Commutes by bike are avoided by riders for a variety of reasons. They require special clothing for the elements. There is a lack of cargo carrying capacity on many bikes. You can’t carry passengers if you need to. And, of course, there are always safety concerns. Taking into account many of these and other factors that discourage people from commuting by bike, the people at Virture set out to create a vehicle that would expand the capabilities and ease of use of pedal powered vehicles through the design of a semi-enclosed, electrically assisted tricycle. Learn more about this terrific traffic tadpole after the jump…
The Pedalist’s outer shell is semi-enclosed to help protect riders from the elements in order to negate the need for heavy outer clothing in the wind or rain while also offering protection from the sun. It puts the rider physically high in position and incorporates integrated lights into the front and rear of the vehicle for increased visibility both of the vehicle and from the vehicle.
The footprint is designed to be narrow, only 35 inches, to allow the Pedalist to fit in narrow bike lanes and through doorways for easy storage inside, and for creative outdoor parking scenarios when necessary.
The vehicle is designed with two wheels in the front for stability in motion and to support the forward cargo space. Something that distinguishes this design is passenger carrying capability. Need to give a friend a ride or drop a mortified teenager at school? Not a problem! Behind the cyclist is an adult-sized seating compartment. And if you want to take a small child or pet with you, there is space for them in the front cargo hold including attachment mechanisms for a toddler’s childseat.
Stopping power comes from disc brakes on magnesium wheels. The rider has the option of pedaling unassisted by the electric motor with an 8-speed internally geared hub, but can also opt for pedal assist or throttle settings in case of heavy cargo or intimidating hills, though speed is limited in throttle-only mode to 20mph to adhere to California law. The 750W electric motor and 48V Lithium-Ion battery boasts of a range of 50 plus miles in throttle only mode (and the Kickstarter notes that more batteries can be placed in the front cargo hold if you really want to get crazy).
For $3,999 on the Kickstarter, you can get your own Virtue Pedalist in this early bird offer. If off-white and grey aren’t your colors, you can throw down $8,199 for a pair of Pedalists in the color of your choice.
No word on whether flames are an option at this time.