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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-27-13, 08:58 PM   #1
PDX Reborn
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Solar powered tricycle

Appears to be, a more realistic approach to an everyday use, velomobile. I like it!

http://www.hlntv.com/video/2013/02/1...ke?hpt=hln10_2


http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.ht...02&segmentID=4

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Old 02-28-13, 06:42 AM   #2
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Too wide for bike paths, no doors so you still get wet, too small for ordinary traffic. Not something i would ever buy.

only plus point: It is cheap
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Old 02-28-13, 07:39 AM   #3
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only plus point: It is cheap
No, there are at least two + points, potential to get more people out of a gas vehicle.
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Old 02-28-13, 07:52 AM   #4
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I have been watching this product since it was first introduced on the internet. It's a nice concept, but kind of a Niche Market product to begin with. I would like to have one for my commute to and from work, as it would be easy to ride in the afternoon rain storm we tend to have here in Okeechobee about the time I want to ride home from work. I like the electric assist too, and that fact that it has room enough for groceries and stuff. Could keep some folks from getting in their cars??? The price tag is a bit high, but when you factor in gasoline and maintenance on a small car, it would pay for itself pretty quickly.

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Old 02-28-13, 10:31 AM   #5
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ugh the front "A-pillar" blind spots on that think look horrendous!
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Old 02-28-13, 11:03 AM   #6
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Too wide for bike paths, no doors so you still get wet, too small for ordinary traffic. Not something i would ever buy.

only plus point: It is cheap
It's only four feet wide, a bike could get past it easily enough, it's big enough to be noticeable, which is all you really need, and you could rig it up for a tarpaulin (or maybe kevlar?) door that snaps and velcroes on to keep water out. Also since it looks like since it uses standard bike wheels you can use whatever tire you can find.
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Old 02-28-13, 11:05 AM   #7
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Too wide for bike paths, no doors so you still get wet, too small for ordinary traffic. Not something i would ever buy.

only plus point: It is cheap
Wait, too small for ordinary traffic? So a single person on a regular bike or 'bent is also too small for ordinary traffic? Because that thing sure as heck is a lot larger than a single person on a regular bike.
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Old 02-28-13, 11:28 AM   #8
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If I really felt I needed three wheels instead of two, I'd just get a conventional recumbent trike and spend a little money on rain gear (if I didn't already have rain gear). It would be FAR cheaper and the conventional recumbent trike would be a lot less work to commute with. Additionally, since I don't feel the need for three wheels, I can just ride my bike, which I hang on a hook on the wall of my garage when not in use. The bike only protrudes from the wall the width of the handle bars. Try that with that big behemoth.
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Old 02-28-13, 11:54 AM   #9
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If I really felt I needed three wheels instead of two, I'd just get a conventional recumbent trike and spend a little money on rain gear (if I didn't already have rain gear). It would be FAR cheaper and the conventional recumbent trike would be a lot less work to commute with. Additionally, since I don't feel the need for three wheels, I can just ride my bike, which I hang on a hook on the wall of my garage when not in use. The bike only protrudes from the wall the width of the handle bars. Try that with that big behemoth.
Yeah for commuters like us that's great, but for people who typically drive their cars around and are tired of paying so much for gas, or just want a greener commuting option, this would be a really good alternative. It's an easier transition than switching to a full bicycle, and it's cheaper than the typical used car (around $5,000-$10,000 for a good used car). I can see where the appeal is, and since I live somewhere where it could rain mid commute without warning (which it has done) This would be a neat alternative to constantly having to carry a lot of stuff in a messenger bag and getting all sweaty. I will agree that the average bike commuter, who's used to dealing with the elements, is definitely not a target audience, but for drivers who can afford it, and are looking to save money this could be a good alternative, and one that eventually pays for itself.
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Old 02-28-13, 12:21 PM   #10
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Yeah for commuters like us that's great, but for people who typically drive their cars around and are tired of paying so much for gas, or just want a greener commuting option, this would be a really good alternative. It's an easier transition than switching to a full bicycle, and it's cheaper than the typical used car (around $5,000-$10,000 for a good used car). I can see where the appeal is, and since I live somewhere where it could rain mid commute without warning (which it has done) This would be a neat alternative to constantly having to carry a lot of stuff in a messenger bag and getting all sweaty. I will agree that the average bike commuter, who's used to dealing with the elements, is definitely not a target audience, but for drivers who can afford it, and are looking to save money this could be a good alternative, and one that eventually pays for itself.
I don't see any reason the average person, even a "green" person, would choose this over a regular car. People drive cars instead of bikes primarily for the following reasons: speed (try going 70 mph in this thing!), passenger and cargo capacity (you're not going to haul your wife and kids around in this thing), comfort from the elements (no heater or air conditioning in this thing), range (you can easily travel hundreds of miles in a matter of hours with a car, you'd be lucky to make it a dozen miles with this thing before you were exhausted) and ease (let's face it, people are naturally lazy and want to find the easiest way to move around with the least amount of effort). This thing doesn't meet any of those points (though you might be able to make a weak argument for the effort part, since it does have an electric assist motor).
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Old 02-28-13, 01:46 PM   #11
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I don't see any reason the average person, even a "green" person, would choose this over a regular car. People drive cars instead of bikes primarily for the following reasons: speed (try going 70 mph in this thing!), passenger and cargo capacity (you're not going to haul your wife and kids around in this thing), comfort from the elements (no heater or air conditioning in this thing), range (you can easily travel hundreds of miles in a matter of hours with a car, you'd be lucky to make it a dozen miles with this thing before you were exhausted) and ease (let's face it, people are naturally lazy and want to find the easiest way to move around with the least amount of effort). This thing doesn't meet any of those points (though you might be able to make a weak argument for the effort part, since it does have an electric assist motor).
But for most people commuting to and from work, you don't really HAVE to have things like speed, passenger or cargo capacity (not much of it anyway), or range. Comfort from the elements would be better than a regular bike since at least there's a roof and wind screen. Add a coat and minimal rain gear if it's cold or wet. And then ease, well the electric assist provides the ease to get up hills.
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Old 02-28-13, 02:50 PM   #12
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But for most people commuting to and from work, you don't really HAVE to have things like speed, passenger or cargo capacity (not much of it anyway), or range. Comfort from the elements would be better than a regular bike since at least there's a roof and wind screen. Add a coat and minimal rain gear if it's cold or wet. And then ease, well the electric assist provides the ease to get up hills.
+1
I think a velomobile's real measure of success comes from those households that can use it to go from 3 to 2 cars or from 2 to 1.
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Old 02-28-13, 04:16 PM   #13
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From the second link: "...as federal regs say a bicycle can't go faster than 20 miles an hour..."



