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A closer look at the different designs

Aerorider SPORT
Built by one of the world’s very few corporate entities to produce velomobiles, Aerorider SPORT is
the luxury version of their flagship product, the Aerorider. It’s the classy 3-wheeled convertible of the
velomobile world.

Designed by Kjelt Wijma and Bart de Wert, the Aerorider SPORT was released in 2000, and there
are dealerships for it in the Netherlands, USA and Germany. It comes equipped with lights and
storage compartments for luggage, and is known for its low center of gravity and comfortable
seating.

Alleweder
If you’re starting to see a trend here, that’s because the Netherlands is one of the biggest centers for
human-powered vehicles (HPVs) and clean transportation methods in the world. And that includes
the Alleweder KV4, a well-respected member of the velomobile family.

The KV4 is known for its durability; its hard aluminium frame and full suspension make it pretty
resilient to just about anything the world throws at it. The KV4 is manufactured by Alligt, which
produces all sorts of velomobile models and parts.

Trisled Aquila
This velomobile looks like something you’d see flying around in space. The sleek design is known for
its style and fully enclosed interior. The Aquila was made for racing; it’s aerodynamically superior to
many other velomobiles and in the hands of a good rider it can easily win. However, owners can
mod the Aquila with mirrors and lights to make it more appropriate for casual use.

The Aquila was designed and built by Trisled, an Australian HPV production company, and sells for
$8500 Australian dollars.
Arion 1
Known as the world’s fastest bicycle, it’s equally well known for its rather amusing shape. The
mature and cultured fans of the Arion have noted that the velomobile kind of looks like a giant dildo
(Literally the first headline when you google Arion 1 reads “the world’s fastest bike looks like a 90-
MPH Space Dildo”).

It’s hilarious design aside, the Arion 1 is very aerodynamic (stop laughing), and potentially fast
enough to exceed the current world speed record of 83.13 MPH.

The Arion 1 was built by the University of Liverpool Velocipede Team (ULV Team), which is made up
of 16 students. Along with the ULV Team, there are three professionals who have been riding the
Arion 1 (Ok guys, it’s not funny anymore) to attempt to beat the world record.

DuoQuest
Not all velomobiles look like a dick joke waiting to happen. In fact, some of them look cool. Really
cool. At first glance, the DuoQuest looks like a high end sports car. It’s got a classy, smooth design to
it. The DuoQuest was made for style and for cruising, there’s no doubt about that.

This two-seater is the perfect couple’s bike. It’s like a tandem bike that’s comfortable. The downside
is that the company behind DuoQuest, Velomobiel, has only built one, and has no current intentions
of making more. For now, owning your own DuoQuest is just a dream.

ELF 1.5/2FR
The ELF 1.5 is the two-seater velomobile from US company Organic Transport. ELF is a cute little
three-wheeled velomobile that looks sort of like a SMART car, with the passenger seat behind the
rider. It also comes with a storage area for your cargo, as well as lights and even turn signals.

This velomobile is produced in a multitude of colours, and they also have a “tactical” model available
for police departments to purchase. They aren’t cheap though; they cost between $5500 US Dollars
and $6500 USD.
Fantom
The Fantom was designed in Sweden by Kjall Andersson, but not produced. The 1940’s velomobile
was sold in the form of drawings, which were intended to be used as a guide to help people build
their own versions of the Fantom. The four wheeled velomobile definitely has the feel of a 1940’s car
to it.

Over the years, many hobbyists have built their own Fantoms, so they crop up from time to time.

FAW+
This velomobile has a toy rocketship kind of style to it. It’s a cool, interesting design with two front
wheels and one rear. FAW stands for Flevo Alleweder. The FAW+ is an improvement on the original
FAW from the 1990s, designed to be safer, faster and stronger.

Aside from being very handy for casual use, the FAW+ is also lightweight and is often used for
racing. The FAW+ can be found for sale in the USA and Europe.
Flevobike Orca
Another of the Netherlands many innovations in the velomobile community, the Flevobike Orca,
released in 2011, has been well-received by velomobile enthusiasts.

