2012-09-10

Co.Exist

The Fliz: A Walking Machine With Wheels That Gets You There Faster

Sick of pedaling your bike? You might like it more when you see this alternative.

Behold the Fliz: part bike, part scooter, part walking-enhancer.

According to inventors, Tom Hambrock and Juri Spetter, the Fliz "builds on the most natural way to get around—the human gait." As the video below demonstrates, you use your legs to get it moving, and then glide along with your feet tucked on the back wheel.

There’s no saddle. Instead, you’re suspended in place with a swinging harness placed around your crotch area. It looks uncomfortable. But the creators say it is more ergonomic than a conventional bike, relieving the normal stress on your rear end. It might not, however, relieve your stress about looking really silly.

"The 5-point harness is integral with the body of the driver, so a totally new driving feeling is produced," says the Fliz web site. "The joints are relieved and the body weight is distributed over a larger area." Handling is "intuitive" and "driving stability is ensured."

Hambrock and Spetter say the inspiration was a "Laufmachine," or running machine, developed by a German inventor named Karl Drais in 1817. Drais also came up with early designs for the typewriter and the stenograph.

The carbon fiber prototype is yet to be commercialized, though the Fliz was recently shortlisted among German entries to the James Dyson Prize.

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