Friday, January 23, 2015

Upcoming events

Upcoming events
I thought that I would identify the dates for the large events in 2015 where velomobiles would or could be at the forefront.  This includes announcements or potential records could be broken.  You may want to keep an eye on the news around the time of these events.   


SPEZI 2015 April 25th and 26th
The Spezialradmesse - Spezi was launched by Haasies in Germersheim  This internationally unique exhibition for the Spezialradbranche recorded for years rising exhibitor and visitor numbers. The event has more than 100 exhibitors from over ten countries participated. They presented a wide variety muscle-powered travel on one, two, three or four wheels. About 10,000 particiapnt from all over the world come every year to Spezi. The supporting program of the exhibition includes interesting lectures and practical demonstrations and large test course for visitors. Info:

Cycle Vision June 20th and 21st
On the weekend of June 20th and 21st 2015 there will be a real Cycle Vision again. Two days long of recumbent races. Even for those who do not participate in the races, this weekend has a lot to offer. There is a bike tour through the beautiful Venray surroundings, there will be interesting lectures, also a market with great (bike) stuff and obviously a test track where you can try many different types of recumbents. The event takes place at the Raceway Venray, a 800-meter oval race track.           

World Human Powered Vehicle Association  Championship August 21st to 23rd
In 2015 the WHPVA World Championship organized by HPV Belgium will take place in Maasmechelen, Belgium on August 21st to 23rd with 4 events on the program 200 m sprint, 1000m sprint, 1 hour Race, 100km race.

International HPV event in Paris (No official name yet) September 26th and 27th
The event organized by the France HPV association will have:
- land races along the Seine (at least two speed races and a criterium)
- water races on the Seine (sprint, slalom, acceleration, long range distance)
- flight demonstrations or races (a race will require at least 4 HP Aircrafts) next to Paris
- a commercial and non commercial exhibition showing the audience all kinds of HPV (recumbents, velomobiles, trikes, foldables, cargo bikes, probably solar bikes, water bikes, university work etc.)
Exact location to be chosen in order to get as much audience as possible.

Velomobile Seminar October 30th and November 1st
The seminar will take place at the House of Culture be in Dornbirn. Austria on the weekend of Fri 30.10. to Sun, 01.11.2015.  The Velomobile Seminar is an international event where experts present papers related to velomobile technology and issues affecting velomobiles.

North America

2015 HPRA Florida Challenge Feb 7th and 8th
The event features Human Powered Vehicle Races including 2 full days of racing (crit course & velodrome) with multiple events each day (200M Sprint to 50 lap). The event will take place at Brian Piccolo Park, Cooper City FL, Feb 7/8, 2015

Sebring 100 mile century 12 or 24-hour competition February 15th to 17th
This event held at the renowned Sebring racetrack in Florida is a premier distance event for bikes, trikes and HPV.  The 24hr event is also a qualification for RAAM.                    

HPC and  LCVMG 2015, May 23rd to 28th
This year the Human Power Challenge  (HPC) and the Left Coast Velomobile Gathering (LCVMG) will be a joint event
in and around Portland, OR.  The HPC will take place May 23rd and 24th and feature several events:
Individual Time Trial
1/16 Mile Drag Race
Auto Cross Agility Course
200 Meter Sprint
Mass Start Road Race
Short Track
(Velomobiles race in the Super Stock Type 3 category)

The LCVMG will start on Monday, May 25th and extend through Thursday the 28th velos will take a tour of the Willamette Valley. I

World Human Powered Speed Championships (Battle Mountain) September 14th to 19th
The annual event is the place where the top speed racers in the world try to set new world records will take place the week of September 14th to 19th on Sr-305 in Battle Mountain, Nevada

Race Across America  Starts June 16th
One can hope we will see velomobiles participating in this event.
RAAM Solo Start - Tuesday, June, 16, 2015
RAW Solo & Team Start - Tuesday, June 16, 2015
RAAM Team Start - Saturday, June, 20, 2015

Other Races
More racing for bents that may allow velomobiles


Australian Pedal Prix
The Australian Pedal Prix – The Australian HPV Super Series is probably the race series with the highest participation of velomobiles in the world.  There is a good article on Wikipedia on the history and rules for this very successful series
2015 List of Events
6 Hour
2 - 3 May
Street Circuit, Loxton
6 Hour
13 - 14 June
Victoria Park, Adelaide
6 Hour
25 - 26 July
Victoria Park, Adelaide
6 Hour
8 - 9 August
Busselton, WA
24 Hour
19 – 20 September
Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge

