Here at the Hugger, we love all kinds of bikes, and all kinds of riders: Low riders, tourists, commuters, racers, messengers. Even folks on trikes and those crazy MTV bikes from the ’80s where the rear wheel could pivot (what were those called?).
So it’s hard to harsh on somebody with something a little different. But the HyperBike reminds me of Mark Twain’s description of golf: It’s a good walk spoiled. Theoretically, it’s an attempt to take concepts from racing wheelchairs and upsize them to create a new kind of human-powered vehicle, one that uses hand as well as foot propulsion.
The HyperBike’s inventor has a working prototype and is looking for investors, so perhaps that excuses some of his more dubious marketing. He throws around 50 mph as an achievable speed, and says his bike will be better able to mix with car and truck traffic because its speed is closer to theirs. Unfortunately, in the demo video, we never see one exceed rest-home speeds. And each time the prototype approaches 5 mph, the outrigger wheel out front heads for the clouds until the rider (walker? prisoner?) slows back down. Maybe the production model will have wheelie bars…
Also posted to Gizmodo, where many of the readers point out problems with the design: absurdly high aerodynamic drag (compared to recumbents or uprights) and a size that requires secure parking – you can’t just lean it against the wall of an apartment or office.
The inventor is interviewed in today’s Hamptons Online. Maybe there’s more here than meets the eye, but I’m dubious.
I’ve already stated my preference for disc brake rain bikes. My Trek Portland is perfect for my needs of a training bike and longer-distance commuter. When I’m old and paid off college (and college for my kid(s)) I’ll probably be riding a custom steel bike. There’s nothing more comfortable for the money. A local guy — Brian Marcroft has gotten into building custom rain bikes and his efforts seem pretty solid. If you have the means and are in the market send him a note and support a local framebuilder.
SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park opens this weekend and it’s located on one of my favorite rides: Alki to Alaskan Way to Myrtle Edward’s, up to Magnolia, and back.
With the opening, Seattle commuters and cyclists have art a glance on their next ride.
Grey skies, Space Needle, freight trains, traffic, and a sculpture park – all seen during our ride to check out the Olympic Sculpture Park. More photos in the Photostream.