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  1. Ted Lewandowski February 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm -  Reply

    I like the overall concept but do not like the futurist design – it needs to look cool – this one just looks like it would have landed from Mars. LESS eggshape – a bit more aggressive wheels and tires (29 inch MTB?) – essentially MORE Madmax than Woody Allen ‘Sleeper’ film design.

    • James T February 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm -  Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Ted. Speaking of “futurist design”, I left out the Sinclair X-1, but that is really more of a covered electric scooter than an e-bike.

    • chocomonko February 4, 2011 at 1:15 pm -  Reply

      Less mad max and more appropriate for the rider and its environment. Its not for going off road, its not fast…and therefore does not need to look aggresive.

  2. Mike February 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm -  Reply

    1. I’m a little unclear on why it needs the red fairing inside the clear fairing (I put a fairing in your fairing so you can fairing while you fairing).
    2. A curved steering column may look nice but can’t really have a brace halfway up as shown here (the red fairing). It also doesn’t work very well on a rack and pinion style steering system — you get a weird tiller effect as the center point of the handlebar describes a curve as you try to steer That would get sussed out in prototyping, but it’s still kind of an obvious gaffe.
    3. The people who design these rain fairings certainly believe some interesting things about the wettability of polycarbonate and other thermoplastics. Translation: rain won’t run off of it and you won’t be able to see for beans. Kind of defeats the purpose of a rain bike, though I suppose this one is narrow enough that you could just stick your head out the side 🙂
    See this link for the results of a practical experiment with plastic rain fairings:

  3. Ted Lewandowski February 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm -  Reply

    Looking at the design again – I would make it more of a ‘convertible’ than a stationary top – as the ‘average’ person riding this would not START riding in the rain – the top could be extended IF one got caught in the rain.

    I also assume the cargo would go on the ‘floor’ below the frame but obviously this would need to secured somehow – ‘netting’ would be best.

    • James T February 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm -  Reply

      Since this was originally conceived as a vehicle for bpost mail carriers, I assume that box behind the seat is for cargo. Maybe Frederic can check in and clarify that.

      • Mike February 1, 2011 at 6:15 pm -  Reply

        Dear god I hope not, you’d have 80% of the rider weight plus the 60kg claimed load plus the drive mechanism over the rear wheel. The thing would be unsteerable with weight distribution like that, and you’d need a motorcycle wheel on the back to take the abuse.

      • Frederic February 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm -  Reply

        The total weight will be divided over 50/50. The back carriers is for boxes and packaging. The most load carrier is on the front.
        We did a analyse on this for about 18 months. The posture, aerodynamics, frame, transmission, steering, tires, rain canopy, materials,….
        It is very difficult to convince people about the advantages of this commuter.
        We believe this will be the future, which will be a solution for the daily traffic jams. It is the perfect answer for the home-work commuter and it lows the CO-emissions. Therefor we designed this vehicle.
        Thanks a lot for the many comments and it is more motivated for us to go on with this.


        • T February 3, 2011 at 8:02 am -  Reply

          I hope we could see more into the research and user studies in the project. Indeed it is very difficult to convince people about the advantages when all you show is one static rendering without the user.

          As I see it, in rain the canopy will have water on it – you won’t see through. Looking straight back seems very difficult as you’d need to twist your torso out of the cockpit. Protection from rain is minimal – your shoulders and sides are bound to get wet. The canopy keeps your stomach and inner legs dry while keeping you from seeing out.

          Please convince us!

        • Mike February 3, 2011 at 9:55 am -  Reply

          I can convince myself from looking at the design that you could achieve 50/50 weight distribution if there was indeed 60kg of load at the front, but unloaded that’s simply impossible unless this mysterious invisible electric drive mechanism is quite heavy and located directly over the front wheels.

          I can’t believe someone would put 18 months of work into something like this and not have a prototype to show for it.

  4. Johann Rissik February 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm -  Reply

    Boonen design studio? White lines? Is this a recurring theme or has my coffee gone cold?

    I’m all for stretching the envelope, who knows where it will lead? How about some hydrophobic coating for the polycarb? There must surely be a way around the “wet windscreen” issue (aha hand-operated windscreen wipers like the old Land Rovers ?)

    Keep em coming

    • Mike February 1, 2011 at 6:11 pm -  Reply

      “How about some hydrophobic coating for the polycarb?”

      Sure, as soon as you invent one industry will be all over it. There currently aren’t any permanent coatings for clear polycarb that are hydrophobic enough to make water roll off. The other option is actually a hydrophilic coating of the type used in antifog lenses such that the water forms a thin, even sheet, but that would be prohibitively expensive for something this big and might not even work due to the optical effects.

      This is at least a better design than the Darwin award-ready X-1.