Please note that other similar series principally organized for schools are also taking place in other regions of Australia.
I created a public calendar for these events and if I get notifications, I will add to the calendar.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

2014 Velomobile Records, Sport Achievements and a few missing items

2014  Velomobile Records, Sport Achievements and a few missing items

Last year, it appears that the weather was not cooperating with riders trying to set records wind and rain made it difficult to beat these records.  Nevertheless competitors were able to acheive excellent performances and a few records fell along the way.  I tried to extract all the records involving velomobiles.  It is clear that velomobiles have an advantages over other types of land human powered vehicles.

Record attempts
Guy Martin & Jason Miles rode ‘Daisy’, the fully-faired sociable recumbent tadpole trike (they don’t use velomobile because the record is recognized by the UCMA).  The record was later recognized by the WHPVA. Mike Burrows and Miles Kingsbury designed this unique velomobile.  The record attempt took place at the Goodwood circuit, West Sussex, UK on August 9/10, 2014.  Rain and strong winds from a hurricane forced the riders to stop for a period of time during the attempt. The previous UCMA record dated back from 1990. The riders achieved new records for the 12- and 24-hour multi-rider records:
12h: 509.80 km/316.79 miles
24h: 909.79 km/565.34 miles

This attempt is still short of the overall 24-hour distance record of 1219.02 km (757.5 miles) set by the late Christian van Ascheberg, in a Milan SL at the Dekra Test Oval in July 2010.

Barbara Buatois wanted to break the 24hr distance record last summer. Her goal was to travel 1000mi  (1603km) in 24hrs.  This represents an average speed of 41.7mph or 67km/h., faster than the current 1 hr. record.  Due to heavy rain, the 24hr record was not attempt was ended after a few hours but in the process she broke the UCMA record for 100miles in 3h 10:27.110 using the Varna-24 delta velomobile designed and built by Built Georgi Georgiev (Canada).  

In a second attempt, in Germany, Barbara riding the Varna 24 broke the 1 hr. record for women multi track with a distance of 66.04 km.

Barbara was not alone trying to set long distance records, three other world records were set in Germany also using velomobiles.

It appears that most velomobile world records were set in Germany this year and all of those were made using the Milan SL velomobile.
Petra von Fintel rode 819.40 km in 24hours at an average 34,14 in a Milan SL at Klettwitz, Germany on 26-Jul-14
Kirsten Niederlein rode 515 km in 12 hours, an average of 43 km / h in a Milan SL at ATC/ Aldenhoven on June 21st, 2014
Wulf Kraneis rode 676 km in 12 hours, an average of 56 km / h. in a Milan SL  
at ATC/ Aldenhoven on June 21st, 2014
Matthias König rode 371 km in 6 hours, an average of 62 km / h. in a Milan SL at ATC/ Aldenhoven on June 21st, 2014

WHPVA championships
These championships are not only for velomobiles and streamliners, they also include everything including regular road bikes and recumbent bikes and trikes. Overall in the men category, velomobiles finished first and second.  Richard Dähne from Germany riding an EVO-K became world Champion and Daniel Fenn also from Germany riding his "M" velomobile became vice-champion.  In the women’s category The best velomobile came in second. Swannette Tempelman from the Netherlands riding a DF velomobile became vice-champion of the women category.

The events were not particularly well suited for streamliners and velomobiles in particular one of the events was a time trial on a course featuring a very hard ascent.

Battle Mountain
Friday September 2014, Gareth Hanks broke the World Record at Battle Mountain, riding the velomobile All Overzealous reaching the speed of 72.936mph or 117.379kph.  He had set the previous record a year earlier at the same event.
Wind was also an issue for this event as many runs were judged not legal because of the wind speed exceeding the allowable limits.  Orin Peters with his Coroplast velomobile also participated fueling discussion on the participation of ordinary velomobiles at the event or an event with similar objectives.

Racing circuits
There are several national and regional human powered vehicle (HPV) racing circuits.  Outside of the HPV circuit, there are several races and events that allow the participation of velomobiles.

