Veltop turns regular 'open top' bikes into convertibles
By Ben Coxworth
May 6, 2011
You have to admire the people who commute by bike – regardless of the weather – although riding in the rain seems to involve a choice between getting soaked, or wearing a lot of rain gear and still getting a wet face. Perhaps what such dedicated cyclists really need is a roof, side windows, and a windshield for their bikes. While that may sound like a joke, such a product does actually exist, in the form of the Veltop.
The apparatus consists of a semi-rigid handlebar-mounted windscreen (similar to a Zzipper), a sun-blocking overhead canopy, and clear plastic windows that unfurl from the sides of the canopy when needed. The canopy/windows are mounted on two folding tent-style support rods, that attach to the top of the windscreen in the front, then curve down to the seatpost in the back. Everything except the windscreen can reportedly be removed within two minutes.
The designers claim that the streamlining effect of the windscreen results in no increased drag when pedaling into headwinds – in the case of strong crosswinds, however, they suggest not using the side windows. There are obviously no windshield wipers, although the company maintains that they are not necessary at the slower speeds at which bicycles travel ... hmm, not too sure about that one.
Prices range from US$363.75 for the Veltop Classic (for conventional bikes) to $462.30 for the Veltop Recumbent ... those prices don't include the rain pants and waterproof footwear you would still need to wear. The Veltop can be ordered from the company website.