If you’ve ever wanted to cut across the water, but lack the upper body strength for wind-surfing or the parking space for a boat, the Schiller X1 might just be for you. The water bike was developed last year by former corporate attorney Judah Schiller as something of a hobby. But after a successful Indiegogo campaign, Schiller Sports was launched, and the first of their refined water cycles are now on sale.
As we reported last year, Schiller created a prototype of the water bike from a standard bicycle and two inflatable pontoons after he discovered that the bike path for the new Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco to Oakland would not stretch the whole way across. Schiller, who has a background in research and design, fixated on finding a solution to the problems that would face the bike commuters of San Francisco Bay.
But his initial design, adapted from kits available in Europe, had a few problems, most notably that the more one used it the more likely it was that the bike would fall apart. And so Schiller Sports was founded to create the “perfect water bike.” As Forbes explains, the bike would be “designed to put the rider in the optimal position to enjoy the interplay of sun, water, wind and waves, and it would be engineered to survive the corrosive effect of salt water. It would require minimal maintenance and would be simple enough to be repaired by any competent bike mechanic.”
In under a year, Schiller, with a design staff that includes two members of Oracle’s America’s Cup-winning team, developed the sleek and refined Schiller X1. Built from stainless steel and aircraft-grade aluminum, the bike is steered by twin oscillating propellers that allow one to use the handlebars to turn in tight spaces without a rudder. The inflatable pontoons mean that the bike can fold up and fit into the trunk of a car, and, the company points out, it’s one of the only bikes that goes in reverse. At $6,495 it’s not the most affordable of transport solutions, but it’s certainly one of the more stylish and unusual ones.
Images © Schiller Sports