Pedal Prix - The Australians have created a very interesting velomobile racing circuit involving schools that build and race their HPV in a series of 4 to 6 races with most are 6hr in duration and one 24hr race.   It is probably the biggest HPV racing circuit and one of the most competitive.  There are over 100 participants in several categories in each race and several riders in a team race a common velomobile. 

Last year Platt Racing Trump Trikes edged the TriSled Racing Team Team 1 by winning 3 of the 4 races while Trisled won one and came second in the others (best 3 out of 4 results count).  In addition to the pedal prix, there are races specifically for schools like the RACV Energy Breakthrough.  It is somewhat unfortunate that this success on the circuit. Does not translate into a stronger market penetration and acceptance of velomobiles on the road.

On the horizon
Transportation of the velomobiles is always an issue for riders who are not within driving distance of a competition.  Airline restrictions, cost, long delays for ship transportation or possible damage during the journey have made the situation very difficult and also precludes touring for velonauts.  This lack of transportation means that only the most dedicated riders with enough resources are able to compete internationally.  Some are attempting to address the issue by renting a velomobile for the Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) brevet; hopefully riding  a velomobile which is not their own will not greatly affect their performance.

As I indicated at the beginning, velomobiles are doing well for long duration events, they also do well in brevets however they still have to prove themselves in events like RAAM.  So far no one has made a serious attempt with a velomobile for this title in part due to the crossing of the Rockies that has put velomobiles at a disadvantage in the past.  This may soon be a thing of the past as Richard Dähne has convincingly shown at the world championships, a good velomobile and a strong rider can be competitive in the mountains.  This is due to lighter stiffer and more aerodynamic shells that provide a better performance over previous designs.

There is still room for improvement for long duration records where velomobiles have more opportunity to shine.  The 24hr goal of 1,000 miles is on the mind of several people and this would be an incredible feat. 

On the speed side the low hanging fruit may be the Women’s trike record at Battle Mountain.  Battle Mountain attracts teams with expensive purpose-built Streamliners and velomobiles but it would be interesting to see if production velomobiles could approach the speed of these fastest machines.  Milan SL velomobiles already impose themselves on the long distance because they have a very efficient design, could they challenge the Overzealous with a few modifications?  Should there be a similar event for production machines?

The PBP takes place this year and velomobiles should finish at the top of the scoreboard.   Results near the minimum allowable time (40hrs) are probably possible with a velomobile and it would be interesting to see several velomobile riders arriving at destination under 50hrs.

In 2015 the WHPVA World Championship will take place in Maasmechelen, Belgium on August 21-23 with 4 events on the program 200 m sprint, 1000m sprint, 1 hour Race, 100km race.  Due to the transportation issues, the World Championship is in reality a continental event; in fact the last 3 WHPVA championships were held in Western Europe.  Let’s hope non-Europeans will  participate or it is time to consider continental championships all using the same format but maybe there is not enough interest outside of Europe.  Unfortunately, without strong participants from other parts of the world, it is not really a World Championship, one way to address this would be for the organizers to attract and fund top racers from other continents to travel to the WHPVA.

The Australian Pedal Prix has 5 races scheduled for this 2015, four are 6hr races and one is a 24hr race.  The Pedal Prix concept is also being exported to Belgium with one race being scheduled for 2015

Missing Items

A few forgotten items were missing from my previous post “2014 year roundup”.

Last year introduced two major changes to the Quest.  First, the coat hanger has been replaced with fiber reinforcement to the shell.  The coat hanger has been an issue for several riders where the aluminum part suddenly breaks.  Velomobiel had reinforced the part but even reinforced coat hangers failed.  The new setup should also add to the rigidity of the velomobile.  The second improvement comes as an option where the rear swingarm is replaced with a carbon fiber unit.  The new swingarm should add rigidity to rear end of the velomobile, significantly increasing the efficiency of the drivetrain.

VelomobileUSA is still producing the FAW+ velomobile in Midland, TX. VMUSA has been around for a number of years, although the production has been quite low overall, at least one kit was sold in 2014.

