Development of curvilinear, polymer, anti-precipitation shielding systems for biped powered two and three wheeled vehicles

bicycle rain canopy

A while back I wrote this post about Bicycle rain protection, showing a new bicycle rain canopy from France. While perhaps effective it just seems a tad bit overkill, not to mention nerdy as hell. I mean, how often do you actually ride in the rain? Here in Holland there’s an expression “Je bent niet van suiker.”, roughly translating to “Quit yer whining and just ride yer bike”. Here we see that the Dutch indeed don’t make much fuss about some water drops falling on your head. See: Dutch ride in rain. Germans are sugar.

Dutch Bike with Rain Visor, originally uploaded by Dapper Lad Cycles.

Nonetheless some people are clearly charmed by the above contraption and have even mounted it on our bicycles, knowing full well that it might incite my critical wrath. My evaluation?… “Dorktastique”

Amazingly Veltop has not been alone in pursuing this avenue. Last weekend I visited the Spezi Rad Messe (means “dorks and their insane bike inventions” in German) and happened across these people reinventing the wheel:

folding bike with rain protection canopy

In the case of this gentleman’s creation not only does the canopy fold up, but also the bicycle. It remains unclear why one would fold a 40kg electric bicycle, though. Certainly not to fit it into a car, given the text “one fewer unnecessarily large automobile” printed at the bottom of the canopy. Perhaps not, but one more unnecessarily large rain canopy

folding chair recumbent notebook bike

das notebok under der drieradern

This trike is also headed down the same slippery path, with a similar looking rain shield offered as an option on his “Das “Notebook” unter den Dreirädern” (means “I have much more spare time than sense”)

But wait. That’s not all. This creative soul thought to add it to their single passenger recumbent rickshaw. Single passenger recumbent rickshaw? Why not just take them on the rear carrier of a regular bike? Hello? Must you people always think of the most complex possible solution to a simple problem?

zox one person recumbent rickshaw

By the way, the scooter world has been plagued by these things as well:
BMW C1 Scooter

18 Responses to “Development of curvilinear, polymer, anti-precipitation shielding systems for biped powered two and three wheeled vehicles”

  1. David Hembrow Says:

    Do these people never ride into head winds ? Cross winds ? My commute to Groningen and back yesterday was in rain both ways. While I got wet, I’m not made of sugar either and didn’t melt. However, I also didn’t for one second wish I had a parachute fitted to my bike to make the experience last longer.

  2. henry Says:

    Perhaps just as relevant a question is “Do these people actually ride bicycles?”

  3. Ze Evil Kohl Says:

    Oi whats with all the hate on germans, only non cyclists actually come up with those ideas, luckily the regular cyclist is not made of sugar, not even here in Germany.

  4. henry Says:

    Where’s the anti german stuff? I went to a show, full of apparent cyclists (lots of guys wandering around in their cycling shorts, so I assume they consider themselves cyclists) and saw some incredibly geeky stuff. The nutter with the giant canopy on a folding bike was Swiss. Veltop is French. Don’t get yer panties all in a bunch man! 😉

  5. DrMekon Says:

    Just re-reading your “dorktastique” comment has left me grinning. There is not enough frenglish/franglaise on the internet.

  6. Dave Says:

    It seems like it would be much simpler to just wear a raincoat and hat, or even something like rain chaps (that cover the tops of your legs). I’ll agree with David that wind is a much bigger problem to me than rain is.

    I guess humanity is good at doing things just because they can, whether they make sense or not 🙂

  7. Val Says:

    Ha! Rain canopies, they come and go – the main purpose is to remove one objection that non cyclists have to beginning to ride. By the way, the picture from Dapper Lad was taken on our Buy Nothing Day Cargo Bike Ride last year. For more pictures, proving that most of the riders on that day used much more sensible gear, see here: For an even wetter ride, and more fanciful rain protection, how about this: We will not allow mousture to stop our fun!

  8. adam Says:

    I’m inclined to agree with you. I was sooo disappointed at the results of the bicycle design competition:
    I mean really!!! and cyclist were the main voters…

    …However, I would take exception to the BMW C1, it wasn’t covered so much for weather as for safety. While covered bicycles are a terrible idea, covered motorcycles like the C1 and the monotracer are fantastique.

