While they come in various forms, handlebars are a vital component on virtually every type of bike. From the standard 10-speed, to the cargo hauler, to the lean-back recumbent, a bicycle's handlebars provide a simple means of steering and control. As the name suggests, the Joystick Bike replaces the ubiquitous bars with a right-hand joystick, delivering precise control that makes riding a bike a little more like flying an aircraft or playing a video game.
Pain in areas such as the neck, butt and knees cause many cyclists to
switch to recumbents. A lot of other people shy away from the low-slung
bikes and trikes, however, as they have concerns about visibility.
That's why Australian manufacturer Hiele has created the Trivek. It's a
semi-recumbent delta tricycle that lets its rider sit back in a comfy
seat while still sitting tall enough to be seen by motorists.
Of all the electric cargo cycles we've seen, including the Urban Arrow
, the Velove Armadillo promises the most pedal-assist cargo hauling capability. The four-wheeled platform supports a big, ol' cargo box or semi-trailer on the rear, making the typical two-wheel grocery getter look downright undersized. The pedaled quad is so cargo hungry, Velove believes it can replace the cargo van when transporting smaller loads over short distances.
While inclement weather and exertion are certainly factors, one of the big reasons that many people don't commute by bike is the fear of getting hit by cars
. London-based Crispin Sinclair Innovation has set about addressing that fact, with its new Babel Bike. Offering features such as a protective cage around the rider, it's being promoted as "the world's safest bicycle."
Last December, British adventurer Maria Leijerstam
became the first person to cycle from the edge of the Antarctic continent to the South Pole. She did so on a custom-built recumbent fat-tired tricycle, made by UK-based Inspired Cycle Engineering (ICE). Well, although there probably aren't many other people who want to do what Maria did, there no doubt are
quite a few who'd like a trike like hers. That's why ICE is now offering the ready-for-anything Full Fat.
Following its Sikorsky Prize-winning Atlas
helicopter, Canada's AeroVelo now aims to set a new human-powered speed record during September's World Human-Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nevada, with a high speed bicycle named Eta. The current record
stands at 83.1 mph (133.8 km/h), and was set at the event last year by a Dutch team of students with the VeloX3 bike.
Seeking to cross the relaxed-back comfort of a recumbent with a higher seating position, German engineer Christoph Lenz has innovated the MaynoothBike, named after his home in Maynooth, Ireland. In place of the usual bottom bracket-mounted crankset, the dual drivetrain is built into the fork. The linear drive not only creates a more relaxed seating position, it offers some claimed efficiency advantages, too.
Last September, at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge at Battle Mountain in Nevada, a Dutch team made up of students from TU Delft and VU Amsterdam set the current world speed record
of 83.13 mph (133.78 km/h) for an unpaced cyclist on flat ground in the VeloX3. The University of Liverpool Velocipede Team (ULVT) has now announced its intentions to take the title with the Arion1 Velocipede, a bicycle resembling an oversized medicine capsule that has been left out in the sun too long.
The top motor-only speed of an electric bike can be limited by law to 20 mph (32 km/h), but those taking their rides off-road or to the streets of more lenient jurisdictions may push their vehicles that little bit further. Looking to allow even more scope for performance are Milwaukee-based inventors Dustin Herte and Ryan Bass, whose Odyssey electric trike, fitted with a 4 kW motor, can reach speeds of up to 50 mph (80 km/h).
Revolution speed bikes from Munich's TroyTec bring modular, F1-inspired design to the world of recumbent racing and touring. At the heart of the line lies a carbon monocoque frame that provides the basis for easy transformation between four primary configurations. Riders can pedal up high, down low, and on rigid wheels or full suspension, depending upon the demands of the road immediately ahead.