Feeds

Clive Sinclair unveils 'X-1' battery pedalo bubble-bike

Impractical, underpowered: yet heavy and silly-looking

Top three mobile application threats

Famous home-computing pioneer, unsuccessful electric kart promoter and balding sugar-daddy Clive Sinclair has announced his latest product: a sit-down electric-assisted bicycle fitted with an egg-shaped plastic enclosed body.

The Sinclair X-1. Credit: Sinclair Research

Yes! It's the battery-assisted bubble chopper!

The machine has been dubbed the X-1, and deliveries are expected next summer, according to Sinclair's website. In essence the machine is a slight variation on the battery-assisted conventional bicycles already widely available. Like them it has two wheels, gets much of its motive power from being pedalled by the user, and supplements this with a battery and electric motor. The only differences are that an X-1 rider sits upright with legs extended forward, much closer to the ground than a normal cyclist, and is partially enclosed in an acrylic bubble with integral roll cage.

Compared to a normal battery bike, the X-1 doesn't seem to stack up too well, though it is cheaper than a lot of them. It is also less powerful (190 watts: most e-bikes are rated at 200-250 watts sustained and peak output - eg for hill climbing - over 500) and heavier at 30kg as opposed to low-20s.

A mild advantage for the X-1 would be the partial protection offered from the elements, though the large open side doors would seem to offer plenty of chances to get drenched or splattered regardless - and there appears no way of keeping the windscreen clear in rain, either. The roll cage perhaps offers some safety benefit, though again this would seem to be counterbalanced by the much lower driver viewpoint and correspondingly reduced awareness of traffic.

These questionable advantages would seem unlikely to justify a heavy, underpowered vehicle which will not slip through traffic or cope with potholes and other obstacles as well as a normal cycle. Then, having gone somewhere in the X-1, the option of locking it up like a normal bike is generally not going to be there - though you could argue that only a lunatic would steal it, there still remains the issue of space. It would block the pavements if you tried to treat it as a regular bike, and if you're going to need street parking you might as well get a motorbike or moped or car (electric if you like).

All in all, the X-1 seems more likely to follow its famous predecessor the C5 into well-deserved ignominy than imitate the colossal success of the ZX Spectrum - Clive Sinclair's one genuine runaway success in a lifetime of developing tech products.

These days many of the pesky kids are too young to remember the doubtful joys of programming a ZX81 (praying that the 16K RAM module didn't wobble and wipe out everything, frequently having to rewrite anyway if saving to cassette failed as it often did - with no way to know before you wiped the RAM - etc etc). Nowadays Sinclair is known as much for the abysmal C5, or for his longtime relationship with (and recent marriage to) a former lapdancer 36 years his junior. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.