Sunrider velomobiles are a product of the Netherlands. Yes, the Dutch are known for cycling including velomobiles and, in fact, has the distinction of having a city known to be the most bicycle friendly city per capita in the entirety of the world. Groningen, Netherlands – around 50% of the population of Groningen commutes on bicycles every day.
But I am talking about velomobiles and the Sunrider is a nifty looking machine. It is perhaps the interior of these I am most impressed with. In this video below the builder explains and displays various aspects of the design and manufacture of his product.
Wheels : 4
Length: 270 cm
Width: 80 cm
Height: 110 cm
Speed: 45 km/h
Electric motor: 350 Watt
Weight: ±65 kg
Here is what Sunrider says concerning their product:
“The Sunrider is a velomobile: a single seated, covered recumbent tricycle. Best it is used together with a electric pedal asist. The lightweight body provides high protection and comfort for all those wet and windy days. Because of the excellent aerodynamics of this spectacular vehicle you often ride faster than normal (race) bikes. Driving a velomobile is a unique experience, after one ride in a velomobile you won´t go back!
The design is dynamic and functional at the same time. Large space for driver and luggage, great view of the road and easy to use. The two air intakes on the side of the hood keep the Sunrider well ventilated. The large opening hood makes boarding or storing luggage easy. The Sunrider has a turning radius of 10 metres and is very manouverable in everyday traffic. It has the Rohloff 14 gears hub and a rooftop.
The Sunrider has a very nice and sleek finished interior. The adjustable bucket seat will provide sufficient support and a very pleasant and comfortable ride. The chain is almost completely embodied in the frame, so no more dirty pants! The very simple joystick operation in the Sunrider makes it a very nice and tight steering velomobile. Control elements such as gears, brakes and a parking brake, lights, horn and indicator lights are always within reach and easy to operate.
The Sunrider is a fully self-supporting frame of fiberglass reinforced polyester. This frame constitutes a large portion of the interior of the Sunrider. The balanced composite construction is virtually maintenance free and provides excellent stability for the vehicle.
Safety and comfort of the Sunrider was our main objective. The dimensions of the Sunrider were chosen to be well visible in heavy traffic, while the limited width allows it to be ridden also on the cycling lanes. The Sunrider comes standard with full suspension and two powerful 90 mm drumbrakes at the front wheels. For good visibility, the Sunrider has front and rear lights. Side mirrors give the rider a clear view all around.”
Just a note from me … they state 10 meters as the turning diameter as if that should be impressive. Hey, that is nearly 33 feet. I have to admit that I am very impressed, but not in the positive sense. That is a humongous turning diameter. My tadpole trike turns in about a 14 foot diameter. There is no way such a vehicle could negotiate the turns on many bike trails. We have some turns on our local trails some brands of tadpole trikes can’t negotiate.
In the Netherlands this vehicle is considered a moped and requires a moped licence or a driver’s licence to legally ride it. Here in the U.S. mopeds do not require licensing although I think they should as far too many inexperienced operators are involved in numerous wrecks resulting in serious injuries and deaths.
The Sunrider can be purchased with or without electric motor assist. Their electric motor assist is known as “Human Electric Hybrid”.
On thing I have not figured out is “how do you back this up?” since the interior is entirely enclosed. I assume the electric motor assist offers a means of backup, but I am puzzled over the non motorized version. I tried to find the answer to this online, but had no success.
By the way, the non motorized version weighs a hefty 99+ pounds so it would be challenging pedaling it uphill. So the Sunrider velomobile is sharp looking, but very heavy. That is not surprising with all that interior body added to it. The motorized version weighs over 143 pounds. Sounds a clear cut case of “battery don’t fail me now” as pedaling that weight around would get your attention.
I stumbled across this which might be of interest to some. It is a Frequently Asked Questions about velomobiles.