Updated 4/1/12
Commercially produced velomobiles

At the moment, most velomobiles are produced in Europe, with the majority produced in the Netherlands and Germany, however, in the last few years, a small but growing number of manufacturers and dealers have sprung up on this side of the Atlantic.

North American Velomobile Manufacturers
Velomobile USA. out of Midland, TX manufacturing the Flevobike Alleweder
Bluevelo manufacturing the Quest, Strada and Team velomobiles out of Toronto, Canada.
Rainforest Designs in Vancouver, BC, making the delta config. Aurora and the Borealis fairing, designed to fit around the tadpole style Trice QNT. Will be producing the Milan series of velomobiles starting in 2012.
The Velokit Manufactured in Conneaut, OH, the Velokit is a relatively inexpensive, retrofittable way to enclose a fairly wide (and growing) range of tadpole trikes.
Velocity Velos is now fitting fairings by Bluesky Designsto trikes by Terratrike and others to create velomobiles.
RBR in State College, PA is working on a retrofittable fairing called the Aergo, which has now been fitted to a Kettwiesel as well as a some tadpole style trikes.

North American Velomobile Dealers
Bent-up Cycles in Van Nuys, CA
Bluevelo in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Wildfire Human Powered Vehicles in Arundel, ME (adjacent to Kennebunkport)


Click on the pictures below to view information that I have compiled on each of the velomobiles shown, or use the drop down menu to jump directly to the manufacturers website. Clicking on the picture of those VM's for which I haven't compiled any information will take you to the manufacturers website.

Although some of the information in the body of this page is out of date, it may still be of interest so I am leaving it up. The most up-to-date info can usually be found on the manufacturers website - please see links below.

Alleweder
The Alleweder
the Mango
The Mango
the Quest
The Quest
Cab Bike
The Cab-bike
Leitra
The Leitra
versatile
The Flevobike Versatile
Go-One
The Go-One3
the Aerorider
The Aerorider

The Trisled Sorcerer
Leiba
Leiba
WAW
WAW
the Twike
The Twike

The Berkut homepage

Birkenstock Bicycles - The Butterfly Translated using Google

The Velomobile page provides additional information about commercially available Velomobiles


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The Alleweder

the Alligt Allededer

The Alligt Alleweder

Two main versions of the Alleweder aluminum velomobile have been produced so far - that produced by Flevobike up until 2000 (the F-AW) and now produced by Velomobile USA in Texas and the version still in production by Alligt in the Netherlands (A-AW). Both versions are constructed of pop-riveted Aluminum sheets similar to the way in which some aircraft are built. The both versions of Alleweder are currently available as a kit or in its completed form, and both are available with an electric power assist.

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Alleweder history

The Alleweder VM was originally developed by a Dutchman named Bart Verhees in the late 80's and into the early 90's. To help get production of his design off the ground, Verhees collaborated with Johan Vrielink of Flevobike, and together they developed a kit version. Verhees took employment elsewhere shortly after development of the kit, however, after making some additional modifications, Flevobike continued production until 2000.


The Alligt AW (left) next to it's close relative the Flevobike AW

The existence of the two different strains of the Alleweder came about when, in the late 90's, Verhees attempted to return to the velomobile market with an improved version of his machine. After deciding that he wasn't able to sell enough of them at a reasonable profit, he sold his design and equipment to Nico Pluijmers of NPC. After about a year, NPC sold production to Leo Visser of Alligt Recumbents. Leo made a number of refinements and resumed production with the Alligt Alleweder (A-AW), which is the machine that is currently being produced in the Netherlands.

Lohmeyer Leichtfahrzeuge in Germany also builds and sells the Alligt Alleweder under cooperative agreement. They specialize in equipping the AW with an electric motor.

In 2000, Johan Vrielink decided that with 11 employees, Flevobike was getting too big. Rather than being constantly occupied with the business, he wanted to focus on the technical and creative side of the bicycle business, so that year he made a big decision. Flevobike sold off the licensing to all of their cycles, including the Alleweder. One of the projects undertaken by Flevobike after 2000 was the development of a new Velomobile, incorporating the use of CNC machining and other production oriented technologies. This machine, slated for release this Summer is called the Versatile. After the Flevobike restructuring in 2000, Ymte Sijbrandij and Allert Jacobs, two of the former Flevobike employees started their own velomobile company. This company, now known as Velombiel.nl produces the Quest and Mango Velombiles. They also obtained the licensing for the F-AW and currently produce parts for the A-AW, existing F-AW's, as well as a number of other production velomobiles. Velomobiel.nl also takes F-AW's in trade for the Mango or Quest . These trade-ins are then refurbished and re-sold.

In February of 2003, David Eggleston of Midland, Texas traveled to the Netherlands and while there purchased one of the refurbished F-AW's. He also spent a week at Alligt building his own A-AW. At the end of February he returned to Texas with the license to build the F-AW Stateside and is currently working on building a prototype. I ordered a refurbished Flevo AW which finally arrived in May 2003. - it was a bumpy road until I finally got my machine here, and rideable, but it has been worth it. For more information about my own experiences with the AW click here. I think it will be a great thing when the F-AW's are being produced here in the US. Hopefully at some point we will be able to stage our own version of the Alleweder Race shown below.

