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FireFly's TRON-like shell keeps cyclists dry and visible

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March 20, 2013

The FireFly recumbent tricycle outfitted with an LED-lit dome

The FireFly recumbent tricycle outfitted with an LED-lit dome

Image Gallery (7 images)

If there are two things cyclists have to worry about, they would be the weather and making sure cars can see them. That's why the designers at GeoSpace Studio set about building a vehicle to resolve both issues. The FireFly is a recumbent tricycle outfitted with an LED-lit dome that keeps the rider visible and protected from the elements.

It may look like it drove straight out of the movie TRON, but given the importance of being seen, this is probably one of the safest pedal-powered vehicles around.

The shell tilts forward so a person can sit down and remain shielded from the cold, rain, or snow. The bottom part of the covering is lit with colored LEDs, while a transparent dome at the top lets the rider see where they're going. There are even two headlights in front for some leisurely night riding.

The FireFly is sure to turn quite a few heads, but you may have to put your dreams of pedaling down the street in this UFO-like trike on hold for now, since GeoSpace Studio has not announced any plans to put it on the market.

If you want to see what the FireFly looks like cruising around at night with the theme song from Knight Rider playing appropriately in the background though, check out the video below.

Source: GeoSpace Studio

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things.   All articles by Jonathan Fincher
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20 Comments

Looks like a more refine version of the one from Mythbusters (Episode 171: Bikes and Bazookas) but with fancy LED lights in it and a new lid..

Boomsling
20th March, 2013 @ 05:35 am PDT

Weather?

Wipers. Need.

SeekerFinder
20th March, 2013 @ 09:56 am PDT

That looks so cool ! the vehicle looks like safety features are highlighted and rain protection is somewhat addressed excepted what would splash up from the ground or what the tires might whirl up, the aerodynamics benefits where not qualified. It looks like a great design, Perhaps motorcyclist would adapt the same features for safety.

Bryce Guenther
20th March, 2013 @ 09:58 am PDT

I'm a little surprised this article make no mention of aerodynamics.

Perhaps there aren't any (aerodynamics) and hence Geospace Studio were careful not to raise the subject! One can imagine it being hard work to ride against a head wind.

Alien
20th March, 2013 @ 10:12 am PDT

Looks pretty cool (probably could have used a hipper looking driver though).

My question is how does it handle in strong updrafts and crosswinds? Yes, the three wheels gives it stability, but wouldn't the light plastic carapace tend to carry you away (think umbrella in a windy storm)?

Oh yes, and price?

yrag
20th March, 2013 @ 10:46 am PDT

Cute.. but does it fit in the bike lane?

Pipedog42
20th March, 2013 @ 11:17 am PDT

Perfect for bike parties and the Mainstreet Parade (quick call Disney).

But seriously...How does one lock this thing? How to take it into one's workplace at the end of the commute? Do the paramedics have to cut through extra layers of canopy in the event of a serious interaction with an automobile? what happens when you do clip the occasional automobile? The extra ground-hugging girth would surely become intimately acquainted with curbs in narrow bike lanes. What about cross wind?

sk8dad
20th March, 2013 @ 01:26 pm PDT

This is a great concept using a TerraTrike Rover as the base platform. These things lend themselves well to all kind of experiments. You can find more info here: http://www.terratrike.com

Ike Trikeman
20th March, 2013 @ 01:45 pm PDT

Apart from getting laughed out of town, if it is wet enough to need one of these I will take the car or a taxi. The purhase price would probably pay for quite a few taxi fares anyway.

The Skud
20th March, 2013 @ 06:27 pm PDT

AND how much does it weigh? that would probably get it laughed off planet by the biker I know - carbon bike and wheels, 100 psi tires

Bill Bennett
20th March, 2013 @ 09:07 pm PDT

Lets see, a teardrop with the point facing backward is the most efficient shape for a bike shroud, I know, let's put the pointy end....FORWARD!

Facepalm.

sleat
20th March, 2013 @ 10:46 pm PDT

Being a fan of Disney's TRON, I think it is really cool; IMO. I like the idea of it being recumbent; more comfortable seat.

I have seen those who ride at night but with no lights and wearing dark clothing. It is very difficult for drivers to see them. This idea of LED's could be used with the traditional bikes to make them more visible and safer.

In the one photo of it being white in a snowy background, it would tend to blend in more than it woul stand out (unless it is night and the LED's are on).

BigWarpGuy
21st March, 2013 @ 06:48 am PDT

They should enclose the bottom and inflate it...if you get hit by a car you can bounce around.

Gregory Gannotti
21st March, 2013 @ 10:04 am PDT

Nice use of LEDs but the poor aerodynamics will limit control in rain & snow. Since there are no windshield wipers you will not get to the end of the block and still be able to see clearly. Nice try even so.

StWils
21st March, 2013 @ 12:10 pm PDT

I don't like riding in the rain, I'd never use this.

Gargamoth
21st March, 2013 @ 06:13 pm PDT

when we run out of oil this will be the thing to have.

frogola
21st March, 2013 @ 07:53 pm PDT

There are plenty of velomobiles out there. This is taller and better lit. So there are good points and bad, but I think more bad than good.

Bruce H. Anderson
22nd March, 2013 @ 09:09 am PDT

Quote

Lets see, a teardrop with the point facing backward is the most efficient shape for a bike shroud, I know, let's put the pointy end....FORWARD!

Facepalm.

sleat

20th March, 2013 @ 10:46 pm PDT

End Quote

Not correct the fat part of the teardrop faces into the wind to present less aerodynamic drag It the air coming round the back leaving the object that creates most drag.Most modern cars with pointy fronts would save 20% of fuel if they made the blunt end go to the front or reverse the way car faces .If the rear end is pointy that saves more fuel than front end with points.Its only at speeds closer mach 1 that pointy fronts start to help.Aerodynamics for cars for speeds below 30MPH are not the big problem no matter what the shape is. At 60MPH the air drag is quadrupled so at 60MPH its more important the what is the the shape. I know it doesn't sound logical but its in all books on aerodynamics.For bike speeds because the power source is ~0.06BHP ~50 watts average aerodynamics can help sometimes on the flat but rarely can help with the extra weight hill climbing

Diarmaid

Dsd Sds
22nd March, 2013 @ 01:04 pm PDT

Great thinking...

It is worth pointing out the obvious; sans recumbent bike

this could double as emergency shelter. Perhaps, throw

a tarp over it with ventilation system coterminous with

one the already present in the bike's design for added

protection from elements. What if the tarp was a thin-film

led, incorporating multiple cameras, to represent the 360

environ in which the shelter was parked? Where did I park

my bike-house, again... Great design for urban transport,

hope to see this floating around downtown A2 again.

Future Futurist
25th March, 2013 @ 02:20 pm PDT

the usnavy answered all the teardrop questions pre ww2. blunt front and ogive arcs depend on speed, just like a boats waterline does, but less complexly. higher vellow is better. i would prefer more conventional lighting so cars knew "wtf" they were looking @. sidewinds i have not yet outsmarted

i think a design promoting flow over and preventing flow under...like a car spoiler...but how. anyway prefering a low hpod and trunk..

tradotional cars' side profiles. no reason at all to leave the bottom open and thus envite the rainyday inside! no reason for no wiper.

as for inflatong it? just tear out the traditional bike, turn the shell into a frame and forgetabout it! dont add on..start from scratch. like they say...if you have a design style

if it is recognizable as yoir prpduct

..you probably have not yet succeeded in the basic engineering quest

Walt Stawicki
4th April, 2013 @ 10:07 pm PDT
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