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Peculiar standing bike pedals to Kickstarter success

Three wheels, two pedals and a person in a standing position power the Halfbike II, a very different kind of trike.

Halfbike II
The Halfbike II is a head-turning ride. Kolelinia

There seems to be endless fascination within the crowdfunding world for unusual bikes. Kickstarter and Indiegogo have hosted everything from a cardboard bicycle to a controversial $499 electric bike. One look at the Halfbike II on Kickstarter shows you it isn't a normal road or mountain bike. It's just as much about standing as it is about pedaling.

There's no seat on the Halfbike II. There are two small wheels in the back and one big wheel in the front, along with a curved handlebar leading up. You stand on the pedals to drive it. The bike is capable of moving in a subtle serpentine pattern, which is fascinating to watch and looks like a lot of fun to ride. It's like a much friendlier version of a unicycle, but with training wheels.

As its name suggests, the Halfbike II is the next evolutionary step in an ongoing project. The original Halfbike successfully raised nearly $82,000 on Kickstarter in 2014. While the very basic components of three wheels and two pedals are the same between the Halfbike and the Halfbike II, the rest of the design has undergone a considerable amount of refinement.

The Halfbike II is made with aluminum and plywood and weighs 18 pounds. It folds down to make it easier to haul along on public transportation or stash in your office.

The campaign launched on Kickstarter with a $50,000 funding goal, which was left in the dust as the project topped $312,000 with 19 days left to run. The pedal-powered creation costs $399 (about £270, AU$525) pledge.

The creators of the Halfbike II remind buyers that it will take some practice to build up the balance and skill required to smoothly operate the vehicle. It's a fascinating design, but it's not a replacement for a regular bicycle. It works best on flat surfaces, though very determined, physically fit people should be able to ride it up a steep hill.

Halfbike II in motion
The Halfbike II works best on flat surfaces. Kolelinia