USA & Canada Guide

So you just bought a new velomobile. Congratulations! But now what? In this handy guide we’re going to try and walk you through the process from purchase to delivery to that first exciting ride in your new velomobile.

On this page you will find details about following info, so jump to the part you want or discover them one by one.


What happens now?    While you’re waiting    Arranging for your shipment    Shipping Options    Picking Your Velomobile Up at the Airport    Before your first ride    Useful Videos    Guidelines for test drives    Technical Support    Velomobile Group    About Ambassador Program    FAQ

What happens now?

After placing your order, Velomobile World will send you a PDF copy of your order. It is important to check and make sure all the details of your order are correct. This will help the Velomobile World team ensure that they have the correct parts collected to build and assemble your velomobile. During this planning period it is also possible to make changes to your order. Once the team is ready to start building your new velomobile, they will contact you to verify the final details of your order and arrange for a partial down payment. Once that is arranged, you can follow the status of your order as it progresses through composite, painting, assembly, testing, and finally delivery, here: Orders & Status


Once your velomobile is ready for delivery, Jan and his team will contact you to arrange shipping and final payment. This easiest way to make your down payment and final payment is via an online money transfer service such as Wise. Wise offers lower fees and faster transfers than your bank will.

While you’re waiting…

While you are waiting for your new velomobile, there are a few important things you can do to prepare. First, due to shipping regulations, velomobiles sent outside the European Union will not be shipped with a battery or a charger (Europe is 220V vs North America at 110V power). Velomobile World recommends a 14.4V battery. These (often in 14.8V form) are used in model RC cars. You can find them at various hobby stores such as Hobby Lobby, a store local to me. Several US velonauts have chosen to use the 12V TalentCell LiFePo4 instead, which is available via places like Amazon. They have used this with both the Lupine and Busch, and Mueller lights and say they have had no problems. Ultimately your choice of battery is up to you and your comfort with and knowledge of electrical systems.


The larger batteries (7-10+ Ah) are ideal for riders doing especially long distances running power hungry lights. If you tend to ride only shorter distances, the smaller size batteries (under 7aH) will be sufficient and will save a bit of weight. Please note the TalentCell batteries use a traditional 12V DC plug. You will need either an adapter, or the soldering skills to add a Molex plug to the end of your battery cable. For a video on how to adapt the TalentCell connector [click here]


Second, the factory does not install the mirrors to allow you the option to choose the spot that works best for you. For tips on mirror installation [click here]. If you are picking your velomobile up and riding it home from there, you will probably want to install the mirrors…


Third, you can familiarize yourself with the features of your velomobile by reading the manual [Click Here].


Also note that some models such as the Bülk, will be shipped with pedals, while others offer it as an option. Be sure to check if pedals are included if you will be riding it home from the pick-up location.

Arranging for your shipment

Customs and Border Patrol typically, though not always, require a broker for purchases valued over $2500. The broker will take care of customs paperwork, notify you of when it has cleared customs, and can even arrange to deliver the velomobile to your door. Your local customs and border control office has a list of brokers in your area, view here for USA and here for Canada. When selecting a broker, be sure to read the fine print about what fees they do and do not cover.  


You will also want to have the broker use CBP code HS8712.00.5000, the code specific to non-ebike velomobiles.  This code will get you the lowest import duty fees. Fees include: Entry fee (fee paid for the broker services) $125-160, single entry bond $50-60, courier fee (if you have the broker pay airport terminal fees), customs duty 3.7% of purchase price, merchandise processing fee, and airline terminal fee $60-120.  Your broker will also need power of attorney for the shipment. If picking up from the airport, some fees can be paid directly to the airport at pickup avoiding a handling fee from the broker. Jan and his team will provide you with an Airbill (essentially the plane ticket for the shipment) and a final invoice. A similar “ticket” will be sent for sea freight.


