ThisWay by Torkel Dohmers

| 45 comments

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ThisWay is a bicycle by Swedish designer Torkel Dohmers, with a roof intended to protect the cyclist in bad weather.

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According to the designer, the concept aims to encourage more people to take up cycling.

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The bike has built-in, battery-powered LED lights at the front and rear, which can be recharged using roof-mounted solar cells.

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Luggage can be clipped to the back of the frame.

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Below is some more information from Torkel Dohmers:

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A comfortable pedal powered bicycle with weather protection. Emphasis is on automotive qualities in the design, to attract non-cyclists who currently rely on cars and motorcycles. Another selling point to attract more potential cyclists (particularly here in Europe) is weather protection - ThisWay has a roof.

Built from composite materials (carbon or flax fibre) and some hydro-formed aluminium, this vehicle is very lightweight (approximately 11-12kg). It has built-in LED lights front and rear, powered by a rechargeable battery obtaining its power from roof mounted solar cells. For minimum maintenance ThisWay's built-in belt drive is well protected and all cables are hidden within the frame.

The car-like ergonomics offer a riding position lower than a traditional bike to keep a low centre of gravity and optimal aerodynamics.

The design has simple controls for ease of use; a single hand brake lever and hub gears type Torpedo Duomatic providing Low and Hi gear.

The rear of the frame has a "luggage connector", where the user can plug-in his/her luggage (e.g. briefcase, helmet box or rack for shopping bags). The design also benefits from flexibility and comfort for riders of different sizes; the crank set and seat is adjustable in length and height.

A "hybrid" version (pedal power/electric motor) is possible and additional battery pack plugged-in into the luggage connector will extend the range further.

Although this design is more expensive to manufacture compared to its traditional rivals, it is still just a fraction of the price of a car and virtually zero in running costs...

Motivation:
There are roofed bikes out there on the market already, such as rickshaws, recumbents, HPVs (Human Powered Vehicles)/velomobiles etc., so covered bikes have existed for a long time, but the challenge is to design a functional and desirable bicycle that even appeals to non-cyclists.

It makes sense for a commuter bike here in Central and Northern Europe to offer some degree of weather protection for improved comfort. Instead of creating a totally enclosed design similar to other HPVs/velomobiles risking the user to feel isolated, a more open design will allow a higher degree of interaction with the surroundings.

The bike should have "attitude" with high visual impact giving the user a feeling of "owning the street".

ThisWay is my proposal for a feasible design that I believe will potentially become a commercial product and hopefully get people more interested in commuting by bike...

| 45 comments

Posted on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 at 5:12 pm by Rachael Sykes. See our copyright policy. Before commenting, please read our comments policy.

  • http://www.breakopen.ie eoin

    Really interesting project. I think it’s much safer for cyclists when they have more physical presence on roads. Well done Torkel, I hope it gets produced.

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    As a bicyclist myself, I think this is pretty cool. My only question is: Is it just single-gear? At the very least it ought to be a three-speed so that the rider can pick up a little velocity without pedalling like a maniac.

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    Oh, never mind about my last comment. I read the article a bit more carefully and noticed the bike has two speeds. Better than just one, I guess.

  • John

    All the blah blah blah about composites overlooks a very obvious problem with the design. No fenders. The roof protect from rain falling on your head while the lack of anything like fenders means any precipitation on the road goes straight in your face…?

  • gdr

    nice looking but would hardly protect rider from weather – splash up from pavement, spray from tires, etc…

  • Scott

    This looks like it may keep the upper body out of the weather, but one’s legs will still get soaked in the rain, and the lack of a front fender, will allow water/mud to be tossed back directly onto the rider.

  • http://www.widedynamicrange.com pvonelling

    I think the idea is right, but if you want to protect the riders from the elements, you need fenders or fairings of some sort to stop splashing from the wheels which causes the most dirt and water to get on the rider.

  • Michael

    Boy, does that roof become pointless when you start moving. Use fenders.

  • modular

    Nice renderings. Anyway, the version without roof is awesome. The other one is just silly.

    Protect from the rain? What about the sides?

    Anyway… kudos for the last image! It has that 70s vibe with a refreshened looks!!!

