Bicycles

Unusual trike goes out on four limbs

Unusual trike goes out on four...
The Varibike Trike can be powered by the arms, legs, or both
The Varibike Trike can be powered by the arms, legs, or both
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The Varibike Trike can be powered by the arms, legs, or both
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The Varibike Trike can be powered by the arms, legs, or both
The Varibike Trike can be ordered now, with pricing starting at €3,780 (about US$3,986)
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The Varibike Trike can be ordered now, with pricing starting at €3,780 (about US$3,986)

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.

The Varibike Trike can be ordered now, with pricing starting at €3,780 (about US$3,986)
The Varibike Trike can be ordered now, with pricing starting at €3,780 (about US$3,986)

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.

Source: Varibike

NEW: Varibike Full Body Trike. Row, paddle or cycle it.

3 comments
f8lee
Wouldn't pivoting the front wheel during a turn cause separation between the pedal and the foot (potentially painful if the turn is too sharp)? Meanwhile, the other foot and leg would be cramped into the rider's body - seems like a very inefficient and possibly dangerous way to engineer this.
Jay Gatto
Yes, f8lee, I also don't like the hand crank being part of the steering, but the steering is a simple, but not a 'good' fix for front wheel drive, to be nice about it.
niio
Where are the gears? I'd like to see it outside with hills where extra power could be useful, and compared to a conventional bike to see if it performs better.