The mini-farthing design has a wide range of potential applications. We outline some examples below.
Made from carbon fibre this type of mini-farthing can weigh less than 10kg, which makes it truly portable and super easy for buzzing around congested cities. YikeBike have designed a mini-farthing that fits this description and is available for ordering now (www.yikebike.com)
Rather than paying for an expensive car park or waiting in queues to circle an otherwise full parking building, you can get one a little further away and probably get to where you are going quicker. Plus you have the freedom to move around from meeting to meeting without moving your car every time. Every time you put it back in the car it charges so you are always charged up and ready to go.
The mini-farthing was originally conceived as pedal only. Perfect for people who like a work-out but don’t want the hassle of having to find a park and lock your bike all the time. No batteries means unlimited range.
To some, this may be the best of both worlds – super compact and light while still providing some light exercise and giving a longer range than a pure electric version. Get some exercise without having to sweat like crazy to get around quickly. This option could have the patented micro seesaw pedal which is a more compact pedal system than on a bicycle.
Quality injection moulded plastics or metals and less expensive batteries mean that this version can be produced very economically yet would have many of the advantages of the super-light carbon fibre version. Tough and reliable using similar technologies to electric power tools this could make the mini-farthing available via mass production to the mass-market. If a quality hand-held power drill can sell for €50, why couldn’t a mini-farthing be cheaper than a bicycle?
Imagine the freedom for parents if they no longer have to act as taxi for one or more child’s activities. Extra freedom from peak school drop-off and pick-up times and all the other extracurricular activities. Super easy to store a family of mini-farthings at home.
Suspended, covered mini-farthing highways in cities could allow people to move around quickly and independently in comfort. Much cheaper than subways and light enough to be suspended over existing roads and infrastructure. Easy to carry mini-farthing up or down stairs to get on and off. This may be a solution to the last mile for sustainable cities that want their citizens to have freedom to have freedom to move about in a safe, fast and environmentally friendly way.
Imagine specific bike lanes that allowed mini-farthings to go at 40-60 km/h if each was fitted with active cruise control (so if a mini-farthing at the front needed to slow down all those behind would slow at the same time). Pelotons of mini-farthings in a network could automatically speed up or slow down to allow for timing of traffic lights and riders could also speed up or slow down to move efficiently and safely in a group of other mini-farthings. The only reason the YikeBike mini-farthing has its speed restricted is for safety on modern congested roads. If there were dedicated lanes and mini-farthings had active cruise control, the safety issues would be solved. The mini-farthing could then genuinely be an alternative to public transport and/or roads in urban settings.