  • WM

    Cmon your having a laugh that is not going to encourage anyone to take up cycling… plus anything over 3 mph this canopy will only protect the face/torso in bad weather.

  • Theo

    Nice idea, but rain doesn’t fall vertically and that little roof probably isn’t going to do much.

  • Matt

    Beautifully proportioned. I’d be very tempted to start riding to work on something like that.

  • Lucap

    ..and what part of the body would the “roof intended to protect the cyclist in bad weather” exactly cover? . . eyebrows? . . legs would totally get wet under light rain, maybe even more than a normal bike..
    I, personally, think the features of this “bike” are really great, but i have some doubts about how one would stand still, at a stop light, for example, on such a low
    barycentre..probably have to put down both legs, i guess..
    also, I would be little worried riding this kind of bike around, about the height and visibility from cars or SUVs..not sure if a bike should be this low..
    I was wondering about a view of the bike+human, and i found it on the linked website (http://www.redtop.se/ThisWay/ThisWayTapeDrawing_3.jpg)..

    i’m not saying here “i would of done better”, just saying some first-impact critiques..

  • kudzi

    “weather protection”???? thats like using a cd on a stick for an umbrella…unless that wind sheild actually generates a force field

    • Espen Hoppemannen Hæhre

      lol :) you could listen to music and remain dry! :)

  • http://archinspire.com hans

    what an attractive cycle! ;). its more nice if there is full body protect/cover to protect us againts the rain

  • J*

    I won’t comment anymore on the weather protection… everybody else has done it well. What I am a bit concerned about are other practical stuff like: what if a puncture? (it doesn’t look easy to remove these wheels) and what if the chain jumps off the sprockets? (especially the front one).
    Nice attempt though, I think it is time to think about biking and trying to enhance them, the security, the pleasure, the protection, etc… if more people start doing this, it’ll go in the right direction (environment)
    Conclusion: good effort. Carry on the good work! (but just don’t stop here!)

    • Jeffery Farmer

      Heck I’d like to get this bike if he actually has it created I’d prefer one with everything on it but with the grey and black color.

  • Pony the Trap

    Eleven or twelve kilos is actually very heavy for a pushbike in this day and age.

  • http://www.judithlindenau.com Gertie Cranker

    I want one!

  • feedmyego

    roof doesnt do squat to protect you from weather, plus i can only imagine how horrible your line of sight would be past the narrow connection of the roof to the handlebars. all id see are the supports…

  • Cano

    The seating position seems awkward. The initial take-off would be difficult. Keeping the top-heavy bike vertical in that critical moment would be near impossible. You would need to have perfect acrobatic balance to start pedaling from a static position. On a traditional bike, a cyclist uses his/her legs to push forward; you can’t do that when your legs are out in front of you.

  • rossvon

    Very nice. I would like to know why solar panels were chosen to power the bike, instead of the traditional pedal powered dynamo? Certainly if the weather is bad enough to justify a roof the solar panel will be hopelessly ineffective.

    Otherwise an awesome bike. If I didn’t live in the windiest city in the world, I would love one.

  • Loco

    Very nice, I want. I see the fenders appear in the 2nd photo. Does need more gears though even for city use. Roof practicality ? Hmmm. Roof supports at the back should support a much larger triangular warning panel to prevent drivers overlooking the bike+rider’s otherwise low profile. This is particularly advisable in USA with many tall SUV’s and trucks on the road.

  • http://www.oscarlhermitte.com oscar

    how are you gonna park that in your flat?

  • Joe

    GREAT, too bad the top doesn’t give that much coverage, but any protection is welcome on the usually exposed-to-the-elements bicycle.

  • *MIRTEC*

    at last! a dry bike! everyone will be cycling very soon ;-)

  • Grorig

    If you look carefull there appear to be fenders on the second image down. But I agree with most comments re: the low protection value of the roof – bit of a difficult ballancing act I guess.

    At least the project keeps the cyclist v car debate going.