  9. Julian Says:

    That’s me and my girl up there with le Veltop … what can I say? I’m half-French, and used to ride recumbents. Being dorky on a bike comes naturally to me.

    I will say that le Veltop treated us nicely over a winter’s worth of riding with child up front. The front fairing was a nice weather shield for her, and we didn’t deploy the top unless it was really wet, but when we did so, it was cozy, and she enjoyed herself thoroughly. High winds of course are a problem when you put a tent on your bicycle, but we had more wet than wind, and you can lower the fairing and stow the top if blustery. As those that use rain canopies on their bakfietsen know, kids don’t have the cold/wet tolerance that y’all do.

    We’ll use it again next winter, but for my solo commute, I now prefer a shell on top and jeans in most weather, which I suppose is progress in my sucrose content, and overall bike purity. Loved Val’s recent photoset. Can’t say that I’m ready to roll with a bike cape yet. That’s a whole ‘nother flavor of dorktastique, and I lack the facial hair to really pull it off.

  10. henry Says:

    If recumbents can make sense then rain protection for them makes even more sense. That position puts you in maximal surface area for getting wet from above. Might as well go all the way to Velomobile if you’re mixing weather with your “ligfiets”. At least in a velomobile you’ve a chance of getting noticed withy our head no higher than the average SUV tire.

  11. DrMekon Says:

    I have the facial hair for a cape, but I’d suggest if you were going for “the next level”, a visit to Clever for some Rain Legs Chaps is in order. You could be the waterproof John Wayne.

  12. Rhiannon Says:

    Wow, what’s with the haters? I am one of the few (less than 2% of the population) bike commuters in the US. I live downtown, inclusive of work, school, social engagements and shopping. Although riding my bike helps me manage my time, there are months on end in the course of which I show up everywhere soaking from thighs to toes: carrying an umbrella keeps my face, upper body and backpack more or less dry, but my skinny legs shiver all day as I wait to evaporate in lamentably over air-conditioned buildings. And most people don’t understand why I don’t use a handy-dandy SUV to get from point A to point B without getting doused. I wouldn’t mind a little “dorktastique” air resistance if it meant I would be looking cool at my terminus.

  13. henry Says:

    I don’t see any “hating” here, just some healthy, experience-based skepticism. All of the people writing and commenting here really do ride bikes daily for transportation too.

    May I recommend investing in a good pants? Outdoor sports shops like REI and MEC have compact, comfortable pull-over pants that’ll keep your legs dry in all but the worst downpour.

  14. Accordion Says:

    I live in Melbourne, Australia. When it rains it also blows. I get by with a riding jacket and leggings. I take my clothes with me and change at work. My commute is 20kms each way so I ride in comfy riding clothes that can get wet. My helmet protects most of my hair so I only have to use the hand-dryers sometimes…

  15. Daniel Says:


    I recently purchased Sierra Design Isotope Nano pants to use for my winter commuting in Chicago. They are so light and crushable that they are easy to carry in my pannier whenever it is likely to rain. I bought a size much larger than I would normally wear so that they slip on easily over jeans.

    In addition to my wonderful Workcycles omafiets, I also ride a Linear recumbent. Recumbents make sense for some purposes, city bikes for others. If I was going to ride a bike for hours on end, the recumbent would be a lot easier on my body than even the very comfortable omafiets. But it isn’t nearly as good at carrying goods, a friend (or wife!) on the rear rack, or maneuvering in traffic.


  16. mehdi khoshru Says:

    Scusi per la lingua che è italiana; noi vorremo tanti ti quelli che su bici ti protegge dalla pioggia lo voglio a tanti tipi. Potrbbe rispondere subito scusi di nuvo perchè non sò l’inglese. GRAZIE

  17. ana Says:

    I have an small scooter, for this reason I can put a Canopy scooter. Do you think a Canopy bicycle can adjust to it? Size 1.06m and 60 cm.
    I am waiting for your answer. Thank you so much

  18. henry Says:

    I definitely have no idea.

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