Frequently Asked Questions


Question Answer
What powers the Versatile?
Human power, input with bicycle cranks and pedals, through a 14-speed transmission by means of two bicycle chains, drives the rear wheel. There is a small NiMH 12V battery for powering the lights, turn signals and the horn.
Did you make it yourself?
I wish! It's manufactured in The Netherlands by Flevobike and assembled and sold by Flevelo in Lübeck, Germany.
How much does it cost?
(2012-12-26) US$7979 ex works Dronten. Based on a price of €7650 less 21% BTW. Additional expenses would include crating, shipping, insurance, customs and customs brokerage.
How fast does it go?
I've reached 59 mph going downhill a couple of times, but saw no particular benefit of letting things proceed beyond that. I'm not particularly interested in finding that end of the performance envelope. More to the point is that I went from Boston > Denver (2500 miles) in 21 days (including one rest day) in August, 2006.
How much ground does it cover in normal riding?
My standard commute was over flat ground in north Orange County, California, USA, a suburban area. My rolling average speed was 27.8 kmph (17.27 mph, a couple of miles per hour faster than on my Lightning P-38 SWB recumbent bicycle. When I roll up to speed I'm usually travelling at 33-40 kmph (20.5-25 mph). With a very slight downhill on a good road with no stoplights you will run out of gears at about 40 mph with impressive ease. On flat roads the aerodynamic advantage is balanced by 85-pound weight of the vehicle. Climbing is slow and hot at 4-5 mph.
Why did you chose the Versatile? There are other excellent velomobiles being produced, which other dedicated, savy riders have chosen instead of the Versatile. I made my decision as I started my second decade of human-powered transportation. I'm a rider, not a builder, and I'd rather ride than service my ride, so I was looking for a vehicle with a straight, enclosed chainline, structural inegrity, and engineering genius. The graphic artist part of me begged for style. In honor of my granddaughters I shoppped for safety. To compensate for an over-exuberant youth I needed a suspension that worked well. Since I could not finance a trip to Europe for test rides I trusted the experience of Johan Vrielink at Flevobike.
What alterations have you done to Nr. 20?
First I added a larger LED tail light, an "experimenter's block" of high-output LEDs. Additionally it serves as a nice ground-handling point. I also added 3M reflective material at the front and rear. Next I separated the brakes, which come set up "both levers work both brakes." The rework included replacing the standard 1.6mm cables with oversized 1.8mm cable. Finally I had my LBS replace the rear idler set with the TerraCycle Ti idler set. This is the configuration that I rode to the Left Coast Velomobile Gathering in San Luis Obispo in April 2006. It worked great.
So why did you sell Nr. 20?
As soon as I was certain that the Versatile would meet my needs I put in my order for another one. There is a queue which means that if something should happen to Nr. 20 it wouldn't be a go-out-and-get-another-one option. It took about two-and-a-half years to land Nr. 20! Since I rely upon my velomobile as my transportation, and because there is lots of interest in the Versatile whereever I park, I'm pretty sure that Nr. 20 won't be difficult to sell, especially here in SoCal, the perfect place to ride (drive?) a velomobile. Plus, helping to insure the long-term success of Flevobike is certainly in my own interest.
How can I contact you if I have other questions?
By email
Can I see pictures of Nr. 20?
A zipped archive of 13.8MB, 23 images (17MB)

 

2012-12-24T1000-0700

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