Great, now I have to watch out for feds when I'm riding.
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Old 02-28-13, 05:04 PM   #14
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Virtually any transportation methodology that keeps the incessantly greedy wh$res of petroleum out of consumerís pockets is a welcome mode of transportation in my book! I like the Elf with two somewhat minor exceptions:

A) As it rumbled along, it sounded like a childís plastic Big Wheel!

B) Its meek ďmeep-meepĒ horn was totally lame. It should bark like an 18-wheeler!

I can see where this could be an attractive vehicle particularly to those who are experiencing issues whereby pedaling can sometimes suddenly become painful (like those with recurring knee, tendon, and ball of the foot issues), as it would provide a means by which to continue their ride home without pedaling.

As for me, I genuinely enjoy pedaling long and arduous hilly centuries on one of my portly mountain bikes, not simply for the health benefits (though that ranks highest in my priorities), but for the immense gratification it brings in knowing that Iím able to pedal such a rigorous distance as I quickly approach 57 years of age. But the day may come to pass whereby an Elf-like vehicle might be my only remaining joy, as Iíve already lived through one sudden excruciating near fatal heart attack, so who knows what health burden may be lurking just ahead.

Iím glad there are people who take the initiative to design and manufacture such vehicles, which are bound to appeal to some individuals in one way or another.
+1 couldn't agree with you more. I can totally see more seniors who wish to continue or get into cycling, but can't due to health limitations, adopt this form of cycling. The seat is high off the ground, unlike most tadpole trikes on the market that sit just inches off the pavement, making access getting in and out difficult for those with physical range limitations.
If anything, they could always use it to lug around their golf clubs at the range
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Old 02-28-13, 08:06 PM   #15
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Okay, I just have to ask, what the heck is up with the wheels? Is that the Model A and the Model B and they have different suspensions? Did the plus-sized guy sit in the front one and the lighter guy in the rear one? Is there a "straight wheels/whomperjawed wheels" lever in there?

My opinion on the usefulness- it's pretty limited, being half-bike half-car means it has the disadvantages of both in this case.

Pedaling my Worksman front-loading tricycle around was eye-opening. It's similar width, but what that means is that you pretty well take the lane whether you want to or not. But, you're riding 12 mph instead of 20 mph, so you're that much more of an obstacle rather than a vehicle. Not a good feeling, and best dealt with by judicious choice of routes.

When I see something like this that's electric-assist, I always get the impression that they meant to do better, but accidentally invented a heavy slow vehicle and are trying to make up for shortcomings with electric assist. It'd be kind of like if you went to buy a car, and they had a 6,000-lb model with a booster motor in back- you'd think "Why the heck would it need that, unless they got the real motor underpowered for the massive weight?" IE, it comes across as a negative, not a positive.
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Old 02-28-13, 09:53 PM   #16
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I also noticed that with the wheels on each one, but really the green one with the negative camber on the front wheels will be more stable in turns than the other one with straight up zero camber angle on the front wheels.
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Old 03-02-13, 07:31 PM   #17
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I would love one of those
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