While some people like the added stability offered by trikes as compared to bikes, the things can actually be tippier when cornering. The Italian-designed Tris Bike addresses that issue, with tilting front wheels that let it lean into turns. It's also got an electric-assist motor.
Sort of like an upright version of the Polish EV4 semi-recumbent e-trike, the Tris Bike incorporates a mechanism that allows the two front wheels to tilt up to 30 degrees relative to the chromoly steel frame. They can also pivot a maximum of 60 degrees to either side, giving the trike a relatively tight turning radius.
When stopping, riders can use a handlebar lever to block the tilting mechanism – this keeps the front wheels sitting vertically straight, so the trike stays upright without the need for riders to put their feet on the road. Additionally, parking-brake devices built into the tilt-blocking and front brake levers keep the Tris Bike from rolling away or tilting over when left unattended, so no kickstand is necessary.
The rider's pedalling power is augmented by a 250-watt Zehus rear hub motor, which is itself powered by a 30-volt/160-Wh lithium-ion battery pack. Aided by a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) that harvests energy when braking, the trike can reportedly go up to 30 km (19 miles) on one three-hour charge of that battery.
The exact range figure will depend on the amount of electrical assistance used, which is selected via an accompanying iOS/Android app – at the highest level, riders can pedal at a maximum speed of 25 km/h (16 mph). That app also provides information such as battery charge level, current speed, and distance travelled.
Other standard features include front, central and rear cargo racks, battery-powered head- and tail lights, and mudguards on all three wheels. Buyers can also opt for a costlier Split model that disassembles into two sections for travel, or a cheaper non-motorized Light version. The main Fix model, that has a motor but that doesn't split in two, tips the scales at a claimed 26 kg (57 lb).
Should you be interested, the Tris Bike is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of €2,299 (about US$2,605) is required for a Fix, with the planned retail price sitting at €2,900 ($3,285). Assuming it reaches production, shipping is estimated for August.
It can be seen in action, in the video below.
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