by PODBIKE | October 30th

From time to time we receive questions regarding the visibility in traffic. Read on to learn more about the visibility of FRIKAR in traffic.

Almost ten years ago, Per had a bad accident while riding his bike. His knee was crushed and he almost broke his neck.

After the accident, he became afraid of riding his two-wheeler.

The number one reason for the founder Per to develop Frikar ebike was the lack of safety and visibility on a regular bike.

See the full story behind the Frikar ebike

Visibility in traffic: will the cars see me?

The low profile of velomobiles has often been mentioned as a major issue both due to low eye height for the rider and the low visibility.

The ebike is 1100 mm high, and you will feel like you are sitting inside a sports car with large windows. But 1100 mm is 50 mm higher than a Lamborghini Miura and 50 mm lower than a Volkswagen XL1. We agree that there are benefits of raising eye level on the vehicle. That is part reason why we will offer an option to raise the rear end of the vehicle. So the rider eye level can be raised to get better overview. But only when going slow. As the elevated vehicle’s higher centre of gravity makes the vehicle much less stable, there will be speed limit and visual warning.

See this chart to compare Podbike ebike Frikar’s height to cars:

Sitting in Frikar E-bike with open cabin

Per Hassel (Founder and Product Developer) says:
“After seven years of usage of an even lower velomobile, the Dutch Alleweder, the argument of not being visible in traffic is simply not true, because: the large bodies of velomobiles are much more visible for the other interacting traffic compared to regular upright bikes.The relative large body forces a Podbike velomobile rider to behave more car-like, making traffic interaction more predictable, comparable to a car. The Podbike velomobile is taller than Lamborghini Countach but lower than Bugatti Veyron, and about as easy to detect in complex traffic due to profile, colors and light. A Podbike velomobile is much taller than most traffic posts and traffic islands. And they are easily seen by passing drivers”.

Visibility in traffic: will there be a flag on the Frikar ebike?

We will offer a high visibility flag with a long pole as an option for the riders who want this but we would like to warn that it might give false security:

“I tried once to ride with a long orange rod with flag to see if that gave any benefits. But even if car drivers could see the flag behind hedges etc, exploiting my increased visibility did not make sense. So the air drag slowed me down and the flag pole was obstructing low passes. And I actually felt less secure. It seemed some drivers assumed a child on a bike at low speed when seeing the flag and not expecting a velomobile at speed.” – Per Hassel Sørensen.

Visibility in traffic: how many lights will a Frikar ebike have?

The Frikar ebike will have lights in the front and behind in addition to the turn signals on each side. These are redundant lights, supplied from two power supplies both front and rear. In case something goes wrong, there is still light. The body will also be equipped with reflectors as required to be street legal in the country it is configured for. That includes “Z” marked reflectors for Germany.

Front of Frikar E-bike (test series 2020) with lights on
Picture showing the front of Frikar ebike (test series 2019).
The back of Frikar E-bike (test series 2019) at night
Picture showing the back of Frikar ebike (test series 2019).