Personal Transportation
Halfbike breeds a sawed-off scooter and tricycle for urban transport, exercise

The Premise. Urbanites don’t love cars and instead find alternative forms of mobility. Public transportation is a good idea in theory, but delays and unreliability spell trouble for people in cities. Most opt for some kind of personal transport that they own or rent such as skateboards, rollerblades or the ever popular bicycle.

The Product. Halfbike is a personal transportation device that looks a bit like a manually-operated Segway. It features one big wheel in front and two small wheels in the back. The rider pedals just like on a traditional bike, but stands directly on the pedals, which is why the creators say that their product combines jogging and cycling. A long wooden shaft rises up from the front wheel with a single handle on top for the rider to hold onto, steer, and brake with.

The Pitch. The campaign for Halfbike begins with a video of the token “cool urbanite” riding the product around a busy city. The viewer recognizes his coolness from the hoodie he wears and he glides around with ease, even doing tricks off of staircases and skittering over streetcar tracks. Despite his finesse and agility, the rider still looks a little silly cutting through the crowds with this odd device. Halfbike’s creators hope to raise $80,000 in its 31-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Halfbike is certainly not half the price. Early-birds can enjoy zipping around the city for $799, with a regular price of $899. Tiers go all the way up to $7,000 which includes a trip to bike-friendly Amsterdam. Estimated delivery date is currently set at September 2014 for the bikes themselves. A stretch goal of $150,000 would allow the creators to begin offering different colored versions of their product.

The Potential. No matter how technologically advanced the world gets, people will always search for alternative means of transportation. The Halfbike, while an interesting idea, doesn’t quite look finished. The bare wooden plank in the center and the white metal frame make it seem more like a prototype. It may be good for the creators to attempt to “hip” it up a bit, especially if their target market is comprised of young, cool urbanites. Still, the Halfbike’s versatility cannot be ignored and its size, definitely smaller than a bicycle, offers a much more convenient option for young people on the go.

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