  • http://www.adrianweidmann.com Wadi

    Nice try!
    This guy like to design, maybe just a bit too much transportation design.
    11-12kg weight is nearly inpossible, or you got a nanotube carbon material from Easton. This cycling position is maybe working for a sunday ride in the countryside. If you ever cycled with a recumbent bike in the City, you know how important a upright position is for the traffic and all the starts at the red lights.

    There is still a lot of work to do, but if there would be more design for HPVs (Human Powered Vehicles)/velomobiles etc., and less fans of Car Design I can cycle one day without my mask in London.

  • amsam

    A beautiful object and the designer is very talented. But bicycles are highly practical. It sucks that they should be so hard to reinvent, but they are. My big issue with it is that recumbents put the driver too low to ride safely in city traffic. Again, beautiful work in the abstract though.

  • http://www.kensbikeski.com Kbikski

    Beautiful design. Some practical concerns have been raised, but most of these can be addressed by further design refinements. My question: How does one adjust the seat-to-pedal distance? It looks like very little adjustment is possible, so perhaps the frame will have to be produced in many different sizes (additional drawback, as it makes it difficult to share a bike among various riders with differing leg lengths, as we do with cars…). Despite all this, as soon as I shared this photo with one of our local cyclist email lists, I had several riders wanting to buy one in my bike store! The design is beautiful, and if the bugs are worked out, I think it can attract many riders, both cyclists and car drivers. And if not, at least it has furthered the conversation and others can learn from this design.

  • http://www.dutchdesignagency.nl Dutch Design

    Is it a prototype only, or can it be ordered somewhere?

  • eduardo

    very original, cool project

  • http://deuxneuve.wordpress.com deuxneuve

    Enfin un vélo couvert qui tient la route !

  • Mads

    Beautiful looking, but I’m not sure about the practicality. Storing it at home would be bad enough, but where are you supposed to put it once you ride into the City for work? It’s too big to lock up at normal bike racks, and is possibly too long to even fit comfortably in motorcycle parking spots.

  • http://www.andresrozo.com Rozo

    This looks expensive to make
    I dont think it is easy to ride
    high center of gravity
    heavy = high load + difficult to brake (STOP)
    difficult position to pedal
    just two speeds IS NOT ENOUGH
    how do you park it?
    the weather protector only covers 10%
    IT DOES LOOK LIKE IT HAD ELECTRICAL POWER
    counterproductive work

  • britta

    It looks nice and Im sure it’s comfy but a disadvantage is the low position on the road, not jut because of spashing water but also for the lack of overview and sense of control on the street.

  • Tom

    At home, I live in a hilly city. How would this bike go up hills?

    To be honest even in tropical South Yorkshire it’s only wet enough to warrant this once every two weeks. And then you might as well just get a good jacket and some ‘fenders’ as my American friends call them. (We call them mud-guards.)

    It must be difficult to redesign something like the bike because the original is so bloody good at what it does.

    I’m in Beijing at the moment, and a lot of people drive electric bikes around. That seems like a good idea for mass transportation to me, and you get a lot of professional/wealthy types who wouldn’t dream of powering their own transport deigning to use one. But the thing is: they all look awful. So this could be a fruitful subject for designers. Just like electric cars, we need amazing designs, or no-one’s going to want to use them.

  • http://www.thepe.org peter siksma

    Great design!

    You should ‘impose’ your ideas to these guys: they seem to be stuck..

    http://www.drymer.nl

  • Bowmer

    cool pics

  • Joseph

    If this had electric assist for a hill or two, I’d know doubt ditch the car for this. Fantastic design.

  • shirley Peters

    Would love to see a three wheel version: my husband is a stroke survivor, and this would be ideal for him provided it was more stable.

  • Jeffery Farmer

    Hey email me with a price if I wanted one jefgfar@email.ecok.edu

  • Jeffery Farmer

    Someone said something about the design having a flaw but on my closer observation the bike has fenders that are actually closer to the tires than most other bikes, which to me is an excellent idea seeing that you most likely wont have any splashback from the tires.

  • Moooooo

    Well I think this is a very smart idea. I love it, like a bike with a roof, instead of putting a silly umbrella and attaching it to your handle bars and it falling, quite smart actually. I’m thinking of telling my parents about this to tell them that I want one for Christmas.