A Scooter for Everyone

electric scooter johanson3

The Johanson3 is a stable three-wheeler, with the driver leaning back rather than sitting (though sitting is an option). Feet rest on a plate, and pressing down on that plate creates a lean on the front wheel, turning the vehicle while the rear wheels remain solidly on the ground.

That makes for easy on-and off, especially for those who – owing to age, injury, or fashion choice (“skirts, saris, djellabas, and kimonos” are accommodated, according to Johanson3) – cannot throw a leg over a bicycle seat. Various models accommodate single riders or as many as three adults plus two kids, and can haul up to 660lbs of flesh and cargo. Read more: The J3, a trike that hauls freight, spares frocks.

The Johanson3 is available for pre-order and costs $3,150 – $3,900.

The Big Velomobiles Graphic

velomobiles graphicMads Phikamphon from Denmark published an infographic depicting 27 velomobiles with their specifications and performance. It’s a handy overview for those who are considering to try one of these vehicles that blur the lines between cars and bicycles. The infographic was originally published at Cykelvalg. We leave the word to Mads:

“Most people consider velomobiles as a rather new invention, but the first velomobiles were actually invented much earlier than most people think. In the 1930s you could buy a set of instructions to build your own “Fantom” – a velomobile for 2 persons made out of wood. Thousands of copies of the instructions were sold, but few bikes were built and soon the velomobiles were all but forgotten as cars got more and more popular. It wasn’t until the oil crisis in the 1970s that velomobiles again started to get some attention. A well recognized velomobile from that time is the “Leitra” that remains a popular model amongst many velomobile enthusiasts.”

“As you can see in the graphic below, there are now lots of models to choose between if you want a velomobile, although almost all of them share quite a few characteristics: 3 wheels, an aerodynamic body and room for just one person. Thanks to the aerodynamic body a velomobile is also the fastest HPV or Human Powered Vehicle around. In 2013 a “Velo X3” velomobile reached an amazing 134 km/h (83 mph) and many people expect the “Arion” velomobile to go even faster when it’s ready for testing in 2015. The only big problem that remains is that all the models are rather expensive. No velomobiles are being mass manufactured, so the price of a new velomobile remains at least $3000.” [Read more…]

Micromachines: Decentralized Urban Services in South-Asia

VelochariotArchitects Damien Antoni and Lydia Blasco have compiled an interesting document that focuses on small-scale technology in countries like India, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. They photographed, and made technical drawings of miniature taxi’s, family run water turbines, domestic rain harvesting systems, pedal powered kitchens, home digesters, and the like.

The architects consider their work to be a toolbox, a starting point for thinking outside the conventional norms and recepies. They argue that decentralized services are more flexible, provide more autonomy, and are more efficient in space, energy and materials.

Antoni and Blasco present, in their own words, an equivalent to Neufert’s “Architect’s data“, the book for architects that records standardized dimensions for centralized systems. “Micromachins” is written in French but the visuals dominate.

“Micromachins”, Damien Antoni and Lydia Blasco, 2011 [download the page to get the high resolution PDF-document]. Thanks to Yann Philippe Tastevin. Update: the architects have added a new link with colour pictures and English translation.

Designing for Velomobile Diversity

SoftShell-Velomobile-concept“Velomobiles currently appeal to niche, enthusiast markets through a range of both low scale production and D.I.Y processes.”

“This paper explores the current limitations in promoting velomobiles as a commuter alternative to the automobile in that it proposes velomobile diversity be approached through the application of dynamic, emotive styling, vehicular packaging variations and functional storage, together with the use of sustainable construction materials with techniques that reduce assembly and fabrication costs.”

“To this end, the paper discusses two conceptual case studies that explore applied industrial design processes, diverse construction and alternative manufacturing techniques. Both are positioned outside current fabrication processes, where one explores ‘natural’ production – specifically, the pre-harvest deformation of bamboo with shape tessellation to reduce parts complexity whilst allowing natural processes to fulfil pre-determined forms – and the other reuses post-consumer waste in an interminably variable tensegrity frame construction designed for continued open-source development.”

Designing for Velomobile Diversity: Alternative opportunities for sustainable personal mobility (PDF). Alexander Vittouris and Mark Richardson, 7th International Velomobile Seminar, september 2012. Picture: Softshell concept velomobile.

Previously: Electric velomobiles: as fast and comfortable as automobiles, but 80 times more efficient.

Cargo Cycles Database

Cargo cycles databaseYes, it’s written in German. But nowhere else will you find such a complete database showing and describing all cargo cycles available on the market today.

Moreover, the information is easy to navigate and you can consult the specifications of the vehicles without even a basic knowledge of foreign languages. The description of most models also includes a link to the website of the manufacturer. Check out the Nutzrad Cargo Cycle Database

Read more:

Cargo cyclists replace trucks drivers on European city streets.

Velomobiling

A fifteen minute ride in a velomobile. Previously: The velomobile: high-tech bike or low-tech car?

Bicycles & tricycles; an elementary treatise on their design and construction

Bicycles tricycles an elementary treatise on their design and construction

Bicycles & tricycles; an elementary treatise on their design and construction, with examples and tables“, Archibald Sharp (1896).

Tom Wilson’s Monster Bikes

Monster Bikes. Via Treehugger. Previously: Macho Pedal Power.

Tricycle with Foldable Fairing

The Hase Klimax has won the Eurobike 2010 award. The Klimax is a recumbent trike with a foldable fairing and electric assist. Beats any electric city car in terms of efficiency.

Hase-bikes-klimax-4Hase-bikes-klimax-5

Hase Bikes

Wind Powered Trikes

wind powered trike 1

Pterosail Trike Systems is sailing and cycling over 3,000 miles from coast to coast across the USA this summer. The Pterosail is a street-legal recumbent tricycle with sails. It can reach up to 40 mph in good winds. No wind? Pedal. See also, below: the Whike, a Dutch made sail assisted trike.

wind powered trike 2

Related: Guido Vigevano’s wind car / Sailing rockets / Kiteboating / Velomobiles.