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Intera, the ideal inter-city and intra-city combination

Commuter, Concept 16 220

When I announced the design competition finalists and later the winner, I mentioned that I also planned to post some of the other entries. As I said, I thought many of them were very interesting and, in my opinion, deserve to be shared. I am not really going to be posting them in any particular order, just randomly as I have the opportunity to do so. This is probably the first one that came to my mind today because there has been a lot of discussion on the blog lately about recumbent positioning. Anyway, here is the first of many more to come.

The Intera, by designer Pieter Lasage, converts from a recumbent to an upright. This concept happened to be the one that I listed as my 10th pick. I liked the idea and the execution of the concept, but I wasn’t convinced enough to move it higher up my list of favorites. You can read Pieter’s description of the concept though, and form your own opinion. Like many of the other entries, this concept is a great example of creative thinking. Thanks again to all who took the time to think about the problem and to enter a design in the competition.

Now onto Pieter’s description of his concept:

a recumbent bike and a standard bike in one
A recumbent bike is more efficient and comfortable for long distances while a standard bike is safer and more manoeuvrable in city traffic. ‘intera’ has all these advantages.

fast and easy conversion
The driver can transform the bicycle in both directions in a few simple steps, without disassembling any part or lifting the bike off the ground. It only takes a few seconds.

without compromising ergonomics in both positions
We built the bike around the two ideal positions (sitting and laying down) instead of fitting the person around the bike.

with only standard industry-wide techniques, systems and parts
This way the time to market and the investment cost is kept to a minimum.

target market
commuters; people who live outside the city and go to work inside the city

innovative features
two comfortable bicycles in one
only using industry-wide techniques, systems and parts.

frame: bended and welded aluminium tubes

drive: standard chains and gears

mechanisms: all hinges (seat, steer and pedals) and locks are plain, low tech and implemented in a way that momentum forces are reduced to a minimum.

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  1. Ron January 29, 2009 at 9:07 pm -  Reply

    James : Interesting concept. Does not seem very ergonomic though.

  2. Anonymous January 29, 2009 at 9:10 pm -  Reply

    Very interesting. This is a great bike for those long rides. I would love to see what this design will evolve into. Great job.

  3. Andy January 29, 2009 at 10:49 pm -  Reply

    Very interesting concept indeed. There’s still some non-ideal parts to this such as the drivetrain which looks like it would lose a good bit of efficiency by curving the chain around multiple points, and the seat needs work too. You can’t just sit on the edge of a flat seat in the upright position without getting a reaaaally sore crease in your booty.

    I like this better than the ThisWay though… it can be made with some regular parts and has multiple uses.


  4. Marcin January 29, 2009 at 11:31 pm -  Reply

    Best innovativeness/complexity ratio so far. Good work Pieter!

  5. Rick Marland January 30, 2009 at 7:10 am -  Reply

    I really like this design as it takes a big step forward in tackling the issues with a low racer recumbent in town/city riding, it could certainly increase interest in recumbent bikes as a practical commuting bike. The one real issue I can see at the moment is that the peddle position does not move up and down the frame, to adjust for leg length, if it did then it would alter the geometry of the upright position. You would also need to be able to adjust the seat height in the “upright position” for leg length.

  6. Anonymous January 31, 2009 at 12:39 am -  Reply

    James, you did not lobby hard enough for this one.

    It’s not fully sorted, but no worse than the finalists. Best so far.

  7. Anonymous February 1, 2009 at 9:37 am -  Reply

    Now this is clever. Very clever. Well done Pieter. It won’t be to everyone’s taste but it’s a well thought through design. This is the kind of thought process that will take cycling forward.

  8. Team 160 February 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm -  Reply

    This is a design I would ride I am currently riding a recumbent as a commuter and do about 15 miles on a bike trail and 7 miles in the city I would buy this in a minute.

  9. Anonymous February 3, 2009 at 3:41 pm -  Reply

    @ Team 160

    So why don’t you? Search through the links Peter Eland left and find one you like.

  10. Massimiliano Di Luca February 4, 2009 at 1:53 pm -  Reply

    a great design, reminds me of similar idea (city vertical wide-open horizontal) vw concept vehicle

    other designs somewhat messy

  11. Laptop Parts February 8, 2009 at 10:16 pm -  Reply

    Great Review! Well written and quite descriptive as well.. If any item or topic comes out then you should be the one releasing it to the public and make it known! The way you describe it is very intriguing and feels like candy to my ears, if that really makes any sense 🙂 but you catch my drift.. In one of my classes, we were given a paper with instructions of how to build a swan made of aluminum foil and we had to explain to our group verbally how to construct the swan.. It was difficult! But, manageable and we came second in place, but it was tasky 🙂 Nevertheless if you post anything else up I will most definitely check it out! Great review!

  12. M Jensen February 15, 2009 at 11:44 am -  Reply

    I did a little research and unlike the vaporware winner, this entry has a working prototype. Was that not convincing enough?

  13. pieter February 28, 2009 at 2:02 pm -  Reply

    Thanks James for posting our design, and all of you for the kind remarks.
    I designed the bike together with my business partner Alexander Crolla a few years ago. On the website of our design office you can find a few pictures of the prototype, and a few movies about how to convert the bike.
    We talked with a lot of belgian and dutch bike companies about production, R&D was mostly interested but marketing always said that they don't want to do anything with recumbent bikes (because they keep saying how dangerous they are).
    And the few recumbent companies are just to small…
    We would still like to get this in production… who knows …

    We have a few ideas about the problems pointed out (shape of seat, changing length), but we haven't implemented them yet.

  14. pieter February 28, 2009 at 2:57 pm -  Reply

    i forgot the url of our website:, sroll right to ‘other projects’: intera is the first one in that list.

  15. Anonymous March 18, 2009 at 4:28 pm -  Reply

    I would like to see the chain path, looks like you would need a number of idlers to route the chain under the see in recumbent mode.

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