Urban Transport

TroyTec modular recumbent packs multiple bikes into one package

TroyTec Revolution LR on the street
TroyTec Revolution LR on the street
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TroyTec at ISPO Munich 2014
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TroyTec at ISPO Munich 2014
TroyTec was a finalist for this year's ISPO BrandNew Awards
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TroyTec was a finalist for this year's ISPO BrandNew Awards
The Revolution LR-FS at ISPO Munich 2014
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The Revolution LR-FS at ISPO Munich 2014
Riding or relaxing?
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Riding or relaxing?
Saddled up and ready to ride ... kind of
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Saddled up and ready to ride ... kind of
The Revolution LR-FS at ISPO Munich 2014
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The Revolution LR-FS at ISPO Munich 2014
The full suspension Revolution models use a centrally mounted suspension with 75 mm of travel
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The full suspension Revolution models use a centrally mounted suspension with 75 mm of travel
With burlier tires, the Revolution HR-FS heads off pavement
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With burlier tires, the Revolution HR-FS heads off pavement
We're guessing it won't work on switchbacking singletrack, but the Revolution can do some lighter off-road riding
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We're guessing it won't work on switchbacking singletrack, but the Revolution can do some lighter off-road riding
TroyTec Revolution HR in action
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TroyTec Revolution HR in action
TroyTec Revolution LR on the street
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TroyTec Revolution LR on the street
TroyTec Revolution LR on the street
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TroyTec Revolution LR on the street
TroyTec says the Revolution can hit speeds up to 27 mph (44 km/h) with 250 watts of leg power
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TroyTec says the Revolution can hit speeds up to 27 mph (44 km/h) with 250 watts of leg power
Out on the street on a TroyTec Revolution
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Out on the street on a TroyTec Revolution
Out on the street on a TroyTec Revolution
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Out on the street on a TroyTec Revolution
Out on the street on a TroyTec Revolution
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Out on the street on a TroyTec Revolution
TroyTec's Time Trial competition bike
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TroyTec's Time Trial competition bike
The drivetrain, seat and handlebars stay in place when switching from one configuration to the next
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The drivetrain, seat and handlebars stay in place when switching from one configuration to the next
The Revolution LR packed up in a bike hard case
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The Revolution LR packed up in a bike hard case
The pillar of TroyTec bikes: the carbon fiber monocoque
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The pillar of TroyTec bikes: the carbon fiber monocoque

Revolution speed bikes from Munich's TroyTec bring modular, F1-inspired design to the world of recumbent racing and touring. At the heart of the line lies a carbon monocoque frame that provides the basis for easy transformation between four primary configurations. Riders can pedal up high, down low, and on rigid wheels or full suspension, depending upon the demands of the road immediately ahead.

TroyTec was founded in 2009 by Tobias Albert and Dominik Rodatus, both mechanical engineers with experience in motorsports. The two set out to put that engineering experience into their shared passion for bicycles. The Revolution is a fruit of that labor, and it has auto racing inspiration in its DNA, particularly the carbon fiber monocoque backbone.

The pillar of TroyTec bikes: the carbon fiber monocoque
The pillar of TroyTec bikes: the carbon fiber monocoque

The monocoque frame can be outfitted with different forks, rear swing arms and wheels to create four main bikes – low and high rigid racing configurations and low and high full-suspension comfort models. Other main components, including the drivetrain, seat and handlebars, are left in place from one bike to the next. All forks and swing arms are made from carbon fiber.

The Revolution LR and LR-FS pack 20-in front wheels, while the HR and HR-FS use 26-in front wheels. The rear drop-outs can be swapped out on both low and high models to accept either 26- or 28-in wheels without needing any geometry modifications. The bike can also accept different wheel thicknesses up to 35 mm, allowing for use with both smooth road and knobby off-road tires.

Though TroyTec advertises four main set-ups, the compatibility with different sizes of rear wheels and different styles of tires means that there are even more possibilities. For instance, the bike can be used both as a rigid, low road-racer and a high, full suspension light off-roader. TroyTec reckons there are 12 different set-ups all together.

Thanks to their carbon fiber design, Revolution bikes weigh as little as 8 kg (17.6 lb). TroyTec says that its wind tunnel testing indicates the Revolution has 25 percent less wind resistance than a racing bike. It claims that riders can achieve speeds of up to 27 mph (44 km/h) with 250 watts of pedaling power. Like a race car, the bike is optimized for speedy cornering thanks to its low center of gravity.

The "FS" (full suspension) on the comfort models seems curious when looking at the stiff fork up front. TroyTec explains that its Main Suspension System's pivot point is located below the center of gravity and effectively absorbs impact for both wheels while eliminating irritating, efficiency-sapping bob. The system packs 75 mm (3 in) of travel, and an adjustable spring rate lets riders tweak things to their weight and riding preferences.

