Made from sustainably-grown wood, the running bike has no pedals and is propelled by the young rider’s feet, Flintstone-style. The Wishbone Bike converts from a three-wheeled tricycle suitable for just-walking toddlers, to a two-wheeled bike that teaches the confident rider to balance.
Wishbone Design Studio Co-Director Jenny McIver says the beauty of the Wishbone Bike is that it adapts to meet the needs of a growing child.
“We wanted to create a bike that our children could have fun riding throughout their toddler years, until they were ready for a two-wheeled bike with pedals. It needed to be tough enough to last but also lightweight enough for them to manoeuvre. Riding our running bike is the quickest and easiest way to encourage children to love riding a bike and teach them how to balance on two wheels. A Wishbone Bike allows a just-walking toddler to feel what riding a bike is all about,” she says.
Jenny says the bikes have proved to be a great option for children with special needs who may not have the co-ordination or balance for two wheels or pedals. On a Wishbone Bike they experience the fun of riding with their family and friends.
The prototype for the Wishbone Bike was designed by Jenny’s partner, Co-Director Richard Latham, in the bathroom of their New York apartment. An industrial designer, Richard was a stay-at-home dad at the time, while Jenny worked as a diplomat at the United Nations.
Richard tested the bike with his son in Central Park and soon the pair were being stopped by New York parents intrigued by the bike, and asking to order one for their own children. Fast forward three years and Wishbone Bikes are being exported to 15 countries and counting.
Transformational design is at the heart of Wishbone Design’s philosophy. Richard says the company aims to design products for families that have enduring value and evolve with the families changing needs. “Our designs change the way families think or play in some way, and encourage family members to connect at an emotional level.”
“We want our products to become heirlooms, and appeal to design-conscious parents and
grandparents. Wishbone Designs are cleverly simple and built to last,” Jenny says.
In 2008 their innovation was recognised by two of the biggest names in the global toy
business when they were awarded Best Toy 2009 at the Baby Wereld Awards in the
Netherlands and presented with an Innovation Award from the US Juvenile Products
Manufacturers Association (JPMA). In May 2009, TIME Magazine included Wishbone Bike in its annual Style & Design 100, a TIME Special Edition highlighting 100 influential people and products each year.
Wishbone Design Studio is also creating a series of limited edition Wishbone Bikes. The first design, the Endangered Species Bike highlights the plight of New Zealand’s endangered giant kauri snail and encourages families to protect biodiversity. Sustainability is something dear to the heart of the business founders.
“Running a sustainable design business is a key goal for us. We assess first-hand the social, ethical and environmmental standards of our manufacturers so we and our customers can be guaranteed that their bike is produced ethically and in a sustainable way,” Jenny says.