The Orca is known for having better handling and safety and being more comfortable than its
predecessor. It comes in a range of different colours, and is praised for being low maintenance. If
you’re living outside of Europe and you want one though, you’re out of luck. Currently, the Orca is
only sold in the European Union.

Go-One Evo-R-
This futuristic space-pod looking velomobile hails from Germany. It is the race-ready modified
version of the high-speed Go-One Evolution. The Evo-R- has two versions. The “Top version” is the
more expensive model, with a stiff chassis and a slightly lighter weight.
It’s made with top quality interior parts, with comfort in mind. The “Carbon version” is made with
carbon fiber and weighs about one kilogram more. Richard Dahne won the 2014 HPV World
Championships in an Evo-R-.

HEPAV
I’m sure your bicycle is pretty alright. It’s fast, it gets you places. But can it be used as a boat? No?
Well the HEPAV velomobile can. The amphibious velocar comes from the mind of inventor David
Buckwaldek. It’s a tricycle with an electric motor and a water-proof shell.

While on land, it functions like most other velomobiles, but it can seamlessly travel in water. While in
water it moves similarly to a kayak. The creator envisions it as the perfect companion to people who
frequently travel between islands. A video of the HEPAV entering water can be found here.

Hornet
The hornet is one of Canada’s very own velomobiles, created by velomobile manufacturer BlueVelo.
This one has a rectangular shape with rounded edges (the yellow one kind of looks like a banana, if
that helps you visualize it) and three wheels.

The Hornet comes with an electric engine as well to combine the power of electricity and pedaling,
and is known for its comfort, handling and its ability to tackle hills. This velocar comes with full
suspension, and can be upgraded to have lights, turn signals and even a horn.

Leiba Classic
If you choose a Leiba classic, you’re choosing to have options. This German velomobile comes with
all kinds of optional features, like having an electric motor assist for example. The Leiba is designed
to handle any conditions you put it through; it has slits in the canopy to prevent the windows from
fogging and it’s got a sturdy frame.

The Leiba Classic is comfortable, stylish and practical. The Leiba Classic is also on the cheaper end
of the velomobile price range, starting at €5000.
Leitra
Carl Georg Rasmussen made one of the first modern velomobiles in 1980. It has a low centre of
gravity and combined with the positioning of the front wheels, the Leitra is safe and has a very low
risk of tipping or turning over.

It’s made to practically cover long distances without problems. The frame is built strong and resilient
to abrasion; the Leitra was built for use anywhere by anyone.

LeMans
The LeMans is a velomobile made for racing. Its design has excellent aerodynamics, and it’s got a
large capacity for speed. The low ground clearance isn’t suited for harder conditions you might find
in casual use, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t use the LeMans around the city.

Like most velomobiles, the LeMans is a tricycle. The design came from Joel Vincent, from France,
and the first completed model was released in 2012.
Liberty SUV
When you hear the words Liberty SUV, what do you picture? A big 7 seater dodge? Whatever image
popped in your head, I can guarantee it was wrong. The Liberty SUV is a velomobile that is built to
look like a tiny SUV car.

See, SUV in the velomobile world doesn’t stand for Sports Utility Vehicle. It stands for Sustainable
Utility Velomobile. This velocar is the flagship product from the US company Liberty Velomobiles.
The Liberty SUV comes with many of the comforts of a car; lots of storage, stability, lights and turn
signals.

Lightning F-40
The lightning F-40 is one of the fastest produced bicycles in the world, setting a record for clearing a
4800 kilometre journey in just over 5 days. The US-made bike is an excellent choice for racing; it
stands up against many custom one of a kind velomobiles, and has great versatility. It has also been
noted for being a great choice for casual riders.
This bike’s body fairing is mostly spandex, however, so while it is extremely lightweight, it’s also
lacking in some of the safety features standard in other velomobiles.

