Flutterby™! : A-bike

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2006-10-12 18:34:34.31357+00 by Dan Lyke 11 comments

I found the Segway killer: The A-bike. 5.6 kg (< 13 lbs), folds into 67cm x 30cm x 16cm (26.5" x 12" x 6.5"). £200, or about $375.

[ related topics: Cool Technology Segway/Ginger/IT Bicycling ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-12 19:49:37.533751+00 by: ebradway [edit history]

So that's what Sir Clive Sinclair's been up to lately... my first computer was a Sinclair ZX81!

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-12 21:04:46.820392+00 by: petronius

200 British pounds? How many American pounds will this thing support?

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-12 21:15:15.151815+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Since Americans are so much heavier than the rest of the world, I can only imagine that the conversion rate is similar to that of the currency.

[Note for those confused, I originally couldn't remember that &pound; was the HTML entity for British pounds (currency)]

And I find it amusing that they offer up the weight in kilograms and stone: the carrying capacity is 3st 5lbs.

Edit: And it looks like their conversion is wacked!

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-12 23:11:42.817055+00 by: Dave Goodman

Seeing as how it's human-powered, it doesn't really compare with the Segway. And did you see the size of the wheels? It must ride really, really rough on every surface except your kitchen floor.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-12 23:28:30.667228+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I guess that, unlike the Segway, it'd actually have a usable range...

On wheel size, I'm betting that a little technique will do wonders. I'm amazed at the things I can smoothing cross on my inline skates, without jumping, and inline skate wheels are a heck of a lot smaller than that bike's wheels.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-13 05:07:25.130408+00 by: Dan Lyke

Oh, in driving out to a meeting tonight, I also noticed that those wheels are quite a bit larger than the ones on the mini scooters which people are effectively getting around on.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-13 05:19:37.391499+00 by: Diane Reese

I think you're missing the point (or are you getting the point and *I* am missing it?): if it requires human energy to power (and not just, say, leaning), it will never succeed. Anyone who wants to contort themselves into exerting energy to ride a bicycle-like conveyance that small will do it on a bicycle instead (for most values of "anyone").

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-13 09:28:01.312924+00 by: meuon

It's suitible for London, where effective mass transit is used by lots of people and the A-Bike could fill some gaps. It'd work well in other cities with infrastructure. Except as a lark, you won't be finding any blokes taking a bloody holiday on the bugger.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-13 14:13:26.677105+00 by: Dan Lyke

Diane and Dave, I see the need for a compact individual transportation system as a way to get from public transit to the actual destination. Current users are walking, or waiting longer for transit, or are taking cabs, and are looking for a faster method to travel those distances (which is why you see scooters in the SF Financial District).

If you're not a city dweller or a city commuter, neither the folding bicycle nor the scooter helps you, because the distances and the infrastructure are all built up specifically for cars. Scooters are too slow and have too small a payload for those in non-urban areas, and people are too lazy to use bicycles over those distances.

So those other potential users aren't a market. They may become a market (although they'll have to drastically alter their lifestyles, either way), but they won't be early adopters, so you have to get the existing market converted first. The Segway won't work in the urban market because it doesn't mesh well with public transit and the advantages over folding bicycles or scooters aren't anywhere near the disadvantages.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-13 15:31:18.766207+00 by: Larry Burton

I've often wondered why the Heelys haven't taken off with people over the age of 9, especially among urban commuters. Maybe they have elsewhere but I only see them on young kids around Atlanta.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-10-14 00:38:23.417787+00 by: Shawn

Larry, while I've yet to see any on adults around here, nearly all of my peers *talk* about wanting a pair. I haven't done any investingation before today (and now only a quick look), but they do appear to be fairly limited on sizes.