Boys cruise around on their yike bikes

KATE DAVIDSON
Last updated 13:00 28/12/2013
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MARTIN DE RUYTER/Fairfax NZ

JOY RIDE: Former Nelson College students Sam Patchett, left, and Oscar Barkle ride battery-powered Yike Bikes at Kaiteriteri Beach. Mr Barkle is riding the $5000 carbon fibre model while Mr Patchett is riding the $2500 aluminum model.

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Boys on their new toys are cruising the streets of Kaiteriteri with head-turning New Zealand-made electric bikes.

Former Nelson College students Oscar Barkle and Sam Patchett were riding Yike Bikes around the popular beach settlement yesterday.

Mr Barkle was lent the two bikes over the summer holiday as part of his internship at Yike Bike in Christchurch.

"They are good fun, I have to say," Mr Barkle said.

The internship is part of his mechanical engineering degree, through the University of Canterbury

The battery-powered bikes were invented five years ago by Kiwis. Riders sit on top of the bikes holding handles at hip level, which steer the bikes. They have brake lights, night lights and a horn.

Mr Barkle said a key was not to put all your weight on the handlebars, but to just place them lightly and put your weight through the seat.

The bikes were created for urban commuting and reach up to 24kmh, can travel for 24 kilometres a session, and can be folded up and carried.

The bikes range between $2495 and up to $4995.

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