Mango Sport
From the Netherlands’ Sinner Bikes comes the Mango Sport, a classy hot-rod looking recumbent
velomobile with 3 wheels. Its design is reminiscent of sports cars.

However, this velomobile doesn’t just look good, it’s also a fast one, capable of holding its own in a
race setting. It has a wide wheel base and low centre of gravity, making it hard to tip over, and it’s
known for having excellent handling. Riders have the option of fitting it with an electric assist.

Marvelo SKR
Canada’s Marvelo SKR is a relatively new addition to the world of velomobiles, having just been
released in 2013, but it’s definitely a good one. The idea behind the SKR was to make a fast but
comfortable addition to the velomobile world.
The SKR is built with a large cockpit for riders of all shapes and sizes. The design team, headed by
Jon Reinsch, took inspiration from the German and Dutch velomobiles, and it shows in the design
and shape.

Milan MK2
The Milan MK2 and its brother, the MK1, are speed demons. Their aerodynamic shell and electric
assist allows them to get up to speeds reaching 60 km/h. The MK2 is a little larger than the MK1,
and uses a little more energy. It’s made for a wider variety of riders.

Mulsanne
The Mulsanne is CyclesJV-Fenioux’s second velomobile to hit the market. The Mulsanne was
designed to be used in every kind of setting; it works well for casual and urban use, however it also
has incredible speed and aerodynamic superiority over many other velomobiles. It can tackle hills
without too much trouble and is incredibly comfortable, but it’s also made to leave other velomobiles
in its dust on tracks.
Quest
The Quest, a product of Velomobiel (who have a previous spot on our list) is the fast, casual-use
velomobile for all types of riders. The Quest is popular because of its versatility; while it’s no boat-
bike, it can handle hills, it can handle the elements, and it can handle itself.

The steering and controls on the Quest are loved and well-received. Like other casual velomobiles,
the Quest is designed to limit the possibility of tipping over and reduce the damage sustained in
accidents.

Radius TT
With its unique back end, the Radius TT, especially in hot-rod red, looks like a mini rocket ship. Only
instead of navigating the vastness of space, you’ll be cruising around the city or the track with this
thing.
Built in the USA by self-proclaimed tinker Dave Langkamp, the Radius TT was made to help Dave
get around town. This “show stopper”, as he put it, was Dave’s personal project that got a lot of
attention from the velomobile community for the excellent craftsmanship and design.

Rotovelo
The Rotovelo comes to us from Trisled, who proudly proclaim that it is the strongest velomobile on
the market. The fairing is made to be extremely durable and resistance, and it has to be since that is
one of the Rotovelo’s main selling features.

Designed by Ben Goodall, the Rotovelo is a good companion for casual riders, with good amounts of
luggage space and lights/mirrors on it. You can get versions with a top and without.

Strada
The Strada, which hails from the Netherlands, has a similar look to the Rotovelo, as well as its fellow
Dutch velomobiles. This one also comes from Velomobiel, and is built with a small turning radius and
excellent handling and maneuverability.

Do not expect a bumpy ride when you get in a Strada. This velomobile was made for comfort. It also
has a good resistance to the weather and elements, and is a safe ride.

Sunrider II
Sunrider II is the baby of Sunrider Cycles. Their first Sunrider was a huge success, so the designers
were shooting for the stars with this follow-up. Designed to have a sports-car vibe to it, the Sunrider
II is the definition of classy cycling.

It’s got style, it’s comfortable, its speed is impressive and it can handle whatever you plan to do with
it. Fans of the original Sunrider can be nothing but thrilled to see this incredible successor.

Velocar Type H
The Type H is a French velomobile from the 30’s, which now sits in the Microcar Museum in
Madison, Georgia. The velomobile itself was recovered after World War 2, but the original designer
was Charles Mochet.

The Type H was highly sought after especially during Nazi occupation, as fuel was a scarce
commodity and riding a Type H was free (getting one, on the other hand, cost a pretty penny).

