One of the biggest complaints regarding velomobiles is that one cannot get current information from websites. While some manufacturers have good sites with current information, most do not. This is detrimental to the expansion of the companies and the sport in general. Some may say that they also have Facebook, Blog and other social media pages where they post information but it does not inspire confidence in the company when the information on the main window is stale. After visiting these websites here are some of the questions potential customers might ask themselves: Is the company still in business? How many velomobiles have they produced? Will they be there when I need parts and support? If the company is not paying that much attention when I have money to spend, how much support will I get after I have given them my money?
Where are potential customers supposed to find their information on the different models, pricing, etc. when companies do not make this information freely available? I have to scour many sources to be able to tap into the inner sanctum of information to be able to gather the information I’m regularly posting here and most of it is not from manufacturers’ site. My hope is that the industry improves the situation and learn from the better sites.
Here is a review of the principal manufacturers and distributors.
Katanga (www.katanga.eu): Website Last update (latest news July 2014), English only, nice pictures but no information on models, specifications and price.
Raderwerk (www.milan-velomobil.de): The company promised an updated website some 6 months ago but there is still nothing. I’m not sure when the last update was made, the site is mostly in German with some English translation, it shows information on older models (Mk2), the price list is from 2010!
Byess (www.go-one.de): The first page indicates they are World Champion velomobile for 2013… they were also World Champion in 2014 and while there is a post in the News section about this, the first page was never updated. The last update is from the spring of 2015, it promises the unveiling of the new Evo-Kx at SPEZI in the spring but it was not unveiled at the show and there has been no news on the project since. One also could ask if the price quoted is still in effect.
Rainforest Design (velomobiles.ca, velomobiles.blogspot.ca): The site was probably updated last in 2012, it shows dated information on the Milan built under license from Raderwerk and the specs do not reflect the updates and modifications that have been made on the Canadian version. It is not clear if the Borealis and Aurora are still available for purchase. Steve also has a Blog that provides some new information on his velomobile development work but again, the latest post if from last February. The sites are only available in English only.
Bluevelo (bluevelo.com): The site provides info on models sold but.it has remained fairly static with minor updates. One has to ask the relevance of the Cab Bike, Team or Hornet that may not have been sold in a few years. The site also provides some support information like user manuals for some models. The site is only available in English only.
Marvelo (Marvelo.blogspot.ca): The Marvelo site is a Blog but provides information on the development process of the SKR, specification and price. Marvelo is new and does not have the resources needed to continue on the development while keeping a website updated. At times there are periods where the information is not flowing out but hopefully this will improve over time as the company matures., maybe a full website will come in a not too distant future. The site is only available in only English.
Velomobiel (velomobile.nl, velomobiel.wordpress.com, also on Facebook): Velomobiel.nl has one of the best presence on the Internet. They provide current info on their products, updates on their new development projects, information on maintenance but they also provide production and order information. Information is updated probably every week and they publish a Blog with information on company’s activities, mostly product development. The company also posts info on events they attend on Facebook. This is not to say that the site could not be improved but the company really makes an effort. No wonder the company is the largest manufacturer of velomobiles in the world. Information is available in Dutch, English and some in French
IntercityBike (intercitybike.nl): probably the second best site the company is in its second year of operation but they have made a real effort to provide information on the Internet. They have current specifications, order information, orders and production. The company also has a Blog to provide information on company activities. Unfortunately the site does not contain information on velomobile maintenance or user manual. Chief designer Daniel Fenn provides information on maintenance and on development projects on a You Tube channel but the information is only available in German. Information on the company’s website is updated regularly and is available in Dutch, English and French but not in German even though Germany is the country that has the most DF owners.
CycleJV (www.cyclesjv.com): The velomobile dealer and new manufacturer Cycle JV-Fenioux has a very nice website that provides information on all the models they sell including a lot of pictures and basic specs for each model to make it easier to compare. One important aspect of the site is to view all the velomobiles available in stock for immediate delivery including their specs, options and price. They also have order and production information on the models they produce. In addition, the company has a Blog and provides information on You Tube that includes reviews of the most popular velomobiles they sell and Facebook is used to provide information on event they attend. Information on the website appears to be updated fairly regularly and is available in French and English.
Sinner/Drymer: The website is very minimal, just info on the different models, no support info, no blog, no order or production information. Harry Leiben from Sinner has a good web presence and provides a lot of information on the Mango including How To videos but these are not available from the Sinner website.
Leiba (www.leiba.de): Good description on the vehicles, lots of details, price lists but several broken links. There is some limited owner support info. It is not clear when the site was last updated. There are no blog, order or production information. The Information on the website appears to be fairly static, I did not see the date of the latest update. The info is available in German, English and some is available in Russian but the Russian is fairly scant.
Alligt (alligt.nl): The site provides information on each model and price. It also provides info on velomobile and bike parts manufactured by Alligt. The site does provide user support info since many velomobiles are sold as kits to be assembled by the owners. The info is only available in Dutch and there is no way of contacting the company through e-mail. There is no blog, order or production information available.
Trump (trumptrikes.com.au): The site was changed recently but is still under construction and beyond a static homepage, there are only three PDF files providing info and price on the different models of trike and fairings. We’ll have to see what the new site has to offer. Trump also has a significant presence on Facebook. The site is only available in English since the clientele is local.
Trisled (www.trisled.com.au): One of the better sites, it provides info on all models including specs, price and user manual. You can place orders for parts on-line. There are articles on records and significant achievements but there is no Blog. Trisled also has a significant presence on Facebook. The site is only available in English even if their clientele is more international.
There are better sites but all could improve their Internet presence. Let's see if this review will spark improvements.
ICB has produced a kit to create an attachment to serve as a mounting point on the chassis to install a bicycle trailer hitch. The attachment provides a place to drill holes to fasten a hitch to the chassis. ICB claims that it is extremely stable and is sufficient the bracket is sufficient to transmit the torque of a trailer to the chassis. The attachment is situated near the rear hub, he further behind and slightly lower but apparently it is higher than the mounting point on the Quest. The attachment weighs about 80g including glue. Owners can retrofit any Df. but the kit can be used also to retrofit the Evo-R, Evo-K and Evo-ks. Contact ICB for pricing and delivery information.