Bart Verhees was clearly on to something with his original design, and it is interesting to note the proliferation of different velomobiles that grew from his original concept.


Alleweder technical information

The information below pertains to both the Dutch and German built Alligt Alleweder.


-Length :260 cm
- Width:80 cm
- Height: 95
- Weight:35 kg
- Contact info::
Main factory in NL: www.alligt.nl
email: info@alligt.nl
Tel #: 073 6911388

In Germany www.alleweder.de or www.leichtfahrzeuge.de
email: info@alleweder.de
Tel #: +49 224 282584
- Base price:3500Euro
- material(s) of fairing: aluminium fairing no frame
- colors available (standard or higher price)aluminium
- number of front wheel(s) / number of rear wheel(s) 2 20" / 1 26"
- head inside/head outside: outside
- fairing can be (partially) removed/adjusted for different weather conditions? fabric covering
- Method for entering VM : climbing through hole on top
- (electrical) assist motor? (available/standard) available 350 Watt 45 km/h
NiMh akkumulator [battery]
- luggage space (litres) /location: 50 l in the stern
- tire size(s) 20" front 26" rear
- suspension system McPherson shock-absorbing strut
- brake system hydraulic drum brakes at front V-brake rear-wheeel
- closed drivetrain? (y/n/partially) partially
- voltage of electrical system 6 Volts
- includes batteries (y/n) yes
- Method for locking: as a usual bike
- available as a do-it yourself kit(y/n): yes
- price of kit? 2965Euro
- accessories? (if yes: ...)electric motor (see below)
-additional comments:
- turning circle diameter : 7 m


Lohmeyer electric assist information

Hallo Ethan,
our motor for the Alleweder is in the nose and and drives the chain via a freewheel hub to the treadle. So it is easy to install. Its a small DC disk-motor with a epicyclic gear external controll and twist grip for acceleration

24 Volts 270 Watt
36 Volts 350 Watt
Motor,gear box, twist grip and control is about 1650.
24 Volt akkubox 3,5 kgs 15-20 km distance 322
24 " " 7,0 " 30-50 " " 644 etc.
36 Volt akkubox 5,2 kgs 20-30 km distance 481 etc.
The charger is 164 for a good one i.e. two hours for a full charge and 74 for a overnightcharger.
That means 2047 is the minimum price for the motor.
I hope I could help you with these informations.
Yours
Ulrich Tiesler


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Ethan's Alleweder Page

1/07/05

After riding for the season last year with the small windshield - altered so that the front panel was replaced with some of the shrink wrap that people use to Winterproof their windows, I finally did make a more complete windshield arrangement, pretty much along the lines of what I had described below: Laminated safety glass front facing pane, with curved lexan side panels. I decided that the windshield would be too far from my face if I mounted it to the front deck as I had been with the first version, so I made a coroplast cover to which I mounted the windshield and roof. For now the roof is made of zotefoam although I may change that - at this point if we got any liquid precipitation it would likely leak, but the way it is currently set up does protect me from the cold very well. The side lexan panels end just in front of my ears. I had found that the small triangular side panels on the first windshield were really insufficient - they did help somewhat, but windchill was still an issue.

In the front closeup, you should be able to make out the intake holes that I drilled in the bottom tube of the rectangular frame that supports the laminated glass windscreen. There is another set of corresponding outlet holes on the inside that directs the air up along the inside of the windscreen. So far it has worked very well at keeping the windscreen clear of condensation from my breath, but of course it has only been tested in a couple of conditions (25 degrees F and dry). Although I've only taken a couple of trips with the current set up, I've found that I really like the convenience and ease of flipping the cover forward, climbing in and pulling it back down. Below are a few pics so that you can see the new set up.

11/20/03

The Winter is mostly done now, and although most of my trips through the Winter were too long to use the AW, I did get out about once a week or so.

I didn't mention before - another thing which indicated that I need some sort of roof to go with the AW was the time in early Fall when I got caught in a hailstorm on the ride home. Boy did that sting!

A couple of weeks ago I took a ride with Chuck Hazzard who rode his mango - we called it our mini rally (visit Chuck's Mango page for pictures and a brief explanation).

Flushing the drum brake housings with antifreeze did keep them from freezing up again, although I had to pull the Shifter cable out, lube up the cable and thoroughly flush the housing with antifreeze to keep it from freezing up. To do the flushing, I used a hypodermic needle - no spillage to poison the doggies that way :-). Since then it's worked well. I've also been using the lexan windshield shown below to cut down on windchill (works pretty well). I use the dip in the deck to chanel air into a baffle that re-directs the air up across the windshield. The sockets at the top of the windshield are intended to receive the two aluminum rods that will hold the roof panels. There is a fair amount of glare at night through the plastic, so I've purchased a piece of safety glass that I intend to replace it with. I am also currently putting together an Alligt Alleweder kit as well, so I'm mostly focussed on that, although I have fiddled a little with the glass so far.

