Thursday, 8 April 2010

£58.00 Roadrunner Folding Bicycle

That's $88.03 U.S for the guys across the "pond"! The bike is a design by Wayne Hemingway and thrown in with the price is a pump, pannier rack and some tools. Okay I'll admit that despite coming in a wide range of colours its not exactly the most beautiful thing to look at in the world, but few folding bikes really are. What is really innovative is the the hell did he manage that?

Well for starters its a fixie - only single speed, and isn't technologically advanced; weighing in at just over 13kg. In order to keep costs down, they are made in China for about £20, in a factory where checks were made to ensure workers were treated well & didn't employ children, and then shipped over to the U.K. I'm still surprised at the cost though.

Unfortunately, Hemingway is only currently selling the Roadrunner to companies. The original concept in 2007 was for a housing estate construction company where they were building only one car parking space per home, and the bikes when bought in bulk were cheap enough to be thrown in free to the buyers as an incentive to accept this. Recently Portsmouth University has bought them to sell to their students as a cheap mode of local transport.

However there are a couple of reasons why all is not lost & to keep an eye on this.

Hemingway Design are unhappy with the cuts they had to make to the bike to get it to such a low price. They feel that they can develop a better, more attractive bike for only a small additional cost. Sadly Hemingway Design are busy on other projects for the next year and so it will be a little while before they can get around to developing the new version.

The second good thing is that if you or your company is interested in purchasing a minimum of 250 of these bikes, Hemingway will be more than happy to sell them to you.

Personally I think this is a fantastic idea. Just think how much you get as a bonus each year (okay I got sod all last year because of the recession, probably like you, unless you're a banker), but in theory they are well within a company's budget to offer employees or as a gift to clients. Just think of it as helping people get fit and generally help the environment.

Big cheer for Hemingway design is what I say!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What an awesome find! When I was at the store getting the wife's bike there was a guy there with his daughter looking at folding bikes. The one he was looking at was 6 hundred freaking dollars. Considering they all look pretty ugly, I can't fathom what the difference between the one he was looking at (and bought) and this one you posted. Awesome idea for a "bonus" too!