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Evolve recumbent trike folds up in seconds, fits in trunk of smart car

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October 6, 2011

The Evolve recumbent trike reportedly folds up very small, very fast

The Evolve recumbent trike reportedly folds up very small, very fast

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Relatively obscure though recumbent bicycles are, many people appreciate the ergonomic and aerodynamic advantages of the quirky two-wheelers. If quirkiness is your thing, however, then a recumbent tricycle might be even more to your liking. Not only do they look pretty sharp, but they're also more stable than the bicycles. Unfortunately, however, most of them are also quite cumbersome to transport - can you imagine trying to carry one up a flight of stairs, or fit it inside a car? Fortunately, there are some recumbent trikes that fold up. One in particular has been lighting up the recumbent forums lately, as it folds very small, very fast.

The new, as-of-yet unnamed folding tricycle is made by Australia's Evolve Trikes.

According to the company, some existing folding recumbent trikes have been able to fold small, fold fast, fold without having to come apart, or fold without the use of tools, but none have been able to do all four - until now.

The Evolve trike can reportedly be folded into the back of a smart car (the litmus test for whether or not things are small) in under 13 seconds, or into an oversize suitcase in about 18 seconds - in that case, with the back wheel removed. If you just want to fold it part way, enough to get it through a doorway, that can be done in six seconds.

Its footprint when folded is said to be little more than that of a standing person, and it can still be wheeled when folded, so users don't have to lift it when on flat ground.

The Evolve trike, being toted after folding

Many people are leery of any kind of folding bicycle, as they don't want the things to fold on them as they're riding. In the case of the Evolve trike, this apparently shouldn't be a problem. It uses self-reinforcing compound hinges, that close under rider weight and pedal force. Its frame is said to be as rigid as a non-hinged frame, and stable even at speeds of over 50 mph (80.5 km/h).

Unfortunately, as with so many other enticing-sounding things, you can't buy one yet. The Evolve folks are still experimenting with different parts configurations and wheel sizes, to determine what should ultimately go to market. While one of their prototypes currently weighs in at 40 pounds (18 kg), they state that this weight should drop for the final version.

In the meantime, should you be in Pomona, California on the weekend of October 21st, you can check out the still-evolving Evolve folding trike at the Recumbent Cycle-Con trade show. You can also see one of the prototypes being stuffed into the back of a smart car, in the video below.

Source: Bicycle Design

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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11 Comments

holy cow that thing goes tiny! That's awesome. . . wonder how much they will retail for when they come out. . .

socalboomer
6th October, 2011 @ 04:44 pm PDT

I was waiting for the rear window to smash as he closed it. Lol!

It certainly is amazing how small it folds. I notice that the wheels are smaller than other recumbent bikes. What is the lower limit to wheel diameter. Just think with 6" wheels, you could almost fit one into a carrier bag!

windykites1
7th October, 2011 @ 03:53 am PDT

re; windykites1

The smaller the wheel the more difficult it is to get over bumps. I would not want to go to less than 18 inches.

Slowburn
7th October, 2011 @ 07:59 am PDT

Small things count, like the plastic tubing over the chain in the no-go area of the rider.

Fred Conwell
7th October, 2011 @ 08:29 am PDT

Looks like ERTO 406 (20") wheels to me. Pretty much the standard in Recumbent Trikes.

William Volk
7th October, 2011 @ 09:56 am PDT

I think this will struggle to compete with the 'Gekko' by HP Velotechnik. The Gekko does not fold as small or as quickly but not far behind and forms a very neat package. The Gekko also has 20" wheels all round--this one looks 16" or smaller--too small !

icykel
7th October, 2011 @ 02:03 pm PDT

vapor ware. You can't buy one of these they are still looking for partners to help build them.

Facebook User
7th October, 2011 @ 05:35 pm PDT

If I can afford it, I want one. But i will install a hub motor in the rear wheel and powerpacks, to increase it's range and my comfort. recharge powerpacks off solar panels, on bright days, and grid when overcast.

kellory
7th October, 2011 @ 08:43 pm PDT

I checked out Gekko: it is cute. But mudguards for $499?! Somewhat steep.

nehopsa
9th October, 2011 @ 04:31 am PDT

The wheels are plenty tall unless your taking it in the dirt.

sonic
9th October, 2011 @ 02:48 pm PDT

As a Smart car owner, I think that is cool. It would be neat to see peoples faces as I pull it out of the back of my little car. :) It would be a great way to get exercise.

BigWarpGuy
20th December, 2013 @ 01:04 pm PST
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