Three years ago we wrote about finnish designer Time Sairi who designed a recumbent bicycle with both 26″ wheels and a shaft drive. Quite an amazing machine and a breakthrough in a recumbent world. After three years of development it seems, there is another breakthrough as the first recumbent with shaft drive is going into production.
The concept has been changed quite a lot. From a high racer to a CLWB city style recumbent with a seat which fits better the height of the bike and the way rider sits on it.
The idea is very interesting. There is no pogo efect, you do not need to clean the chain, everything seems to be pretty durable and also they managed to designed the front boom so it can be easily adjusted to different height of rider. We are pretty interested in the final production piece and we are looking forward to see this bike released on the market.
We sent few questions to Timo and Tatu Lund who are two main guys of the new brand called Miragebikes. We also asked them to send us some detailed picture of the rear fork axle and shaft drive connection in that place.
RG: Can you explain a bit more the concept and idea you are following with the Nomad?
Timo: When I started to think design of the recumbent bike about 7 years ago, CLWB (compact long wheel base) was a natural choice and my benchmark was bike-e.
Tatu: Nowadays I would add Flevo Greenmachine or HP Velotechnik Spirit as good representatives of respectable effort of urban recumbent and benchmark for Nomad. We saw room for improvement in those which lead to Nomad.
Timo: Full suspension bike is simple to use with adjustments only on the bench and steering bar (see picture). The front suspension is very important based on my experience. Everybody who know about ‘snake bites’ in the tubes should know that. We know also that ‘no squat’ geometry causes efficiency losses together with suspension when riding uphill, with drive shaft there is no such issue.
RG: I like the new approach, but I am a bit afraid of the seat height which seems to be a bit too high especialy for riding in the city. It is truth that the sitting position is quite steep which makes it easier, but still.
Tatu: The driving position and quite high seat position is also excellent for urban environment and driving safety. It helps observing the traffic and also the others see you pretty well. That is why in this model we have selected this type of adjustment of the seat where it rises at the same time as we bring it further away from the cranks. The distance to the ground is set proportionally. This is following the design philosophy of the bikes simplicity and ease of use. The seat has a bit saddle like shape and that allows dropping your legs straight down when you stop.
Timo: Urban bike needs to be good to handle. Shorter wheelbase is good for that. Also storage places are tight, so the bike cannot be much larger than upright bikes.
RG: Do you plan also some other models? Maybe a trike?
Tatu: We have number of ideas we are working on, since we have ambitions to grow our business in a long term. These are still in quite early phase so I cannot disclose all details on those. We can share this telescopic adjustment idea of the frame and drive shaft. We filed patent for this idea together with couple of other things we are already using in Nomad. With telescopic adjustment we can use our basic frame in wider range of recumbent concepts.
Timo: I’ve been thinking about Trike, 20x20x20 with USS and high racer with high end materials like titanium shaft
Tatu: Those are just examples of things we are working on. It is yet difficult to say when they will be seeing daylight and which order. But yes, sure we are have many things cooking for years to come.
Timo: The starting point was the love affair with recumbent bikes, I just wanted to make them easier to approach for the people and share the experience that way.
Tatu: That is really unique in Nomad, it is so easy to take on. I tend to believe that there would be tighter limits for recumbent market to grow, if we wouldn’t have made Nomad.
Timo: I found again healthy and fun bicycle hobby with recumbent bikes and by testing and creating prototypes for this project.
Tatu: Yes, it is a lot about feelings. Riding bicycles feels good. I’ve background in mountain bikes, I still love to go riding them in the local forests. It requires 100% concentration to handle the bike and feels really good when you have pushed hard. I have also fallen love with recumbents. You get different set of feelings with them. I could compare it to driving a convertible, I can’t help myself smiling when riding a recumbent.
RG: Can you let me know where the bikes will be produced and what will be the price.
Tatu: MirageBikes is a design house. We have manufacturing partner in Taiwan with long experience in high quality bikes. We have found this a good combination. In Taiwan there is a well-functioning ecosystem of bicycle manufacturing including material management, know-how of bicycle engineering in aluminum welding and CNC machinery. We in Europe have understanding of the local market, marketing and innovation know-how. We are targeting Nomad to be sold at approximately 3000 euros street price.