Killian’s Sideways bike has been featured on BikeBiz.com a number of times, starting in 2003.
It’s a fascinating experiment in what’s possible – and not possible – in bicycle design and is unlikely to ever take off commercially. This doesn’t stop Killian from trying. The Irishman is nothing if not tenacious. His latest PR triumph is getting on BBC2’s Dragon’s Den. A Sports Relief special airs tomorrow night.
Killian has been trying to commercialise his bicycle for many years. In 2002 he cycled to and fro – sideways, of course – at Interbike in Las Vegas. he didn’t hit the jackpot then and it’s a reasonably safe bet that he won’t have secured investment cash from the dragons but for dogged determination Killian is in a league of his own.
He describes his invention thus: "It has front and rear steering and the rider sits facing sideways.
Here’s Killian’s take on ‘the science of human balance’ and how it relates to his bicycle:
"Human balance is detected in the inner ear. There are three semi-circular canals positioned at right angles to each other that detect balance in three axes. These canals are separate and distinct. The three types of balance are Left to Right, Front to Back and Rotational (Yaw).
"Left to Right balance is what people are most familiar with and is the primary balance used for riding a regular bicycle or indeed flying a plane. In the case of flying a plane there is a visual supplement to left to right balance provided by the observation of the horizon line.
"Front to Back balance has very little visual input and is the primary balance used in riding a surfboard, windsurfer and snowboard. Front to Back balance is a finer instrument than Left to Right balance and offers a greater degree of artistic feedback. This is evidenced by the difference between skiing and snowboarding. Skiing (Left to Right balance) is faster than Snowboarding (Front to Back balance); however people like to snowboard because of the greater artistic expression."
Killian’s Sideways bike is balanced by using ‘front to back balance’.
"This bicycle uses front and rear steering, impossible on bicycles using left to right balance," said Killian.
"It is difficult to predict the commercial success of any invention. However, it is worthwhile and newsworthy to spread the word of a legitimate invention. My feeling is that this new bicycle invention will appeal to people seeking more artistic expression in a bicycle."
Killian believes there’s potential for his bike in the youth market.