OK, so at the risk of seriously having to get a lock on eTrikeRumor.com, this one is hard to resist as a follow-up to the PodRide. While that contraption was about an all-weather commuter to get through Swedish winters by bike [sic], the IRIS leans a different way, pushing for a “superfast, supersafe & ultra efficient” alternative means of transportation. Built on the same platform and shell, the Iris gets two models that target different potential velomobile buyers with different output motors – the Eco & Extreme. While commercially Grant Sinclair has put most of his company’s focus on electronics product design over the last few years, he’s been a tinkerer & advocate of e-velomobile design since the 1980s. Now his latest sleek designs have a targeted production date later this year, and real prices. Get the details and find out how to preorder after the jump. You know you want to…

These things are really pretty crazy, but like a train wreck it’s hard to look away.

So fast is the big draw here. The streamlined molded plastic shell is meant to make these essentially consumer-friendly versions of the bikes created to try to set human powered vehicle records speed.  It is the latest iteration, and a big improvement since the trike Sinclair was piloting back in 1985. But while the HPV record bikes aren’t at all practical, these add a third wheel for stability, a more-normal upright recumbent riding position and street-legal features.

The top of the shell is an optically clear acrylic canopy that hinges up like a fighter plane to get in and out, and even includes built-in air vents with anti-pollution charcoal air filters to bring in fresh air.

By sitting upright, like the PodRide, the rider is closer to a car driver’s perspective for improved visibility, which certainly is helped by LED headlights, taillights & turn signals. The Iris also is said to incorporate expanded polypropylene foam in its main body which acts as a crash absorbing layer, like in a helmet to protect the rider.

While it looks like a aero focused shell, inside there are some other creature comforts for everyday usability, like a universal smartphone dock to power your device and use it to track your rides via GPS, play music, and more. It also has built-in rear view camera that can stream real-time video to your docked iOS or Android device, and has a lockable trunk for 50l of storage.

Overall the Iris come in a a rather long 2.6m (8’6″), 1.28m (4’2″) tall, and 94cm (37″) wide. That makes it pretty bulky, and means it won’t be fitting through a regular sized door, so hopefully you have plenty of garage space. Rolling stock for the e-trike are 2x 20″ Velocity Aeroheat wheels up front and a single 26″ H Plus Sons Eero wheel in the back, all wrapped with solid (flat-proof) tires from Tannus. All this bolts up to the chromoly steel trike frame, that also supports the padded bucket seat.

The less expensive £3000 Iris eTrike Eco uses a 250W hub motor to deliver power-assist to regular pedaling with its 8 speed drivetrain. It also builds in regenerative braking which is said to boost its range just beyond 50km on a single charge. That all keeps it within the EU rules for pedal-assisted e-bike so gets a motor limit at 25km/h. Additional braking for the 55kg e-trike is handled by a pair of hydraulic disc brakes.

Step up to the £3500 Iris eTrike Extreme and you get a 750W mid-drive motor mounted to the cranks. Besides the obvious power boost, it is said to offer improved weight distribution for better handling. The bigger motor lets the rider operate it with a twist throttle to combine with pedaling when you want. That obviously take it out of any cycling category and just turns it into a motor vehicle, while otherwise sharing all the features of the e-bike version.

Both versions are slated for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2017, and you can reserve one now for a (non-refundable) deposit of just £99 over at their website. If you want to pay the full amount now, you won’t be charged until they set a firm delivery date.

You even get the option of tacking on an extra £800 to get a custom colored skin, as they seem to be hoping that some delivery companies might want to get a bunch for an alternative delivery fleet.

GrantSinclair.com

Eds: OK, sorry for the crazy weird continued e-velomobile coverage. But even if these things aren’t actually bikes, there is something undeniably cool and tech-y about them. And now we return to our regularly scheduled, actual bike coverage…

30 COMMENTS

  1. I have no problems with the e-bike coverage. I think they’re pretty cool, cheaper and use less power than electric cars, and the pedaling gives you a workout. Cyclists can be dicks, hidebound and opinionated.

  2. This takes care of the weather objections to commuting. I hope they skin the EPS body with something or this thing will look like an old helmet is short order. Pretty cool.

  3. Obviously if you cover e-bikes etc there is more than a bit of ‘mission creep’ to the site. It is your site after all however, and overall it is such a great place to visit. I say, why not cover “g-bikes” like mopeds and Vespas as well, then?

