Wednesday 29 July 2009


This morning I made pretty good time on the way to work. There was a slight tailwind, which helped me on the way and it took 55 minutes on the PDQ - an average of 32 km/h.

This evening I borrowed the demonstration Sinner Mango velomobile again. I'm still the same not particularly young and not particularly fast guy that I was this morning, but with a much more aerodynamic bike I rode home into the same wind in just 47 minutes and 20 seconds - an average of 37 km/h door to door. That's the fastest commute I've ever done in my life, on a practical bike with a few tools, spare tyres and tubes and a change of clothes on board as well as myself. An amazing difference. What's more, if it rains tomorrow I'll be dry inside the Mango to get back to work.

My children insisted that a photo was taken of my hair swept back by the wind (just slightly enhanced above but you can click on the photo for a more accurate image).

My name is now on the waiting list for my own Mango. You know you want one too... Not only is it quick, but it's relatively compact for a velomobile, highly practical and has a good turning circle.

Two Dutch bicycles, both white. The Mango and my younger daughter's traditional town bike.

There's a video of my commuting route, and several other posts about riding the mango. Of course, those wonderful cycle paths also go a long way to making a longer commute into a reasonable proposition by bike. Read my review of the Sinner Mango Velomobile.


Brent said...

Do you have any experience (or thoughts) on how the Mango would do in hills, especially on the downhill? Are the brakes substantial enough to handle, say, a 15 km descent?

henryinamsterdam said...

Yep, I'm not a "ligfiets" type but if I lived out in the "provincie" I'd seriously consider one of these too.

Duncan Watson said...

The Mango is one of the velomobiles I am very interested in. It seems more expensive in the US though. The price I get quoted from BlueVelo in Toronto, Canada, is higher than the quest.

One of these days I will convince one of the local velomobilists to let me carefully test ride one.

David Hembrow said...

Brent: You'd have to take some considerable care in a hilly area. The potential downhill speed is high. Aerodynamics won't slow you as they do on a normal bike, so the brakes have a lot more to do and I think you'd have to take care about brake fade. I've no personal experience of riding these bikes in a hilly area.

Anonymous said...

Your'e right. I do want one.

If I get the apprenticeship placement it's at the other end of a disused railway which is now a surfaced bike path. I can just imagine the speeds I could get to with this...

Unfirtunately the 25% hills by our home may kill this idea.

But then, I'd need to make a bike for my final exam... Perhaps with disc brakes?

Maarten Sneep said...

Most velomobiles use drum brakes because the dirt in the wheel arches will grind away most disk-brakes far more quickly than is fun. At least the Mango has open wheels, providing some cooling on the brakes, but it is far too easy to get the brakes to very high temperatures (> 500°C). This will damage the brakes, and the wheel bearings. Some velomobile users will ride with small brake chutes to spoil the streamline, and limit the speed to about 75 km/hour downhill. I'm not sure this works on a 1 in 4 gradient though.


DrMekon said...

The Mango is lovely. Looking forward to hearing more about it. I've had a thing about tadpole trikes since finding the ICE trice page when searching for info on T45 tubing years ago. It was a delight to find many of the HPV people I came across back then on the lists I started reading when we got our bakfiets.