Pursuing World Domination

The Christchurch-designed YikeBike has been named one of Time magazine’s 50 Best Inventions of 2009, making the cover of the publication’s Asia edition. “It’s like getting your first Big Wheel all over again — and you don’t even have to pedal. An innovative bicycle-design concept derived from the old-fashioned penny-farthing, the YikeBike is a folding electric bicycle invented by Invercargill man Grant Ryan. The rider sits on the seat, holds on at the sides and zooms around at a top speed of 20 km/h. You lean left or right to steer, and it even comes with electronic antiskid brakes. The first 100 YikeBikes will be road-ready by mid-2010 in New Zealand as well as the UK and selected other countries in Europe. The YikeBike weighs roughly 9kg and runs on a lithium phosphate battery that can be charged to 80 per cent capacity in 20 minutes. “Our big, hairy goal — which is so crazy it is laughable — is to design something that could be the most commonly owned transport device in the world. At the moment, it is bikes,” says Ryan. “We’re after world domination.”

Tags: Christchurch  Time Magazine  YikeBike