11/20/03

Big news, today I got the insurance settlement! So it is time for an update!! I've had the Alleweder for about 5 months now and it has proven to be a pretty good machine. I've been working with David Eggleston to try to get underway with production of these machines and traveled down to Texas to help him toward that goal. So I got to see and learn firsthand how the AW's go together. Clearly there has been a very large amount of development that went into getting these machines to their current level of refinement. We came up with several ways that the machines could be improved, but they are definitely a functional, durable, reliable machine as they are right now.

As you may recall, back in early June when the AW got here, it was smooshed (see pictures below). I was able to bang out the smoosh enough to make the AW rideable, although the aluminum tore a little bit. I rode the AW to work once, and then was laid off :-(. In July I took the AW on an overnight camping trip.Click here to read a trip report. Since then, I've been doing odds and ends, helping a friend with some house building. The job site is between 6 and 7.5 miles away, depending on what route I take. So for a good stretch I was riding the AW every day to work. Since the weather has turned colder, I've had to skip a number of days because my brake and gear cables froze up - I rode to the job site one day that way, and it sure made for a workout! The brakes froze partially engaged and the shifter wouldn't return shift, so I was stuck in a low gear. Brad Teubner from northern Minnesota rides his coroplast faired Trice in weather a lot colder than I am likely to experience here in southern Coastal Maine and found that the only thing to do for such frozen cables is automobile anti-freeze. I will give that a try shortly.

One of my chief complaints so far besides the cable freezing: The current variety of nasty weather is very cold rain. Head out riding in such weather is less than fun, as I found out for the second or third time tonight. So I plan to build a removable windshield with a separate removable roof to give me some flexibility with respect to how I handle different weather conditions. I will take a page out of the Leitra book and use a laminated glass pane for the primary foreward facing windshield, and will treat it with RainEx. I may also have two smaller secondary triangular panes set at an angle to the front one - kind of like some the windshields on some of the old fighter planes. I intend to have the sides open initially to see how it works out, and have a removable coroplast panel for the roof that sits on two parallel aluminum rods extending from the top edge of the windshield and run overhead.

I finally was able to try out Chuck Hazzards Mango last weekend, and was pleased to find that the Alleweder compares pretty favorably. Steering in the AW is perhaps a bit more sensitive, and the turning radius is smaller, while the Mango is probably a bit quieter and accelerates more easily.

About a month and a half ago, I made the local newspaper, and shortly after that, Channel 8 News did a great television piece on the AW.

So anyway, after riding the AW for awhile, I have to say that overall I am very pleased and have found that I am riding more often than I did when I was on the Toureasy.

When I get some more time I will post more information on my experience with shipping the AW over here.


9/7/03

Still no word from the insurance company, but this is how I transported the AW to get the repair estimate.


6/9/03

Bigtime bummer! The AW was damaged on it's way over here. The only thing I can say right now is that somewhere in transit, a forklift operator used the two slots which had been cut for handholds closest to the front of the AW to insert their fork blades - in spite of the 4x4 dunnage blocks attached to the bottom of the crate. In doing so, they caved in the top right deck by about 8-12". We'll see what happens with the insurance. Wish me luck!

Here are some photos of the damaged Alleweder

5-23-03

I've been told that the AW is expected into New York Harbor on the 26th of May (Memorial Day) and should arrive in Portland later that week or early the next.

More details on the ordering and shipping process after it gets here.

5/10/03

I've kept in contact with David Eggleston since meeting him at Cyclevision 2002 last Summer. Things became interesting when his plans to start his Pedal Yourself Healthy consultancy began to develop. In February of 2003 he headed over to the Netherlands to stay with Erik Wannee while learning more about velomobiles, including building his own Alligt Alleweder. He also purchased a secondhand Flevobike Alleweder that had been refurbished by the crew at Velomobiel.nl. Apparently, they take the Alleweders in trade for the newer Quests and Mangos that they produce, refurbish them and then sell them for 1000 Euros. After thinking about it, and with David's encouragement, I decided that I would order one myself and have it shipped to me.

Here are the pictures I've seen of my AW so far:

The nosecone had been removed so it could be replaced and to allow some work to be done on the front portion. Ymte Sijbrandij at Velomobiel.nl told me that this machine had been built from a kit in an aircraft factory and was glued as well as riveted together. It was also painted white.

As you might imagine, I am pretty excited!

crating it up

My Alleweder shortly before it's trip across the Atlantic


Journal Tribune Velomobile Article

Friday, September 12, 2003
Pedal-powered promoter
By MEADE HARRIS/Journal Tribune
mharris@journaltribune.com

Ethan Davis traveled from Texas to the Netherlands in search of one. He finally got to ride one in St. Louis. And in June, Davis became the only Mainer with a velomobile an enclosed recumbent bicycle owned by only a few thousand people worldwide.

In a shed built from the velomobile's shipping crate at Davis' Biddeford house sits his Alleweder ("all weather" in Dutch). It's white with a small dent on the right side where it was accidentally punctured by a forklift.

Fortunately, the puncture didn't do too much damage. Davis says the velomobile can go about 40 mph down hills and averages around 25 on flats. Uphill is tough, he said, "only if I start on the bottom, since it weighs around 75 pounds."

