Bikeboard AG Bikeboard Offroad

The bikeboard, a new product from Bikeboard AG, is an extreme sports recreational vehicle based on a bike fork and frame. This original concept has been expanded to include land, water, and snow based recreation. Bikeboard AG is based in Lucerne, Switzerland and their products are distributed in the United States by Bikeboard North American, a division of SI Health and Fitness, Inc.

Bikeboard Offroad

Pictured here is Seth. The Gadgeteer’s official extreme sports equipment tester riding the bikeboard out in front of the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis.

He is also my son.

This gives me a rather unique perspective on his qualifications for this position. I have been the one replacing bikes, skateboards, remote control cars, etc., for the past eighteen years or so. The boy can flat out tear things up. He uncovered a critical design flaw in the prototype bikeboard that was initially shipped to us in less than 48 hours. Bikeboard AG has corrected the problem in their production release, but more on that later.

Bikeboard Offroad

Just a quick aside… I promise I won’t stray to far out into left field. Schaffrath, the band featured on Seth’s t-shirt, is a metal band based in Germany. You will note, if you visit the Bikeboard AG site that German is the native language of the Switzerland based sports equipment company. OK. It the connection is a stretch, but my girlfriend’s sister, Tina, is the lead guitar player and her husband, Marcus, is the drummer. If you are reading this blatant plug, it must have made it past Julie’s final edit!

Bikeboard Offroad

Seth, pictured here with Julie of The Gadgeteer, is something of an extreme sports aficionado. He currently owns and rides Mountain Bikes, Skateboards, and The Wave from Street Surfing. Do you think Julie is about to take off with the thing? Seth doesn’t look too worried about it. Now that we have established the qualifications, lets get on with the review.

Bikeboard Offroad

First of all, this was a totally different product than any I have reviewed for Julie in the past. I wasn’t exactly sure how to lay it out. After visiting a handful of skateboard sites and reading the reviews posted on them, I realized that Seth and I were on our own here. While I can read and understand the surfer/boarder speak used on these sites, I am not comfortable trying to write that way. For the most part, the reviews I found were short and very subjective.

Bikeboard Offroad

After discussing the bikeboard at length with Seth (shown here riding alongside the canal at White River State Park in Indianapolis), I realized our review of the bikeboard will be mostly subjective, as well. We will discuss some of the mechanical aspects, Seth’s perspective, and share a lot of photos with you.

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Bikeboard Offroad

Here is a peek at the bikeboard in the original, unassembled state straight from the box.

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Seth begins assembling the bikeboard by sliding the bike frame portion onto the main wheel assembly.

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

The bikeboard uses two lever-lock mechanisms to swiftly and securely fasten the frame to the main wheel assembly.

Bikeboard Offroad

Next, he slides the board onto the main assembly and uses another lever-lock to secure it.

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

The brake cable, which is permanently attached from the handle bars to the dual disk brakes on the main wheel assembly, need to be fed through a guide located on the front of the frame. This is probably my chief concern regarding the bikeboard’s design. When unassembled, the handlebar is still attached to the main wheel assembly by the brake cables. This leaves the cables somewhat vulnerable to bending or kinking. You will need to be aware of this when you are stowing the bikeboard.

Bikeboard Offroad

Another lever-lock attaches the front wheel to the forks and this baby is ready to ride!

The following pictures were taken at Muscatatuck State Park in Vernon, Indiana. You may notice that Seth really seems to be enjoying himself.

Bikeboard Offroad

Now let’s hear from the daredevil himself:

“The design is pretty cool. I liked the handling. It can take turns better than I thought it would.”
— Seth

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

“The suspension in the back blows my mind! It has three springs that allow motion left to right and front to back. The dual disk brakes work wonders on turns. You apply the brake on the side you are turning toward and lean into it for and incredibly sharp cut.”
— Seth

Bikeboard Offroad

The main spring has a simple threaded nut to allow the rider to adjust tension depending upon whether they prefer a tight or loose ride.

Bikeboard Offroad

“It is easy to put together and take apart for easy storage”
— Seth

That was about all I got from Seth. He is a man of action and very few words – especially if he is required to write them down.

If you like to attract attention, the bikeboard can certainly help you in that regard. Seth seemed to draw a crowd, or at least a lot of stares, everywhere we went. At White River State Park in Indianapolis, Rob Reynolds, the owner of five Wheel Fun Rentals franchise came over and asked about this wild looking recreational device. He seemed particularly intrigued by the dual disk brakes.

