Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Velomobile Reviews

I'd scribbled this up after riding a Go-One Evo, a Milan and a Quest at (which I recommend very highly).  I thought it would be worth a re-post, but is a year old, so won't be able to answer too many detailed questions....
I should clarify that this was based on about 15 mins in each machine, so is simply impressionistic and by no means to be relied on. 

Go-One Evo

Really nice looking vehicle with some lovely touches. It looks very big, but was actually very tight for space inside & there is very little height where the pedals are. I didn’t have a functioning speedo whilst riding this machine, but it felt in the middle of the the three speed-wise. The fan in the nose was a really nice touch for keeping it cool & the large amount of clear cover made it feel very open. Really limited luggage space, but what there was was very well organised.


Comfortably the slowest of the three for me, but easily the most practical. I personally, really disliked it, but can see its appeal. As Elmar said, it’s the only velo you can do your weekly shopping in, then take out & race. I found it quite uncomfortable for my body shape & more difficult to get in and out of, but that’s almost certainly about me rather than the machine. It has very soft suspension at the front, which led to side-to-side rocking under power, which, when added to the 7cm gap on either side between my shoulders & the edge of the entrance hatch, left me feeling seasick & as if a lot of my power was going into rocking the machine side-to-side rather than moving forward. Loads of room inside for stuff & loads of roof/hatch options. The best all-round choice, by far. But not really for me.
(Edit: there is (and was) padding available to stop the shoulder rocking issue to some degree).


Insanely fast: I was not going flat out (I was unaccompanied & struggling to work out German traffic law/custom, let alone which side of the road to ride on), so backed off a lot, but comfortably held 52km/h on the flat & topped 64km/h on 100m of 1 (ish) % downhill. Quite claustrophobic inside (it feels tiny compared to the other two), but actually not a bad space inside. Having the hatch touch one’s head as it closes it quite scary, but there was quite a lot more space than in the Evo. “Panzer” steering (bit like USS, rather than tiller) made getting in and out a lot easier & felt more instinctive to control, not to mention made braking a lot easier. This also meant that it was the only machine with separate left/right brake controls, which would prob mean the tiller steering is (strictly speaking) illegal in the UK. For me, the easiest to enter/exit & most comfortable position inside. Will get very warm in summer inside.
Comfortably my favourite machine of the three. It struck me that the Quest/Milan difference is the same as the Fuego/Fujin: both are quite similar overall, but one is very practical, the other trades some practicality for speed. My preference, then, is probably no surprise!
Overall impressions were that they didn’t feel like bikes or trikes at all. Being inside something feels quite different. Turning circle wasn’t a problem at all, if you compare them to cars, rather than bikes or trikes. I felt quite comfortable cornering at speed, but that’s prob as much about the huge turning circle than stability! Tiller steering was quite uncomfortable (the tiller rotates rather than swings) & the brake wasn’t under one’s fingers, so I really didn’t like that. Riding on cambered roads was far worse than on a trike, but I imagine you’d get used to that quite quickly. Riding at 52km/h on a cambered road took some real concentration, though.

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