One of the things you have to love about the Berliner Fahrradschau (Berlin Bike Show) which took place last Friday to Sunday is that it doesn’t just cover the latest road bikes but also features some of the more quirky and unique ideas that make the world of cycling so much fun.
That’s an easy comment to make; here’s one example to give some justification to it. The product is called “Halbrad”, which translates from the German as “Half Bike”. And the photos will show you why it got its name.
Measuring just 79 cm in length and 99 cm tall, the bike weighs 9kg, making it competitive in those areas with a folding bike, and so is easy to carry on to public transport and store at home or an office. If you end up with one, you had better enjoy conversation on your commute, as it is quite a conversation starter when you carry it on to a bus or train.
Its 90cm turning circle is impressively small, making it very manoeuvrable in tight areas (and even suitable for some tricks).
The inventor, Felix Kruschardt, says that it only takes a couple of minutes to get used to the steering; like with some recumbent bikes, the steering is low down, behind the seat, in a relaxed position for the arms.
It’s not quite a fixie, as it has two gears. Braking is achieved by back-pedalling, much more common on German bikes in particular, but not totally unknown here.
So, are we going to see some “Half Bikes” around in the UK soon? The answer depends on how the Crowdfunding goes on the German Startnext site. As someone who welcomes diversity, I'd be pleased for Felix if he gets his funding; it's one more piece in the urban sustainable transport jigsaw.
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