Davis put his velomobile to the test when he rode from his home to Freeport and then to Brunswick. "I rode around 60 miles the first day and about 80 the second day," he said and he believes he could have gone farther.

"My friends tried to clock it with a computerized odometer," he said, "but some of the trails we didn't have access to." The velomobile took the journey in stride, but Davis said he was a bit sore since the ride is physically challenging.

Although velomobiles are starting to gain popularity in U.S., they remain obscure since they are only manufactured in Europe. Most people don't know what a velomobile is. Davis describes it as "a vehicle which is primarily pedal powered, and which provides weather protection to permit use in inclement weather."

Although his doesn't have an enclosed top, he hopes to build a windshield and a top later on. Like any bicycle, there is no way to pedal backwards, so the ride has to use his feet to go in reverse. All velomobiles are equipped with turn signals, headlights, and even a red flashing light on the back so that cars can see them in the dark.

"Sometimes people think it's like a Fred Flintstone-mobile," Davis said.

Obtaining a velomobile is no easy feat. "There are kits that someone can buy on the Internet," Davis explained, "but people in the U.S. just aren't familiar with velomobiles yet." They can take anywhere from 30 hours to 100 hours to assemble, he said: "It all depends on how knowledgeable someone is."

Cost especially shipping cost is another deterrent. Davis paid around $1,200 for the velomobile and another $1,000 for shipping. That's one reason he hopes to start a velomobile manufacturing and distribution company in collaboration with a friend in Texas, David Eggelston. Davis and Eggelston met through a cycling Web site that focused on recumbent bikes and velomobiles. Last year they attended Cyclevision 2002 in Lelystad, the Netherlands, and met with a couple of European velomobile manufacturers.

"We just threw ideas around, but the timing wasn't right," Davis said. Then Eggleston went back to the Netherlands in February and began learning how to build the velomobiles. When he returned, Davis said, "our theory was translated into a reality."

Davis' passion for velomobiles goes beyond hobby or business. He's convinced that they're a good thing for the environment and for people and hopes his interest in the unusual-looking velomobiles will help raise awareness of bicycles in general. He has built a few recumbent bikes of his own, teaches various bike-building classes at the YMCA, and has a Web site www.velomobiles.net for anyone interested in velomobiles or the bike-building seminars.

"If more people cycled, we as a population would be a lot better off," he said, because bicycles and velomobiles not only save gas, reduce pollution and promote health, but they create a sense of community.

"People in cars seem to be in their own world," Davis said, "whereas cyclists are alert to their surroundings and generally wave to one another."


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The Quest and Mango by Velomobiel.nl

The Mango and the Quest


Velomobiel.nl was started by Allert Jakobs and Ymte Sijbrandij in 1999. In March 2001, Theo van Andel joined the company and the name was changed to Velomobiel.nl.

Previously, Allert Jacobs worked as a Flevobike employee on the Aluminium Alleweder and designed and produced the Carbon Alleweder. Ymte Sijbrandij is a Dutch HPV racing champion. When my wife and I attended Cyclevision 2002, it was quite impressive to watch Ymte in his Quest pass riders on their Euro style racers at great speed.

Velomobiel.nl produces two VM's: The Mango , and the Quest. In July of 2006 it was announced that assembly of the Mango would be taken over by Go-Mango, started by Harry Lieben in Groningen, the Netherlands. This is expected to substantially reduce wait times for both the Mango and the Quest.

In the Spring of 2005, I traveled to the Netherlands to help Velomobiel.nl put together my Quest (#145). This was the beginning of my Quest manufacturing feasibility study to see if it would be possible to build the Quest here in Maine under license, for which I received a grant from the Great State of Maine. At the conclusion of the project, I decided not to go ahead with this project, for the reasons described in my writeup. In January of 2006, I decided to launch Wildfire HPV as a retail recumbent/HPV ship and sold Quest #145 to finance this new direction.

The Quest

the Quest

The Quest costs 5672 (4766 excl VAT)
The bike comes ready to drive. This means including rechargeable battery lighting system, bike computer, air pump, spare tyre and tyre repair set. Technical details
Length 2.85 m
Width 0.765 m
Weight 32.4 kg incl lighting system
Turning circle 12 m, optional open wheelcovers 7m
Seat Angle 35 - 40 (custom made)
Colour Yellow
Crank set Shimano 105 triple 52/42/30(hollowtech)
Pedals Shimano PDM 525 (spd)
Main chain Sachs/Sedis pc59 9sp
Secondary chain Sachs/Sedis pc48 8sp
Sprockets main chain Sram 9v 12-26
Derailleurs Shimano 105
Shifters Sram Grip shift attack
Freewheel rear second chain Shimano BMX race 18t
Sprocket second chain Ofmega 28t
Brakes MBL Aluminium drumbrakes (singe side mounted)
Tyres Vredestein Monte Carlo 37-406 95psi
Spoken Sapim stainless
Rims Schothorst Alu 36g
Prices different colors and striping on request

