The Rotovelo Carbon is Born: Trisled adds Carbon to the Wheelie Bin

Rotovelo Carbon VelomobileSince learning a bit more about velomobiles and getting a chance to play in a Sinner Bikes Mango Sport Red Edition I am getting rather engaged, dare I say obsessed with velomobiles and to a lesser extent short wheel based recumbents so hence another post on a velomobile; this time on the new Australian built Rotovelo Carbon by Trisled.

Rotovelos are manufactured by the Australian company Trisled and till now have been made through the roto-moulding process (think your big green wheelie bin). Well now Trisled have realised a carbon variant of the Rotovelo, the Rotovelo Carbon.

A carbon velomobile is not new, for example manufacturer the Carbon Quest, but still it is great to see Trisled continuing to innovate in a marketplace that is really not big on velomobiles. Most velomobiles are sold in Europe and to a lesser extent in the US as can be evidenced by events such as Oliebollentocht.

All that said, lets get back to the Rotovelo Carbon. Trisled have some information and specifications published on Rotovelo Carbon and the first thing to note is the weight and the price. The Rotovelo Carbons comes in a starting weight of 19.5 kg and AU$9,995.

This makes it around 13 kg lighter than the standard Rotevlo and about 10 kg lighter than say a carbon Quest or the Mango Sport Red Edition. However, and for some, such as myself there are some significant negatives.

The Rotovelo Carbon comes without:

  1. Suspension – something considered a must with a lot of velomobile owners. I am not sure that using Schwalbe Big Apple tyres really cuts it as a suspension alternative;
  2. Lack of enclosed drive train – may not be that big an issue anyway given the design of the Rotovelo;
  3. No lights or indicators. Really at this price point these should be included or at least an option in my view;
  4. Price wise it is right in the mix of say the Mango Sports Red Edition without the associated fruit of suspension, lights etc.

So while it is really great to see Trisled progressing the development of the Rotovelo and to see an Australian designed and manufactured velomobile I think for me at least at this point it will not make my short list which is disappointing.

That said, if you are interested in the Rotovelo PoiterH has some pretty detailed photos of an early prototype which gives some good ideas about the design and of course there is Trisled’s video of the Rotovelo Carbon in action.

7 Responses to The Rotovelo Carbon is Born: Trisled adds Carbon to the Wheelie Bin

  1. perthcyclist 5 January 2013 at 9:11 AM #

    rotomoulding doesn’t have to be as course as a wheelie bin, there are lots of nice rotomoulded kayaks and surfskis around

    • Andrew Priest 5 January 2013 at 9:24 AM #

      Without a doubt given the non-carbon Rotovelos. The reference to wheelie bins is the common one given to explain the material/process used for the Trisled Rotovelos as they are quite different to the mainstream approach in velomobile making.

      By all accounts the non-carbon Rotovelo are a tough beast which is probably a good idea for a commuting velomobile … they like to say you can bump park them 🙂

  2. Kris Rhodes 6 January 2013 at 1:20 PM #

    Schwalbe BA’s have a pretty decent cush factor to be honest; I’ve never been left wanting when it comes to riding on regular surfaces with them, and the road surface here leaves a lot to be desired. That being said, I’d want the suspension or at least a damn good seat, because you don’t want to be locked in to one type of tire (BA’s have mediocre puncture protection at the very least).

    • Andrew Priest 8 January 2013 at 2:35 PM #

      I think you hit the nail on the head. The set-up of the Rotovelo really means one is locked into the Big Apples for the “suspension.” Other tyre choices mean that one gives up that aspect or at least reduces the level of suspension.

  3. David 10 February 2014 at 6:13 PM #

    Marathon Plus don’t market it at the top of the list, but offer the same low pressure range from the MP’s and BA’s I’ve used.

    I have been using the MP’s in uprights on the fork of 559 and 622 in 35-45c big wheels with the same pressure as 20″ with Big Apple in 2, 2.1, and 2.35 for the same vibration/harshness dampening effect.

    An elastomer “suspended rider” could be lighter and suffice, e.g. integrating a kind of Thudbuster LT in the chassis underseat. If I was a buyer (I wish) I’d ask about it. I just don’t think our city’s infrastructure supports a velo, Despite “much want” I’ve road tested the idea, and I would be paying a steep premium to be forced out of my way and mixed with cars more and travelling farther.

    I’ll live vicariously through your growing and ripening Mango aspirations Andrew.

    • Aushiker 14 February 2014 at 4:37 PM #

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts David. There is a growing family of velomobiles here in Australia but I appreciate your comments on our city’s infrastructure. I do agree with you somewhat I often look at where I ride to get a feel for it will be velomobile friendly.


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