Before we can explain what kind of cycle gear you need in a velomobile, it might be good to first explain what a velomobile is.
A velomobile is a human-powered vehicle (HPV) that is designed to improve on the efficiency of a bicycle and provide some of the comforts of a car. It is essentially a three or four-wheeled recumbent bicycle that is enclosed in a streamlined, aerodynamic shell, providing protection from the elements and reducing air resistance. Velomobiles are often used for commuting, touring, and racing. Velomobiles are becoming increasingly popular in many parts of the world, particularly in Europe, where they are seen as a more sustainable and efficient alternative to cars for short-to medium-distance travel.
⬆️ Inside the velomobile
Because the driver of the velomobile is inside the velomobile and the aerodynamic shell pushes the wind around the shell of the velomobile and not around the driver, efficiency is greatly increased but there is less cooling for the driver, which is great for a lot of the year if you live in the more Nordic parts of the world. This means you don’t need to wear as many clothes compared to when riding a conventional bicycle.
⬇️ Some tips about cycle gear in general in a velomobile...
1) Clothing: You should wear comfortable clothing that is breathable and allows for a full range of motion. Depending on your size, your legs may occasionally rub on the wheel wells. As carbon fiber is very abrasive, a good set of wicking, long tights, like Nike Dryfit can help reduce this.
2) Shoes: Cycling shoes with stiff soles are recommended for velomobile riders, as they provide better power transfer to the pedals. Additionally, shoes with a recessed cleat will allow you to walk comfortably when you need to get out of the velomobile. If you want to read more about cycle shoes, click here.
3) Sunglasses: Sunglasses with UV protection are essential for any cyclist, as they protect your eyes from the sun and help reduce glare.
4) Lights: Velomobiles are low to the ground, so it's important to have good lighting to make yourself visible to other road users. You should have both front and rear lights on your velomobile.
5) Reflective gear: In addition to lights, reflective gear can help make you more visible to other road users. Reflective tape and reflectors on your velomobile are both good options. Velomobile World supplies velomobiles with reflective stripes as standard.
6) Waterproof gear: Depending on where you live and the weather conditions, waterproof gear may be necessary. A waterproof jacket helps keep you dry and comfortable on rainy days when you need to get out of your velomobile.
7) When riding in winter, it is advisable to bring a warm coat and pants in case you need to stop for a repair or spend a longer time outside the velomobile during your ride.
8) It is always a good idea to have a fully charged cell phone along in case you need to call for emergency assistance.
9) Tools: It's always a good idea to carry some basic tools with you when riding your velomobile, such as a tire pump, spare tubes, and a multitool for minor repairs.
10) Always be sure the battery for the light of your velomobile is fully charged before leaving so you have lights during the duration of your ride.
11) Many riders find riding with a video camera useful both for entertainment purposes such as uploading to YouTube to show what a great ride you had, and also for evidence purposes in case you are involved in an accident.
12) Last but not least, be sure to bring enough water and snacks to help stay fueled during your ride. There is a detailed article about snacks, click here.
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