Article made by Velomobile World & Ben Parke (one of our ambassadors from USA).
"A velomobile is a recumbent bike with shell"... this statement is a bit true and a bit false. Here is why :)
A velomobile has the same cycling position as a recumbent /trike. This means you sit in a comfortable seat with your back and neck supported. The weight of your body is not pressing down on a small surface (between your legs), but rather all your weight is distributed on your bottom and back, creating a much larger surface area.
You have the same aerodynamic advantage and position as a recumbent with your legs pointed forward creating a smaller surface area for the air to pass around. In addition, you have a very aerodynamic shell surrounding you, smoothing the flow of the air to make it even more aerodynamic than a traditional recumbent bike.
Why is it so important to have this aerodynamic advantage? You can cycle faster with the same effort, which means you can reach your destination more quickly or travel further. This makes the velomobile much more practical and efficient.
Not so true statement
There is no frame in a velomobile. A velomobile is made out of a self carrying body, made from a lightweight composite material and has full suspension which makes a velomobile much more comfortable than a recumbent bike.
Picture with a velomobile (Bülk MK 1 - our newest model)
Picture with a recumbent bike / trike (TrikExplor32G - owned by one of our ambassadors)
There are more advantages ⬇️
This is helpful especially in the more northern parts of the world where it can be cold, windy and rainy. There the velomobile has huge benefits because the aerodynamic shell around you protects you from these elements of nature. These benefits allow many velomobilists to cycle the whole year around, even when the weather turns nasty.
Physical health and mental health
Of course it is well known that getting outdoors and moving, increases your physical and mental health. Driving around with higher speeds in your velomobile, enjoying the scenery and enjoying life has a great impact on you. ”At least it has already been more than 25 years and has had a positive impact on me” - Ben 😉
The large protective shell also makes you more visible in traffic than a normal bicycle, especially with high visibility colours like white, orange and red. A velomobile also has brake lights and turning lights that ensure better visibility in traffic.
A velomobile body is able to absorb, deflect and distribute the collision energy reducing or preventing damage to the driver/rider. With its almost 5 square metre colored surface, the velomobile is clearly visible in traffic. Due to the very good aerodynamics, even less trained drivers find it easy to control it in traffic. As a three-lane vehicle, you don’t have to keep your balance in a velomobile.
Lets take for example what Jens Buckbesch (one of the creators) said about the Security of our newest velomobile Bülk MK 1:
”The entire design of the Bülk took place under the primacy of the greatest possible safety for the driver. 16 years of experience in velomobile construction and the systematic evaluation of accidents flowed into the design. In detail:
✓ The carbon body is secured with safety- inserts between the carbon layers to prevent splitting and tearing in the event of a crash.
✓ Safety in the event of a frontal crash: With its T-design, the front frame is constructed in such a way that it cannot shift towards the driver. This not only protects the rider, but also dissipates a lot of energy by allowing the front part of the frame to be compressed without being pushed backwards. The flat seating position and the coaming effectively prevent the driver from sitting up and the upper body from accelerating forward.
✓ Safety in the event of a rear impact:
– In the event of a rear-end collision, the driver’s head is effectively protected by the thick foam padding on the headrest surface.
– The seat is not suspended at the top in the Bülk. This prevents the thrust of a rear-end collision from going towards the driver’s neck.
– In the back area, the stable seat with bars protects the driver’s spine. The shearing forces of a rear-end collision are distributed over the entire seat and passed on to the driver. The seat support in the shoulder area is provided by hard foam panels and forms another buffer in which energy is dissipated.
✓ Side flap:
– Thanks to the flat seating position and the padded, protective coaming, the driver remains safe in the vehicle if it rolls sideways. The high overhang of the hood effectively protects the driver’s head.
✓ Insensitive to side winds:
– Every detail of the aerodynamic design is designed for maximum driving stability in cross winds. This is an essential safety feature for velomobiles.”
Because it is in the same category as a bicycle, it is legal to ride both a velomobile and a recumbent bike anywhere you can ride a normal bike, including cycle paths, cycle lanes and where permitted, roads.
Do you want to find out more about velomobiles?
If you want to discover more about velomobiles, you can visit our website www.velomobileworld.com, where you can see a lot of pictures of the models that we produce. If you need technical support we have a dedicated section with exploded views and videos. The community section is also helpful because it has a lot of info about velomobile forums, groups, websites & video channels, interviews with the dealers, reviews and others. Also, on our website you can find a list with our dealers around the world, so you can get in touch with the nearest one to have a test ride. Oh, and we don’t want to forget about our YouTube Channel, where you can learn about maintenance and other useful things.
Our factory is located in Romania, from where we send the velomobiles that we produce all over the world, in over 20 countries, including USA and Canada. Currently the majority of the dealers are located in Europe. We have recently established a velomobile ambassador program in the United States and Canada. Our hope and wish is that through our ambassadors you will be able to connect with someone more local to you that can set you up with a test ride and help you through the process of purchasing, setting up and learning to maintain your velomobile. In a short time we’ll add a page with our current ambassadors.
How can you order your velomobile?
If you visit our website ”www.velomobileworld.com”, you’ll see that the current Ordering system is through our dealers network. After you have decided which velomobile suits you best, you will use the configurator, found on every model page, to choose the desired characteristics or extra options for your velomobile. After you receive the quotation from us, you’ll have to contact your nearest local dealer. He will place your order, then we'll start to create your velomobile. After the velomobile is ready it will be delivered to your dealer's location and he will announce you when you can go to meet your special vehicle.
But right now we are working on a new platform for Orders that will offer many advantages. We will first launch this platform in the US and Canada, we want to make sure that more people from these countries will enjoy the velomobiles. This new system will not rely on local dealers, everything will be done using this new Velomobile World platform for clients. In USA and Canada, the velomobiles will be shipped from our factory in containers and after they arrive, a local delivery company will most likely take them to their owners (this detail will be found on our new platform).
One of our Ambassadors can help you with your order or other details that you need, maybe you can also take a test ride, so you can feel the velomobile experience. You can visit an Ambassador's page if you scan the QR code from his bike (see an example below) or if you visit this page with all the ambassadors and choose the nearest from you.
*click on the images to enlarge
Inside the velomobile (chain and pedals)
Inside the velomobile (luggage compartment)
Inside the velomobile (CatEye Enduro computer that is showing current speed, distance and others details)
Inside the velomobile (seat with ventisit)
Velomobile Turning Signal (Atto® Kellermann LED, for better visibility in traffic)
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