Velocity Velo Basic


The three-wheeled Velocity Velo Basic comes from the USA company Velocity Velos. This
velomobile has a strong, sturdy fiberglass body, and is lauded for its safe design and stability.

The Basic comes as a part of Velocity Velos’ new initiative to make velomobiles more affordable, and
thus expand the market for them. While most Velomobiles cost from $5000 USD to $10,000 and
beyond, the Basic has a relatively small price tag: $3399.00 USD.

Velotilt
I’ve said it before about other velomobiles on this list, but seriously, the Velotilt looks like a space
ship! But even when it’s cruising Earth-side, it’s a really cool futuristic looking machine.

You see, it’s called the Velotilt because the wheels actually tilt while turning. Designed for maximized
maneuverability at high speeds, the Velotilt is an attempt at revolutionizing velomobiles. Velotilt
comes from the mind of Will Schermer and the blood sweat and tears of his team.

WAW
The WAW velomobile caught all kinds of attention when it was first designed, for being among the
lightest velomobiles in the world. Its total weight is only 27 kilograms, and combined with its
aerodynamic fairing this velomobile is one of the fastest out there. In the velomobile community,
there’s a lot of appreciation and demand for the WAW.

It is now produced by the Czech Republic company Katanga, but it was originally made by Belgium’s
own Frederik Van De Walle. Its specs are some of the best on the market.
Why choose a velomobile
There are three good reasons for choosing a velomobile instead of a normal bike:

 First of all, velomobiles are more comfortable than normal bikes. No matter how
far you go, you can’t get uncomfortable since your weight is carried by a long seat
instead of a small saddle. You also don’t experience any pressure on your wrists
and arms, which means that there is less change of stress related injuries.

Most velomobilists also think it’s very nice that the outer shell protects them from
rain and bad wheather (I definitely thought so when I tried a Leitra while it was
raining a lot. It was very enjoyable to sit protected from the rain – and the feeling
didn’t decrease when I looked out and saw all the normal cyclists get more and
more wet).

 Velomobiles are also safer than normal bikes. In a velomobile, you sit protected
by the shell and the frame of the bike, which means that they will get hit before you
if a car clown drives into you.
 Finally, velomobiles are faster than normal bikes. Almost all the fastest bike
records are set using velomobiles.

If you thread with a 100 watt, you will go around 13 mph (21 km/h) on a normal
bike. Are you threading the same 100 watt in a velomobile, you will go around 21
mph (34 km/h).

Why there aren’t more velomobiles


Considering the advantages, it might seem strange that there aren’t more velomobiles.
In most places they are a very rare sight.

The reasons velomobiles are so rare are:

 Velomobiles are rather big and take up a lot of space on the bike lanes. They are
therefore rather unpractical in the cities and best used if you are going long
distances outside cities with lots of traffic and narrow bike lanes.
 Velomobiles are heavier than other bikes, so they can be difficult to get started
when the light turns green. They can also be difficult to bike uphill. These
difficulties are the main reason that some velomobiles are equipped with an
engine.
 Another problem is the price. Velomobiles are rare and there aren’t any
companies that mass-produce lots of these bikes. Even the cheapest models cost
around $5,000 USD – or around 6 times as much as a nice normal bike.

Velomobiles vs. electric bikes


As much as I like velomobiles, I don’t think they will ever become mainstream. Instead, I
think we will see more and more electric bikes since they offer some of the same
advantages:

 First of all, electric bikes also allows you to go faster than on a normal bike. And
because you use less energy, you can also go longer distances on an electric bike
than on a normal bike (just like you can in a velomobile).
 Electric bikes aren’t as heavy as most velomobiles and they always have an
engine, so they are easier to get started when the light turns green and they are
also easier to bike uphill with (actually it is easier to do both things on an electric
bike than on a normal bike).
 Most electric bikes are also cheaper than the average velomobile. Because there
are several companies mass-producing electric bikes, you can find several good
modelsfor around $2,000 USD.