History PodRide


I enjoy cycling and have cycled to work both summer and winter for many years. It’s good exercise, cheap and also good for the environment. However, it is quite uncomfortable and a bit dangerous, at least in winter. With studded tires and rain gear, of course, it goes quite well, but it’s not so much fun every day. I have been thinking for a long time whether it wouldn’t be possible to get a more comfortable and safer bike with some kind of weather protection.


The first idea was inspired by a sitski and was a two-wheeled recumbent bike with a movable support wheel for each arm to help balance the bike. I never got it to work very well it feels like you are too weak in your arms to make it work good. The experiments ended with me building a three-wheeled recumbent bike with two wheels at the front and one at the back. I then cycled with it for a couple of years until I started working further away from home. It then became too long and sweaty to ride the slightly heavy three wheeler.

Sittski cykel
Concept sketch sitski bike 2002

(2006) The next test was to build a two-wheeled recumbent bike. It was lighter and faster and worked well during the summer but it became too unstable and difficult to ride in winter. The next investment was to buy an electric bicycle with a 250W electric rear wheel motor (electric bicycles were unusual then in 2008). It was quick and easy to pedal and was really fun. But I was still missing the stabillity and security of winter cycling whit the three wheeler. The next step was to transfer the electric rear wheel to the old three wheeler. It turned out to be a really good solution, the slightly heavy and sluggish three wheeler became fast, easy to ride and fun. It inspired me to go ahead and start sketching on a new design.


  • You want to sit on a big seat with padding
  • You want to have suspension
  • You want to have a stable solution (at least 3 wheels)
  • You want to have a small auxiliary engine
  • You want to have protection against the weather and wind
  • You want to be allowed to use the cycle paths
  • You want to sit at the same height as in a passenger car

New prototype

(2009) Based on my experiences and conclusions above, have designed a new vehicle. It is a four-wheeled recumbent bike with fabric body, suspension and electric auxiliary motor.

I chose four wheels instead of three even though it will be a bit heavier, this to be able to make it as small and narrow as possible. I believe this is crucial for being able to use the existing cycle paths, but also for easy parking and to be able to easily transport the electric bicycle car with other vehicles. The sitting position should be like that of a recumbent bicycle to get a comfortable seat and to lower the center of gravity. The seat height should be like in a passenger car in order to see and be seen in traffic.

It is equipped with air suspension front and rear. This may sound unnecessary but one disadvantage of sitting in a chair is that you become more sensitive to bumps and curbs. A cyclist naturally stands up to meet a bump. The choice of auxiliary motor falls on a 250w brushless electric bicycle hub powered by a lithium battery. This is because they can be bought as complete kits at a good price and the vehicle can then still be considered a normal pedal bicycle. (= no driver’s license, no tax, no insurance)

The body is made of fabric on a frame of aluminum tubes and with a plexiglass window. It will be both a light and cheap solution that can also be easily manufactured in different variants: sporty, elegant, cute, cabad, etc. but with the same base plate.

Fabrication pictures