Bicycles

Vello bike combines rear shock with quirky folding system

Vello bike combines rear shock...
The Vello Urbano, folded for transit
The Vello Urbano, folded for transit
View 12 Images
The Vello Urbano, folded for transit
1/12
The Vello Urbano, folded for transit
The 8-speed Urbano is intended for relaxed riding
2/12
The 8-speed Urbano is intended for relaxed riding
The Vello Speedster
3/12
The Vello Speedster
The 10-speed Speedster is intended for fast riding
4/12
The 10-speed Speedster is intended for fast riding
The Vello Rocky
5/12
The Vello Rocky
The 10-speed Rocky is intended for semi-rugged riding
6/12
The 10-speed Rocky is intended for semi-rugged riding
The Rocky, folded for transit
7/12
The Rocky, folded for transit
Features on all models include an integrated headlight ...
8/12
Features on all models include an integrated headlight ...
... tail light ...
9/12
... tail light ...
... a combination coupler and rear shock absorber ...
10/12
... a combination coupler and rear shock absorber ...
... foot pegs for pushing the back of the frame into its folded position ...
11/12
... foot pegs for pushing the back of the frame into its folded position ...
... and a folding rear fender
12/12
... and a folding rear fender

Remember the baby stroller/scooter hybrid known as the Roller Buggy? Even if you don't, its Austrian creator is now part of the team behind another unique mode of human-powered transportation. This one's called the Vello bike, and it features a unique folding mechanism along with some other clever innovations.

Designed by Valentin Vodev (the Buggy guy) and Valerie Wolff, the Vello's rear triangle/wheel tucks in beneath the rest of the steel frame. It does so within just a second or two, simply by pushing your foot down on either of two pegs near its rear drop-outs – no flicking of levers is required. The bike's handlebars get folded sideways, and then the whole thing can be pushed along through tight spaces on its back wheel.

The rear triangle pivots near the bottom bracket, and is held in place while riding by a magnetic coupler at the top of the seat stays. That coupler doubles as an elastomer rear shock absorber.

... a combination coupler and rear shock absorber ...
... a combination coupler and rear shock absorber ...

Other features include a folding rear fender, integrated head- and tail lights, and a QR code that can be linked online to the individual owner. That code is embedded under the frame's varnish, and is intended to provide proof of ownership if the bike is stolen.

The Vello is being made in three versions: the relaxed-riding 8-speed Urbano, the more mountain bike-like 10-speed Rocky, and the drop-barred, slick-tired 10-speed Speedster. All three models feature a mix of components appropriate to their intended riding style, along with 20-inch wheels.

Vodev and Wolff are currently raising production funds for the Vello bike, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$890 will get you an Urbano, with $1,090 required for a Rocky and $1,350 for a Speedster. Delivery is estimated for next March, assuming they make it to production.

More information is available in the pitch video below.

Sources: Vello bike, Kickstarter

4 comments
MarylandUSA
The folding mechanism (1:55) is cool. It also looks reasonably secure. I say that as someone whose 1979 Bickerton folder, whose folding hinge was locked or unlocked by flipping a cam lever, once unlocked unexpectedly. I had heard that "no one" in Europe wears a bicycle helmet. Is that why these models are bare-headed? Or is it so we don't forget how attractive they are?
anobium
Looks good but methinks it does not fold as small as the Bromptom. If it is cheaper though, it should do well.
Michael Crumpton
This bike is amazing, only if you have not seen the Bike Friday Tikit, which folds faster and more completely and did it nearly 8 years ago: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQscBxx7wLE
Lawrence Lagarde
Kinda cool BUT... Bromptons can tuck the rear wheel under either by lifting the bike or pushing a lever and lifting so what's the point?