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Veltop turns regular 'open top' bikes into convertibles

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May 6, 2011

The Veltop is a removable windscreen/canopy/side window system, for protecting cyclists from rain and cold winds

The Veltop is a removable windscreen/canopy/side window system, for protecting cyclists from rain and cold winds

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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.

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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

This has a big market in Seattle too...

Shawn Boike

a EV assisted recumbent with such a cover would be interesting.

Kenneth Marken

you\'d have to be suicidal to use one of these in Auckland. First gust of wind would toss you into oncoming traffic.

Adrien

Good luck with the wind.

Kris Lee

This is actually a good idea, for places that piss down rain a lot and have little to no wind......

Where I live on the open plains.... riding 60Km into a 30 or 40Kmh head wind...

A great idea? Lots of fun?

Not so much.

Mr Stiffy

Well, looks interesting, but would be challenging in wind. I bought a rugged waterproof military poncho and it is big enough to do almost the same function for 15 bucks and I can keep it folded in my side bags.

Iván Imhof

When I had to ride my bike for about a year, it wasn\'t so much my head getting wet, but more along the lines of me riding into the rain and getting the whole of my body wet! My face and head being wet I can deal with...but once your pants and shirt gets wet, things start to chafe...and not in a good way!

Ed

I just watched the video...that poor woman...she gets all the benefits of the heat and sweat from the strenuous exercise without any of the negatives of the cooling and refreshing wind in her face...Yay!

Ed

It\'s like the opposite of a convertible car.

Gregg Eshelman

You could just do what the Dutch do, carry an umbrella. I kid you not, its a regular sight in Den Haag. Just the other day I saw an elderly red-faced lawyer in a suit, pedalling along with his umbrella open. He needed it to keep his cigar dry!

Doug MacLeod

Didnt read all the post so if you said it....I\'ll repeat it. If you need this to protect from wind...you are NOT riding a bike. No where near traffic at least I hope.

DmanEfest
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