Bicycles

10-lb Laufrad carbon fiber balance bike is made for seniors on the move

10-lb Laufrad carbon fiber bal...
Laufrad inventor Albrecht Schnitzer takes his creation out for a spin
Laufrad inventor Albrecht Schnitzer takes his creation out for a spin
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The Laufrad reportedly tips the scales at just 4.5 kg (9.9 lb), so it can easily be picked up and carried short distances as needed
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The Laufrad reportedly tips the scales at just 4.5 kg (9.9 lb), so it can easily be picked up and carried short distances as needed
The Laufrad is offered in seven color choices
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The Laufrad is offered in seven color choices
Laufrad inventor Albrecht Schnitzer takes his creation out for a spin
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Laufrad inventor Albrecht Schnitzer takes his creation out for a spin
Along with its carbon fiber frame and fork, the Laufrad features front and rear V brakes, internal cable routing, a kickstand, an adjustable-height saddle and handlebars, plus 20-inch aluminum wheels
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Along with its carbon fiber frame and fork, the Laufrad features front and rear V brakes, internal cable routing, a kickstand, an adjustable-height saddle and handlebars, plus 20-inch aluminum wheels
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Although many seniors end up requiring some sort of mobility assistance, not all of them are wild about the stigma that comes with using a walker. That's where the Laufrad comes in, as it's a sleek adult-sized carbon fiber balance bike.

The vehicle was invented by German octogenarian Albrecht Schnitzer.

He wanted a means of getting around the sidewalks of Hamburg that was faster and hipper than using a walker (aka a Zimmer frame), but safer than cycling. With the help of his son Heinrich, he started the company Sollso, which now manufactures and sells the Laufrad (or "impeller," in English).

Along with its carbon fiber frame and fork, the bike features front and rear V brakes, internal cable routing, a kickstand, an adjustable-height saddle and handlebars, plus 20-inch aluminum wheels.

The Laufrad is offered in seven color choices
The Laufrad is offered in seven color choices

The whole thing reportedly tips the scales at just 4.5 kg (9.9 lb), so it can easily be picked up and carried short distances as needed. It accommodates riders weighing up to 100 kg (220 lb).

Should you be interested, the Laufrad is available now via the Sollso website in color choices of blue, blue-gray, light gray, magenta, orange, red and black. It's priced at €780 (about US$850). Optional extras include silicone handlebar grips, baskets and lights.

Adults interested in balance-biking might also want to look at the much smaller, folding Levicle. And for an example of a really wacky creation, check out the Fliz bike – it's an adult-sized one-off balance bike in which the rider hangs from a harness, suspended beneath the arching frame.

Source: Sollso

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8 comments
8 comments
Username
I don't understand the purpose of balance bikes.
Cora
There is also the VanRaam Walking Support Bike
Rustgecko
Carbon fibre is used for leading edge racing bikes because its ultra lightweight. Why spend £780 on a superlight bike when its for my grandmother going at 10 mph, when a much cheaper and slightly heavier bike would be just as good?
Dan Lewis
I like much about the design...except the hand brakes.
The hand brakes should be more a part of the handlebar itself.
Making old hands do that extra extension to grab the brake lever is not right.
Continue refining your product. You're not there yet.
1stClassOPP
Uhhh, I don’t think it would be too welcome in malls, os supermarkets, nor senior homes. Nah!
BlueOak
Cool concept, but that US$850 price, not so much.

@Username, as you age the issues of senior mobility might come into better focus.
Douglas Rogers
It looks like you have to hold up your feet while rolling, which is very hard, even for a physically capable person.
Ralf Biernacki
At that price, it makes more sense to rip out the drive train from an old bike---some of them are pretty lightweight, and will become even lighter without pedals and sprockets. Old folks with walkers tend to be poor (otherwise they get around by chaffeured car), but some of them are quite handy---more so than the current generation. Removing the chain, pedals, and sprockets from a bike would be a piece of cake to either of my kids' grandfathers, both in their eighties.

@Douglas: not if you adjust the seat height precisely, which can be done with this design unlike most child models.