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back to article Clive Sinclair unveils 'X-1' battery pedalo bubble-bike

Famous home-computing pioneer, unsuccessful electric kart promoter and balding sugar-daddy Clive Sinclair has announced his latest product: a sit-down electric-assisted bicycle fitted with an egg-shaped plastic enclosed body. The Sinclair X-1. Credit: Sinclair Research Yes! It's the battery-assisted bubble chopper! The …

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Alert

dodgy

I would say JOKE ALERT ... but that would be pointing out the bleedin' obvious ...

the X-1 isn't even clearly priced ... I sense failure ...

http://www.sinclairzx.com/index2.html = 595

http://www.sinclairzx.com/x-1.html = 999

the man is clearly clueless ...

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Big Brother

Er...

This looks like an Apple currency exchange ... $595 = £999.

Well, it costs more to do business in the UK.

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Unhappy

WHY ?!?!?

There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I think I know which side Mr. Sinclair is on.

Anyone remember the BBC Program "Micro Men" http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00n5b92 ?

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Unhappy

@Anyone remember the BBC Program "Micro Men"

I very much remember the BBC Program "Micro Men". I've been waiting for about 2 years for it to appear on DVD because I loved that trip down memory lane so much, but they don't seem interested in releasing it on DVD.

(If they are not going to release it on DVD then they can at least let us legally download it, as we pay bloody good money for the BBC and the BBC funded Micro Men, then why the hell can't we access what we have already paid to have created for us!) ... same goes for the other shows broadcast along with "Micro Men" like "Synth Britannia"

Yet they would seek to label and demonise us as pirates (and some would seek to punish us) if we try to download it, even though its already paid for by us!

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DVD?

LaserDisc, surely.

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Yes

And it was a bloody brilliant bit of telly visual enterteainment.

I remember the "computer program" on sunday morning, i remember the very first program i typed in and then saved on my zx81.

Superb telly.....

Sugar daddy or not, we love you uncle C. Thanks for the memories..

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Coat

Re: LaserDisc

Oh, come on! How could you possibly overlook Video2000 tape?

The mullet hairpiece of video storage technology.

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Happy

@MinionZero

Keep an eye on the BBC channels with the cobwebs on 'em. It was broadcast a few months ago and given their predeliction for stuffing these highly-important digital channels with endless repeats dragged out of the Ark, I'm sure it'll crop up again and if you keep your DVD recorder ready, a DVD copy shall be yours.

Back in the day, a letter* to the Beeb asking about repeat times would produce a "no plans" form response. But it would also produce a follow-up letter some time later (often quite a long time later, when you'd forgotten all about it) saying: "due to demand.....<bollocks, bollocks, bollocks>.....is to be repeated, starting on <date> at <time>".

I wonder if that trick still works? Not holding my breath here though, that seems waaaaaay too public service oriented for the Beeb to have kept it up.

*An obsolete communications medium involving paper, crayons, little gummed pockets to put the paper in and small but extrinsically valuable labels to stick on them.

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Coat

No you don't

You remember 'The Computer Programme'. Let's try to remember our (admittedly inconsistent) spelling, chaps. </pedantry>

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MrT
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What about...

"Making the Most of your Micro"...? Confused the hell out of my mum when she thought it was about cooking with one of those new-fangled things in the kitchen about 1984.

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Pint

The Dream of LaserDisc

LaserDisc was amazing at the time it came out. I was seriously considering buying one, but just as I could afford it DVD's came out and the rest is history...

(Now I'm on Blu-Ray - the last of the hard copy formats, perhaps?)

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When will he learn?

At least this will make the C5 look like a relative success.

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But how do you balance?

If you are sitting upright with your feet at the tip of the bubble, can you use your feet to keep it upright? Or at every stop do you have to jump out to hold it up...

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Boffin

Re: But how do you balance?

There are plenty of recumbent bicycle riders that seem to manage OK with such a layout.

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Anonymous Coward

Put your feet down!

The shadow in the render shows a big hole under your feet. You put a foot down when you stop, just like any other LWB recumbent, at least that seems to be the idea. As a recumbent rider I can see the shell getting in the way when you want to put your foot further to the side though.Also expect the shell to be somewhat noisy.

On a separate note the pricing looks wildly optimistic to me unless they've been doing some serious corner cutting.

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Coat

"The shadow in the render shows a big hole under your feet."

Hmmm, is it obligatory to shout: "Yabba-Dabba-Doo" when you set off?

