Velomobile FAQs

This page contains a collection of frequently asked questions which address most of our customer’s concerns. If you have any specific questions which may not be address in this page, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

Is the velomobile manufactured to each rider’s dimensions?
What is the maximum rider height and weight that can be accommodated?
Is the velomobile street-legal in the U.S.A. and Canada?
What is meant by the term ” Modified Fiber”?
Is shipping insurance available?
Is it a commonly required to insure the velomobile (or other Velomobile) for road use?
How susceptible is the velomobile to tip-over, or roll-over accidents?
Is the velomobile’s fairing repairable in the event of road damage?
What does “factory cut-out vent holes and foot holes” mean?
What is a “SPY member”?
What is the “hard-top”?
What type of warranty is offered with the velomobile?
Can the velomobile be purchased with higher gearing? What is the “Lighting Package”, and why is that separate from the “Directional Signal Package”?
To whom is payment made?
How is the sizing chart to be used?
Can existing velomobile units be retro-fitted with electric assist motors?
How fast is the velomobile?
How many speeds does the standard sprocket have?
Can the velomobile be upgraded from the standard sprocket to higher gearing later?
How many velomobile owners are there in the North America?
How many velomobile owners are there in the Europe?
How does the rider steer the velomobile?
Does the back wheel pivot or is it stationary?
What are the parking & lock-up procedures?
What is the typical ad revenue that is generated?
What makes up the electrical system of the velomobile?
Does the velomobile get hot (like a greenhouse)?
Do you have an agent I can call or e-mail?
Are Dealerships available in North America?
Can the velomobile be purchased as a kit?
What are the standard colors of the velomobile?
Can the velomobile be purchase fully assembled?
Where can I get a test ride in USA and Canada?
Can the velomobile be manufactured to accommodate different rider sizes?
Is the velomobile legal to ride on streets and bike paths?
Does the velomobile come with hydraulic disc brakes?
How can I lock the velomobile for security purposes?
What kind of maintenance should I expect to do on the velomobile?
Who can I contact for technical assistance?
Is there a US and Canadian Owners Group?


ANSWERs to frequently asked questions

Is the velomobile manufactured to each rider’s dimensions?

No, the units are manufactured in one size. The velomobile comes in one size only. However, the leg length adjustments are made via the front crank assembly. The crank is able to be slid forward or aft to fit the riders exact position. The riders can adjust the distance of the pedal crank to fit the riders inseam length to obtain the most efficient and powerful pedaling strokes.

What is the maximum rider height and weight that can be accommodated?

Riders in the height range of 5’6”to 6’2” and at a maximum weight 220 lbs. seem to be the best candidates for the velomobile. Considering the ergonomic variables each rider posses, we strongly recommend a test ride in order to ensure a best fit.

Is the velomobile street-legal in the U.S.A. and Canada?

The velomobile is a fully faired velocipede, therefore all the local, state and federal rules and regulations governing cycling apply. Yes, the unit is street and bike path legal. However, don’t be offended if you have to explain this to a curious police officer!

What is meant by the term “velomobile Modified Fiber”?

As a result of the high cost of carbon fiber and a need to streamline production efficiencies, some velomobiles have a hybrid chassis composed of carbon-fiber, fiberglass and Kevlar. The strength and durability of the modifications have not been compromised. We affectionately call it our “Modified Fiber” chassis.

Is shipping insurance available?

Yes. We work with world-class logistics companies, who stake their reputation on offering the best services in the freight forwarding, importing and customs clearance business. Additional “peace of mind” insurance is available upon request for a small surcharge.

Is it a common practice, or required, to insure the velomobile (or other Velomobiles) for road use such as insurance for an automobile, or motorcycle?

No, the likelihood of needing insurance due to an accident or incident is highly unlikely. Is it safe in busy traffic? These are very commonly asked question, usually asked by the loved ones of prospective velomobile purchasers! You will have no problem being noticed by other road users, in fact sometimes the attention can be overwhelming. Velomobiles are not for introverts. You will get the attention of drivers and pedestrians. Be confident when riding in traffic, take up your rightful position on the road, don’t ride on the shoulder. Remember that you will most likely be traveling in excess of 20 mph. Regular commuters usually install a high visibility flag which can be seen very easily by traffic. A velomobile can accelerate very quickly from a standing start. Remember you are clipped into the pedals and ready to go at a seconds notice. This allows you to accelerate away from potentially hazardous situations.

