Sinclair Research, 1994-2000
The Zeta, or Zero-Emission
Transport Accessory, was a simple but ingenious way of providing
a motorised boost to an ordinary pedal cycle. It was first
launched in April 1994 at a price of £144.95 and subsequently
underwent two significant design revisions.
device is best described as a box with a roller on the bottom
of it, which is clipped onto the bicycle frame with the roller
resting on the wheel. The Zeta's electric motor, which is
activated via a control attached to the bicycle handlebar,
propels bicycle and rider along at up to 15 miles an hour.
(Like the C5,
it could probably go faster, but above 15 mph it would put
the bicycle into the category of a motorised vehicle, compelling
the rider to have a motorcycle licence.)
Some 15,000 units of the Zeta
I (right) were sold between 1994 and its replacement
in early 1997 by the smaller and lighter Zeta II. A third-generation
Zeta III was launched in August 2000, again marking a significant
reduction in the size and weight of the device.
© Chris Owen 1994-2003