Velomobiel.nl
De Vliet 6
NL-8253 PB Dronten
The Netherlands
http://www.velomobiel.nl
0031-321-332717
ymte@ligfiets.net

Both Models are made with glasfiber/epoxy resin and have an aluminum (sub)frame. They have a polyester coating, painted in the mould. Colors other then white or yellow can be brushed afterwards with any car-paint. Both trikes have two frontwheels, one driven rear wheel, all single sided mounted, head out, removalble soft cover of opening to get in, you can drive without in good wheater conditions. They have a chain inside of the bike, this means (very) low maintenance and long durability of the derailleur and chain system (30.000 + km)

Over 100 velomobiles are sold now in 2.5 years (maybe not much, but for velomobile standards very succesful) most customers commute in it and ride over 10.000 km yearly with it. Our bikes are not study models for the future, they are available now and are daily in use. All sold bikes are on our websites, here you can also contact some owners (velomobiel.nl--}quest--}velomobielrijders) We work with 3 people and can build 5-6 vm's a month. We also make suspension and steering parts for the german Cab-bike and Go-one and the dutch Alligt Alleweder. We also do repair and spare parts of the Flevobike Alleweder (500 sold, now not for sale anymore). We sell most bikes in the Netherlands (some Germany, Belgium). We have no short term plans to increase production, so import in the USA can only be done on hobby scale. If you really want one, maybe it is the best way to come over and take one with you home (if it answers your expectations) as luggage. Shipping is expensive and you should test ride one before you buy.

Greetings, Ymte Sijbrandij


The Mango


In July of 2006 it was announced that assembly of the Mango would be taken over by Go-Mango, started by Harry Lieben in Groningen, the Netherlands. This is expected to substantially reduce wait times for both the Mango and the Quest.

The Mango costs 4500 (3782 excl VAT) picked up at the factory in Groningen.
The bike comes ready to drive. This means including rechargeable battery lighting system, bike computer, air pump, spare tire and tire repair set.
The standard Mango has 8-speed derailleur gear system. 16 gears (with front derailleur is possible at an extra price of 65, 24 speed with the Sram Spectro Dual Drive hub can be mounted for 185 extra.
Technical details
Length 2.45 m
Width 0.755 m
Weight 32 kg incl lighting system
Turning circle 8m
Seat Angle 35 - 40 (custom made)
Color Yellow or white
Crank set Ofmega Linea 40t
Pedals Shimano PDM 324 (spd combi)
Chain Sachs/Sedis pc48 8sp
Sprockets first chain Sram 8 sp 11-28 or shimano 13-26 (with SRAM Dual drive)
Derailleur Shimano Sora
Shifters Sram Grip shift attack
Freewheel second chain Shimano BMX race 18t
Sprocket second chain Ofmega 30t (24t with dual drive)
Brakes SA Elite Aluminum drumbrakes on both front wheels
Tires Vredestein Monte Carlo 37-406 95psi
Spokes/TD Sapim stainless
Rims Schothorst Alu 36g 406
Prices different colors and striping on request.



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The Cab-Bike

the Cab-bike


German Eslava (of Cab-Bike) and I spent some very pleasant and interesting time together talking velomobiles at CV2002 in Lelystad.


Cab-bike has now come up with a module that allows the Cab-bike to be ridden in head out configuration called the Speedster.

Name of velomobile(s) produced: Cab-Bike
-Length (metric units fine): 2.4m (94.5")
- Width: 0.75m (29.5")
- Height: 1.2m (47.2")
- Weight: 32 kg
- Website URL: www.cab-bike.com
- Base price: EUR 4,612 with Sachs Hub-7-Speed; EUR5,250 6,090 with Rohloff
Hub-14-Speed; all prices addtional 16% VAT (get refund at the airport)
- contact email/phone #: german@cab-bike.com
- North American contact/dealer information (if different from above): none
- material(s) of fairing: fiberglass
- colors available (standard or higher price): white
- number of front wheel(s) / number of rear wheel(s): 2 front wheels, 1 rear wheel. All wheels suspended.
- head inside/head outside: head inside
- fairing can be (partially) removed/adjusted for different weather
conditions?: YES
- Method for entering VM: by opening the bonnet.
- (electrical) assist motor? (available/standard): available. At test at the moment.
- luggage space (litres) /location: 150 ltr.
- tire size(s): all 20 size 20x406
- suspension system: dampers on all wheels
- brake system: two separated front brakes
- closed drivetrain? (y/n/partially): completely closed
- voltage of electrical system: we are testing 24V and 36V
- includes batteries (y/n): to be defined
- Method for locking: lock on the bonnet as an option
- available as a do-it yourself kit(y/n): no
- price of kit?: N/A
- accessories? (if yes: ...): bags, dynamo, wheel covers, VM cover
- additional comments: the Cab-Bike has been developed for the daily use. Out of one base different vehicles can be made.
- turning circle diameter: around 7m


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Leitra

the Leitra

Leitra collage courtesy Marcus Losing

Name of velomobile(s) produced: LEITRA
-Length : 2 meters
- Width: 1 meter (gauge 89 cm)
- Height: 120 -130 cm
- Weight: 27 - 32 kg
- Website URL: www.leitra.dk
- Base price: US Dol. 6.400
- contact email/phone #: leitra@leitra.dk - phone: +45.26231226

