Feeds

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

Impractical, underpowered: yet heavy and silly-looking

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.