Halfbike 3 stand-up bike hands-on: A full workout

Joseph Kaminski/PJDM

I spend a lot of my time testing e-bikes, electric scooters and other battery-powered rideables. The Halfbike 3 isn’t a kind of. This compact, three-wheel stand-up bike is totally powered by you. Whereas it will not revolutionize your commute, it’s going to get you from level A to B with a exercise in between. 

The Halfbike three begins at $699 (which converts to about £540 or AU$975), and the mannequin I examined included fenders and lights, which aren’t a part of the bottom bundle and add about $40. It arrives in a small field and the bike requires some meeting; it took me about 30 minutes to place it collectively.

At first look, you may discover among the identical parts you’ll discover on a bicycle, however the Halfbike rides nothing like one. It is outfitted with an 18-inch entrance wheel and two 8-inch rear ones. You trip it standing up and it has a skateboard-like truck on the rear. Which means to make turns, riders should lean the bike to the left or proper as a substitute of turning the handlebars. Getting the cling of the turns might be the toughest half.  

It is second nature for me to face on a daily bike to generate extra energy to deal with hills or get some additional acceleration. That is form of the thought right here, however driving the Halfbike is completely different. My preliminary instincts have been to carry onto the grips extraordinarily tightly and shift my weight ahead. As an alternative, I discovered I needed to get my weight centered on the bike as a result of I used to be tiring out my arms too shortly. 


Joseph Kaminski/PJDM

Actually, before you purchase the bike the corporate requires some fundamental info to ensure you get the suitable measurement in your peak and weight, in addition to your arm distance to the bottom. You may must measure the space to the bottom together with your arms down in entrance of you so you are not reaching too far when driving.  

As soon as I obtained my weight centered it made an enormous distinction within the trip. Nonetheless, the Halfbike is not meant to interchange a conventional two-wheel bike however simply give one other enjoyable possibility for journey. The Halfbike is constructed to be agile and versatile, and the rider is supposed to regulate each motion. It will possibly even be hopped on and off sidewalks with its sturdy body. You’ll be able to hit some first rate speeds, too, however not like on a typical two-wheeler. 

The Halfbike three has 4 speeds in its inside gear hub manufactured by Sturmey-Archer. The hub additionally homes the drum brake, which is an improve from the Halfbike 2’s rear brake. Since it isn’t a full-frame bike, the Halfbike is extraordinarily light-weight at slightly below 20 kilos (9 kg) and folds down simply for storage.  


Joseph Kaminski/PJDM

Design-wise the Halfbike three is glossy and slender, and its laser-cut aluminum body is powerful. I put a whole lot of strain on it once I was initially studying to trip and it reveals no indicators of stress. It is rated for riders as much as 225 kilos (100 kg) — I exceed that and the Halfbike three appears to be holding up simply fantastic. 

There’s a slight studying curve so it does take a while to get the cling of driving it. It’s a nice exercise, although, and it is enjoyable when you get going. However since I am nonetheless working my method again into pre-COVID form, I needed to take some breaks. I additionally discovered myself beginning off in second gear more often than not as a result of just a little extra resistance from the beginning made it simpler to get my stability on takeoffs. One different factor: You need to count on some seems to be and questions whereas driving round. It is positively an attention-grabbing trip. 

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Joseph Kaminski