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.
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:
For an electric version of the mini-farthing, further safety features are possible:
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.
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.
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.
To see specs on the YikeBike, which is the first production mini-farthing, see the FAQs on their site here.
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.
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.
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.
The first licensee of the mini-farthing platform is YikeBike. You can visit their web site and place an order here.
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.
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).
YikeBike Limited is a sister company of Mini-farthing Limited, that pays royalties for the use of the core mini-farthing design.
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.
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.
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.
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.