I am certain that some items are still missing; some velomobiles or manufacturers may also have been overlooked and I will try to add them as I’m made aware of the omissions.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2014 velomobile industry update

2014 velomobile industry update
 With the arrival of a new year, it is time to take stock of the activities of 2014 and it has been a busy year.  Finding analyzing and making sense of this information is significant detective work.  While some manufacturers provide excellent data and offer blogs or Facebook page to announce their current activities, most do not. Several manufacturers offer very limited and often dated information on their website.  In my opinion it is bad for their business, the industry and for the world of HPV in general to barely use this medium to get information to prospective customers. In order to find information I had to spend hours searching on newsgroups, Facebook pages, news articles and other on-line sources.  Further compounding the problem is the language barrier as English is not the language used in the operation of most manufacturers.  It is too bad that many people can create a large buzz on Internet when they do not even have a product and we have a number of manufacturers who have good products available and a less than perfect showcase to display their products.

In 2014 the velomobiling world saw a lot of change with the introduction of many new models, innovations, corporate changes and new players introduced a lot of new products.  With so many players, it is hard to determine if there is a real expansion of the market but there is certainly more choices for potential customers. 

Over the past couple of years, we have seen a new generation, I refer to this as 3rd generation, of lighter, faster and better-equipped velomobiles have entered the market.  New designs have pushed some of the limits of human power.  In 2014, two companies have been working on the development of 4 wheel velomobiles and velomobiles with a passenger or cargo space behind the rider.

Europe is still the center of the velomobiling industry but Australia and Canada are also significant players.  In Europe, production of velomobiles appears to have shifted somewhat from Western Europe to Eastern Europe and North America.  While Byess and Raderwerk still produce their velomobiles in Germany, over the past few years several others ceased manufacturing in the Netherlands and Belgium and moved east in search of cheaper production costs.

On the shell side, carbon shells are starting to appear, we’ve seen the introduction of a minimalistic sub $1,000 shell.  While  most shells used to be built for the ICE trikes, there is a new crop designed to the KMX. – Produced 86 velomobiles this year a significant drop of the number of  velomobiles produced from a high of 165 last year.  Early in the year Velomobiel introduced of the Strada DF, the new design generated a lot of buzz in the community. - 2014 Production by Type



Carbon Quest

Quest XS




Carbon Quest XS








Carbon Strada





The company went through a significant restructuring halfway through the year when Ymte and Daniel left to create their own company,  Under the terms of this separation, Allert and Theo are now in charge at Velomobiel. They will retain production of the Quest and Strada while Intercitybike will produce the DF. 

Principals of both companies still share ownership of Velomobiel.RO will produce all the shells for both companies in Romania. was founded in 2012 and is run by Jan Wijnen production of velomobiles was transferred from the Netherlands to Romenia in 2013 where new facility where lower production costs and skilled labour were available.  Following the separation,

Allert Jacobs announced the design and development of the Quest 4 Wheel (Q4W) development, inspired by Miles Kingsbury‘s Quatro velomobile.  If successful, production is expected in 2015. – The company was created by Ymte Sijbrandij and Daniel Fenn after they left  The company wants to focus on performance velomobiles.  The company delivered the first DF, increase in DF production, long waiting list, development of the DF-XL, first one on the road, comparative tests In 2014, 33 DF and 1 DF-XL were produced Interestingly, according to the records, there is a number 0 but no number 5.  Daniel Fenn also produced the M, an ultralight and smaller version of the DF he used for racing at the World Championships in France last summer, Intercitybike has not made any announcement on the production of this prototype.  It is expected that Intercitybike will design and produce a hood for the DF to improve the aerodynamics and weather protection in 2015.

Bluevelo It looks like the yellow fiberglass Quest QB100 has been produced in 2014, it also appears that there is no more production/assembly of Quest in Canada and velomobile of Dutch velomobiles are coming already assembled.  Bluevelo was quick to obtain distribution rights to Intercitybike’s products.  The company still offers the Cab-Bike and indigenous derivative Team and Hornet.

Sinner filed for bankruptcy protection and was fortunately purchased by Drymer.  The production of the Mango continues.  Many mangos now have tail extensions to improve aerodynamics.  The company is also producing many aftermarket hoods for the Quest/Strada family of velomobiles.  It is rumored that Sinner may also be working on a hood for the DF.