North American contact/dealer information (if different from above) : Click here to view a list of Leitra owners in N. America

- material(s) of fairing: glass/carbon/epoxy/polyurethane
- colors available (standard or higher price): almost any color
- number of front wheel(s) / number of rear wheel(s): front two, rear one
- head inside/head outside : head inside, convertible to cabrio
- fairing can be (partially) removed/adjusted for different weather conditions? All fairing parts can be quickly removed (no screws)
- Method for entering VM : Open the front fairing and sit down
- (electrical) assist motor? (available/standard). We have built 20 Leitras with ZAP-motors
- luggage space (litres) /location: approx 80 liters, under the seat and on luggage carrier behind the seat.
- tire size(s): Alle three wheels 20 inch (406)
- suspension system : Suspension on all three wheels, glass/carbon leaf springs.
- brake system: Standard drum brakes, on request hydr. disc brakes.
- closed drivetrain? (y/n/partially): Yes, with Rohloff 500/14
- voltage of electrical system: Standard 6 V or 12 V on request.
- includes batteries (y/n): Standard lead-battery, on request NiMH
- Method for locking: Standard bicycle lock
- available as a do-it yourself kit(y/n): Yes.
- price of kit? US Dol. 2.600 (for trike)
- accessories? (if yes: ...) Standard accessories are back mirror, wind screen wiper, wind screen ventilation (inside), adjustable ventilation for the rider, on request blinker for turn indication.
-additional comments: Easy maintenance, easy access to all systems.
You can snap off the front fairing in one second. If it is covered by ice and snow in the winter, just snap it off and put it inside for a couple of minutes.


The Old, Unnofficial Leitra page

Another nice Leitra page

A small Leitra page - translated via Google

Sometimes the Google translations are pretty funny, but they should be sufficient to give you the idea.


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The Aerorider

the Aerorider

-Length : 2.78 m
- Width: 0.80 m
- Height: 1.15 m
- Weight: 60kg incl. batteries
- Website URL: www.aerorider.com
- Base price: 6000 euro
- contact email/phone #: +31 255 524636 info@aerorider.com
- material(s) of fairing: glassfibre/polyester carbon reinforcements
- colors available (standard or higher price) standard gelcoat white, red
spray paint optional (all colors)
- number of front wheel(s) / number of rear wheel(s): 2 front 1 rear
- head inside/head outside: head inside
- fairing can be (partially) removed/adjusted for different weather
conditions? yes, window panels can be opened or removed
- Method for entering VM : canopy opens like sail plane
- (electrical) assist motor? (available/standard): standard
- luggage space (litres) /location: 80 liters mostly behind rider
- tire size(s); 20"
- suspension system: spring/oil on all wheels
- brake system: hydraulic disk brakes
- closed drivetrain? (y/n/partially): partially
- voltage of electrical system: motor 36V, lights etc. 12V
- includes batteries (y/n):Yes
- Method for locking: electric circuit breaker, mechanical lock on canopy,
reinforcement to attach chain lock
- available as a do-it yourself kit(y/n): no
- price of kit? n.a.
- accessories? (if yes: ...)
-additional comments: turning circle diameter 7.5 m. serial production delayed till June 2003 (as of 4-11-03)


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The Versatile

the Quest

Versatile Velomobile websites

A Versatile Blog on #007 by Bruno Van Den Bussche

Versatile number 13 5-27-03

The Versatile velomobile is designed and built by Flevobike in the Netherlands. It was released at Cyclevision 2003 in Lelystad, the Netherlands on May 31 of that year.

When I asked him about the Versatile, Erik Wannee wrote:

Well, much of the Versatile is still unknown or in development. I'm a good friend of Johan Vrielink (the owner and founder of Flevobike technology) and he visited my home last saturday. So I talked with him about the latest things. In fact, he is designing this velomobile in a way that it can be produced almost completely with CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design / Computer Aided Manufacturing) techniques. The machines that will make the velomobiles are extremely expensive for such a small company, but it will save very many man hours during production. That must make it cost effective in the end, presumed that the Versatiles will be produced in some amounts. Another advantage of this way of manufacturing is that it can be very flexible. By simply inserting a new program file, minor or major changes can be made in the velomobile. So it can evolute slowly and steadily. In the meanwhile, all users of 'older' versatiles can be guaranteed for spare parts, because the factory stores all older design files. Simply ask the factory to make number xxxxx (or show bar code) and the machine can produce one at request. This may explain the name of the velomobile.

Some aspects of the Versatile are known, and many are still object of study and research.

- material Most velomobiles are built of laminated fibres (f.i. glass, carbon or aramide with polyester or epoxy) but they need much hand work. That's too expensive and not recycleable. Flevobike Technology chose for a special plastic that is armored with small strong fibres that can be molded with robots. And the substance can be recycled.

