Open Source Velomobile

Building the Shell
Merit System
Tadpole Conversion

Frequently Asked Questions

Why a Velomobile?
I searched and searched and could not find a more simple and appropriate way to move around on land while remaining protected from the hazards of the degraded environment that we have created. Now that extremes of temperature and Ultra Violet radiation are with us we can either use a velomobile to get around or surround ourselves with a tonne of metal, glass and composites using lots of precious energy and emitting clouds of waste products to actually make the present situation worse!
Imagine the feeling of visiting friends, running errands under your own power, independant of fuels from unstable suppliers whos governments repress their people horribly, all the time protected from sunburn, rain and snow while improving your most precious asset - the health of your body. Ohh the Empowerment! Ahh the sense of Satisfaction!

Why Open Source?
Scientific advances have always been open source - you publish your findings in full detail partly so that others can check your work, and partly so that you work can be the foundation on which others can build and make further advances. The same model for development of computer software has proven to give better results and faster upgrades than the corporate world. Over 70% of the internet is served one Open Source package (Apache), see the Science Show (Australia). That includes this page which you are reading! Best of all, large Corporations can't buy up and stifle something that is Open Source because it is out there in the world community.
So it should be with the Hypertrike. The first models will be useable but less than perfect. As more and more people get to use them and make refinements, the details will be published here for the benefit of us all. A single, improved Hypertrike will mean that everyone can have a better machine if they follow the published details of the change.

The Hypertrike is truly free - it can't be gobbled up then shelved by a huge Car Maker when and if it begins to impact their sales figures. Even if the internet were shut down, people in the Hypertrike community could still swap their design improvements, by snail mail if need be.


Your prototype vehicle is quite a bit longer than my trike so what use is the Hypertrike body shell to me?
The prototype is 600mm longer than the standard Logo trike (and therefore most trikes) but the shape of the shell has been carefully worked so that there are either flat sections or simple curves in places where you might cut out or add in material (either metal or fibre reinforced plastic) to make YOUR particular Hypertrike shell shorter (or longer), wider (or narrower) and higher (or lower). The technique will be very similar to "cut-and-shut" methods used by crash repairers.

Why IS the prototype longer than a standard trike?
It is to be hoped that developments will include such things as provision for a child's seat by some Hypertrike owners. The extended rear compartment will also allow power assist and inboard chain drive-lines to be evaluated as the hypertrike design evolves. There ARE plans to convert a standard length trike to a Hypertrike within the next few months and even give the prototype a variable length for different uses such as "touring" or "town car" modes.


I'm short of cash. Can I build my own trike?
YES! there is a free design for the "thunderbolt" trike and you can even get it online right away! Follow this link to get it from the International Human Powered Vehicle Association site.

This sounds good. How do I get to use the moulds and make a Hypertrike for myself?
First the good news! You can use the Hypertrike moulds at no charge and even make copies for others to use. Now the not so good news. The latest moulds with their improvements over the originals will always be scarce so you could be waiting years for your turn!

Rats! I'm not gonna wait years. How do I get to take MY turn more quickly?
More good news! You've arrived at, a dot org group which means (in essence) we're not in it to make a profit, so put your money away. :) What you really want is a FAIR way to make sure that the moulds are lent to the people most deserving first, so while money has no major value, MERIT does!!
You also want your Hypertrike to be the most user friendly personal transport available. Combining these needs will give a system that rewards the people who contribute the most in improving the Hypertrike design with priority access to the moulds.

One way to contribute is to help create the merit reward system.

Assumed; You already have a tadpole recumbent trike! Check out the Tadpole to Hypertrike Conversion pages they have photos and step by step construction details. Most likely you will have your own ideas for some of what you will see there, if so let us know.

This page was last edited 6 March 2006.