Shweeb, a NZ company, has come up with a fantastic low energy commuting concept that could transform our city scapes. Its based on a monorail concept under which an enclosed recumbent bicycle operates. The aerodynamic fairing reduces wind resistance, and as the rollers are steel on steel (a bit lot a railway) rolling resistance is very low. Its absolutely brilliant!
Check out the shweeb website:
If you are a cyclist you’ll really appreciate the following elements of the shweeb concept:
- Its more efficient than a bicycle. Being able to travel at 20 km/hr whilst only producing 35 watts of power is very efficient.
- Its comfortable (recumbent’s are much more comfortable that normal bikes)
- You don’t get a sweaty back when carrying a back pack
- You stay dry
- You are out of traffic
Will the shweeb concept take off? Whilst the advantages are considerable, it does require a significant investment in infrastructure. As the shweeb network requires staffing, there will also be ongoing operational costs. Its best initial application is for high density areas with lots of commuters travelling the same route every day and poor existing public transport.
If you are in a government (local, state or federal), in a high density area with a lot of commuters and poor public transport consider the shweeb concept!