If you are picking up the velomobile at a shipping office, you have the option to either ride it home or rent a van. If riding home, you would need a place to dispose of the crate and tools to mount the mirrors and adjust the chain after moving the bottom bracket holder to the correct position for your leg length. Please note you will need a van, truck, or trailer than can fit a crate 300x86x110 cm.


Jan will arrange for insuring the shipment (roughly $60). You might also want to talk with your broker to verify that you can inspect the shipment before signing acceptance documents to check for any damage. The velomobile will be crated so you will also need to ask about how to dispose of the crate if you are riding home.


Before shipping the box containing your velomobile, we will send you a document like this [click here], so you can see how we packed it.

Shipping Options

There are three main options for shipping your velomobile: sea, air freight, and vacation.  


Sea shipping is the slowest option and would involve needing to be part of a larger shipment. While this can be the least expensive option if you live near the port, it can take a month or more. If you do not live within driving distance from the port, the cost to ship it across the US/Canada to you can significantly increase the price. Currently the best shipping option in the US is Haulbikes.  


The second option is air freight. The cost of this can vary, not unlike airline tickets. This is by far the fastest option, especially if you live within driving distance from a major international airport, though you should still expect it to take a couple weeks for it to be transported to the airport, be booked on a flight, and sent to the US. It can take 24-48 hours upon arrival to be unloaded from the plane and passed through customs.

Jan and his team have a well-tested packing system they have used for a decade now with great success. Jan also has a large sticker displaying the contents of the crate with a QR code for handlers to scan it if they want to learn more about the unique bike they’re handling.


The third, and by far most exciting option, is to travel to Europe to pick up your velomobile, enjoy a cycling vacation on any of the myriad trails criss-crossing Europe, and then fly back via either Condor or Lufthansa. Condor will fly velomobiles as sports luggage for $95.  Lufthansa will fly a velomobile as bulk luggage for $150. In both cases you would wrap the velomobile in padding packing material, roll it up to the counter, and they take it from there. If you opt for this option, be sure to reserve space in the cargo hold in advance. Several people have gone this route with great success. This is the fastest way to get your bike and possibly the least complicated. For more information on how to prepare a velomobile to ship it as checked luggage [click here].

Picking Your Velomobile Up at the Airport

When your velomobile is ready to ship, you will be provided with a copy of the air waybill.  The number on the bill can be used to track your shipment. Be prepared for the possibility that your shipping date will change from what is printed on the air bill.  If you have an inflexible work schedule you may wish to consider talking with your broker about having it delivered to your home. Shipping delays are quite common.


Picking up at the airport terminal is usually an easy process. Your broker can get you the address of the terminal. Once there, you simply present a PDF copy of your documents to the terminal office and they will then help you load the crate into a vehicle. Please note the box is 300cm long and just barely fits in a 10 foot U-Haul or similar truck. 


When arriving home, you may wish to have some people there to help you unload the crate.  It is possible to unpack the crate in the truck yourself by removing the 8 screws holding the heavy cardboard box to the crate, cutting open one side of the box, removing the box, unbolting the straps holding the wheels down, and then rolling the velomobile out of the truck and sliding the crate out.  Be sure whatever ramp you use to roll the velomobile out of the truck is well secured.

Before your first ride

Before taking your first ride, there are a few things you’ll want to be prepared for. First, you will need to set the seat location, angle of recline, and bottom bracket holder location. For velomobiles such as the Bülk and Milan, this is very easy to do. Others, such as the Alpha series, may involve the brief use of power tools to drill holes. See the below videos for more details. You will also want to check that all bolts are still tight for the steering and rear suspension. You will need to pump up the tires as the tires will need to be slightly deflated for the flight. You’ll want to have your battery set up with the proper Molex connector so you have lights for your ride.  If you change the location of the bottom bracket holder, you likely will also need to alter the chain length. Also note that if you have a 2x 11 speed setup and should need to relocate the bottom bracket holder sled, you may also need to adjust the cable for the front shifter. Thanks to the hood access hatch, all of these things are very easily reached.