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As promised earlier in this review, I will compare the prototype version of the bikeboard that was inadvertently shipped to us initially to the final production version. Carolin Gey, President of Bikeboard North America, called to apologize for initially shipping the prototype. She made assurances that the problem had already been corrected – which proved to be the case. This mistake was understandable given that the product was only just being introduced in North America. The prototype had been sent to North America strictly as a product photography model for marketing purposes.

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Above you will see the flaw which, as previously mentioned, our hard core tester revealed in less than 48 hours. First is a top view followed by a view of the same break from below.

Bikeboard Offroad

Here is a close-up of the production version of the bikeboard from below in the same area where the prototype failed.

Bikeboard Offroad

Here you can see the design modification that resolved the problem. Bikeboard’s designers simply added a 1/2 thick by 2 1/4 inch wide strap running from the front of the bikeboard to where it attaches to the rear wheel assembly. This takes the strain of the point where the prototype failed. I thought this provided a unique look into the development of a product.

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Above you will find photos of the right hand brake levers. The photo at the top is of the prototype while the bottom photo shows the brake lever on the production version. This was a relatively minor design tweak, but Seth did like the production brake levers more.

Bikeboard Offroad

Bikeboard Offroad

Here are a couple of close-ups of the hinged steering column. This release allows you to fold over the steering column for easier storage.

Bikeboard Offroad

Here is a close-up of one on the four lever-locks used to quickly assemble and disassemble the bikeboard. Note the lock button to prevent the lever from accidentally disengaging.

Bikeboard Offroad

Finally, here is a close-up of some minor shipping damage to the orange paint on the bike frame portion of the bikeboard. This photo was actually taken of the prototype version, but the production version we eventually received had similar scratching. Bikeboard North America needs to either reconfigure their packaging or add a piece of foam or cardboard over the top of the frame to prevent this damage.

Specifications

Frame & Fork: Alloy 6061, Type Freeride
Folding Stem: Alloy 7075, Type Freeride
Handlebar: Alloy, Height Adjustable
Wheels: 16″ Frontwheel, 6″ Rearwheels Hub, Alloy
Brakes: Double mech. Disc Brakes
Platform: Maple wood with Fiberlayers
Suspension: Special Suspension System 135mm Rear Shock
Weight: 18kg

 

Product Information

Price:1090.0
Manufacturer:Bikeboard
Retailer:Bikeboard
Pros:
  • Heavy duty construction
  • Dual disc brakes
  • Fun, fun, fun
  • Attention grabber for those who are into that
Cons:
  • Pricey
  • Still need to correct shipping damage issue
7 comments… add one
  • Julie September 14, 2007, 11:15 pm

    Post your comments on the Bikeboard AG Bikeboard Offroad review.

    http://the-gadgeteer.com/review/bikeboard_ag_bikeboard_offroad

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • kdorff September 15, 2007, 4:38 am

    Wow that looks awesome but at > $1000 it is an absolute ripoff. That should be < $200.

  • williamray September 15, 2007, 12:51 pm

    I have to agree that the current pricetag is a bit high, but <$200? I think you are going to need to leave room for the people over at Bikeboard North America to turn a profit! 😮

  • Rich_F September 18, 2007, 2:15 pm

    I found this review disappointing compared to the Gadgeteer’s usual standards. I got that the Bikeboard is “cool”, and that the manufacturers developed the product (who’d have thought it?), but felt that some obvious content was missing, like: How fast does it go? How does it handle steep hills? How easy is it to use? How far can you get on a tank of fuel? etc…

    Rich
    (who, apparently, got out of the wrong side of bed this morning 😉

  • williamray September 18, 2007, 2:26 pm

    I have to agree that there is not a lot of concrete information here. As stated in the review, this was a first time reviewing a product like this. We found it handled steep rocky terrain very well. I actually got on the thing a few times when we took it out to the Stoney Lonesome Motorcycle Club (80+ acres of dirt trails). As for how far it goes on a tank of gas — this one isn’t motorized. 😉

  • kdorff September 18, 2007, 2:27 pm

    How far on a tank of fuel? Depends on the size of your breakfast. I’ll stick by my not worth $1000, though.

  • T. Haun July 26, 2010, 9:00 pm

    I need some info on this product. I fly to concert venues all over the map, but when i get there i don’t have a car. I’m trying to find a creative solution to this problem and a full bike wont fit in my plane. How durable is this scooter? can it handle speeds of 20-30 mph safely? is it practical to put almost as much as 25 miles a day on it? what is its weight and can it fully collapse and fit in the back compartment of a GA plane? I am hoping that a high-end kick scooter like this would also excel on a college campus, yes? I really want to know, before spending this kind of money, if the product can hold up to the kind of demands i will require from it because i will ask alot from whatever scooter i end up with.

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