Wednesday, April 25, 2018

putting your legs in front of the steering... I don't want to try that

1980 junior Velocino

In 1933, Ernesto Pettazzoni, an engineer from Bologna, Italy, applied for a British patent for his ultra=short-wheelbase semi-recumbent machine, the Velocino. It represented a wheelchair chopped in half, with the seat over the normal-sized rear wheel. The tiny front wheel was about 10 inches in diameter. The handlebar was reversible, giving the option of under-seat steering. Mussolini is said to have commissioned the Velocino as a compact, easily stored urban vehicle. The project attracted a lot of attention but was canceled after Italy entered Word War II.

– Bicycle Design: An Illustrated History, by Tony Hadland, Hans-Erhard Lessing, Nick Clayton, Gary W. Sanderson


  1. Anonymous1:46 PM

    And here I thought I'd invented that bike, the day when I was jumping my Schwinn with the high handlebars and banana seat, and the board for the jump split just as I hit it, and my front wheel hit the cinderblock under it. The cinderblock was frozen to the ground and did not yield. It blew my front tire, launched me into the steering yoke, my shoulders hooked under the ape hanger handlebars. There I went face first flipping over landing on my back with the bike on top of me, the handlebars folded backward much like you see here. Fortunately it was easier to fix the bike than the dents in my pride.

    1. How in the world have more kids not killed themselves with bikes and skateboards? Must be made of rubber until their late teens!

  2. If you don't want the steering under your legs, loosen the clamp and rotate the stem to the forward position.
    It was designed to do that, so there's nothing wrong with adjusting the handlebars to your preferred position.
    On the other hind, my first recumbent had under seat steering and I found it incredibly comfortable. I'd like to try one of these machines.

  3. It's pretty standard for many recumbents to have underseat steering. Once you get used to it, it can be more comfortable to have your arms hanging down.