- wheel suspension A special aluminium McPherson system is developed and will be produced by the factory itself. The spring/absorber struts are not round but square shaped, so that they can be used for steering as well. Presumably, there won't be one handlebar in the middle (that's difficult as you enter) but two small vertical handles along the sides, connected to the McPherson struts with small steel tubes.

- seat The seat will be made out of 3 dimensional bent steel tube, with a special designed open structure ventilating cloth. The seat can also be easily taken out of the Versatile and can be used as a comfortable camp (or picnic) seat. Moreover, removing the seat can greatly improve the access to the luggage boot.

- weather protecton There will be NO glass window, because that will raise too many problems with rain and condense. A hard working rider breathes strongly against a window so close to his head... So they chose another option A roof that covers the rider as a penthouse. It starts some distance in front of the rider's head, so that water cannot reach the head.

- Especially for the Versatile, new tyres will be developed. They won't have a ROUND diameter but a FLAT tread. Compare it to cars Do they use round motorbike tyres? No! Non-tilting vehicles need flat ones. It's strange that until now they don't exist for bikes trailers, trikes, wheelchairs, and many other multiple track vehicles.

So far what I know about the Versatile. More news still has to come.

About the price? I have heard that it must be LESS than 5000,-

When will it see the light? Nobody knows, but I think it won't be before 2003.

[snip]

More stuff written 1/26/02:

In last mail, I forgot to write you some more facts I know about the Versatile

- The gear will be a special modificated Rohloff hubgear that will be placed between bracket and rear hub. It will in the meantime act as an intermediate axle and rear fork hinge. In the place of the spokeholes there will be another chainwheel. So gearshifting will be possible while stillstanding.

- Getting in and out will be simple because the complete red part of the Versatile on the drawing can tilt forward.

- The drive part will be completely enclosed, so that no maintenance is needed.

- special care has been maken to deminish interior noise. All vibrating parts are suspended in rubber.

- there will be a double/separated brake system with three drum brakes. So if one system will fail, the other one can guarantee acceptable braking in all conditions.

- the front wheel McPherson damper can be simply adapted to the wishes and weight of the rider. Also, the preload on the springs can be changed. The whole sprin/damper will be 15% lighter than the Alleweder one, and can be lubricated without dismounting.

Update from 2/4/03

I wrote:

I've been checking the Flevobike website on a regular basis to see if they are ready to release it yet, but nothing has changed there for some time. No response from them to my email for the RCN article, either. I'm assuming they are very busy ramping up Versatile production.

And Erik responded:

Last week I was there, and then they were completing their second model. They had made several (minor) improvements to the first one, as was already expected. You cannot foresee all things before you can really see them before your eyes.


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The WAW

Between 1999 and 2001 Frederik van De Walle designed and produced the molds for the WAW (short for Walleweder - pronounced "wow"). In 2002 WAW #1 was built. His friend Dries Callebaut is in limited production of the WAW.

Frederik also did his masters degree thesis on the adoption of the velomobile as practical transport Click here to view his Thesis - a document which I think can significantly advance how we think about velomobiles and how they are perceived.

The WAW can be taken apart into three sections for easier transport (it might even be possible to return from Europe with one as baggage!). For more information on the WAW visit Fietser.be or to go directly to the English version click here.

Click Here to visit the Blog of the owner of WAW #7.


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Go-One3

Name of velomobile(s) produced: Go-One3
-Length:: 265cm
- Width: 76cm
- Height: 98cm
- Weight: 32kg
- Website URL: www.go-one.biz
- Base price: $7000 plus shipping within the USA
- contact email/phone #: beyss@go-one.biz
- North American contact/dealer information (if different from above): - material(s) of fairing: carbon fiber monocoque chassis - not a fairing or frame, but the two combined
- colors available: yellow, black, blue, red, white and any other at additional cost
- number of front wheel(s) / number of rear wheel(s): 2/1
- head inside/head outside: inside
- fairing can be (partially) removed/adjusted for different weather conditions? Rear half of polycarbonate canopy is removable, ragtop is optional.
- Method for entering VM : rear half of canopy hinges forward.
-Integrated head lights/tail lights/directional signals: yes
- (electrical) assist motor available/price (standard?) none, yet
- luggage space (litres) /location: none, yet
- tire size(s): 20" front (Vredestein Monte Carlo 37-406), 26" rear (Vredestein S-Slicks 26x1.3)
- suspension system: McPherson shocks front, carbon fiber swingarm rear
- brake system: front drum
- closed drivetrain? (y/n/partially) partially
- voltage of electrical system: 12v
- includes batteries (y/n) y
- Method for locking as a usual bike key lock
- available as a do-it yourself kit(y/n): n
- price of kit? N/A
- accessories? (if yes please describe) none ready
- turning circle diameter : N/A


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Twike

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The Twike

A Twike

There are a number of Twike's in the US, although according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration branch of the Federal Government, these are illegal to operate on US roads. If you'd like to get ticked off, read The Press Herald Article below.

In the Fall of 2002, I got to take a ride in the Twike out in Vermont (which has since been sold).Quite fun - click here to see pictures. We were in fact able to keep up with traffic without difficulty. I personally think that I would prefer to ride a VM in which most of the driving force comes from the rider, though.