Katanga – took over production of the WAW from in 2012 and started manufacturing in the Czech republic, the first WAW produced by Katanga had the serial number 135 and increased production rate, since then Katanga produced some 100 WAW.  Katanga also made improvements to the WAW, v 2.0 including an opening for ventilation in the nose.  By the end of 2014, Katanga has produced approximately 100 WAW and roughly 50 units in 2014.

Byess now that the production of the smaller Evo-Ks is well established, now the company is proceeding with the development of the Kx,, a larger version of the Evo-K that will be similar in size to the DF-XL  While relatively absent in North America, the Evo-K continues to be popular especially in Germany.  Byess does not publish production figures.

Raderwerk - I could not find much information of the Milan, production, maybe this will prompt some people to provide information.  Further complicating this analysis, is the fact that several Milan are purchased as kits to be assembled by the owner.  After introducing the <20kg Milan CAS in 2013, the company started the development of the Milan 4.2, a two-seater velomobile, with pedals only for the front rider and improvements to the GT referred to as the Mk3 but information on these is very scant. Steve Schleicher spent several months building molds to produce the Milan GT and Milan SL for the North-American market.  Steve made several design improvements and adaptations to the original design and after significant months fine-tuning the design he started production of the Milan GT and SL for the North-American market, production of the first units.  In addition to the GT and SL, identified a demand and started development of a larger Milan GT currently nicknamed the XL.  This model is designed to be able to accommodate larger riders who are still looking for performance and comfort.  Steve uses a different production technique for the Milan and it is not clear if he will include some of the refinements of the newer models or if this will be similar to the Alleweder where each manufacturer made their own version.

Leiba produces several velomobile models including the Leiba Classic, the breeze, the X-tream and the X-Stream XXL designed for larger rider.  In 2014, the company designed a new more performing velomobile, the Leiba Record.  The new model did well in the recent roll-down tests in Germany.  The German manufacturer does not publish production information. is a large dealer of velomobiles that also produces the Leiba Cargo, an urban velomobile with a large area at the back of the rider that can be used to carry cargo or people behind.  The cargo/passenger area is equipped with a large door. While the velomobile is fairly aerodynamic, it comes equipped with a 36V motor.  This motor may be required to effectively push the 50kg velomobile when it is fully loaded to the maximum total weight of 170kg as it is not clear if the average rider can do this under pedal power. – The company continues to produce velomobiles including several versions of the Alleweder  such as the classic bestseller aluminum AAW4,  and the plastic versions AAW6 and AAW7.  The company also produces the Sunrider II, avelomobile that has a self-supporting frame and shell with hood.  The Sunrider is mostly sold with electric assist.  The Sunrider can be purchased as a kit and is then referred to as the AAW9 but this version cannot be offered with the powerful electric motor.  The company also manufactures several components that find their way into velomobiles produced by other manufacturers.  Alligt, probably inspired by the Q4W, is currently testing a Sunrider with four wheels where the rear wheel was replaced by a two wheel module, something relatively easy as the Sunrider like the AAW have an mostly open rear wheel and drivetrain.

Marvelo – After a break, Jon confirmed that he is now working on the tooling for the production of the SKR, we should see the first ones on the road in 2015.  This would be the first commercial velomobile completely designed and built in North America.– Wim Schermer has been overseeing the development of a new type of delta velomobile that is highly streamlined and tilts to provide better cornering ability.  After a long development Wim introduced the prototype Velotilt .  The prototype will provide a riding platform to further the development before it can be put into production., in particular, the tilt lock mechanism has to be tested.  Beyond the Velotilt, Wim is still offering several aftermarket parts to improve the performance of the Quest/Strada/Mango family of velomobiles.  In 2014 he introduced smaller, lighter and more aerodynamic hoods. for the Quest/Strada/Mango.

Pterovelo After a successful crossing of the USA during ROAM, we expected that Frans would soon be offering his velomobile commercially.  After a few years of refinement, last year Frans produced a second prototype of the fully enclosed velomobile with a full suspension.  This velomobile is probably the only road velomobile in production with 16in front wheels. Hopefully the production of the Pterovelo will start in 2015., making this the only production velomobile in the USA.

Trisled – The company manufactures trikes, velomobiles, and streamliners for both the road and the track .  In 2014, they continued to produce the Rotovelo, the Rotovelo Carbon and the Avatar plus a large number of racing velomobiles for the Australian Pedal Prix circuit.  Trisled does not publish production information so I have no easy to evaluate production levels.  These designers are also very active for the WHSPC (Battle Mountain) where they are dominating the trike category with the Overzealous velomobiles.

