Another selling point to attract more people riding a bike (particularly here in Europe) is weather protection – ThisWay has a roof.
Built in composite materials (carbon or flax fiber) and some hydro-formed aluminum, this vehicle is very lightweight (approximately 11-12kg). It has built-in LED lights front and rear, powered by a rechargeable battery obtaining its power from roof mounted solar cells. For minimum maintenance ThisWay’s built-in belt drive is well protected and all cables are hidden within the frame.
The car-like ergonomics offers a riding position lower than a traditional bike to keep a low center of gravity and optimal aerodynamics.
The design has simple controls for ease of use; single hand brake lever and hub gears type Torpedo Duomatic providing Low and Hi gear.
The rear of the frame has a “luggage connector”, where the user plugs-in his/her luggage (e g briefcase, helmet box or rack for shopping bags). The design also benefits from flexibility and comfort for riders of different sizes, as the crankset and seat is adjustable in length/height.
Although this design is more expensive to manufacture compared to its traditional rivals, it is still just a fraction of the price of a car and virtually zero in running costs…
There are roofed bikes out there on the market already such as rickshaws, recumbents, HPVs (Human Powered Vehicles)/velomobiles etc., so covered bikes do exist since a long time but the challenge is to design a functional and desirable bicycle that even appeals to non-previous cyclists.
It makes sense for a commuter bike here in Central and Northern Europe to offer some degree of weather protection for improved comfort. Instead of creating a totally enclosed design similar to other HPVs/velomobiles risking the user to feel isolated, a more open design will allow a higher degree of interaction with the surroundings.
Designer: Torkel Dohmers
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS CONCEPT? — comment below.