We're often questioned about our choice to pursue building hydrofoil bikes with an eBike battery and a motor- and whether or not a manual version ever crossed our minds...
Early prototypes were all manual. It was only at the sixth prototype that the decision was made to introduce an electric motor. The introduction of assisted pedaling power gave the average rider the ability to foil for a much longer duration with minimal human input. Increasing possible ride time from a few minutes on manual, to an hour using assistance. In addition, just like the gearing on a bike the motor introduced variable levels of assistance, giving riders the ability to choose their desired intensity.
High assist, which we refer to as Cruise, means that you can comfortably sit and calmly pedal around whilst easily maintaining a foiling speed.With medium assist, this requires a bit more human output and is definitely more of a cardio workout.
When switching down to low assist, foiling becomes a considerable workout and this is the assist level many of our customers who plan to use it as a high performance/cross training training tool desire. But what about manual foiling you ask? You're as fit as they come and want to get the ultimate workout from this stunning piece of machinery...
The XE-1 is designed with electrical assist in mind, and for that reason is not tailored to manual riding. If you’re a cycling purist, the XE-1 may not be for you. But that being said,Guy Howard Willis, Founder, is a super keen road cyclist, so a manual version will definitely be in the works as we work to build out a fleet of Hydrofoilers.
Simply put, motor assistance on a hydrofoil bike adds a depth of new opportunities that would otherwise be impossible. Versatility for a wide range of body types, fitness levels and places you can ride on the one bike, and the ability for each individual to choose the intensity of their ride.
To see the 3 electric assist levels being tested out, check out this video of Olympic Rowing Champion, Eric Murray, putting it through its paces.