A velomobile is a human-powered vehicle (HPV) that typically consists of a recumbent tricycle base with a full fairing or shell.
A fairing provides not only protection from inclement weather, but also aerodynamic advantage. A velomobile’s low and sleek profile allows a rider to achieve greater speed with less effort than on a traditional upright bicycle. Another class of velomobiles known as streamliners* have achieved speeds of over 80 mph!
The combination of speed, stability, utility, weather protection, and ergonomic rider position makes velomobiles ideal commuter vehicles as well as a lot of fun to ride. Velomobile amenities can include headlights, tail and brake lights, turn signals, electric horn, convertible roof, electric assist, and more.
Velomobiles are a viable and eco-friendly alternative to a car. More than 82% of trips under 5 miles are made by car, a distance easily covered by bike. A velomobile combines the best of both worlds – the environmental and health benefits of a bike with the comfort and convenience of a car, all with much lower operation and maintenance costs than even the most efficient cars.
*Technically, all velomobiles are streamliners, though the term is usually reserved for two-wheeled, extremely aerodynamic racers.