The shibboleth that exists between roadies and mountain bikers may see a new class of cyclists asserting their rights, those who view water as cycling’s next frontier.
Indeed, terra firma notwithstanding, the Manta5 Hydrofoil electric assisted bike brings the life-aquatic to cycling, by allowing riders to traverse any body of water as though they were tackling their favorite hill or dell.
Comprising an aluminum frame, two carbon fiber hydrofoils that provide lift and a 400-watt motor that’s designed to assist the rider by powering the Manta5’s propeller, the complete design weighs a surprisingly light 44 lb. Moreover, the bike can be partially disassembled, so it can be easily transported in the back of a vehicle.
According to the New Zealand based company, the current prototype of the Manta5 can reach a top speed of 12 mph, while sustaining a battery charge of up to one hour.
While the Manta5 is still in the development phase, the company’s CEO Guy Howard-Willis, says he has plans to launch a production model sometime before the year is out, called the Hydrofoiler XE-1.
“I want these bikes to go well beyond just being a leisure product – I want it to be a sports product so it’s competitive,” says Howard-Willis. “If it’s competitive it’s a whole different market it fits into, and who knows, one day it might be in the Olympic games. I can see that, it may take a while to get there, maybe I’m too ambitious, but like I say, I’ve always been a dreamer.”
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