Pewaukee bike shop becomes reseller for a startup of aquatic electric bikes

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VeloCity Cycling has a demonstration area for the XE-1 hydrofoiler at Lake Pewaukee. Photo courtesy of VeloCity Cycling.

Pewaukee based bicycle shop VeloCity Cycling now wears an electric water bike that behaves like a motorcycle, operates like an airplane, and rides on water.

The half-bike, half-airplane invention, called the Hydrofoiler XE-1, uses technology similar to that of catamarans competing in the America’s Cup, said Scott Hoggatt, owner of VeloCity. It was developed by a startup based in New Zealand Manta5.

Rather than wheels, the XE-1 uses a set of hydrofoils that work like wings in water. When cyclists pedal to propel the bike forward, water passes over these wings to create lift, similar to how airplanes fly.

“It’s actually a bit more like riding a motorcycle than a bicycle,” Hoggatt said. “You have to do more counter-steer and it’s more turn while leaning.”

The XE-1 can reach a top speed of 13 mph and a cruising speed of between 7 and 8 mph. The water bike has a 460 watt motor and works like a pedal assisted bike in that there is no boost unless the rider is pedaling and no throttle.

Click on here for images of the Hydrofoiler XE-1, which costs $ 9,200.

Hoggatt says he’s been tracking Manta5’s progress since the company launched as a Kickstarter campaign in 2017. Manta5 started shipping the Hydrofoiler XE-1 to resellers outside of New Zealand last year and Hoggatt, who received his delivery of six Hydrofoiler bikes in June, said he is the only dealer in the Midwest.

Despite its proximity to Lake Pewaukee, the hydrofoiler is the first watercraft product that VeloCity has carried since it opened five years ago. Hoggatt says he plans to sell more water sports products, but just like the bicycle industry, nautical products like canoes and kayaks have been in short supply lately due to supply chain disruptions.

“A lot of the bike shops are pretty much landlocked and we have the lake right there so it’s a very natural fit for us,” Hoggatt said of the store, which is across from Pewaukee Lake.

Manta5 is limiting its production of Hydrofoiler XE-1 in batches of 300, Hoggatt said, adding that its next shipment would arrive in early August.

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