Feeds

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

Impractical, underpowered: yet heavy and silly-looking

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
ASTEROID'S SHOCK DINO-KILLING SPREE just bad luck - boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.