Technical Information

Length: 2650 mm
Width: 1200 mm
Height: 1200 mm
Weight: unloaded 246 kg (two batteries); loaded max. 450 kg
Chassis: aluminium space frame
Body: thermoplastic moulding (Luran(r)S)
Screen: front screen made of acrylic glass or laminated glass / Convertible hood
Steering: mechanical joystick with damping
Comfort: integral moulded seats with washable upholstery
Running gear: independent suspension front and rear
Brakes: hydraulic brakes on all 3 wheels.

DRIVE
Electric: digital performance electronics with asynchronous motor / 3 kW continuous power, 5 kW peak power, regenerative braking and Tempomat cruise control
Muscle power: 2 mechanical pedals linked to a 5-speed hub gears, automatic pedal clutch
Energy Pack: NiCd 360 V, 2.0 to 3.3 KWh (2-3 modules each rated at 3.0 Ah, with individual electronic monitoring)
Energy consumption: 4-8 kWh/100 km from the mains, i.e. 10 times more economical than a small car
Energy costs: approx. one Swiss cent per kilometre, equivalent to 100 Fr. per year (10,000 km)
Rapid charge: 10-90 minutes (1 kilometre per minute) / Full charge: from 2 hours at 230 Volts / 10-Amp wall socket.

PERFORMANCE
Max. speed: 85 km/h (53 mph)
Range: 40-90 km, depending on driving style, topography and quantity of energy packs
Hill-start capability: 22% / Useful load: 2 persons plus luggage.


Publication: Portland Press Herald
RunDate: Friday, February 16, 2001
Headline: BUREAUCRATS KEEP TWIKE OFF THE ROADS
StoryByline
By Bill Nemitz

It sits inside a wooden crate at a U.S. Customs Service warehouse in Westbrook. In the eyes of Regi Robnett, it's a cute, efficient little vehicle that someday could go a long way toward solving our ever-worsening energy crisis. But to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it's a three-wheeled threat to life as we know it, a motorized menace that cannot be released from federal captivity. "I call it the gift that keeps on taking," said a weary Robnett. It's called a Twike - a spacey-looking contraption built by a company in Switzerland. It has two seats, three wheels, a joystick for steering and a pair of batteries supplemented (if you're so inclined) by a pair of pedals. It can travel up to 50 miles per charge, has a top speed of 53 mph and, in addition to emitting no pollutants, reportedly uses 10 times less energy than the leanest sub-compact.

So why isn't Robnett riding it from her home in South Portland to her job at the University of New England in Biddeford? Good question. Robnett first saw the Twike last fall while she and her husband were visiting relatives in Switzerland. It belonged to her cousin, who recently had taken a job with a too-long commute and generously gave the vehicle, which retails for around $20,000, to the Robnetts. The Twike arrived in Boston last October. But customs officials held it on the dock because it was a) an imported vehicle and b) lacked an NHTSA sticker. What's worse, when the Robnetts called NHTSA officials in Washington D.C., they were told that a) the feds had never heard of the Twike and b) there was "no way" its rubber would ever meet a U.S. road. This surprised the Robnetts, who already had spoken to a man in Vermont who imported a Twike via Montreal and is happily traversing the Green Mountain State with no federal interference whatsoever. "We have the names and e-mail addresses of other owners, too," Regi said. "Apparently it's easy to get them through other places." But not here. For four months, the Robnett's have tried - and failed - to free their Twike. They hired a firm that helps people clear customs hurdles, but the best it could do was have the crate sent from the dock in Boston to the warehouse in Westbrook. They contacted Maine's congressional delegation, but the political wheels have yet to gain any traction. They even reached a tentative compromise with NHTSA whereby the Twike would become a "demonstration project" for environmental classes at the UNE, where Regi teaches occupational therapy. But when NHTSA loaded on the conditions - the Twike must stay within 25 miles of campus, must be in the "sole possession" of UNE, and after six months must be exported or destroyed - that deal fell through. Jacques Carter, dean of UNE's College of Arts and Sciences, is mystified. "They build things like that down at MIT all the time," he said. But NHTSA's not budging - and thus, neither is the Twike. "Our purpose is not to be difficult," said spokesman Tim Hurd. Rather, he said, NHTSA is simply enforcing a rule prohibiting motor-vehicle imports without its seal of approval. the Twike, Hurd said, stays in the crate until someone proves it meets federal safety standards (which, of course, would require taking it out of the crate.) In other words, negotiations have stalled. The Robnetts, already out $5,000 for new batteries and $1,500 in shipping costs, now face impoundment fees of $10 per day for the privilege of owning - but not riding - their Twike. "Sending the Twike back is not an option and destroying it would be a national travesty," Regi said. "And its not like we'll be running down old ladies with it!" Of course they won't. Now if only the bureaucrats would get out of the way.


Pictures from my Twike visit to Ron Manganiello

Ron Manganiello of Burlington, VT graciously allowed me to take a ride with him in his Twike while he explained how it worked. It was a fun experience and was interesting to see that we were easily able to keep up with traffic. Here are a few pictures from the visit.