How susceptible is the velomobile to tip-over, or roll-over accidents?

The trike design, long wheel base and low rider profile make the velomobile very stable during turning maneuvers.

Is the velomobile’s fairing repairable in the event of road damage?

Yes. The repair techniques required for a minor repair can be accomplished by a certified auto or boat repair shop in your local area. More significant damage may require replacement parts from the factory.

What does “Factory Cut-out of vent holes”, and “Factory Cut-out of foot holes” mean?

In order for air to enter the chassis enclosure more efficiently, the manufacturer installs (cuts-out) vent holes for proper ventilation. Similarly, a rider’s heels need to clear the chassis bottom during a full pedal cycle. Occasionally you will need the holes to manually foot the velomobile in reverse (the Flintstone method). These cut-outs are done at the factory with precision and accuracy.

What is a “S.P.Y. member”?

SPY is a referral program which allows potential customers to contact a velomobile owner for information, and a test-drive. It is a simple acronym for Start Pedaling Yourself. It is our fundamental philosophy that getting rid of your car(s) and pedaling for yourself is a smart move for the environment, our communities and our bodies. We thought the idea was nifty and would provide a financial incentive for owners (Agents). Once you become an agent, your assistance in offering test rides and personal insights as an owner will go a long way in helping to convince future owners about the features and benefits of “Undercover Cycling” and velomobiles in general.

What is the “hard-top”?

The hard top is the aft portion of the canopy cover in the Go-One model. It is the portion with the opening windows. It is connected by hinges and can be easily removed for riding topless in pleasant weather.

What type of warranty is offered with the velomobile?

The manufacturer will warranty that the monoque chassis of the velomobile will be free from catastrophic defects for 12 months after delivery.

Can the velomobile be purchased with higher gearing?

No. Due to the manufacturing constraints, the standard gearing packages cannot be altered. The typical velomobile is equipped with a 9-speed Shimano rear cassette (standard). The Rohlhoff 14 speed internal hub is sold as an upgrade. Once the velomobile is delivered, riders can upgrade the various cycling components as they deem necessary. This can be done at a local bike shop or with the assistance of a good friend.

What is the “Lighting Package”, and why is that separate from the “Directional Signal Package”?

Basically the “Lighting Package” consists of a headlight and tail light.The system is fed by a 12 volt battery. The lighting controls are mounted on a fabicated console. The “Directional Signal Package” is composed of a seperate set of turn signals with an appropriate switch mechanism mounted on the top of the steering tube.

To whom is payment made?

North American orders are paid to Go-One LLC dba Under Cover Cycling. Go One is a New Jersey based company which exclusively handles business for all of North America on behalf of our velomobile manufacturer(s).

How is the sizing chart to be used?

While sitting on the floor with your back up against the wall, the “X” is meant to represent the length of a rider’s upper body from the buttocks (floor) to the top of the head. The “Y” is meant to represent a person’s leg length in a seated position from the lower back (wall) to the bottom of the heels. The “Z” is meant to represent a person’s total height. All measurements should be shown in inches and centimeters. Always measure twice! Always have someone else assist you with the measuring!

Can existing velomobile units be retro-fitted with electric assist motors?

In most cases an electric assist motor will attach to the velomobiles. Currently, we have had positive feedback from users who have installed the BionX electric hub motor. Still more powerful, and lighter than ever. With its brush less and maintenance free 350W motor weighing only 4.15 kg and its new hi-tech 3.1 kg 36V Lithium Ion battery, BionX was able to create the ideal system. This model offers a much more powerful motor along with a Lithium Ion 36V battery containing nearly twice the amount of energy contained in the 24V NiMH battery. Warning: Under Cover Cycling does not warrant against damage(s) caused by the use of electric assist systems. The velomobile is intended to be used as a human powered vehicle. It is up to individual users to follow any and all manufacturers instructions and abide by the local laws governing electric motor assist.