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Balance

A mate of mine used this:

http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/whpsc2004/images/wednesday/PL.CoyoteBG.L.jpg

the Rotator Coyote, as his daily ride, until it was murdered by an arsehole in a pickup. Owner Dean Pederson is the one on the right, with the bottle of BEER in his hand. He was the first rider aged over 50 to exceed 55 mph at the World Human-Powered Speed Championships in 2004.

However, Sir Clive's previous forays into personal transportation do not fill me with confidence about this one.

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title; words numbers no names no packdrill

Clive sinclair is known for leaving no corner uncut. no matter how much it undermines the functioanlity of the basic idea.

Given this basic idea was/is/will always be a non starter thats some achievement.

Who cares its an over priced, useless piece of dangerous crap.

It's what sir clive wants us to have.

The big question now is what will sir clives up coming celeb fragrace be called?

the smell of failure

ignominious (with reverse polish pheremones no doubt)

this guy was an irrelevant twat in the 80's and time has done him no favours.

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WTF?

Am I mad, in a coma ..

.. or back in time ?

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Coffee/keyboard

Hold the phones...

Married a lap dancer???

Coffee on keyboard moment there...

He's either a crafty old shark or seriously gullible...I can't decide.

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a tit is required

hhhmmmm, no windscreen wipers, no wing-mirrors or rear-view mirrors, no lights, no brake levers (that I could see) , small chunky wheels, impractical to take it anywhere, have to wait in traffic, look like a knob-head. I sense failure.

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NP
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What's the point?

I am so sick of journalists (and others) making snide, personal remarks about people. Why write something like "unsuccessful electric kart promoter and balding sugar-daddy"? What is the point? And why mention "his longtime relationship with (and recent marriage to) a former lapdancer 36 years his junior"?

Why?

Does it make you feel superior and better about yourself?

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Happy

Why write something like "unsuccessful electric kart promoter and balding sugar-daddy"?

'cause this is theRegister combined with the lewisPage.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's the point?

Nice try Clive

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WTF?

I fear that...

I fear that like me the article writer is a bit jealous over the last bit.... she really does appear to be quite a special lady. :)

This does seem a design created to make the C5 seem logical by comparison. Any crosswind and this X-1 is going to be all over the shop. And with no doors and a hole in the floor its not exactly weather tight is it... weird.

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Anonymous Coward

@ NP

You're a clichéd whiny humourless prude.

Yes. Yes, I do feel superior and better about myself.

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Anonymous Coward

@NP

The BBC News website is over here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/

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Married to a chick 36 years his junior?

That doesn't make me feel better about myself. It makes me respect this guy a great deal. Even makes me a little jealous. Good job, that guy!

Maybe your false rage and upset would be less hurtful to you if you stopped being so damned judgemental. Just because you happen to see that amorous relationship as somehow negative doesn't mean others share your point of view. When you take it not as a snide attack but instead as something completely awesome the entire tone changes.

I don’t read this article as “rich guy bangs young gold digger and fails at life.” I read this as “dude did cool things early on in his life. Made a mint. Parlayed that money into convincing a woman to look past his age and (hopefully) established a truly amorous and caring relationship with someone very much his junior. Dude still does crazy – but cool – things involving technology regardless of any ridicule other people may fling at him.”

Or, TL;DR: This guy does what he wants, when he wants and doesn’t give a flip what you or anyone else thinks about him. He is far more awesome than either you or I will ever be. Commenter on El Reg got nerdrage over playful tone of article and called in the whaaaambulance.

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Pint

Could it be because others have longer memories of this character?

Maybe you don't remember Sinclair Radionics Ltd or Cambridge Consultants Ltd or his stint as editor of Practical Wireless where he would 'design' circuits, which were published but did not always work

So comments you don't appreciate go more to the character behind the name and could be used as a determination to do business with him or not.

I agree his choice in wives is personal, and comments in this regard are signs of jealously.

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NP

@ Anonymous Coward

Do you know me?

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NP

@ thecakeis(not)alie

You obviously don't know what I mean.

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Anonymous Coward

unsuccessful? I don't think so

I would guess there is more than a bit of jealosy here.

A cute girl lots younger (but still legal I assume), more money than sense... got it made if you ask me :)

This vehicle looks odd, but frankly no worse than some of the more bizarre moped things around these days.

Unlike the C5 this will be seen from a lorry or car as well - so at least some advance in safety (as long as the driver of the lorry isn't too busy laughing to avoid you).