Before your first ride it’s also recommended to do an INSPECTION of the velomobile. Below you can find the links for two documents/files that can help you with this. You can save and print them.

Bülk Inspection Manual [click here]

Bülk Inspection Checklist [click here]


While importing a velomobile may seem overwhelming at times, the hope is that this guide will give you the knowledge you need to navigate the experience with success. Good luck, safe riding, and enjoy your new velomobile!

Useful videos

Guideline for test drivers of ambassadors

Dear Bülk Ambassador,


For a successful test drive by a completely inexperienced prospective buyer, there are a few things to consider.

A fairly good adjustment of the seat, headrest and leg length will be crucial to his ride feel and judgement. We want to provide support with this brief guide.

For a very first ride, it is advantageous to accompany the interested party with a bicycle. We would also recommend removing the hood on a first test drive so that the driver can get used to it more easily.

Since you are an experienced Bülk driver yourself, explain the brake system, special features when driving and precautionary rules to the interested party in detail. You can find all of this in your manual for the Bülk, [Click Here].

We have also written a short guide with the most important rules especially for the test driver. Discuss these before driving if there are any ambiguities.




If your test driver is significantly taller or shorter than you, you should make a rough adjustment to his size in the basic setting:

Adjust the bottom bracket slide and the seating position so that he sits as far forward in the vehicle as possible. As a result, he has more stable driving dynamics and makes optimal use of the sporty advantages of the vehicle.

To do this, you sit in the vehicle, loosen the clamp screws of the bottom bracket slide and push the slide far enough forward that you still have enough space forward with your toes. Lock the sled and adjust the seat to a position that suits your leg length and bottom bracket sled position. The legs should not be fully extended when pedaling. Straight legs often lead to knee pain and are also not effective.

If your test rider is much taller than you, make sure there is enough chain length for first gear. Otherwise, the rear derailleur can get stuck when shifting to first gear and the test rider will never come back…

Don’t forget to tighten the bottom bracket again, otherwise it will move forward during the test ride and jam the rear derailleur

So if you have found a position for yourself as far forward in the vehicle as possible, you still have to adjust the angle of inclination of the seat and the head rest area. You can find information about this below.




If your test driver is of a similar size to you, it will probably be sufficient if you use the quick adjusters to make the adjustment.

Quick settings include seat position, seatback angle and headrest.

You can snap the seat into different positions in the locking rail. Choose a position where you have the correct distance to the bottom bracket (see previous paragraph).


Now choose the right headrest adapter according to the following scheme:

• Persons from 145-165 cm choose the small adapter

• Persons from 165-180 cm choose the medium adapter

• People over 180 cm usually do not need an adapter at all


The adapter is fixed using the Velcro fastener, as far back as possible, so that the inner foam block also grips with its Velcro.

The adapter still receives the pillow, which is also attached with Velcro.

The seat back inclination is now adjusted using a rigid foam board (a stack of foam boards located behind the seat) so that it fits the head position in the head rest adapter. The head should neither be looking too far into the sky (poor vision with varifocals) nor should it be bent too far forward (impaired breathing). However, a comfortable resting of the head is favorable for longer comfortable driving. The flat seating position in connection with the well-adjustable headrest allows long and relaxed driving. Experiment with fine tuning. Driving pleasure is largely dependent on the optimum overall setting.




For a first test drive, it is of great advantage if the tiller is adjusted for the driver via the tiller cable and the armrests are adjusted accordingly at the same time. Then it is very easy for the novice driver to steer and drive stably.

The steel cable that holds the steering column away from the driver can be lengthened or shortened using a clamping screw.

The optimal setting will be with the steering column about 10-15 from your stomach and chest area.

This prevents your body from hitting the steering column in a frontal crash.

Furthermore, this enables good breathing and, in conjunction with side armrests, creates a stable steering triangle.

The armrests should be adjusted so that they support the arms when your hands are on the steering column.

Also explain to him that he shouldn’t clench the tiller handlebars (because then the vehicle won’t find its own track) but should keep his hands relaxed on the handlebars.


