Clive Sinclair’s electric recumbent bike

Clive Sinclair has introduced another goodie from that wacky and marvelous brain of his: the Sinclair X-1 electric recumbent bicycle.

Sinclair X-1 electric recumbent bicycle

This enclosed recumbent two wheeler is powered by your two feet with a gentle assist from a 190 watt motor, which in turn gets its power from a 24V lithium ion battery. The motor is connected to the 16″ wheels via a fixed gear drive chain.

Other features:

  • Disc brakes front and rear
  • Handlebars covered with Fine Corinthian leather suede.
  • Acrylic bubble with integral roll cage bonded to the monocoque chassis constructed of steel with carbon fiber lower shell weighs 30 kg (62 lbs).
  • Reclining nylon seat.
  • Built in front and rear lights.

Sinclar Research is taking orders now for the X-1, with a UK list price of either $999 (over US$2000) or £595 (about US$1000) depending on which part of Sinclair’s website you look.

My quick commentary: Not bad but not especially ground breaking. 190W is a little bit underpowered, even by European standards where 250W is more the norm.

Sinclair has been fascinated with electric vehicles since he was a teen in the 50s, and this X-1 is very reminiscent of his Sinclair C5, a three-wheeled pedal-assist electric vehicle introduced in 1985 with a top speed of 15 MPH. Sinclair addressed the primary criticisms of the C5 in his new X-1 design: The X1 is not nearly as low-slung, the rider is protected a little more from the elements (the C5 was completely open), and modern battery, motor and materials technology addresses the battery life and vehicle weight problems with the old C5.

Sinclair C5 electric trike

More about the Sinclair X-1 at Sinclar Research. I like The Register’s article on the X-1, which they call a “battery-assist bubble bike.”

One Comment

  1. I think this is an interesting vehicle. 23½ million electric bikes were sold worldwide last year – around 200,000 of which were in the United States and 400,000 of which were in Europe. Yet electric bike owners don’t cycle and cyclists don’t like electric bikes. In other words, people wanted personal mobility and an electric bike was the closest they could get to.

    The Sinclair X-1 is the first vehicle that recognizes this market for what it is – something entirely new that requires an entirely new type of product to cater for it. If 23½ million people buy a product that doesn’t actually fit what they want, how much bigger is this market once vehicles like the X-1 appear on the scene?

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