Half a bike?

I’ve got to give this guy full marks for ingenuity.

The halbrad [shown below] looks like a regular bike that’s missing its front half. It’s about one meter [39 inches] high and 79 cm [31 inches] long.

Its handlebars are located underneath the saddle, so to steer, riders must sit up straight and hold their hands below their thighs – allowing them to turn the tiny front wheel attached to a rod that descends from the saddle.

Felix Kruschardt, creator of the halbrad, came up with the idea based on his past work as an orthopaedic technician.

“The rods of wheelchairs fitted perfectly to the ones you get on bikes. I just welded them together,” he explained to The Local.

“Me and my friends managed to ride this first home-made halbrad.”

The Berlin-based inventor says that users can comfortably ride at up to 28km/h – or at a walking pace alongside friends on foot.

Kruschardt adds that the bike’s low weight and small size make it one of the lightest bikes on the market at just 9 kilos [20 pounds].

There’s more at the link.

Here’s a video of the inventor displaying his new toy.

I suppose that, in overcrowded German cities, this compact space-saving bike would actually make a lot of sense.  I’m not so sure about its practicality if you want to take home a bag of shopping, though . . .



  1. A re-birth of a nearly 150 year old idea. The early predecessor of the bicycle was the velocipede, literally "fast foot", that one straddled and pushed in a walking motion. It sped up walking. This one has modern chain drive, but seems to do just the same. It makes walking a little easier.

    This is before the giant wheeled penny farthing bikes. Before the "safety bicycle" in the 1880s.

  2. 20 lbs? Too much steel. Should be much lighter, maybe 1/2 that weight, at most. Aluminium or carbon/kevlar fibre to make it more attractive to the buying public. Add folding pedals and handlebar, and a backpack/transport bag to zip it into when it has to be carried or stored. Adding a fold out frame to carry a bag of groceries or a briefcase should be no problem.

    Perhaps an upscale model with shaft/gear drive or chain case to keep the chain and lube away from a business suit.

  3. Really? REALLY? Why? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Get a REAL bike. This may be as stupid as a recumbent bike, especially the two wheeled versions. OR, the 3-wheeled versions….

  4. There are plenty of size-related problems with a bike. They're very impractical to store, they're quite long making them near impossible to transport inside your average vehicle, are downright rude to take on a bus, require specialised storage spaces on trains, have poor low-speed manoeuvrability, and are pretty unpleasant to carry anywhere (especially older heavier bikes). This design solves most of those problems, if not all of them. It might create a few of its own, but the trade off you choose to make is all about your specific needs.

    No need to be so damn hostile about it.

  5. m4:

    I wasn't trying to belittle the design. The mechanical designer in me was merely pointing out the details that should be looked at for the next design revision, that would enhance it's marketability.

    Most designers tend to start with the simplest version for a prototype, and then attempt to add features later in the design evolution. I normally worked that in reverse, as it tends to be easier to remove design elements without major rework of the basic design, as opposed to trying to add some management dweeb's input as an afterthought.

  6. Overcrowded German cities ?!? Have you ever been there ? Overcrowded is New York, Istanbul or Mexico city, not Hamburg or Munich- even at central parts.

  7. @Will: Your comment isn't at all hostile. Even the engineer in me (as underqualified as he is) appreciates the improvements that could be made to such a design. Indeed making it lighter still and improving the storage cross-section would help alleviate a good deal more of the problems the design already addresses.

    The worst offender is in fact the comment right next to yours. A few others weren't exactly friendly, but that one really takes the cake.

  8. I don't get it, what is the advantage of this contraption over a folding bicycle that you can take everywhere, that has two equal-sized (if small) wheels and that does not require you to learn a new cycling technique?

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