Do you need technical support to better understand how your velomobile works, to do the maintenance or to solve a problem? We made a page for Bülk where you can find technical support information for various parts/zones. Choose the one that interests you, then explore the info. For every part/zone there are descriptions, exploded views, maintenance videos & more.

Velomobile Group | Community

There is a group called “Velomobile”, maybe the biggest Facebook group that gathers velomobile enthusiasts from around the world and also from USA/Canada. People from this group are very active and many of our ambassadors are members here. If you take a look in this group, you will see that every time someone posts a personal experience, a question or “how to” info, there are a lot of comments and members will try to help if you have a problem.

I want to be an Ambassador

Do you want to become an ambassador for Bülk and for velomobiles in general? You have some advantages if you are making this step, but the most important thing is that you have the power to change lives because you help people to discover a fantastic alternative to a car, you can help people to become more independent, to gradually give up fossil fuels and more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Yes and No. We did not forced anybody to become an ambassador. People are ambassadors because they are passionate about velomobiles and want to share with you or other persons this passion. People become ambassadors because they are aware that they have the power to change lives by bringing the velomobile in other people’s lives, [click here] to see how is this possible. So the ambassadors are volunteers if we consider what was said above.


No, they are not volunteers because they get a discount on the velomobile they bought under ambassador conditions, also an ambassador receives a commission/coupon for every new client that he brings, which is described on this dedicated page, [click here].

For USA, because we have no dealers and the distances are so much bigger as in Europe, we decide that an ambassador network will work better in USA and Canada. For Europe we stay with the dealer network.

“No one wants to be dealer in the USA/Canada because they cannot compete with direct sales?” – this is incorrect because we as Velomobile World we haven’t done direct sales in the USA and Canada till now. We have always sent potential clients to the dealer in the USA, even when the client informed us that they would not buy from the dealer from USA. It has happened several times that a client ended up at a dealer in Europe and bought it there. We as Velomobile World have no control over it.

We continue with the dealers in Europe because it works well.

Who will service the velomobiles in the USA/Canada if there are no dealers? Velomobile World has made it easy to do your own maintenance by supporting the velomobile driver with all kind of technical support documentation. There will be also a couple of ambassadors available who are willing to do maintenance.

We made a great page [click here] how to make the measurements and report them to us before you order. This gives us a good insight how we need to adjust the velomobile according the customer. Of course, small adjustments may still need to be made after you receive your velomobile, but at Bülk it’s very easy thing to do. We also made instructions how to do these adjustments (see videos on this page).
If you live close to an ambassador, he or she can also help you make the final adjustments.

On the website you can create your own login (soon). There you can place an order and there you can find many information about the options. Of course you can contact an ambassador in your area who can advise you, also you can ask the questions at the email “”. If you made an order on this new platform (soon), you can change the options one week before the start of production without informing Velomobile World. This option is created in case you are not sure yet about all options, but you don’t want to loose the opportunity to receive your velomobile soon.

The price an end customer pays for a velomobile in the USA/Canada has become cheaper in the new system with ambassadors. Also the ambassadors will get discounts/coupons as described on this page [click here]. Also if you take in consideration the inflation rate over the last years the prices dropped.

Who knows? The ambassador spends time with the customers and also Velomobile World spends time with the customers. We cannot answer this question with Yes or No. We have to see every case separately. We make sure the customer gets the answer he/she needs, when he/she needs it. We are not looking for the customer to get more or less time, we want to make sure that the customer gets the right help in order he/she can make the right decisions and has the best velomobile experience possible.

It’s hard for a dealer to make profit due the low numbers of velomobiles sold in the USA/Canada. For example, in Germany we have many dealers and some dealers sell up to 40 velomobiles a year. In the last 4 years, sales in the USA for Velomobile World were 2 per year. With any given fair percentage the profitability would be low.

We made together with Ben Parke a special article and instructions about how import works. This will be updated in time with more information.