      • Mike February 1, 2011 at 7:07 pm -  Reply

        ‘Update: A few people have expressed concern about the polycarbonite windshield in the comments. Frederic just sent me an email stating that “the window is layered with nanocoating (Fluor Carbon) based on the Lotus Effect.”’

        This isn’t my area, but I’m assuming you’re talking about the kinds of coatings used on optics. As far as I know those aren’t really mechanically durable enough for this application — in lenses you have to be pretty nice to them or they wear off quickly. Hence my claim about permanent coatings.

  5. Impossibly Stupid February 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm -  Reply

    Knowing the price of even moderate fairings currently, I really don’t want to hear about anyone with yet another design concept until they can attach a dollar figure to an actual production run. I’m sick of seeing bicycle designs that would cost more than a good motorcycle. They need to save the BS about “for the masses” until they at least get it below $500.

    • Bob P. February 3, 2011 at 12:17 pm -  Reply

      Under $1,000 may even do it.

      • Impossibly Stupid February 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm -  Reply

        Sure, if you’re talking about the whole package. You could probably find a good enough market at $2k, since that is what some people seem to be willing to pay for an unfaired recumbent or a higher-end standard bike. Much above that, though, and you’re getting into the territory of scooter/motorcycle prices, and people are inherently lazy, so they’ll just buy something they can sit on instead of pedal. But the farther it is away from the “do anything” utility that people see in their cars, they less they’re willing to spend on it. The thing pictured/described here, though, I don’t see costing less than $10k.

  6. Jeff February 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm -  Reply

    Interesting picture. From what I can see, nearly all of the weight is above the single rear wheel, and the front wheels are ahead of the cranks. That’s a recipe for extremely poor cornering- the slightest turn will lift the inside front wheel and tip it on its side.

    The designer needs to study existing velomobile designs and learn why they are the way they are. Maybe then he can come up with something that will actually work in the real world.

  7. Ross Nicholson February 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm -  Reply Turned around, partially disassembled and bent to conformity, this makes a great cockpit canopy to shelter a velomobilist from the odd rainstorm. It costs $50.00 last I looked: plus a day of fiddling.

    • Ross Nicholson February 1, 2011 at 10:38 pm -  Reply

      Oops. Sorry.

      • Impossibly Stupid February 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm -  Reply

        Bwhahahaha! Get serious. That thing hardly covers a person’s shoulders, never mind serving as a full fairing for *any* sort of bicycle.

  8. shadaik February 2, 2011 at 10:13 am -  Reply

    Compared with most velomobiles already on the market, this looks rather clumsy (aerodynamically speaking).
    The main advantage of a velomobile as opposed to a normal bike (besides providing a dry ride in rain) is its aerodynamics making up for (and usually even overcompensating) the increase in weight due to the fairing.

  9. Mike February 2, 2011 at 11:33 am -  Reply

    Can we declare “CAD Trash” on this and move on, or does someone see something redeeming in this design?

  10. Adam February 2, 2011 at 10:14 pm -  Reply

    I like it when people play with new designs. I am a little curious about a high narrow roof though. Rain typically does not fall straight down and traffic mist seems to come from every direction, even up.

  11. Adam February 3, 2011 at 6:38 pm -  Reply

    Lotus Leaf effect coatings have very little durability. You are better off putting on a silica dioxide coating and then and adhering a long term hydrophobic coating like Diamon-Fusion ultra to it.

  12. Pierre February 3, 2011 at 6:56 pm -  Reply

    I agree with the “CAD trash” comment…. The egg shape is nice but in the end the whole thing is totally unpractical: too costly, not aerodynamic enough, with ridiculously small baggage space, not effectively protecting from the rain in side winds, and with poor steering…
    Waste your money making a prototype of this one Frederic, maybe then you’ll understand your mistakes.

  13. Eric W February 6, 2011 at 2:19 am -  Reply

    Rear view mirror? Will that spoil the shape? One does need to look back once in awhile…
    A somewhat flatten version with improved geometry would be nice to see. interesting concept, needs work to be rideable. Still could be interesting handling in a crosswind with that canopy. Keep at it!

  14. WayJay March 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm -  Reply

    I thought it was an interesting design, however I don’t believe this bike would provide any purpose to the rider other than to look like a rain bike. For instance, there are no fairings over the wheels! With open sides, any turn of the wheel will put the spray from the wheel right into the face of the cyclist! Likewise, the rear tire has no fairing and all the water wash will soak the backside of the rider. The designer of a rain bike will make huge strides in design if they look at the pro’s and con’s of rain while on a golf cart. Similar to the above design, a golf cart has open sides and a windshield of sorts. The same issues with wind-blown rain on a golf cart will similarly effect a rain bike with open sides.

    Ferrari-style batwing doors (would eliminate side spray and for style points), windshield wipers and a cup holder for my coffee would be super. I know I know.. then it’s a car with no engine, but still, i’d ride it to work!

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