SPEZI 2011 report - photos galore!
Here's a first look at some of the highlights from this year's SPEZI show - our video report will follow...
Posted by Peter Eland on Thursday 5 May 2011
As ever, we'll have more in the full report in the next issue of Velo Vision, including some superb panorama photos...
We've also reported separately on our coach trip which took 16 Velo Vision readers to the show by roack band tour bus: see the 2011 Velo Vision SPEZI coach trip report here.
As ever, the show was held in Germersheim's town hall and many surrounding buildings:
We'll come back to the side-by-side velomobile parked up in the picture...
And as last year, the town's bus station had been taken over by a busy test track. Visitors queued up for half hour time slots, during which they could try as many bikes as possible from the large selection:
New for this year was a separate electric bike test track, provided for the show by German electric bike promotion organisation Extra Energy:
Another feature from previous years was trike racing on the Saturday, which as ever drew big crowds:
So to some of the individual items which caught my eye this year:
First up let's check out that side-by-side velomobile:
It's from Polish manufacturers Car-Bike, who strangely don't appear to have a website (or if they do, I can't find it!). This particular machine is a four-wheeler, with electric assist built in, as you can see here with the various doors open:
The finish was lovely, with leather lining, and it's fair to say I think that this was one of the most attention-catching machines of the show. There's also a solo version:
The tandem/sociable machine had been entered into a competition which was running at the SPEZI for the best 'family velomobile'. Among the other entries was this extended Alleweder velomobile, with space for a childseat or possibly a (small) non-pedalling adult passenger...
Moving on, Marcin of UK-based velomobile shell makers Oceancycle was there with his latest design, which fits to ICE trikes. He's made numerous improvements since he launched the machine at the SPEZI last year. We visited Marcin recently - more in VV41!
Next up on the velomobile front is the Rotovelo from Australian makers Trisled. It's made out of tough plastic similar to that used on kayaks, making it considerably more tolerant of crashes and abuse than many velomobiles:
It was being given a thorough workout by visitors, and after the show we managed to squeeze it into our coach and take it back for a Velo Vision review - see next issue!
Finally (although there were many more - it's hard to do them all justice!) on the fully-faired front, would anyone like to sponsor Harry Muller on his Let's Go Harry World Tour by Velomobile? His Leiba velomobile was equipped with a mast system to provide sail assistance and, as if it were needed, even more 'wow' factor!
For something completely different, here's a few trailers.
These ones were parked up outside the show: they are electric-assisted, single-wheel trailers with what looks like a leaning mechanism also built in:
A little investigation reveals that they are made by Atelier 73, a Swiss design studio who also make a very interesting looking quick-release coupling for hydraulic bicycle brakes . The trailers are part of a modular system, about which you can read much more in their PDF brochure - in German, but is you don't speak the language the pictures should more than suffice. Looks rather impressive.
But I doubt it can match the carrying capacity of this rarity: a Miklink trailer from (IIRC) the mid-'90s:
As I recall it was built by a (UK) ex truck engineer, and used an unusual and massively built hitch to help achieve its unprecedented rated load capacity of 150 kg (although for safety I'd like to see brakes on the trailer if towing that sort of load behind a normal bike!).
This one looked in good nick and was on sale for a mere 60 Euros, and I was very tempted indeed (although my own load trailer is even bigger :-)
Anyway, back to the new products, and I was once again impressed by the trailer from BeneCYKL of the Czech Republic. They also make a very practical-looking handcycle, the Capricorn.
I think that's all the trailers but still on load-carrying, Velo Vision reader Barend Pieterse was at the show demonstrating a prototype load bike which he intends to produce commercially under the name 'A2B Bikes' - we'll link to the website when it's up (in the next week or so):
It should according to Barend be very competitively priced...
