by Torkel Doehmers
comfortable pedal powered bicycle with weather protection.
Emphasis is made on automotive qualities in the design, to attract
non-previous cyclists used to cars and motorcycles.
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 fibre) and some
hydro-formed aluminium, 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
The car-like ergonomics offers a riding position lower than
a traditional bike to keep a low centre of gravity and optimal
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.
A "hybrid" version (pedal power/electric motor) will
assist in hills and additional battery packs can be plugged-in
into the luggage connector to extend the range further.
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...
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.
The bike should have "attitude" with high visual impact
giving the user a feel of "owning the street".
ThisWay is my proposal for a feasable design that I believe
will potentially become a commercial product and hopefully get
people more interested in commuting by bike...
with helmet/luggage box attached.
topless ThisWay for the lucky ones commuting in southern latitudes.
has been announced winner in the bicycledesign.net
commuter bicycle design competition!
from the jury:
"Overall, out of all the entries, “ThisWay”
was the concept that most of us on the jury felt was “different
enough to be a 'paradigm shift' from, and an alternative to,
existing bikes.”" !