Why power your bike with just your legs, if your arms can be put to work too? That's the thinking behind the Varibike, an arm- and leg-powered bicycle – there's also a stand-up scooter version. Two-wheelers aren't for everyone, though. It's with that in mind that the recumbent Varibike Trike is now being introduced.
Like its bicycle counterpart, the Trike allows riders to pedal with just their arms, just their legs, or a combination of both. Additionally, when arm-pedalling, the two hand cranks can be used in a side-by-side configuration (for a rowing-like motion), or in a more traditional one-up-one-down setup.
Interestingly, steering is achieved not just by turning the front wheel, but by pivoting the whole front end of the frame. While it looks like this design might make it difficult to pedal while turning, Varibike managing director Martin Kraiss tells us that this isn't the case. He also says that pedalling forces, from the arms or legs, won't affect the steering.
Along with a powder-coated 7020 aluminum alloy frame, some of the Trike's other features include an adjustable-angle mesh seat, front and rear V-brakes, and a Shimano XT 10-speed drivetrain – 11-, 14- or 30-speed systems are available as upgrades. Additionally, the rear wheels are set up to receive a hub motor.
The Varibike Trike can be ordered now, with prices starting at €3,780 (about US$3,986). It can be seen in use, in the video below. For other approaches to the whole arm-and-leg-powered-tricycle thing, check out the TheraTryke and the Ruder Trike.
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