Urban Transport

Snoek may just be the fastest velomobile you can buy

Snoek may just be the fastest ...
Once in production, the Snoek should sell for about €8,000 (US$9,663)
Once in production, the Snoek should sell for about €8,000 (US$9,663)
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It may be built as a racer, but the Snoek could also be used for getting around town
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It may be built as a racer, but the Snoek could also be used for getting around town
The Snoek reportedly weighs just 20 kg (44 lb)
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The Snoek reportedly weighs just 20 kg (44 lb)
The Snoek does incorporate a side mirror, along with front and rear suspension
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The Snoek does incorporate a side mirror, along with front and rear suspension
The Snoek (left) alongside a more traditional Quest velomobile
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The Snoek (left) alongside a more traditional Quest velomobile
Once in production, the Snoek should sell for about €8,000 (US$9,663)
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Once in production, the Snoek should sell for about €8,000 (US$9,663)
View gallery - 5 images

Although velomobiles are known for being faster than bicycles, some of the more "practical" models can be rather ungainly. That doesn't apply to the Snoek, though, which is built first and foremost for speed.

Should you be wondering, a velomobile is basically a recumbent tricycle enclosed within an aerodynamic body. While not the greatest at climbing hills, the things are considerably more streamlined than bicycles, so they can reach higher speeds with less effort – on flat roads, at least. They also offer more protection from the elements.

Named after a sleek fish, the Snoek is made by Dutch company Velomobiel.nl. The vehicle is aimed primarily at racing – yes, there are velomobile races – or quick recreational riding, so the emphasis of its design is on going fast.

This can be seen in its lightweight carbon fiber body, the frontal area of which is 20 percent smaller than that of the company's more general-purpose Quest model.

The Snoek (left) alongside a more traditional Quest velomobile
The Snoek (left) alongside a more traditional Quest velomobile

The whole thing reportedly weighs just 20 kg (44 lb) – by contrast, most other velomobiles tip the scales at around 30 to 40 kg (66 to 88 lb). It should be noted that some models do have electric-assist motors, which the Snoek does not … or at least, not as a standard feature.

There are some nods to practicality, though, as it does incorporate a side mirror along with front and rear suspension. A full lighting system, including turn indicators, is also in the works.

Some of its other features include Sturmey Archer single-sided drum brakes; a 2 x 11 drivetrain (Shimano 105 front derailleur, SLX Shadow rear derailleur, 11-36 SRAM cassette); along with 20-inch front wheels and a 28-incher in the rear. The rider's head is surrounded by a removable aerodynamic cover not unlike a neoprene kayak skirt, although the company has produced a removable "Racehood" hard top for complete enclosure.

It may be built as a racer, but the Snoek could also be used for getting around town
It may be built as a racer, but the Snoek could also be used for getting around town

But just how fast is the Snoek?

"One of our first customers is a top recumbent bike sport cyclist who will race with it," Velomobiel.nl co-founder Theo van Andel tells us. "He now races a Milan SL, he tested the Snoek and said it is a lot faster. He could cruise at 60 km/h [37 mph] easily for a while."

Should you want to be a customer, though, be prepared to wait a while and spend a lot. Although the Snoek has yet to enter full production, there are already 22 orders in place, which van Andel says should take about nine months to fill. Once it is in production, it should be priced at around €8,000 (US$9,663).

In the meantime, you can see the Snoek in action, in the video below.

Source: Velombiel.nl

De Snoek by Velomobiel.nl

View gallery - 5 images
9 comments
riczero-b
If it was brighter red, with a black tick on the side it would attract Nike funding. A lace-up front would be good too.
WB
there is no way this fat blob and wide profile is faster than an ultra slim carbon all around road bike...
Username
How thick is the instruction manual to get in and out of this thing?!
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Would like to see a tilting body. Working on lugs for tilting frame.
Jonathan Ferland-Valois
Looks pretty cool! I'd like Canadian manufacturers to make more velomobile models. I think that someone in BC makes Milan and Quattro models, but it would be cool if more people were interested so there could be more options without needing to import velomobile from Europe, Australia and the US.
aksdad
Search for "human powered bicycle speed record" to see why "this fat blob and wide profile is faster than an ultra slim carbon fiber all around road bike". Hint: aerodynamics.
ChairmanLMAO
Can I get mine with a pedal powered propeller on it?
Kevin Ritchey
I’ll wait for the motorized version. I’m inherently lazy.
ReservoirPup
" They also offer more protection from the elements." and in accidents too. There quite a few vids on he subject.