What is it?
A velomobile is a fully-enclosed recumbent tricycle. The shell, or fairing, provides protection from the elements, aerodynamic advantage and storage space.
Did you invent it?
Velomobiles are not a new idea but this particular design is our own. The fairing was designed by Mark Murphy of Blue Sky Design and the trikes come from Terra Trike in Michigan.* We combine the two into a sleek, practical vehicle that’s a fraction of the price of the competition.
How fast does it go?
Our e-assist model can sustain 30 mph or more on flat ground with pedaling. Without a motor we’ve ridden 24 miles in 62 minutes (24 mph) and 30 mph in a sprint at the Human Power Challenge in Portland, Oregon.
Does it have a motor?
We're proud to offer optional Ecospeed motors in our velomobiles. Portland, Oregon based Ecospeed makes the best motor on the market. Their chain-drive system allows the motor to take advantage of the bicycle gears and thus run more efficiently. Most of the motors you can buy are hub motors that drive the rear wheel directly. These motors will also work, we just haven’t found a brand that we want to put our name behind.
Is it comfortable?
Yes, very. Recumbent riding removes the stress from your lower back and the numbing pressure on your hands and pelvis. It's like cruising around in a lawn chair.
What's it made of?
The fairing is made of fiberglass and ABS plastic and the canopy is acrylic. The trike frames are chro-moly steel.
How much does it weigh?
Open-cockpit velos weigh 65-70 lbs. They are closer to 80 lbs. with the canopy. The Ecospeed motor adds around 40 lbs, depending on which battery you get.
How much does it cost?
Prices start at $3599 for the Basic model and range up to $10,295 for the Flight with the motor, Flevo roof and all the extras. Dealer opportunities and pricing are available.
How do I get one?
Order directly from us or visit one of the dealers listed on our Dealer page. How long does it take to get mine? Build time is estimated at eight weeks.This will improve over time.
Can I buy the shell and make my own?
Yes. We offer velomobile kits that include the fairing and the hardware needed to mount it to a recumbent tricycle.
Will it fit my trike?
Yes. Our new do-it-yourself kit will fit almost any tadpole trike. We think it will fit any tadpole trike but we haven’t tried them all. It has fit every trike we have used so far.
How much assembly is required?
None for the velomobiles; we ship them ready to ride. All you have to do is adjust the seat, perform a basic safety check (tire pressure, etc.) and go. The kits take about 40 hours to mount onto the body, plus another 20 if you add the canopy.
Where can I ride it?
Legally they are bicycles and are permitted anywhere you can ride a bike. This is also true for e-assist models as long as the motor is within the limits for an electric-assist bicycle.
What are the limits for an e-assist bicycle?
The US federal regulations say that the motor can go up to 20 mph on flat ground without pedaling. Anything faster is considered a moped and has additional requirements to be street legal. Check your state and local governments for other regulations. State laws may overrule federal ones in this area.
What is the warranty?
All of our products come with a one-year warranty, excluding normal wear and tear on cycle components. Some of those come with their own manufacturer’s warranty. We stand behind our products and gladly offer support to our customers outside the warranty period, even to second owners. Velocity Velos is solely responsible for warranty service. Terra Trike warranties do not apply to Velocity Velos products.
How does it steer?
Handlebars at the rider’s sides turn the front wheels via tie rods, a.k.a. linkage steering. Many trikes have direct steering, where the steering handles directly connect to the wheels. Most other velomobiles have a steering tiller in the center. This works but it’s kind of in the way and handlebars give better control during minute adjustments.
Is it hot inside?
The canopy can be propped open slightly while riding, providing excellent ventilation with minimal loss of aerodynamic efficiency.
Does it fog up?
Fogging, especially in cold, humid weather can be a problem with fully enclosed velomobiles. We use an anti-fog solution on the inside of the canopy, which helps a great deal. Other solutions include mounting a fan in the dashboard and exhaling away from the canopy. At least one rider has installed a fighter pilot’s mask and tube that carries his breath outside the velo.
How is the visibility in traffic?
They are much more visible than bikes or trikes and drivers are generally very respectful and cautious around you. It’s as if they treat velomobiles more like cars because they look more like cars. You can always add lights, reflective tape and a flag.
Where are they made?
Our velomobiles are built by hand in Cottage Grove, Oregon, USA. How many gears does it have? 8, 18, 24 or 27 depending on the model, but the gear range is more important than the number of speeds. The Track has a gear range of 16-112 gear inches. The Basic has a range of 24-66 gear inches. If you’re not a gear inch nerd yet, this means that the Track’s lowest gear is 1/3 lower than the Basic’s and the high gear is almost twice as high.
How far can it go?
There is no range limit. Our current record for one day is 105 miles without the motor and 160 miles with. The range of the electric assist depends on both the battery capacity and throttle usage. With a small (10 Ah) battery and full throttle you’ll get about 25 miles. With twice the battery and moderate, constant throttle you can get 80-120 miles on a charge. If you’re going farther than that, carry a charger and add a little juice when you stop somewhere. You can still pedal if the battery runs out, so you’re never stranded.
What about shipping?
Shipping for our large products like velomobiles, DIY kits and Speeders cannot be estimated ahead of time. Either contact us before you order or we will contact you upon receipt of your order with a shipping quote. Shipping generally runs from about $400 for a Speeder up to $700 for an e-assist velomobile.