Halfbike review




Recently I came across the Halfbike and thought it was worth doing a desktop review.  As you know, I quite like opportunities to try out different bicycles and especially “alternative” bikes such as the Elliptigo, recumbents and the like.  This means my Halfbike review is not based on actually seeing one in the flesh, let alone riding one.  Nevertheless, here’s the low-down and I’ll touch on the specifications first of all:

Halfbike is described as a new kind of personal vehicle.  Yes it is a kind of bicycle through having a crankset, pedals and a chain which turn a wheel.  It has handlebars and a brake, plus the option of a few gears.  Going a little further it is a “bicycle” which appears to challenge the essence of what a bicycle really is but this is done in a fun, young-at-heart way.  The Halfbike developers Martin Angelov and Mihail Klenovhe talk about awakening our natural instinct to move and how this naturally connects to having fun, being active and using our bodies.  Using the Halfbike will involve training yourself to balance in a new way together with bringing our perception of movement to a new, different level.

It is when the Halfbike press release material refers to distracting yourself from all your day to day worries, allowing you to focus on the ride itself and your body’s involvement in the ride which makes me ask if they’re going too far.  Is this pretentious twaddle?  Or is it true, that for a moment the Halfbike does pull you across to a different place?  Just imagine, wouldn’t that be great….

Who’s it for?

  • Minimalist YUPPIES (that’s Young Upwardly mobile Professional People)
  • Urban dwelling folk who consider themselves to be good design orientated peeps, who like to be noticed.  They’ll probably live in a regenerated city area with traffic free public places where they can outclass skateboarders
  • Gymnastic types who are wannabe cyclists

Who’s it not for?

  • Bradley Wiggins
  • Borris Johnson
  • Any PCSO

This all sounds great, I’d love to try one out.

No, not just to try one out but to master one.  When you see the website movie clips, it all looks so effortless as the riders cruise along warm, sunlit promenades.  Is it that easy?  Is it one of those things which require real poise and careful balance to be a natural on the Halfbike?  Perhaps it does take a little while to master one, a little like switching to a recumbent.  Once you make the switch it can become second nature and no turning back.  Indeed, perhaps if I tried one I would find it hard to hand it back!

Here’s the Halfbike website, why not check it out: click here

For some further Halfbike news which I have blogged about in June 2016 following an unexplained surge in page views: click here.

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11 Responses to Halfbike review

  1. Camille says:

    Go try and see for yourself!! It is HARD!!! I don’t feel safe and probably will be shipping mine back. The video does show effortless riding, ha! It turns via the rear wheels. Totally different approach than conventional bikes. This is one bike that would take major effort to master and not crash. I would not feel safe riding where there are cars. Please go and try one out and then write a review. Curious to see how you feel about it.

    • doug says:

      Hi Camille,

      Thanks for leaving your comment.

      Sorry to hear you’re not getting on too well with the Halfbike, I’m sure my blog readers will appreciate your honesty.

      With all of the extra traffic coming my way – because of the Halfbike – I really want to try one out! In addition to the regular amount of visits each day, I seem to be getting a few hundred extra page views looking at the Halfbike review; intriguing……

      Thanks again



    • Paul Killpatrick says:

      I seriously thinking about buying a Half Bike. I currently ride a unicycle.I think I can master a half bike. I am interested in learning more about Camille’s issues.

  2. Abbas sam says:

    How if I want to buy one

  3. Troy says:

    Fair warning: if you get a flat tire away from home you are out of luck without a torx wrench and a lot of physical strength..

    • doug says:

      Hi Troy
      Thanks for the comment and warning for everyone with a Halfbike or even thinking of getting one. Crikey that’s a heck of a thought. Even if a Halfbike rider went up to a regular cyclist and asked for help with a flat, chances are they wouldn’t have a tort wrench.
      Thanks again, really good point.

  4. Hello Everyone!
    I ultimately sold the Halfbike and I lost money on it when I did that. Long story short, I got a bit better at riding the bike, but not near like the fantastic videos that are produced by the creators of the Halfbike. I honestly did not feel safe at all if I were to dare ride this bike on a regular city street. No way would I feel safe with ANY car coming my way. I had a friend of mine help me put it together, and he is a major mountain biker with tons of experience and he tried to ride it and it surprised him of the difficulty of riding it. It uses your core, do doubt about that, your arm strength to hang on tight and then the balancing act and a totally different way to steer. My mountain biker friend thought the price was pretty crazy considering what you can buy for nearly $500.00. It uses wood for the framing and to me, the actual quality of the parts seemed somewhat low end. You would have to ride this bike where there are NO cars or until you can actually ride this bike as well as the creators have shown on their videos. So, end statement? Well, blow the $500-600.00 on the bike and see how your like it, or see if someone out there wants to sell you a used one, like I did, and try it out. BUT fair warning, do NOT try this bike anywhere near cars or any other place where it’s not an open space. Highly recommend to get used to it in a huge empty parking lot. Be happy to address your concerns about it. It would take you at least a good month to ride it every day to really master it and then some. It’s a whole other animal.

    • doug says:

      Huge thanks to Camille for this additional and very helpful information, based on first hand experience. For the record, I have emailed Paul Killpatrick (see comment above) and he’s now aware of Camille’s views.
      In spite of all this, I still really want to have a go on a Halfbike!

    • joost says:

      riding the bike is super easy!!! unless u never work out and arent fit at all. I use it to commute to work on a daily basis, riding 10km a day on it.

  5. Bart Blithe says:

    Got a halfbike today,10 minutes to put it together and I spent maybe 15 to 20 minutes in the carpark at my apartment figuring it out. Ive been on it maybe an hour and I haven’t got it mastered as in doing tricks. But I rode down the street a mile easily with both traffic and parked cars and on the footpath coming home. Theyre not that hard. yes its completely different and forget everything you know about normal bikes, you start new on these. I found starting off on a slight downhill to start with helped with getting going and working on balance. I also once I could do laps around the carpark spent some time going very slow, it gets harder the slower you go and also going clockwise and counter clockwise. Everyone is going to be different, but don’t be put off by one person saying it will take months to master.

    • Bart Blithe says:

      Ok as an update Ive had my halfbike maybe 3 months now. If I want to go somewhere local its my go to bike over and above my road, my MTB or tandem all with cleats.I can zip down the shops, beach, café without having to put on proper cycling shoes or gear. Ive ridden it 12km even tho on the site they recon 5km max. I have started kerb hoping it and jumping gutters, its pretty easy. Im not young kid either Im 51 years old but am fit and active and ride a lot. I ride my halfbike on the road, in traffic around cars, its easy once you’ve gotten the hang of it. reading other reviews I think these people gave up to quickly. End of the day its completely different to any other bike and how long have most people ridden a normal bike ??since they were a kid. And how many hours to most of us put in as kids on normal bikes before we got the hang of them ?? Love my halfbike and both how much fun it is to ride, but how easy it is to just nip down to the café, no putting on lyrca shorts and proper cycling cleat shoes to ride a proper bike. The only thing I haven’t totally mastered yet is riding on loose small gravel unpaved paths. The good thing with them is if you feel its getting away or you are loosing balance or control, you just take a foot off and put it on the ground, its close enough after all said and done and theres no tradition frame to have to swing your leg over. so a quick dismount to avoid collision is easy. Still the best bike I own and the most fun.

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