Claiming a spot right beside Barend at the show entrance was another Brit demonstrating a new machine. As you may have read in our trip report, Richard Cresswell of oVo Tandems had brought a tandem along with our coach tour. Here's Deano, one of our drivers, trying it at the show:
A considerably more 'prototype' machine was a few metres away - I love the mudguards made from number plates. Anyone know who made it? It's likely ,I suspect, to be a member of the German HPV Club...
Another (I think) home-built machine was this rather impressive child-carrier. The child faces you, both for easy communication and for natural shelter from the wind. The bike splits into two for transport, too. Chapeau to the builder:
So far pretty everything we're reported on has been outside, but three halls full of exhibitors were also offering their product news:
Let's start with Czech recumbent makers AZUB, whose good value machines we've reviewed in Velo Vision a few times. They had plenty of show news, including a folding version of their T-Tris trike ('from 1890 Euros'):
But attracting rather more attention was the production version of the folding trike prototype which was unveiled at last year's show. It's now the 'TRIcon', starting at 2690 Euros:
And very nice it looks too - they've used some serious lumps of metal to achieve the folding action:
Here it is on the road:
Last but by no means least, Azub have decided to put their 'Twin' tandem - of which there have been several prototypes - into production. Naturally it separates for transport, and prices start at 3490 Euros:
Back to trikes, and your editor had a quick ride on the latest KMX trike complete with full alloy frame and improved seat. Despite the change to alloy KMX supremo Barry Smith says they still haven't managed to break one - neither did I!
Challenge were keen to scotch any rumour that they'd been copying the ICE seat for their trike - in fact they're buying genuine ICE-branded seats directly from ICE, and the latest batch even have the ICE logo on to dispel any confusion:
So to a few component highlights...
After our article in Issue 39 about double disk braked forks, it was a nice surprise to see this one from Altena-Bike, although Anton of Altena said he'd been working on it since well before that was published. The Altena fork was fitted here with the Magura BIG double disk brakes. It's available for either 26" or 700c wheels (or smaller!) and the design uses aluminium fork crown and dropouts which are joined to chromoly steel fork blades using a shrink-fit method - avoiding weld distortion and weak spots:
Juliane Neuss of Junik HPV has a number of items to show. An expert in special needs cycling and ergonomics, she had some very tidy support trikes for people of limited growth on her stand. Her new book on bicycle ergonomics was also available (sadly only in German, as it looks like an authoritative work). And she was also pleased to be importing the Hubbub helmet mirror, which clips neatly onto almost any helmet. We borrowed a Biologic Pango folding helmet for the photo:
Finally for now, although cycling fans may have found the SPEZI hugely exciting, that didn't apply to all of the visitors:
Posting on behalf of JonB:
1) I think it is Cab-Bike not Car-Bike
2) "A considerably more 'prototype' machine was a few metres away - I love the mudguards made from number plates. Anyone know who made it? It's likely ,I suspect, to be a member of the German HPV Club..."
is made by Harald Winkler. You can see his lecture at te 6th european velomobile seminar here:
Your picture is apparently his latest creation, and it has smart features: The front with the pedals can fold into the rear square + the seat back can fold forward and take no space. He had a 2 color 3 piece foam cover for this creation where he used 2 zippers to put the pieces together and quickly make the foam into smaller foldable pieces.
About the Car-Bike/Cab-Bike - I thought so too... and it looks like it's derived from the Cab-Bike design. But the text on the bodywork is definitely Car-Bike, and ISTR that there was a group of people from Poland who were building them under license...
I'll try and find out for sure.
The manufacturer is actually Car-Bike in Poland:
and Cab-Bike are their distributors in Germany. The solo bike is available immediately - the tandem will take a little longer as they're working on making it lighter and other improvements. Prices are still being determined but in Germany are likely to be around the 4500-5000 Euro level (for the solo, but I'll need to double check that) but apparently if you can go to Poland and buy direct then it could be cheaper. Fully enclosed 'cabin' versions of both solo and tandem will also be available.
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