Skip to main content

Bike across the water’s surface on the Manta5 Hydrofoiler

When it comes to getting exercise, people swear by bicycles. But in the warm summer months, something in the water would be nice, right? A New Zealand startup called Manta5 has put the two together to create the Hydrofoiler XE-1, a pedal-assist electric hydrofoil bike.

Just like any bicycle (even bikes with secret powers), the Hydrofoiler uses pedals to propel it forward. Instead of spinning wheels, this bizarre device spins a rear-mounted propeller. What makes everything work are the three sets of hydrofoils of varying sizes that help disperse the weight of the rider. As they pedal forward, the hydrofoils act like wings, reducing drag and lifting the bike up and out of the water.

Floating on the water’s surface might sound like a lot of work, but Manta5 has added a 400-watt motor that boosts the rider’s pedals. At any point, riders can adjust the level of user input from minimal assist to full power.

Manta5 Hydrofoil Bike Teaser

Powering the motor is a waterproof, rechargeable lithium-ion battery. According to Manta5, a full charge should give a 190-pound rider about one hour of pedal assistance. Keep in mind, this includes enough energy to launch the bike while fully submerged. For a 240-pound person, it should take only about 16 strokes to gain the speed needed to cruise on the surface. For an easier start, riders can stand on the rear hydrofoil, push the bottom half of the bike underwater, then climb on and start pedaling.

While this bike can’t just strap to a rack on the car, traveling to and from the water is still easy. Two Allen-key bolts in the bayonet mount and front tiller make it easy to disassemble and stick in a car.

If anything happens to the Hydrofoiler during operation, the crankset, gearbox, and propeller have all been designed with accessibility in mind. The propeller is made from a strong, carbon-fiber-reinforced nylon, while the frame is made of a 6061 aluminum alloy, standard for the best land bikes. The hydrofoils themselves are made from carbon fiber.

At this time, the Manta5 Hydrofoiler XE-1 is available for pre-order exclusively in New Zealand. This limited run launches February 2018. Those living outside of New Zealand are encouraged to still register. This will retain an early spot in line once distribution begins in the country. It is estimated to cost between $6,000 and $8,000 when it reaches American shores.

Editors' Recommendations

Garrett Hulfish
Garrett is the kind of guy who tells you about all the tech you haven't heard of yet. He also knows too much about other…
SeaBubbles’ new electric hydrofoil boat is the aquatic equivalent of a Tesla
seabubbles electric hydrofoil screen shot 2019 02 19 at 20 29 03

SeaBubbles flying in Saint-Tropez

What do you get if you combine Tesla-style electric vehicles, flying cars, and a sleek water-going vessel? Probably something a bit like SeaBubbles, the French “flying” boat startup which offers a distinctly 21st-century electric take on the classic hydrofoil.

Read more
I was wrong. E-bikes are so practical, they’re a transit cheat code
An Aventon Level 2 ebike sits outside a grocery store.

Confession: Despite loving both bikes and gadgets, e-bikes never excited me. Compared to my bicycle, e-bikes seemed unfair. Compared to my motorcycle, they seemed slow. Compared to my car, they seemed impractical.

But with $1,500 federal e-bike rebates potentially on the horizon at part of E-Bike Act, I decided it was past time to reconsider. Not just because 30% off would make them way more accessible, but because the entire idea that e-bikes could be worthy of a rebate changed the way I looked at them: less as toys, more as transit. Had I written off an entire way of getting around because I was looking at it the wrong way?

Read more
Upway launches one of the best marketplaces for certified e-bikes, new or not
Man holding ebike from Upway in a field, lifestyle image.

This content was produced in partnership with Upway.
It wasn't too long ago that e-bikes were a rare sight, but all of that has changed, and rightfully so. Electric bikes are all over the road these days, and there are many brands either venturing into the technology, to launch their own versions of the sustainable transportation option or reiterating existing and traditional designs. From Aventon to Schwinn, or RadPower to Momentum, with so many opportunities, the prevailing question is, where do you go to find the best deals and the best information about these brands and their e-bike models? The answer is Upway, the number one certified electric bike provider and an official partner to many of the aforementioned brands.

What is Upway, exactly? It's a marketplace, specializing in e-bikes, featuring an inventory that's sourced from some of the best brands in the world. There are American brands -- like Specialized, Cannondale, and RadPower -- and European brands -- like Riese, Muller, and VanMoof. The best part is the discounts, offering up to 60% off retail, for a plethora of brands. Upway is on a mission to make sustainable mobility affordable for everyone. It's also one of the best places to go for a new or pre-owned e-bike, and here's why:

Read more