The Milan has always cast a magical spell over me. When I started dreaming of my own velomobile in 2009, I couldn't get the elegant shape of the Milan out of my head. Unfortunately, my financial situation at the time did not allow me to buy a new velomobile, and there was no second-hand market for the Milan. I was also put off by reports of the need for tinkering and inadequate build quality. But today, many years of development and several model stages later, Velomobile World has achieved a highly professional level of workmanship with the MK7.
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to get hold of a Milan SL CAS, which to this day is probably the fastest velomobile I've ever had. Unfortunately, it didn't fit me properly: my thighs rubbed against the wheel arches and my knees hit the lid. Nevertheless, I was able to ride it for a few hundred kilometres and was delighted with its riding characteristics. Never before had I ridden such a wind-stable and aerodynamic velomobile. So one day it was going to be a GT and this year I finally had the unique opportunity to buy a special Milan GT MK7 through Velomobile Nord.
For me, the GT offers a perfect fit at the shoulders and between the wheel arches. I think it's slightly wider than the DF XL, but much tighter than a Quest. I have enough room over my head due to my short torso. However, the Milan doesn't particularly like long legs and long cranks. The maximum crank length I can ride without hitting the knee bump is 160mm. In the footwell, however, there is just enough room for my shoes even with 170mm cranks. In the meantime, Velomobile World has announced a new Milan hood with motorbike visor and extra-high knee levers. I have already ordered this hood and am hopeful that the promised 15mm more space at the knees will allow me to fit 170mm cranks in the Milan GT MK7 after all.
Unfortunately, the Milan was developed at a time when even wider Q-factors were used. With today's narrow cranks, the foot space is not optimally utilised. I therefore had to buy pedals with a 4mm wider axle and position my cleats further out. Another small drawback, which only applies to riders with long legs who also want to ride long cranks, is that the huge opening of the Milan could be a little longer. I have to position the seat relatively far back and more upright to avoid bumping my shin against the lid. This also means that I bump my thighs against the tiller when pedalling. However, I am confident that I can get this problem under control with a longer steering column.
At this point, I would like to mention that I am a special case of hardship with my desire for long cranks. Because compared to the Bülk, which is also ridden by people 190cm tall, the Milan GT offers significantly more space.
But now to the important part: How does the GT MK7 ride? I would like to share my impressions and experiences from the first 600 kilometres. The term "driving machine" sums it up best. The vehicle runs incredibly efficiently and feels like a board on the road. It rides around bends like it's on rails and doesn't even let oncoming lorries disturb its smooth ride. It is a real pleasure to glide along in the Milan, and it is easy to ride yourself into a real frenzy. The Milan really comes into its own on flat terrain in particular, making it easy to reach high speeds and maintain them for a long time. Although the difference to its little brother is small, the GL does not quite match the speed of an SL.
The GT also copes well with uphill sections. It is particularly pleasant to be able to open the hood easily. However, the stiffness could be improved. On steep climbs or when accelerating, you notice a clear twisting of the bottom bracket mast. I hope that I can alleviate this with a mast stiffener like the one available for the Milan. I am particularly impressed by the high level of comfort, which is due in particular to the comfortable reclining position and the even weight distribution across the back. The excellent view of the road is also very positive. The Lupine SL AX also helps to make night rides really fun. The built-in electronic 12-speed drivetrain, which works very precisely and silently, is also a pleasure to use. Sven Kröll has done an excellent job here.
In terms of suitability for everyday use, the Milan scores points for its excellent accessibility thanks to the maintenance flaps and the large opening. There is also plenty of space for luggage in combination with the luggage compartments and parcel shelf. I can even place the triangular velomobile bag to the left and right of the seat. However, you can't pack it quite as full as in the Alpha 9. In my opinion, the turning circle is still within acceptable limits. However, I am not sensitive to this and had no problems in everyday life even with a DF with pants and an anticipatory driving style. My Milan is lowered, so that it touches down more often in everyday driving. I will continue to monitor this and adjust it back to the standard height if necessary.
Visually, I can't get enough of it. For me, the Milan is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful velomobiles. The elegant curves and fine details installed by the previous owner, such as the rear-view mirrors integrated into the hood, contribute to this. But the interior is also special. A special Ergo seat is installed, which is available to buy from Velomobile Nord. This is not only stiffer than the original Milan seat, but also offers more lateral support.
To summarise, it can be said that a Milan GT MK7 not only promises very good efficiency, but also a great deal of riding fun with high everyday suitability and is certainly an excellent velomobile for taller or wider riders. In the velomobile forum, another Milan rider recently spoke of an "exceptional velomobile" - I can only agree with that.
[Translated from German]
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