Since 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, Velomobiel.nl 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:
- 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;
- Lack of enclosed drive train – may not be that big an issue anyway given the design of the Rotovelo;
- No lights or indicators. Really at this price point these should be included or at least an option in my view;
- 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.