How fast is the velomobile?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions and the one that is the hardest to answer. In standard physical condition, a normal rider should cover ground faster on a velomobile than he/she would on a conventional bicycle. The difference will be noticeable but not dramatic and is due to a variety of factors, such as aerodynamics and the ability to remain clipped into the pedals. Fatigue will be less, which should enable the rider to perform at a given level for longer; it will also be great fun! The velomobile is able to shed wind more efficiently thereby moving the rider into a higher level of performance. We recommend that riders obey their local speed regulations and cycling laws.

How many speeds does the standard sprocket have?

The standard sprocket has a 9 speed cassette in the rear and a 3 ring crank in the front. This gives the rider a 27 gear selection.

Can the velomobile be upgraded from the standard sprocket to higher gearing later?

Yes, any changes that can be made on a regular bicycle, can be made on the velomobile. The rear sprocket is mounted on a standard 26 inch bicycle wheel, therefore a host of different rear gear clusters can be utilized.

How many velomobile owners are there in the North America?

The Go-One velomobile has been officially introduced to the North American market in 2006. Therefore, our records are very limited. Our records currently show more then twenty (20+) owners in North America. Some owners elect not to be SPY Agents. The list is growing! Will you be next?

How many velomobile owners are there in the Europe?

According to factory records approximately 70+ units have been produced, but detailed ownership records have not been kept.

How does the rider steer the velomobile?

Most velomobiles are steered using a “T-Tiller” joystick. The joystick is the single most important feature of the bicycle car. It also allows us to run a very narrow front track giving the velomobile a small frontal area. To turn the two front wheels the rider simply twists the joystick around its own axis. This requires minimal movement and occurs almost subconsciously giving the velomobile an almost telepathic quality to its steering. Mounted on a universal joint, the joystick folds forward allowing ease of access to the seat. The universal joint also allows the joystick to move with the rider when transferring body weight during rapid cornering maneuvers. One lever operates both front brakes and the gear shifters are also mounted on the joystick enabling the rider to remain totally in control.

Does the back wheel pivot or is it stationary?

The rear wheel is stationary. The wheel is mounted on a rear aluminum swing arm. The swing arm absorbs road shock by the use of an attached tunable shock absorber. The swing arm also provides flex while the rider is accelerating.

What are the parking & lock-up procedures?

There is a simple parking brake lever, which engages the brake cables. This is the velomobile’s parking brake. We recommend purchasing a high quality cable for locking your velocipede to a fixed object. The security cable can be looped from the rear fork. If you happen to purchase the electric pedal assist option, the unit is equipped with an alarm that sounds when the rear wheel moves and a rear wheel lock, unless you deactivate by entering the correct pass code! We also recommend photo-registering your velomobile with your local police department. This is a free service at many precincts across North America. You never know….

What is the typical ad revenue that is generated?

There are three different revenue streams that can apply to Agents of the velomobile. First, simply owning and operating the velocipede may enable you to showcase the product and generate SPY (Start Pedaling Yourself) revenue. Secondly, allowing local advertisers to rent panel space on your velomobile may prove to be profitable. By simply attaching static vinyl you can carry an “eye popping” message to the local public on behalf of your advertiser for a monthly stipend. Lastly, there will and have always been the need for larger scale marketing venues. In order to finance the investment of a velomobile, you can rent out parts of the surface for advertising. The front-section of the velomobile offers approximatey 0.7 meters by 0.35 meters on both sides and the tail section offers approximatey 0.7 meters by 0.5 meters per side.

What makes up the electrical system of the velomobile?

The head/ tail lights and the directional signals are electrical systems which can be purchased as a kit or fully assembled. These electrical systems are great accessories for your enjoyment. The lighting lenses for all electrical options are standard. Owners who elect to wire their own lighting systems to the velomobile may do so in any manner they deem appropriate. It should be noted that lights are required during evening operations in most localities in North America. Some of our Agents simply attach temporarily lighting to their velocipede.

Does the velomobile get hot (like a greenhouse)?

