So first off, yes. This thing real. The new Spanish RedShark trimaran bike is designed to give cyclists a pedal-powered workout, a familiar fit & feel, but the freedom to explore new places on the water.
RedShark tri-hulled pedal-powered bike-boat
The RedShark is billed as a trimaran (tri-hulled boat) developed for aquatic cycling. The core idea seems to be to open up a huge amount of untapped unexplored area, either for a chance to get away from civilization (in a bikepacking mode) or for uninterrupted training.
The RedShark is a product of experienced Spanish auto/moto-sector product designer and cycling enthusiast Josep Rubau’s wild imagination. Living close to the sea either was inspiring or corrupted his sensibilities, depending on your perspective.
A lot of development went into creating the RedShark, and it will be interesting to see how it fares in a consumer market. For now it seems that three models are being offered, that appear to vary a bit in both construction and component setup to tailor to different types of users.
The Sport model is billed as the fastest and for the most serious athletes. RedShark Sport is built to train fitness, and gets a time trial or triathlon inspired cockpit, with a healthy dose of carbon components and clipless pedals.
The RedShark Adventure is the bikepacking, or rather boatpacking, model. Designed to exploring lakes, rivers, and calm seas it includes a bullhorn bar and several bags to carry more supplies for longer overnight adventure touring in untouched coastal areas.
The RedShark Fun model wasn’t available to see at launch, but appears to be the lowest priced version. Meant for more recreational users, not necessarily for existing cyclists, it appears this model may use a cheaper frame construction, leaning less on carbon fiber. This build strips the RedShark back to the essentials, with a more upright flat-bar riding position.
The core ‘bike’ frame and two wings that connect the three hulls are all made of carbon fiber in what RedShark calls the structural zones. The entire bike/boat is 100% produced in Europe, across a wide range of material suppliers.
The three pontoon hulls are then made of more resilient ABS plastic that can handle running aground and daily wear.
Besides obvious inspiration from bikes, the whole RedShark bike/boat borrows a lot of cycling components to make it work. The Adventure model uses big platform pedals and a e-bike specific crank to turn the differential in the bottom bracket. The Sport was outfitted with road pedals in the interest of pedaling efficiency, but the thought of getting off the shore or a dock in road shoes onto a boat is truly terrifying.
The adventure model borrows heavily from the bikepacking concept, strapping a number of bags on to the bike/boat to haul your lightweight camping gear. Other than the bags and a water bottle cage behind the crankset, the RedShark does include a sealed waterproof hatch inside the rear of the main hull to keep sensitive gear like your mobile phone and water protected from water.
Forward propulsion is provided by an impeller directly under the mast continuing down from the bottom bracket with a direct drive gearshaft. It isn’t clear how the gearing or gear ratios were developed as it doesn’t seem adjustable. So speed on the water isn’t really clear, making me curious how it would fare on the open water or in moving streams vs. on lakes and other more calm bodies of water.
Directional control is handled by a pair of rudders directly under the front mast, turned by the standard bike handlebars that are offered on various models.
The two side pontoons folds up for portability, and the ability to transport it on a low-mount trailer hitch bike rack (or a roof rack). Then a couple of roller blade wheels on the rear allow you to maneuver the RedShark around, with about as much mobility as a packed bike travel case.
Pricing & Availability
To be honest I was surprised that this contraption isn’t as astronomically priced as expected. Sure the top-end version with full carbon cockpit, components and the lighter weight hull looks like it will sell for almost 10,000€ (pricing is not yet finalized). But we’ve been told the more affordable Fun version around 4000€ will put this more in reach for a wider audience.
Availability seems a bit more up in the air. The RedShark was just unveiled for the first time to the public over the weekend at Sea Otter Europe in Girona. The water-bikes are in production now, wholly in Europe, with official availability to be revealed later this summer. perhaps as early as in a few weeks at Eurobike.
You know you want one!