Flevobike - The production of the Orca continues in the Netherlands.  This innovative velomobile is only sold in Europe.  There are no production figures for the Orca.

Cycle JV Fenioux, probably one of the largest velomobile dealer from France has introduced two new velomobiles in 2014: the Le Mans and the Mulsanne both French designs.  The first is a tadpole with the large wheels (559) outside of the shell with no suspension.   This provides additional stability and commonality of all wheels makes it easier for spares.  You can preorder the LeMans for delivery in 2015.  The Mulsanne is a more traditional velomobile design (406 front and 559 rear) somewhat inspired by Piximatic’s own designs.   Development is currently taking place but the prototype has not yet been introduced, only CAD renderings are available.  Cycle JV is asking visitors of their website if they would be interested in the acquiring the Mulsanne.  While they can be ridden without the hood, both designs are fully enclosed. 

Velayo – According to the company website, the production of the minimalistic German Velayo velomobile with large wheels has ended at the end of 2013.

Several other manufacturers are starting to introduce new velomobiles notably Veloschmitt introduced a “retro” looking velomobile resembling the Messerschmitt cabin scooter.  The company produced several preproduction models for a number of tradeshows where they created quite a buzz. The velo offers room for a passenger at the back similar to the Milan 4.2 and is equipped with electrical assist. 

The company may have had a setback in August when the original designer Achim Adlfinger left the company for personal and financial reasons.  According to the company’s website, there may also be issues with3rd parties claiming they have production rights or licenses to the current vehicle something denied by the company.  It is not clear if and when production will start.


Shells provide an easier entry point for new riders by transforming a trike into a velomobile.  A number of trike owners are building their own shells from Coroplast and other materials but the manufactured shells offer sturdier construction and have potential to provide better aerodynamics. – The British Columbia manufacturer still advertises the Borealis shells for Ice Trikes but it is not clear if any were produced this year.

Velocity Velos continued to sell shells for trikes this year.  Their different models offer improved aerodynamics and weather protection for trike riders. While several people reported buying one of their shells, there is no report on the number produced or sold.

Adderley Engineering Management – The company announced the Aero Bullet Velomobile Body Kit in 2013 and the company started delivery of the sub $1,000 shell this year.  The inexpensive shell can be adapted to several trike models but does not have a floor, wheel wells or enclosed cockpit.  Several people reported that they had received their shell and were mounting them on their trikes.  Several of them appear to build floor and wheel wells using material such as Coroplast to achieve better aerodynamics and weather protection.

Leitra - The grand daddy of velomobiles, Carl Rassmussen still offers several versions of the Leitra.  The Avancee and Thunderstorm are still being produced and can be adapted to several trikes.  It provides good weather protection and some aerodynamic improvements. - The German dealer is offering a simple but attractive carbon shell for the KMX trike called El Loco.  The open cockpit shell encloses the rider and has a CF roll bar but not the rear wheel and drivetrain.   The shell can be fully equipped with electric accessories.  The shell can be purchased as a shell or a fully assembled velomobile (trike included) or as a shell for a DIY project.  The relatively low entry cost provides a good option for KMX riders to consider an upgrade.

Steintrikes produces the Interceptor, a shell for the Mungo trike.

Italian Dream Cycle – The Italian company introduced a shell for the KMX trike called the Zephyrus. 

Ocean Cycle - The company made the Challenger for the ICE Sprint but it was reported that the manufacturing rights were sold to Eurocircuits ( a Hungarian company and transfer was made by the end of August 2014, and the shell will be made to fit the Abzub Tricon Trike but the Ocean Cycle page is still offering the Challenger for Ice trikes.

Arcus velomobile – The Finnish manufacturer introduced the Arcus, which is a shell for the ICE trike.  This product is probably better adapted for urban riding.


Sturmey-Archer is now producing hubs with dynamo and drum brakes.  They are available in 70mm and 90mm versions.

Other, the website showing stylish and futuristic velomobile design has been shut down.  The site made some of the design files available for download and last year at least one person created a velomobile based on one of the design.  The designer was involved in the development of a new velomobile to be produced in France.