Innovation That Matters

Pedal-electric bike

Pedal-electric bike rides on fresh and salt water

Travel & Tourism

Cyclists may traverse any body of water using this hydrofoil bike developed in New Zealand.

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Innovative ways to stay fit have been trending for a while now, with new ideas ranging from a smart stick to gym equipment made from natural materials. And now, outdoors entrepreneur Guy Howard-Willis and bicycle designer Roland Alonzo are trying to redefine cycling with an electric-assist pedal-powered hydrofoil bike that could travel for roughly one hour across lakes, rivers and oceans, reaching up to 19 km per hour. Soon to be available for sale, the Manta5 prototype recently won Gold in the ‘Concept’ category at the 2017 New Zealand Best Design Awards.

Manta5 has numerous features to enhance rider experience, such as its ability to perform submerged launches, a 400-W motor to propel the rider when they choose, the front tiller section of the bike facilitating travel in choppy ocean conditions, and an ultra-lightweight design (44 lb), which allows riders to reach higher speeds. The idea was born in New Zealand back in 2010, and the bike will be available for pre-sale in New Zealand late 2017-early 2018, with delivery estimated for late 2018. The product will then become available internationally. The aim of the founders is for the product to be viewed as a competitive sports product, and to go further than just being purchased for leisure purposes.

We have seen the fitness industry providing increasingly varied ways to exercise, for example the gym pods in China, and a Korean smart hula-hoop offering personalised workouts. This has happened in conjunction with new ways to cycle, such as the electric self-charging bike first seen in Austria one year ago. The Manta5 is bringing the most advanced on-water cycling experience achieving hydroplaning efficiencies at high and low speed. What could this mean for the future of the fitness industry and perhaps even sports competitions? And could this revolutionise the way consumers choose to experience the outdoors?




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