YikeBike mini-farthing will give people freedom in congested cities A radical Kiwi electric bicycle is set to change the lives of commuters worldwide. The YikeBike mini-farthing is the smallest and lightest electric folding bicycle available in the world.
Weighing less than 10 kg, it is expected to transform the way urban commuters navigate congested cities by enabling people to take it on buses, trains, cars and it can be stored easily under a desk or in a cupboard.
It will be launched internationally at international trade show EUROBIKE in Germany on September 2. TechNZ, the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology's business investment arm, has supported the company to the tune of $536,000 to undertake research and development.
The first investment of $95,000 in 2008 was used to test a prototype and a second investment of $441,000 in 2009 helped incorporate new composite materials and undertake comprehensive safety tests. It also helped attract venture capital from Pioneer and K1W1.
Grant Ryan, the Christchurch-based successful inventor and entrepreneur behind the product said the result is a bicycle with a radically different riding position (with handlebars positioned behind the rider), and a novel steering mechanism and wheel configuration, giving a safe smooth ride while folding up to a super small size.
"What we have done is take a fresh approach to cycle design to give people freedom to commute easily and quickly in crowded urban environments with minimal carbon footprint," he said.
"It came out of asking the question about what sort of radical new transport device would help address the challenges of people navigating increasingly crowded, polluted cities throughout the world.
"After years of discussion and experimenting we found a new wheel rider position that is as stable as the current 120 year old bicycle configuration.
The YikeBike mini-farthing is simple, small and light. We've replaced the chain, gears, pedals, brake pads, cables, levers with a powerful light, 1.2 kW electric motor and smart electronics," he said.
Mark Gallagher, the Foundation's Director Sector Investments Manufacturing & ICT, said the Foundation invested in the company because of the international market potential and was confident it would succeed with Grant Ryan's track record of innovative start up companies.
"The YikeBike mini-farthing will further strengthen New Zealand's reputation as a high-tech country," he said. The YikeBike mini-farthing will be manufactured in Christchurch.
About YikeBike Ltd
YikeBike develops and manufacture minifarthings with exceptional performance, design and safety.
Their first design is the lightest smallest electric folding bicycle in the world at less than 10kg. The design vision at YikeBike is that not only should our products be fantastically functional but they should look so good you want to hang it on the wall as a piece of art.
The core concept of the mini-farthing is available to other manufactures as there are many different types of mini-farthing possibilities including pedal, pedal assist, electric only, carbon frames, injection moulded frames, children's version, integrated into cars.
YikeBike is backed by the two largest venture investment firms in New Zealand, Pioneer Capital and K1W1 as well as the Foundation for Research Science and Technology www.yikebike.com www.minifarthing.com About the inventor Grant Ryan Grant is an addicted inventor & entrepreneur.
He has founded a number of technology companies GlobalBrain.net (sold to NBCi), RealContacts, SLI-Systems (profitable fast growing SAAS search company) and Eurekster (North America Red Herring 100 in 2006).
He is on the board of Canterbury Development Corporation. He has a degree in mechanical engineering and a PhD in Ecological Economics from the University of Canterbury. The YikeBike perfectly combines his love of mechanics, environment, and innovation. About TechNZ
The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology invests over $500 million a year on behalf of the New Zealand Government in research and development. TechNZ is the Foundation's business investment programme.
It puts $50 million a year into New Zealand companies to help them undertake research and development to develop products faster and get them to market. It targets key sectors of the economy with strong growth potential including specialised manufacturing, information technology, biotechnology and food and beverages. www.technz.co.nz
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