Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mullet Bike, Or, the modern Penny Farthing

Technically not a bike,  this scooter looks like a modern Penny-Farthing with it's big wheel in front and little wheel in back.

I also thought it was a bit like a mullet-  business in front, party in the back!

The high quality of the components (full fenders,  mirror, real caliper brakes,quick release wheels, nice brass bell) make it clear that this isn't a kid's toy, but a practical mobility device.  It almost certainly cost as much as a bicycle (or more than most BSO's)  and  I'm curious about the reasoning that brings someone to this instead of a bicycle.  A bad back?

Something I love about early industrial items is how decorative pattern is used in practical objects- to add gripping texture or just to add design interest.  I appreciate that instead of just using diamond plate or something prosaic to give non-slip texture to the footbed, they used such a joyful figurative device.


  1. How come I never see stuff like this? Obviously I hang out in the wrong spots!

  2. steve, *i* never see stuff like this and i cycle past cycler's house several times a week! i don't know how she sniffs them out!

  3. isn't this the second utility scooter you've seen? Or is it the same?

    I really like it. I agree though that I'd rather pedal but it is pretty sweet to look at, basket and yellow color and all.

  4. Agreed: I'm also puzzled as to why you would get this close to being a bicycle and then stop. Then again, I'm strongly in the camp of "why stand when you can sit?"... Curious, indeed!

  5. I have four scooters, aka footbikes or pushbikes; three of them like the Kickbike (brand) above and one from another maker in the Czech Republic. Scooters for adults are huge fun (think of the abandon of a nine year old) while providing an engaging upper and lower body cardio workout. While I love my bicycles and will be riding my Brompton early tomorrow morning, I have to have my fix on my Kickbike as I did today, kicking 13 miles in about 66 minutes. Kicking is a very fun companion to my cycling, engaging in a unique way.

    Kicking is huge in Europe but still relatively unknown here. You can read a recent article about this sport in Time Magazine at:,9171,1969746,00.html .

    Thank you for your great blog!

  6. Seen them myself and broke down and bought one. Hesitated at first but now wonder why I waited. They are great fun and give you a workout without the pounding I feel when I run. Highly recommend this scooter.

  7. I have seen quite few kick bikes in the various Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch communities scattered about.


  8. Where do I buy one of these in the UK please? Has any one heard of a dutch brand named KLSTKA or something similar sounding? Advise would be great! Thanks.

  9. Bad back is correct. Cycling puts your back in a very unnatural, stressed position and with a chronic back problem it's just not do-able. But there are other benefits -- far less to maintain or go wrong -- MUCH lighter if you need to carry it up stairs -- much easier to hop on and off -- and you get a much nice view of the world when you're facing forward the way nature intended instead of arching your neck. In some men, prostate trouble may be aggravated by the pressure of a narrow bike seat. By the way, the very first bicycles had seats but no pedals -- they were "push bikes" or "kick bikes" or "foot bikes" or "scoot bikes" or "scooter bikes" like this. Whew -- wish they'd decide on a name!