FAQs

These FAQSs are about the new class type of bicycle called mini-farthings and these questions are aimed at companies wanting to licence or partner with us. If you have questions about the first production mini-farthing made by YikeBike please click here. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter here and keep checking the site as we continue to add more mini-farthing information.

Safety

 

How safe is the mini-farthing cycle?

One of the key aims of the mini-farthing design was to make it very safe and safer than a bicycle.  The following features are key to safety:

  • The rider is in an upright position to allow better visibility in traffic – easier to both see and be seen.
  • Short wheel-base means it is more manoeuvrable.
  • The handlebars are at the side rather than in front so in the event of an accident or need for an emergency stop the rider’s head or body is not catapulted into an obstacle.

For an electric version of the mini-farthing, further safety features are possible:

  • Electronic anti-skid brakes can give it smooth braking and a short stopping distance.
  • Built in brake lights and indicators mean you don’t have to take your hands off to signal.
  • Speed limited – even down hill.
  • Super-fast acceleration to allow you to avoid trouble if necessary.
  • Built in lights that are on all the time, making you more visible to others.

 

How stable is the mini-farthing? How easy is it to ride?

The advantage of starting with a blank sheet of paper was that we could apply the necessary engineering principles to provide a very stable ride.  The best way to see just how easy it is to ride is to look at the videos of people riding for the very first time. Check out the YikeBike website here.  Most people learn in the first few minutes that they lean differently (and more intuitively!) than a when on a bicycle.

 

Having the handle bars at the side looks weird – surely it must feel unnatural and unstable?

With a bicycle you stretch forward to reach the handlebars – there is nothing inherently natural about that, it is just what you are used to.  The upright position is remarkably comfortable and safer too because it is easier to both see and be seen.

 

What happens when I brake hard?

The electric mini-farthing designed by YikeBike is the first in the world to have electronic anti-skid brakes, giving smoother braking and a shorter stopping distance than a bicycle. It is likely that you will jump off the front of a YikeBike in an emergency braking situation – this is very easy as there are no handle bars in the way.

Specifications

To see specs on the YikeBike, which is the first production mini-farthing, see the FAQs on their site here.

How fast can a mini-farthing go?

This depends of the form of motive power.  In theory they can go as fast as normal bicycles but the electric one made by YikeBike is limited to 20 kmph for safety reasons. As described in the possible designs section, it is possible to have active cruise control systems to make them safe at much higher speeds.

 

What height do you have to be to ride a mini-farthing? Is the seat adjustable?  Is there a weight limit?

This depends upon the motive power and the size of the mini-farthing.  It is possible to make a mini-farthing in different forms to suit all body types.  The electric version made by YikeBike can comfortably be ridden by anyone from 160cm to 195cm (5’3” to 6'5"). In this case, there is no need to adjust the seat because you do not pedal – your height relative to the seat is only important to how much your knees are bent when riding.  The YikeBike can comfortably take a rider (and personal effects) weighing up to 100kg.

How do I carry things on a mini-farthing?

The mini-farthing platform is designed to be super small when folded so does not contemplate a carrier or pannier bags.  The best way to carry things on a mini-farthing would be with a back pack.

General

 

Can I buy a mini-farthing?

The first licensee of the mini-farthing platform is YikeBike.  You can visit their web site and place an order here.

 

Can I license the mini-farthing design?

Yes, mini-farthing is interested in talking to well-resourced potential licensees and would be happy to share their ideas on potential variants. See the licensing section for further information.

 

What is the difference between a mini-farthing and a YikeBike?

A mini-farthing is a new class of bicycle (like mountain bike, road bike, racing bike) and YikeBike a brand of mini-farthing (www.yikebike.com).

 

How is mini-farthing related to YikeBike?

YikeBike Limited is a sister company of Mini-farthing Limited, that pays royalties for the use of the core mini-farthing design.

 

Is the mini-farthing street legal?

As far as we are aware the mini-farhting is neither legal or illegal as it has not been designed to fit into existing definitions of a bicycle or any other vehicle. It all depends on the specific configuration produced.  The mini-farthing has been designed specifically to ease congestion and seamlessly link in will all other transportation modes (train, bus, car, ferry, walking, planes etc.) in a safe, environmentally friendly way.

 

Will I be able to use bicycle lanes?

The mini-farthing does not fit within bicycle specifications, but we have designed it to be safer and more manoeuvrable than a bicycle so it should be able to be used anywhere you use a bicycle.

 

What does ‘mini-farthing’ mean?

Mini-farthing is derived from the penny-farthing which was the most common form of bicycle sold between 1870 and 1888. Obviously it is much smaller, has different steering mechanics and is designed to fold into a super compact form.

 

What does Project Garlic mean (name of parent company being Project Garlic Limited)?

This project was inspired by the Segway and that had a code name of Ginger. We chose Garlic – because it is spicier, tastier, more popular and more magical than ginger ;-).  Yes we do know the Segway folks were referring to the dancer (as in Fred and Ginger) but we were feeling kind of flippant that day.