If the London Bike Show in January had a single recumbent bike or trike on display, I didn’t see it. The other end of the bell curve was the “Spezi” show in Germersheim, Germany, in April at which there were 18 companies with recumbent bikes and a staggering 23 with recumbent trikes – let alone 14 suppliers of velomobiles. (I’ll be writing about a selection of these in the coming days and weeks.)
So, there is evidently a market for recumbent in some countries, even if it is not so developed in the UK. I was particularly attracted to the TryTrike model, which I also found on the KissBank crowd-funding website where they are trying to raise a modest €8,100 (about £5900).
Robert Lajda, the Slovakian designer, is a glider pilot who also has experience in building light aircraft and gliders. He is also a bike enthusiast and a parent, who has had some quite innovative thoughts on turning a recumbent trike into a multi-purpose Human Powered Vehicle or HPV. His “Bee” design has remarkable storage features both front and rear, as well as a pull-out child seat at the rear. I recommend the YouTube video below for a quick (language-free) demo of what he has put together.
Most cycling purists look down their noses at electric assist, yet the market is going that way, if we look at a predominantly flat and cycling-friendly country like the Netherlands, and the more than a million e-bikes owned in Germany. With the EVbike 250/500W hub motor, the trike can cruise at 20km/h with minimal effort and at 25km/h with some rider effort, which is a good speed in many urban situations.
With storage on the rear rack, which can accommodate bike bags, panniers, baskets, motoboxes, etc, and with extra large and heavy items being able to be carried on the front (extra weight here increases stability further), as well as space for small bags in the cockpit in front of the handlebars and under the seat, this trike really does provide multi-functionality for commuting, trips to the shops, the school run and so on.
I hope that Robert gets his crowd funding through and the trike goes into production.
An interesting view of yet another recumbent trike suitable for commuting use.