It's not easy to reinvent the bicycle, and it took architects Martin Angelov and Mihail Klenov five years--the first time they did it. The duo's Halfbike, which got rid of the seat and much of the structure of a traditional bicycle, was first conceived of in 2009 and successfully launched last year.
The original Halfbike
Now Angelov and Klenov's company, Design Lab Kolelinia, is at it again. The first Halfbike was successful, but looked like a rough 1.0 version, fashioned as it was from rectilinear parts. Their updated Halfbike II has had the geometry tweaked and refined, bringing fresh components into a form that looks much more like a professional-grade product. Thus they've got it up on Kickstarter:
If you're wondering about the standing form factor, it was not initiated merely to reduce parts; the novel riding position is the key to the bike's success.
[The Halfbike II is] a vehicle that trains your balance and reflexes in a new way. Not only on a physical level but it also affects the way you perceive movement and enhances your senses. The standing rider position is essential…. It brings you closer to natural walking and it's the only way to control the vehicle with your whole body and not just your hands. Halfbike is a sort of an extension to the body that allows a smooth and intuitive ride.
Riding a Halfbike gives you a different perspective to the city. You can use it for commuting, exercise or recreation. Regardless of how or where you're going to ride it, the experience is what really counts. The Halfbike will not simply transport you from A to B. It will distract you for a moment from all your day to day worries allowing you to focus solely on your body and the ride itself.
The original Halfbike was seeking $80,000 in pledges and squeaked across the finish line with $81,769. But the Halfbike II's campaign shows not only Kolelina's improved manufacturing efficiency, but also the strong interest: They lowered their finance target to $50,000—and at press time, they'd netted $311,000.
Buy-in starts at $399, and there's 19 days left to pledge.