The Revolution LR packed up in a bike hard case
The Revolution LR packed up in a bike hard case

The Revolution is designed to be broken down and packed into a hard travel case within about 10 minutes. Transforming the bike from one configuration to another is more cumbersome, however, as it involves routing brake and gear-shift cables through the frame and fork. A full re-configuration takes two to three hours.

When it's time to stop mixing and matching bike parts and start pedaling, the rider slinks into a seat set at an angle of 24 degrees. The seat position is aimed at comfort and fatigue reduction, distributing weight over a large area instead of concentrating it on one spot, the way a traditional bicycle saddle does. To tweak comfort further, the buyer can choose from different seat thicknesses and adjust the handlebars for a custom ride.

I took a brief sit-down on the Revolution LR-FS model being displayed at ISPO Munich, without actually adjusting anything for fit, and it felt more like a lie-down. I'd be more worried about falling asleep on the bike than having any pain in my backside.

Riding or relaxing?
Riding or relaxing?

Though the Revolution offers a lot of versatility, it does come at a cost. The rigid LR and HR models start at €4,690 (US$6,450), while both suspension models are €5,290 ($7,275). Each conversion kit runs between €818 and 2,091, so if you really want to enjoy all the versatility the Revolution offers, you could quickly rack up five figures worth of bike equipment.

TroyTec offers a variety of component options, and the bikes have mounts for saddlebags and carriers. Each bike is handcrafted, and TroyTec lists a lead time of four weeks.

The past year has treated TroyTec quite well, seeing two ISPO BrandNew Finalist nominations and a second place finish at the 2013 World Championship race in Leer, Germany.

The video below shows the Revolution getting pushed past the 100-km/h (62 mph) mark on a stretch of downhill.

Source: TroyTec

102,6Km/h Speeddownhill mit TROYTEC Liegerad

10 comments
telocity
So no chance of a low cost mass produced steel frame version with regular wheels coming out anytime? Bummer. $600-$800 would be nice.
The Skud
I don't know about other readers, but 102 kp/h on 2 wheels, would scare the pants off me! Can you imagine the thought of Joe Public pootling along at 80 or so when one of these sped by? Would give speed camera cops a bit of confusion as well!
Michael Crumpton
Add a real fairing and you could pedal half as hard, for the same speed.
duh3000
Looks sexy. Lots of engineering. As Michaelc writes - needs a real fairing and then you'll have some real speed. While I agree that having a versatile, flexible bike is a great idea, I don't quite see the attraction of the specific "four main bikes" this machine offers. It doesn't shift into a semi-recumbent or upright. No, what you have is a single racing recumbent design which permits ... changes in wheel sizes... Why? ... and removal of the suspension WHY?! Of course you can change tyres too, but that's hardly an innovation. If my experience riding low racer recumbents is at all relevant, suspension is welcome at all times aside from maybe racing on a velodrome track. Higher or lower is a choice you make before you buy. At the price for this machine + the conversion parts you could just go out and buy 2 excellent non-carbon bikes : a high racer and a low racer, and save yourself some money and hassle swapping back and forth.
mgb
I wholeheartedly agree with telocity above, all this obsession with speed leaves us where? We need a reasonably priced, comfortable and efficient recumbent for all to enjoy riding at around $650, with an electric power-assist version at the $900-1000 mark and maybe an extra $300-500 for a fairing and roof for wet riding. This where it's all at folks: personal transport without the pollution and the bonus of some exercise. Will it ever happen? I kinda doubt it...:-( SIGH
Lewis M. Dickens III
Now it looks like we are getting somewhere and that this is a brilliant bike. Stuck in a good fairing it should do quite well. The only fault that I can see is that the spine is curved and the back rest does not acknowledge that. Certainly for me it would have to curve a bit more to keep from inducing pain. Neat design work! Bill
Ed
This looks painful to ride. Lying on your back and having to support your head from a basically horizontal position yet you have to see forward is going to hurt your neck very quickly...now add to that a bouncy road and the constant jostling of your head up and down, you will have neck pains and sore shoulders within 10 minutes of riding this! The head wasn't designed to be angled like this without additional support! Just look at how comfortable that guy is in that last picture!
Dan Lewis
Frankly, I'm disappointed with the design. I fully expected almost all the drive components to be inside the spine of the bike itself. I was hoping to see a vehicle free of dangling chains, cables, etc. Sorry. No sale.
Nelson Hyde Chick
You sit so low on one of these bikes a motorist could run you over and he would not even know he made you a stain on the road. At least with a regular bike the motorist will see you when you roll over the hood of his car.
Griffin
For the price of the conversion kits, you could just buy more bikes. Why are recumbents so expensive, anyway?