Categorized | Tech Talk, tricycles

The Perils of Hybrid Design – Triobike Redux

Triobike is a Danish company that makes a family tricycle with a nifty “Multi-purpose Design” which can be converted from a tricycle to a bicycle to a stroller. On paper it has many of the design features that families are looking for such as 5 point harnesses for kids, front & rear lights, disk brakes, etc. It’s sleek minimalist European industrial design will send hearts aflutter anywhere. Who wouldn’t want a tricycle you could drive the kids to daycare with, convert into a bicycle, and then ride to work with.

However in the case of Triobike, it’s Achilles Heal may be that it does neither of it’s intended purposes very well. As a tricycle, reviewers are beginning to talk about it’s dangerously unstable ride. As a bicycle, it’s sporty design doesn’t lend itself well for city riding (no fenders, uncomfortable forward leaning style, men’s style swing over frame) Finally as a stroller it’s unwieldy bulk makes it impractical. Imagine a parent struggling to load it into a car or better yet trying to get it through the doorway of a local store with a sleeping toddler on board.

Hybrid designs in and of themselves are a neat idea. They take up less space but serve multiple purposes. However, history has been marked with endless hybrid designs that try to do too many things and fail to do any well. Airplanes that convert into a car, cars that convert into a boat, and so on.

In the case of Triobike, it’s a great idea with flawed execution. Like any groundbreaking innovative design there will be growing pains and hopefully an evolution to an ideal form. If the makers of Triobike continue to refine and iterate the design, then it has a great future. Otherwise, it’ll remain another industrial design study where style has won out over function, with the added bonus of a $3000 USD price tag.

Triobike Links:
www.triobike.com
Triobike photos by Carteco
Triobike Video

Other Luxury Cargo Tricycle Makers:
Winther Kangaroo
Nihola
MyZigo (US manufacturer)

10 Comments For This Post

  1. Frits B Says:

    A far better design is offered by Dutch manufacturer Feetz (www.feetz.nl). This is a small company that for now is not exporting to the US. Reasonable prices, 1500 euro in Holland. The rear end folds up to the front end after which the trike has the footprint of a shopping cart and fits through normal doors. Roller brakes, 5 speeds rear hub. Front wheels lean like on a two-wheeler.

  2. admin Says:

    Hi Frits,

    The Feetz look amazing. Especially the leaning design, which is the holy grail of all tricycles. I’ll post soon about their tricycles. Thanks for the link!

    Cheers,
    John

  3. Ddx30 Says:

    I stil prefer teh taga, looks really impresive… http://www.taga.nl

  4. lothair hamann Says:

    I own a feetz and its a great concept however however when I travel from the U.K
    to the Netherland in the coming week I hope to visit the manufacturer to make some
    design suggestions before I order more bikes. Also I’ve in terms of small details like lack of locking nuts or nylock nuts I had several components of the bike rattle loose after only riding the bike 3 times. One of these was an bracket arm supporting the rear brakes which suddenly came loose and rotated with the wheel locking the brakes while I was crossing the road which might have been potentially dangerous.
    Another thing is the fact that if you have near the max load and you use the kick stand the bike falls over. These are minor things that can be corrected. I actually have more points however that I want to discuss with the manufacturer rather than posting these here for competitors to see as I really believe that this bike has amazing potential.
    A rear carrier on the feetz would be great also so I can balance the bike load and perhaps put the battery pack for the electric hub drive however there is no carrier on the market that will fit so again back to the manufacturer.
    great bike hope it gets better

  5. peter Says:

    I had one. It could be transported in a simple small car as it could be split in 2 parts. The designlooks is great.

    The kids can sit, dry safe and comfortable!

    Contra !!!
    It bikes heavy. You would not expect (wrong design).
    It bikes instable!!!
    No spupport from dealers in Netherlands. I contacted the original manufactures as AXA and they helped great. Design mistake with the lock so easy to open!
    You will never use it as a troller.
    Very difficult to convert it to electrical one.. buts possible.
    I sold it!

    And the whith is 105 centimeter. Standard door is 89,5 centimer in Netherlands.
    Detache in 2 parts and tilt it .. it will go.

    I have now the old version of the tmannetje / filibak. It bikes light and its very stable. Be aware the firm went bamkrupt in 2010. The new firm topped up prices with 10%

  6. Ed Says:

    Triobike works great for Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Kids and parents love it. Grandpa says, forget the grand kids; fill it with beer, wine, and cigars.

  7. tejeet Says:

    are there any dealers in canada or US for triobike. i have trying so hard to find one

  8. Brendan Says:

    Its now available in canada at this store velolifestyle.com

  9. girls Says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about cargo bike. Regards

  10. UHMW Sheets Says:

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally,
    it seems as though you relied on the video to
    make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste
    your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?

Leave a Reply