Yikes, they said. So they called it YikeBike.

Oh dearie, have you seen this thing?  Probably not, since it’s not available in stores and only started retailing online in the last year.  But here you have it, ladies and germs, an electric bike redesigned as a mini-farthing that comes complete with lights and a handy bag.

Invented by New Zealand inventors and brothers, Grant and Shaun Ryan, the Yike Bike was their attempt to answer a series of questions inspired by increasingly congested cities and increasingly stressful lives.  What they came up with is a foldable electric bike that weighs about 9 kilograms, reaches a top speed of 23 kilometers per hour, with a charge that permits a range of about 10 kilometers (without additional battery packs).  They also put the handlebars behind the seat and revised the look of the bicycle to something reminiscent of an old velocipede.  It sort of makes me giggle in the same way that I do every time I see the headfirst steamrollers on Segways cruising along waterfronts of the world.  But, giggles aside, it looks sort of fun and I appreciate the built-in lights.  All bikes should be so prepared.

The carbon fiber bike retails for US$3795 but you can get a cheaper, aluminum and composite bike weighing in at 14 kilograms for US$1995.  Well.  I might wait for a rental shop to pop up.

It took a CNN reporter about 15 minutes to get the hang of it.  But if you’ve got a commuter on your Christmas list (and a chunk of change to spare) maybe I just found you the best gift ever?  You want a go?


7 thoughts on “Yikes, they said. So they called it YikeBike.

  1. I want to like the Yike, but let’s make a comparison.
    Yike, range = 10km. Less with hills.
    bicycle = unlimited
    Yike, speed = 23 km/h max
    bicycle = 30 or 40. Pedalling at 15-20 is no sweat.
    Yike US$ 2000 – 4000
    bicycle $600 for entry-level
    Yike’s luggage capacity = zero
    bicycle = up to 30kg?
    Yike fitness benefits = zero
    bicycle: half your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, mental illness.
    It has no pedals so what do you do when it putts out?
    Nevertheless, of course I’d love to try one!


  2. Isobel

    I saw one of these today on Willis Street! Definitely! I have to say I almost laughed out loud. It reminded me of a Segway, except you get to sit down. I agree with Patrick, stick with the classics!


  3. Glen K

    Being in Christchurch (current home of the Ryan brothers), I’ve seen a few of these around town for a couple of years. One morning on my way into town I was following one of the guys on my bike, curious to see what it was like. Two things struck me: (a) the speed was too slow for me (I eventually had to overtake it, and I struggle to break 30kmh usually), and (b) it had quite a disconcerting whiny noise (not evident from the video above). So I dunno; is it aiming for the same Segway market?

    BTW, somewhat poignant to see in the video all the “yiking” around parts of Christchurch we can’t get to now…


  4. Shaun

    Note, this was invented by my brother Grant and the others at Yike. I had nothing to do with it. Patrick’s points are all valid. If you can bike you should – it’s cheaper, faster and better for you. This is really designed for the last mile when you’re using public transport. You can fold it up and take it on a train or bus.

    That siad, I use my Yike almost every day in Christchurch. I’m a fair weather cyclist but I’ll happily ride my Yike in the winter because I can wrap up warm without breaking into a sweat. I hardly use my car now.

    It’s a lot of fun to ride. You get heaps of people asking you about it.


  5. Megan

    Hey Shaun– relied on the Herald article but all props to your brother and others at Yike for the amazing design. I think it puts a refreshing spin (pun intended) on the commuter bike and while I wouldn’t ditch my sweet pedals for most of my rides, I love the innovation and I will jump at the chance to ride one when I see them in Wellington! So great to hear that you’ve made it a part of your routine. Shout out to your brother!


  6. Craig

    Interesting concept. Whilst I have neither Yike nor a folding bike in my stable I can see both really taking off for the flexibility that they offer. Especially if you have excellent public transport and no public cycle hire scheme.

    The Yike does look more suited for flat-landers and I’m not too sure how I would feel on my daily commute down Ngauranga though…


  7. Jack J. Jiang

    I followed one when I was doing some road riding down at Chrichurch, all I can say is they are great for motor-pacing in headwind situations. 😀

    Innovative?? Yes. But what happened to the health & well being side of commuting (Insert Patrick’s Here)? I thought the the exercise aspect was important too. Also $1995USD for 14kg that might go 10km (heavier, more strain on the motor) Then we add some hills to that equation. I think I might just invest my $1995USD on our bus system.

    The bottom line is that at least it will get more people out and about… and I WANT ONE!!!!!!!!!!


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