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Strap a bike to your feet with Chariot Skates

Chariot Skates are a pair of large wheels that attach to your feet. Part bicycle, part ski, this evolution in inline skates allows for downhill and rough terrain riding.

Chariot Skates

If you can imagine "wearing" a bicycle on your feet, it might look something like Chariot Skates, the name of a novel form of roller skate that lets you go off-road and downhill with greater ease than inline skates.

Australian Michael Jenkins created his Wheelskates to bring skiing and cycling together in one product. The user's feet are suspended below the axles of knee-high wheels in hinged leg and foot support struts; smaller rear wheels add stability. The mechanism helps create the impression of skiing and skating when moving forward.

Jenkins says the low center of gravity in his skates allows users greater speed and maneuverability than traditional inline skates, adding that he travels around 12 mph without traffic.

It's also possible to go down grassy slopes and traverse rough terrain on them. Stopping is achieved by gripping the wheels with special gloves, or doing a T-stop.

People have been tinkering with wheeled footwear for more than a century, but Chariot Skates brings modern materials know-how to the dream of effortless motion.

The prototype skates are made of expensive carbon composite material, and estimated production costs are comparable to those of "first-class carbon fiber bicycles," according to Chariot Skates, which is based in Hong Kong.

Jenkins has said they may cost several thousand Australian dollars when they hit the market, expected next year.

(Via Gear Junkie)