Velomobiles

Velomobiles can be difficult to get access to, but have a great potential.  Here we look how the users experienced this type of cycle.
Velomobiles as a mode of transport
A velomobile is a recumbent that is equipped with a protective shell which the rider sits within. The cyclist is seated in a laid-back position with the pedals in front. The velomobile has many of the car's advantages, because the shell protects well against wind, rain, sleet and makes it a comfortable cycle. Therefore the velomobile can be considered as a competitive alternative to the car.

Velomobiles motivate more people to cycle in the rain and to cycle more and longer
The bicycle library’s questionnaire shows, that the users who have borrowed a velomobile have extended their transport options. 45% of the users feel that the rain would no longer be a barrier for cycling, if they had a velomobile.. In addition to this, 34% the users say that they would cycle more often or longer distances if they had had a velomobole, and 4% would use the car less.

A study made in connection with ‘Copenhagen Bike Strategy 2011-25’ shows that when the distance is more than 10 km many people prefer other modes of transport such as car, bus or train instead of the bike. The study made by the bicycle library shows that the velomobile has a potential to break with this pattern. More than half of the users who have borrowed a velomobile have cycled much longer than the normal comfort limit of 10 km. 54% of the users have cycled a distance of 20-50 km, and 14% between 10-20 km.

The feedback given by the users indicates that the velomobile requires a certain time to adapt for the new user. Where many of the library's bicycle types are described as great to ride on, the users of a velomobile are more moderate in their feedback. 81% of the users think that the experience with the borrowed velomobile in general was okay or good. Just over half of the users experience the velomobiles safety as safe or very safe and rideability as okay or good.

The velomobile protects against rain, wind and sleet
The velomobile has a clear advantage because of the shell covering the cyclist. According to the library's study, many of the users say that it has been a positive experience to ride in bad weather, as they have been well protected from wind, rain and drizzle.

The velomobile as design and function is very different from an ordinary bicycle, and is therefore very spectacular, which borrowers also think makes it exciting to try.

In addition to these benefits a velomobile can offer, just over a third of the borrowers are considering buying a similar bicycle.


Velomobiles can be heavy and difficult to pass other bicycles with

According to the users the velomobile has a number of challenges.

“It was hard to get past the other bicycles on the bicycle path and between the cars on the road. (...)
 It is heavy uphill and difficult in a crosswind.”
(Female, 46-55 years)

“It was more difficult to ride in the city than I expected, and I had not thought about that you can not pass on bicycle paths.”
(Male, 26-35 years)

Several users found out that velomobile can be heavy to ride, especially uphill, and difficult to pass other bicycles in the narrow bicycle paths in the city. Velomobiles seem better suited for use outside the city, where there are wider bicycle lanes and fewer cyclists, or where you can ride on the roads. Because they are heavy and difficult to pass other bicycles with, particular women have had a worse overall experience on the borrowed velomobile than men.

“My daily traveling time would be significantly longer if I used the Leitra instead of my regular bicycle and it can not keep up with my racing. On the other hand it is good to use in rain and cold "close", but unless the weather is really bad I would probably always choose a standard bicycle. It is as fast as expected downhill but up is the much slower / heavier than I had imagined.”
(Male, 36-45 years)

Several users expected that the velomobile would be faster to cycle with than it is. For this reason many users consider it not suitable to cover their daily transportation needs. On top of this a few users name the price as a barrier to purchase a similar cycle.

Book a velomobile here
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