    • Please STOP contaminating your Negative few. And do not say: ‘..we come here….” Say instead: “I come here…” Because “WE” the more open-minded reader like to get such Interesting posts as well.
      To the side-owner / author… Thanks for this interesting article… Hope to find more of this wide spectrum of “environmentally friendly vehicles (Velomobiles, Trikes w/wo e-motor! )

  4. Great bike at a reasonable price. Its a shame there are so many folks that don’t realize progress. Just because it has a motor to help with the weight, doesn’t make it less of a bike. I would rather bike to work but with no showers available, during bad weather I am forced to take the car. The cost of velomobiles is prohibitive and this one gets closer to the range of affordable.
    To the cyclists who say “stop contaminating bikerumor with electric assist stuff”; should bikerumor stop articles on clothing since this is not a clothing site? should they stop articles on components because this is a bike site and not an engineering or new tech site?
    To those same cyclists I say: you should stop ridding when the wind is in your back or when you come to a hill going down. You should only ride into the wind and only up hill. It is cheating when you take advantage of gravity or wind. You should only ride bikes carved out of stone to maximize your cycling “enjoyment”…

    • Hence the word “motorcycle”. Two words there. Notice that? If you want to buy a moped or motorcycle cause you can not pedal, go ahead. Nothing wrong with that. But stay out of the bike lane. Stay off the trails that do not allow motorized vehicles. Stay off the “bike” path.
      Bikerumor, notice the two words there…..etc…

    • Thanks Vadim. You hit the nail on the head!!!
      I myself travel nearly my whole life (more then 50 years) around the globe…
      But now I had with my 69 years under the belt many Heart attacks and not know if I ever can ride without an “E-assist” again… But the road is still calling me:
      Let’s GO the Road is calling me / you / us
      aka: Letsfoharry

  5. I’m fine with BikeRumor covering e-bikes. I’m fine with them covering velomobiles.

    Lets just keep E-MTB’s off of single track.

  6. I come to Bike Rumor to read people complain that it’s too aero, not are enough, too light, not light enough, too expensive, not expensive enough (!?), too fashionable…. you get the idea.

    I like adding to the fray with my own feeble, biased, outmoded opinions.

    This is pretty cool, e or not, and there is plenty of room for coverage of things like this. I am vehemently opposed to the coverage of ‘e-mtb’s’ for all the obvious and not obvious reasons but e-bikes that help curb vehicle usage in urban environments, bring it on.

  7. E-bikes with no regulation or licensure ridden by non-bicycling folks with terrible bike handling skills on urban bike paths and roadways are just as heinous as ‘e-mtbs’.

  8. I like Bike Rumor covering velomobiles. Personally, I have zero interest in anything to do with smart phones, power meters, or bike trainers. I just skip those articles – it’s pretty easy to do that. Some of you guys should probably skip the e-bike and velomobile articles.

    So anyway, imagine owning an Iris e-trike in an urban environment with crappy weather where it would be most useful. Let’s go so far as to say that you had a place to keep it at home and could afford to buy one. Okay, let’s use it to commute to work. Uh-oh, if I stay in the bike lane I will constantly be stuck behind slow moving cyclists if I am using the motor or blocking faster cyclists if I try to just pedal it. If I mix with the car traffic, I won’t be moving much at all and will be vulnerable to idiot drivers running over me. The width will make passing really difficult. Okay, it’s raining hard and there are few bikes out, so it’s smooth sailing all the way to work. But now where the hell do I park it? Can I park it on the sidewalk or next to a bike rack? Or do I have to pay for a car parking space? What about charging the battery?

    Considering that people have been building velomobiles for decades and I’ve never seen one in person, and considering all the difficulties inherent in the idea, my conclusion is that they will never be more than an interesting experiment. Just park it next to the 3-wheeled ATV, the stand up jet ski, over there by the amphibious car, next to the flying car. Take it out for giggles once in awhile but use your regular bike to actually go somewhere.

    • Good points, you made me realize that any ‘parking’ spot will need to have a security device like a bike rack, as these are probably light enough to cart away by a couple of frat brats!

  9. This is good for cold climates, but unless it has forced air-conditioning your going to want to be wearing little more than a pair of speedos when riding around in a cloud of your own sweat. Wearing your work clothes while sealed into this thing would be a disaster

  10. Stop with the motor sh*t. You guys have to understand. In the US, this will compete on roads with TRIPLE TRAILERS AND LOGGING TRUCKS. THIS IS NOT SAFE!!!

  11. More like:

    Stop with the motor sh*t. You guys have to understand. In the US, this will compete on roads with TRIPLE TRAILERS AND LOGGING TRUCKS. THEY’RE NOT SAFE!!!

    Note that not everywhere is USA (thank goodness)!

  12. Many people do not realize that the electric motor and battery were added to bikes in the 1800’s shortly after the invention of the safety bike. They were used to help a cyclist under different cycling conditions like multiple sprocket sizes and derailleurs. Also, the Iris with the more powerful motor and throttle could still be classified as an e-bike in most States in the U.S.

  13. I would like to post a QUOT to all the Negative comments:
    ” Some people with Negative minds search and only see Problems…
    ..During the same time Positive minds found / see the SOLUTION ! ! ! ”
    GOT IT ?

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