turning lights, brake lights, rear lights, turning signals and hazard lights are standard features on the YikeBIke.
Originally created out of carbon fiber components back when it was unveiled in 2010, it weighed only 22 pounds, which made it the lightest electric bike in the planet. But because it had a carbon fiber frame, the price tag made it run about $4,000.
As a way to make it available to the masses, a new, more affordable option is now available for under $2,000. The YikeBike Fusion may be lower priced, but design and quality have not been comprised. The Fusion still features everything that the original carbon fiber version possesses, but uses conventional materials that are more appealing to both cost-conscious and energy-conscious consumers. It’s only two pounds heavier, but can still be easily folded for convenient handling and storage as the carbon fiber version. It takes only about 15 seconds to fold or unfold both YikeBike versions.
Whether you like the lighter carbon fiber option or want the more budget-friendly Fusion, there are also a multitude of accessories and options, such as a variety of colors to choose from (red, silver, white, green and blue thus far); a specifically designed storage bag; extender and replacement batteries; and fast chargers.
Kristie Bertucci is an L.A.-based writer, who can't live without her MacBook Pro. When she's not writing, she's either reading or shopping (online, of course) and loves lazy days so she can catch up on her DVR-recorded shows and movies. She's definitely a Mac girl, she loves music and is currently on a mission to to have an insane and enviable iTunes library.