Pewaukee bike shop becomes dealer for aquatic e-bike startup

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

Pewaukee-based bike shop VeloCity Cycling is now carrying an aquatic e-bike that handles like a motorcycle, functions like a plane and travels on water.

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

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

“It’s actually a little more like riding a motorcycle than a bicycle,” Hoggatt said. “You have to do more counter-steering and it’s more turning by leaning.”

The XE-1 can reach a top speed of 13 mph and a cruising speed of between 7 to 8 mph. The aquatic bike is equipped with a 460-watt motor and works like a pedal-assisted bicycle in that there’s no boost unless the rider pedals, and no throttle.

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

Hoggatt says he’s been following Manta5’s progress since the company launched as a Kickstarter campaign in 2017. Manta5 began shipping the Hydrofoiler XE-1 to dealers outside of New Zealand just last year and Hoggatt, who received his shipment of six Hydrofoiler bikes in June, says he’s the only dealer in the Midwest.

Despite its close proximity to Pewaukee Lake, the Hydrofoiler is the first watercraft product that VeloCity has carried since it opened five years ago. Hoggatt says he’s considering selling more watersports products, but just like the biking industry, watercraft products like canoes and kayaks have been in short supply lately due to supply chain disruptions.

“A lot of 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 shop, which sits across the street from Pewaukee Lake.

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

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Brandon covers startups, technology, manufacturing. He previously worked as a general assignment and court reporter for The Freeman in Waukesha. Brandon graduated from UW-Milwaukee’s journalism, advertising and media studies program with an emphasis in journalism. He enjoys live music, playing guitar and loves to hacky sack.

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