Depending on the outside air temperature; humidity; exertion level of the rider; and, the rider’s clothing, the velomobile may need to be ridden with cabin windows open or completely topless. With regards to occasional fogging, we have found the ANSWER to this problem. It’s called FogTech. Tested in the worst possible conditions (39 deg. F ambient, >high humidity level, raining buckets, climbing a 4.5% hill at low speed, etc.). Worked like a charm. Actually improves visibility through the windshield, and does no damage to the poly carbonate whatsoever. The untreated portions of the window fogged up completely, but the treated portion was completely unaffected, even after over an hour in these conditions. Only problem is that it’s temporary (supposed to last 5 days or so), and it’s expensive ($16 for 30ml, which will coat the windshield 3-4 times).

Do you have an agent I can call or e-mail?

Yes, there are various Agents listed on the web site. They would be more then happy to share their thoughts and experiences.

Are Dealerships available in North America?

No, the traditional dealership model does not suit our goals at Under Cover Cycling. Rather, our aim is to build a rapport between owners for the purpose of sustaining the culture of velomobiling. Considering the small niche that we support, it is imperative that each user contributes to the overall success of local awareness. Our Agent/ SPY model is a fun and effective means of spreading the word about energy-free transportation, fitness, eco-friendliness and fun. Our agents are advocates in today’s world who cannot settle for show-room static displays. Rather, they charge themselves with the responsibility of taking the message to the public and sharing the innovation with friends and family. They are the early adopters of what is sure to be a transportation transformation.

Can the velomobile be purchased as a kit?

No. We recommend fully assembled due to the fact that the velomobile is custom made and fabricated with an eye on craftsmanship and high quality. The risk associated with errors and omissions during assembly may impact the velo’s performance.

What are the standard colors of the velomobile?

Yellow, white and red are the factory standards. Non standard colors can be selected from the RAL color chart. There is a premium charge to specialty colors. There are 210 colors from which to choose. We will be happy to accommodate the color that is right for you. Specialty colors add cost and production time to a potential order.

Can the velomobile be purchased fully assembled?

Yes. Considering it is such a unique construction, we recommend having the unit assembled by our assembly personnel at the factory

Where can I get a test ride in USA and Canada?

Test rides are offered by owner SPY Agents.

Can the velomobile be manufactured to accommodate different rider sizes?

No, the unit is made in only one size. Taller riders in the 6′ 3″ range or above will be challenged. Larger foot sizes can be accommodated by the installation of shorter crank arms. There is leg length adjustments that can be done.

Is the velomobile legal to ride on streets and bike paths?

Yes. The velomobile has a very narrow track so it is ideal for bike paths. Legally the velomobile falls under the category of bicycle.

Does the velomobile come with hydraulic disc brakes?

Drum brakes have proven to be sufficient. There are some models which have mechanical disk brakes.

How can I lock the velomobile for security purposes?

We recommend that you register your velomobile with your local police department. Provide them with a picture of the velo as well. Another solution is to pad lock the chain or wheels so the velomobile cannot roll. A cable can be looped around the rear swing arm or wheels. Depending on your level of security requirments, this may suffice.

What kind of maintenance should I expect to do on the velomobile?

The velomobile is built on a high performance trike. Therefore, we recommend that a yearly tune-up by a certified bicycle repair shop be completed. Once your local repair person become comfortable with the look of a velo, he or she will be able to perform the normal tune up requirements as with any bicycle. Basically, the preventative maintenance required is brake adjustments, rear derailleur adjustment, inflating tires, bottom bracket adjustment (in this case forward bracket), cassette locking adjustment, chain cleaning and lube, checking chain length, checking crank arms, hub cone adjustments, truing wheels and tuning shocks.

Who can I contact for technical assistance?

Our web site section entitled “Tech Tips” is a good source of information. Or, you can simply send us an e-mail and we will assist in resolving your questions or concerns.

Is there a US and Canadian Owners Group?

Yes, we refer to these owners as “Agents” who enrolled in our SPY program. We are proud to list them on our web site as a valuable source of information to others. Why not e-mail an owner agent today? We also have a location of Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Share