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Noomad transforms bicycle into three-wheeled cargo bike

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August 20, 2013

The Noomad with hard trolley

The Noomad with hard trolley

Image Gallery (18 images)

We appreciate well thought out concepts here at Gizmag, and it can be frustrating to learn that a product of someone's imaginative creation has little to no chance of actually reaching production. One such design, the S-cargo carrier that we covered back in May, generated a positive response and undoubtedly left a number of readers disappointed when they learned its production future was unknown. Happily, there's a similar bike attachment already available. The Noomad can swap in for your front bicycle wheel, turning the bike into a capable, three-wheeled workhorse.

The Noomad, from Spanish outfit Polo De Innovacion Garaia, is designed to transform a traditional two-wheeler into a stable, three-wheeled cycle equipped for hauling groceries, luggage, babies and more. At its core, the Noomad is a simple metal panel connected to dual 18- or 20-inch wheels. It attaches to the bike fork with a quick release axle and screws that secure into the V-brake mounts. If you don't have V-brake mounts on your fork, you can buy optional clamps to secure the upper part of the accessory.

Besides adding stability via its two wheels, the Noomad is really about adding carrying capacity. The metal plate has a number of screw and lash points for securing various luggage accessories. We'd imagine you could bungee and otherwise jerryrig your own cargo-carrying equipment onto it, but for a more seamless experience, you can purchase Noomad-specific accessories, including a child seat, large wicker basket and hard suitcase. These compatible accessories come with the appropriate mounting hardware to bolt securely to the plate.

Noomad offers a variety of cargo hauling accessories

When we covered the S-cargo carrier prototype, we received several questions about the braking system. If you have to pull off the front wheel of your bike, which is also part of the braking system, do you simply rely on the rear brake or do you have to spend a tedious amount of time fitting new braking hardware?

The Noomad solves the braking dilemma with its own integrated braking system. You simply remove your front brake lever and hardware and replace it with the Noomad's brake lever, which comes pre-connected to the Bengal Helix 2.5 dual-wheel hydraulic disc brake system. This means you get brakes at each wheel without a lot of tedious effort.

To ensure a nimbler ride, the Noomad's two wheels are connected to a tilting system that allows the rider to better corner by leaning. The upfitted bike is certain to lose some agility over the original two-wheeler, but the tilting system should provide a fairly natural ride when commuting.

The Noomad's tilting wheel system adds agility

The Noomad seems like an innovative solution for transforming a regular bicycle into a cargo bike without adding a trailer or other tow-along. The swap isn't something you necessarily want to do every day, because it involves removing the handlebar grips, swapping out the brake levers, etc., but it's also not so difficult that you couldn't switch back and forth on a regular basis. The assembler in Noomad's instructional video does the whole thing, including pulling the original bike wheel and brake hardware off and putting the wheels on the Noomad frame, in about 10 minutes, with rather slow and purposeful movements (read: boring video).

The Noomad was a finalist for a BrandNew Award at last month's ISPO Bike show in Germany. It is available now in several wheel sizes, starting at €441.65 (US$590). The Spanish company also offers full cargo trikes starting at €1,350 and has a folding trike on the way.

Product page: Noomad

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
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14 Comments

Nice product but much too expensive

Bigbrother Iswatchingu
20th August, 2013 @ 05:19 am PDT

Sounds very well thought out- especially the adaptable braking and the ability to lean into corners.

However, I would imagine that on British potholed streets, with it's sunken and damaged drainhole covers, that it would suffer from 'bump-steer'- especially given that room given to cyclists by other motorists on our crowded roads isn't a lot (tuck those elbows in!), and bikes are usually relegated to the worst maintained section of the road, next to the curb (when not occupied by illegally parked cars).

bergamot69
20th August, 2013 @ 06:15 am PDT

The product seems just fine but the price is absurd. Keep in mind that 90% of the public ride department store bikes that usually sell for under $150 and often under $100. To get these into public use that $100 price mark might be the one to meet.

As more people use bikes in the US to ward off gasoline expenses there is a tendency for companies to want to offer expensive products. That will not get the job done at all. the electric bike industry suffers the same syndrome. Put a top notch $200 electric bike on the market and you will sell them so fast you won't be able to meet demand. Put a $6,000 electric bike on the market and you just won't sell enough to stay in business.

