Last year we heard about the Draisine 200.0, a one-off wooden electric balance bike for adults. Well, if you wished that you could buy something like it, now is your chance. The Slovenian-made Big Buddy Bike has a tempered wooden frame, it’s adult-sized, and it’s an electric balance bike – of a sort.
We say “of a sort” because whereas the Draisine 200.0’s motor actually kicked-in in response to the rider’s footsteps, the Big Buddy’s motor works in throttle mode only. In other words, you can use it as a human-powered balance bike with your hand off the throttle, or leave your feet on the pegs and use it as an electrically-powered scooter – in that way, it’s not unlike the Wheela.
The Big Buddy’s 250-watt rear hub motor takes the rider to an electronically-limited top speed of 16 mph (25 km/h), and is powered by a removable 36-volt lithium-ion battery that has a range of approximately 30 miles (48 km) per charge – one charge takes three to four hours.
Other features include a wood-bodied LED headlight, a two-passenger padded seat with a storage compartment underneath, and the option of custom graphics on the sides. The whole thing tips the scales at 30 kg (66 lb), and can handle a maximum weight of 140 kg (309 lb).
Additionally, if riders forget where they parked, they can use their smartphone to see where their bike is via the Chipolo tracking system.
Should you be interested, the Big Buddy Bike is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$3,467 is required to get one, assuming it reaches production.