Semi-recumbent electric tandem comes apart and packs up
When we've attended the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in the past, we've always been on the lookout for things that weren't just plain ol' bikes. Well, this year's show didn't disappoint, with Bilenky Cycle Works showcasing a semi-recumbent creation that really caught our eye.
Made for a client by Philadelphia-based bike-builder Stephen Bilenky, the ViewPoint eHarmony bike on display at NAHBS certainly has a lot of interesting features.
For one thing, it's a tandem, and not just a regular tandem. Instead, as already mentioned, it's a semi-recumbent – this means that the front rider sits reclined, while the rear rider sits upright. Among other things, this allows both people to have an unobstructed view, with the rear rider looking over the front rider's head. Additionally, if the person in back starts getting tired of sitting upright, they can switch places with the person in front, taking on their more comfortable recumbent position.
Another thing that sets the bike apart from most other tandems is its independent cadence system. Whereas both riders would ordinarily have to pedal at the same rate, this setup allows them to each set their own pace – one rider can even cease pedalling altogether, while the other continues.
And speaking of pedalling, the riders are assisted by a 1,000-watt front hub motor – factors such as battery range have yet to be established, although a regenerative braking system does boost that range. A transparent Zzipper fairing in front also helps, by lowering wind drag.
Finally, the bike can be taken apart for travel. Couplers in its steel frame allow users to disassemble it, then pack it in two hard cases that meet airline size and weight requirements.
Stephen does offer other versions of the ViewPoint, which start at US$6,595 for a complete bike. He told us that the eHarmony, however, is worth about $10,000.
Product page: Bilenky ViewPoint