Urban Transport

Alinker foldable walking trike provides an upright mobility alternative

Alinker foldable walking trike...
The Alinker can be used for strength and conditioning, low-impact exercise and/or as a commuting tool
The Alinker can be used for strength and conditioning, low-impact exercise and/or as a commuting tool
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In addition to a folding frame, the Alinker includes quick-release front wheels
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In addition to a folding frame, the Alinker includes quick-release front wheels
The Alinker is up for crowd-funding on Indiegogo
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The Alinker is up for crowd-funding on Indiegogo
Alinker user JP Barlow gives it a spin
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Alinker user JP Barlow gives it a spin
The Alinker is a more active type of mobility aid
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The Alinker is a more active type of mobility aid
The Alinker folds for easier transport and storage
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The Alinker folds for easier transport and storage
The Alinker can be used for strength and conditioning, low-impact exercise and/or as a commuting tool
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The Alinker can be used for strength and conditioning, low-impact exercise and/or as a commuting tool
The Alinker has an aluminum frame and alloy wheels
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The Alinker has an aluminum frame and alloy wheels
View gallery - 7 images

A more empowering alternative to the walker or mobility scooter, the Alinker is a walking trike designed for those that need a bit of assistance getting around but want to do so under their own steam. The curvy vessel provides needed support and takes the load off the lower limbs, while allowing the rider to remain upright and move forward under his or her own power.

Barbara Alink, a Dutch designer now living in Canada, created the Alink in response to her aging mother, who swore off the idea of ever using something like a walker or scooter. Alink decided that the "mobility aid" was in need of a refresh, reasoning that even the very term was uninspiring.

Instead of focusing only on the physical requirements of those needing mobility aids – emphasizing the disability, as Alink sees it – she set out to make something designed from the perspective of the end user, something that would be enjoyable to use and downright cool. She had pretty good timing since bikes, trikes and other forms of personal mobility, including non-pedaled walk/scoot bikes like the Levicle and Fliz, are pretty trendy right now.

The Alinker is up for crowd-funding on Indiegogo
The Alinker is up for crowd-funding on Indiegogo

After speaking to potential users, Alink came up with a design that even her mother would approve of. It's a three-wheeled bike with a radically arched aluminum frame connecting the two 16-in front wheels with the 8-in rear wheel. An adjustable seat is mounted toward the middle of the dropping tube.

The user sets the seat at a comfortable height and uses it to support their weight while walking. Not only does the Alinker allow for a more active, independent commute, it keeps the user sitting upright at eye level, where he or she can speak and engage with others more naturally.

The Alinker uses standard bicycle hardware and is designed to work with most standard bicycle accessories. It has a rear-wheel brake with cable running through the frame, which folds up at a joint just in front of the seat, creating a compact, shield-shaped package designed to slide in the trunk. The rear wheels are mounted via quick-release axles so they can be removed easily during transport and storage. The entire package weighs 26.5 lb (12 kg) and supports users up to 265 lb (120 kg).

In addition to a folding frame, the Alinker includes quick-release front wheels
In addition to a folding frame, the Alinker includes quick-release front wheels

Alink says that she's found an audience in The Netherlands, where the Alinker launched via crowdfunding last year. Users include those with physical conditions who have used the Alinker as a means of strength and conditioning, as well as those that have used it as a means of getting more generally physically active than they were using other mobility devices.

Alink is now working to launch the Alinker in North America and is hosting a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. The Alinker is being offered in three sizes for different height/measurement users, starting at pledge levels of US$1,777, which is $200 off the retail price. There are also lower pledge levels for those that want to support the project but don't want to buy a unit. The campaign has already surpassed its $30,000 goal with a full month left.

Alink explains her journey toward launch in the 3.5-minute video below.

Source: The Alinker, Indiegogo

The Alinker IndieGoGo campaign April2016

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4 comments
VoiceofReason
I think it's noble but misguided. The SALE price is $1800?! For something that amounts to a bicycle frame with nearly no extra parts? Pass.
unklmurray
I like this but Yeayh, it is way too expensive......maybe for $300.00,I'd buy one But I won't even go to their website now that I know they want over $1500.00 for it.....the front steering design would be nice to get and a larger rear tire/with peddles would be real easy to install,I would really like one but I don't have the money........LOL :-)
ljaques
Yet another bad answer in search of a problem. First, the price is absolutely -bonkers-. Second, people with limited mobility couldn't even climb onto or off it. (Do you have lots of liability insurance, Barbara?)
[ insert giant gong sound here]
Daniel Caputa
Love the idea but not the price. I agree with "unklmurray" and "voiceo freason" stated below!! I might think about it for $250 or $300. But at the price they want it's out of my price range!! I use a walker which cost me $149.00 and has a seat, storage, and breaks. Time to rethink the price of your product!