Jim Sadler
20th August, 2013 @ 09:53 am PDT

Now that I am an amputee I need to adapt my bicycle and my motorcycle to trikes. can you all make a front end kit for motorcycles?

Roger Chan
20th August, 2013 @ 10:31 am PDT

Why would you want three wheels for that piddling bit of cargo?

Slowburn
20th August, 2013 @ 11:17 am PDT

hard to sus the pix but it seems there is no sprung suspension on that irs front end. what happens with ny 40 kg toolbox for example.....also why the expensive hydraulic breaking. does it require same for 2 wheel mode (fabulosly absurd) or can it be hooked to front cable...and how would that work per adjustment. of which...with 2 front brake,s there is a new learning curve for ones muscle memory.....

on top all of that...one is still given marginally increase cargo space and that all way up front. i wonder about cornering slip in the wet ( more bew nemory for reflexes).

Walt Stawicki
20th August, 2013 @ 12:14 pm PDT

This is a bad idea in so many ways I cannot begin to fathom why they did what they did.

First of all, utility bikes are cheap so it makes more sense to just buy a complete 3-wheel bike than to screw around retrofitting this contraption onto your existing bike. I would much rather own my real bike and a separate three wheeler if I actually needed one.

Second, what's the point of the complication with the hydraulic brakes and tilting front end? These 'features' just add to the cost and make the whole thing more prohibitively expensive ... and it's not like you're going to be racing and actually need more stable cornering when you're hauling a load of whatever around with you.

Third, why not give it a decent suspension? It's going to be far less maneuverable than a two-wheeler, so it's going to need a great front suspension in order to deal with the many more potholes and bumps it's going to hit when it cannot swerve around them.

It actually seems like the company was looking for a problem to solve, and they couldn't find a real problem so they 'invented' one that they could solve in an innovative way. And while I applaud innovation, sometimes it is just a waste of time.

If they created a basic no-frills 3 wheeler instead of this add-on to an exiting bike, and if they hit at $149 or $199 retail price point, they might have something ... but I do not think this concept has much of a chance in the real world.

Owkaye
20th August, 2013 @ 02:34 pm PDT

What kind of speed does one envisage when negotiating turns with this contraption that it needs tilting mechanism ? One certainly is not going racing with it !

We have had 3 wheeled bicycles called cycle-rickshaws for ages. They even transport humans ! In fact I read an article on it being adopted on one of UK universities campus. With a 3 or 5 gear contraption it can easily handle heavy loads.

So what else is new?

pmshah
20th August, 2013 @ 09:10 pm PDT

so its a way to make a regular bike into a christania-bike? seems smart.

Hetero Harald Togram
21st August, 2013 @ 06:03 am PDT

I think this would be a good idea if: it cost less, it attached to the back of the bike instead of the front, and it cost less. I'm not about to pay $600 of my hard earned dollars to attach this to the front of my bike, making me unable to take the bus with it, and afraid of how it might limit my vision.

otherwise, good idea.

Angelica Weber
21st August, 2013 @ 08:06 am PDT

Do you think this looks similar ..not the same ...but similar to...http://www.gizmag.com/go/5541/...

Both emphasise the carving maneuverability of there vehicles

bluumoon
21st August, 2013 @ 08:36 am PDT

I am excited to see innovation that extends the use of bicycle/trikes in the city. When I saw the Zigo Leader a few years back an add on like this for existing bikes was the first thing that came to mind.

Over time the price will come down and the idea will be refined. This is just one more option to add to our transportation tool box.

Bravo to Noomad.

Cheers!

Bikelocally
22nd August, 2013 @ 01:39 am PDT

Interesting objections, price being the most agreed-upon. Lack of suspension? If the bike has front suspension, so will this, at least for the rider. Otherwise, unless you are running LoopWheels, no "bike" has anything between the road and the frame besides the flex in the tires. Leaning? Geez guys, if you don't lean on any bike, you fall over. Capacity? It looks like it could handle a bass fiddle, much less the capacity of panniers. And a larger front case with a curved nose and windscreen would be an interesting option. Yes, it is expensive, but looking at the bikes to which it is attached (no WalMart specials in the bunch) that is not unexpected.

Bruce H. Anderson
22nd August, 2013 @ 10:37 am PDT

I am not too sure about the child seat option. Using your child as a front bumper seems like a great way to terrorise your children.

Insightfool
24th August, 2013 @ 04:13 pm PDT
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