Bicycle Car on Indiegogo Solves Issue of Biking in Rain or Snow
We’ve all been there before. Perhaps you were biking to work or just out for a spin when the heavens opened up and you’re left drenched, cold, and miserable for the rest of the day. For many bikers, this is an all-too-familiar scenario, but it doesn’t have to be. And Swedish designer Mikael Kjellman says he’s created the answer (no, not a car). Meet the PodRide. Kjellman built this four-wheeled bicycle car (a “velomobile”) as a means of bike commuting during Sweden’s harsh winters. Now he wants to bring his prototype mainstream and has taken to Indiegogo to crowd fund the PodRide’s development costs and production. Check it out! RELATED: Specialized Turbo S is Like e-Biking with Superman's Legs — Review
While its looks might be a turn-off to some bikers, the PodRide genuinely does seem like a well-rounded product. Kjellman has designed the PodRide to offer a similar seating position to most small cars, four wheels for added stability, a fully waterproof body, heated windshield, soft air suspension and heavily padded seat, as well as a small trunk and studded snow tires for the winter.
Locomotion is provided by the riders legs—it’s still a bike, of course—as well as a 250 watt e-bike motor. Thanks to its pedal assistance and 14 gears, Kjellman says the PodRide can reach speeds of up to 15 mph and travel for 37 miles on a charge. That ought to get most bike commuters to work and back.
Kjellman does note that he isn’t the first one to develop a velomobile, writing that “many other bicycle cars have been available on the market for many years,” nevertheless they’re still relatively unknown to most consumers. “I think my more car-like bicycle car concept will appeal to many more people than the low streamlined tricycles that are available today."
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Originally, Kjellman’s goal was to raise $30,000 on Indiegogo to fundraise the PodRide’s design and production. As of writing however, he’s absolutely smashed the initial goal—raising $58,400, or 195 percent of his goal.
If funds continue to roll in, his plan is to offer more and more fully-built kits, which will alleviate some of the assembly process for potential buyers. At $100,000 he says the kits will arrive ready to be assembled (think IKEA furniture), with no need for fabrication.
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