I can't see me queueing up for one at that price, but I can imagine that some will - after all a C5 doesn't fetch too bad a price these days :)

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FAIL

Ironic

Your initials stand for "no problem".

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Silver badge

'deliveries are expected next summer'

If this is a Sinclair delivery time then it'll be closer to 2015 when it will ship alongside the ZX Microdrive.

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ZX Microdrive

Hmm.. You seem to have missed the ZX Microdrive and the ZX Interface 1 when they were on sale in Boots and W.H.Smiths in 1984 then... I hope that you weren't too disappointed. :-)

As for the bike. Well, journos (and nay-sayers) always like to knock the different. As someone else said, it's basically a recumbent bike with some weather protection and a small electric motor. Just because it doesn't look like a "safety bicycle" doesn't mean that it is intrinsically bad. They said the same thing about the "safety bicycle" in the 1880s because it didn't look like a penny-farthing and that "it would never catch on."

*Would have put an Uncle Clive icon on the post but the Reg doesn't have one yet, either saintly or devilish.*

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Unhappy

ZX Microdrive...

"Hmm.. You seem to have missed the ZX Microdrive and the ZX Interface 1 when they were on sale in Boots and W.H.Smiths in 1984 then... I hope that you weren't too disappointed. :-)"

I was. Darn things never worked. Went through about 4 or 5 microdrives and several Interface 1s

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Pint

MGT Disciple or +D

That was the mass storage device interface of choice.

Compared to microdrive cartridges, A 780K 3.5" floppy was mass storage you understand.

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MrT
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QL...

Microdrives worked fine on my QL, but it was a step up when I finally went to twin 3.5" drives because they were big enough to not get eaten by the hoover...

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Blast from the Past

The shape reminds me of a C5 with less wheels and a plastic lid. And for those not used to recumbent bicycles, you need a leap of faith to get it moving.

Have you ever wondered why people sitting in a C5 look like pillocks? Having sat in one many years ago, it's because sitting in one makes you feel like a pillock.

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Good and bad?

Good:

Large bubble shell means the recumbent cyclist is more visible to other road users (eg artics) without resorting to pennants on whip aerials.

Room to stash your shopping in the dry?

Bad:

Those handlebars look very awkward

Large bubble possibly less aerodynamic than uncovered cyclist

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Dead Vulture

Traffic Awareness

"...much lower driver viewpoint and correspondingly reduced awareness of traffic"

The reduced awareness of traffic comes from the cage, not the lower viewpoint. It's not as if this idea is new, just ask any recumbent cyclist.

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WTF?

So, after years...

...of razor-sharp analysis, patient assessment of market demographics, technical feasibility studies and all that malarkey, his conclusion was, in summary "Nah, stick a roof on it and lop a wheel off - winner!" Wraparound coat for Mr. Sinclair, please, nurse!

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Badgers

Typical Sinclair

I'm seriously impressed that Sir Clive's intrepid team has managed to produce a pug-ugly recumbent design, something I hitherto thought was impossible. But that's been his modus operandi as long as I can remember - good idea in principle, seriously bad aesthetics and flimsy, unreliable construction. That fact that "suede covered handlebars" are one of the 12 most important selling points pretty much says it all...

Why couldn't they have stuck an electric drivetrain on something like http://bicycledesign.net/2009/01/we-have-a-winner/ ? As it is, they've got something that looks less cool than a golf buggy with pedals.

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Happy

I really, really hope

that I'm banging a 33 year old lap-dancer and ex-Miss England when I turn 70.

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WTF?

Are we still in the sixties?

No, seriously...

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Happy

Splendid.....

glad to know we British are still streets ahead in the inventing total crap game!

Carry on Sir Clive you may get a Gold in the 2012 Olympics.

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FAIL!

Exactly the same problem as the C5, not something I would want to be in on a rainy day in heavy traffic, it's just missing a little red flag for the back.

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Dear god

Of all the Sinclair inventions since the ZX Spectrum, about the only one I've thought "what a good idea" is the A-bike and even that has some pretty serious aesthetic and practical deficiencies such as the miniscule wheels.

The C5 tanked when it came out for good reason and I see nothing about this glorified C5 which suggests its fate will be any different.

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Z 1

Couldn't be any worse than his black watch!

Though I seem to remember old Clive did quite well making various devices such as calculators, voltmeters and other such stuff.

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