Leitra Avancee Velomobile trike

The LEITRA is a new type of non-motorized vehicle designed for commuting, shopping, distribution of light goods, recreation and touring. The international term for this type of vehicle is a velomobile. It is fast, but not designed specificly for racing.
The primary considerations for the design of this tri-cycle with full fairing were:

  • Safety in normal traffic,
  • cycle comfort in cold, windy and wet weather,
  • sufficient payload for touring and shopping,
  • reliability in daily operation - also in wintertime.

For fair weather use the fairing can be removed in a second by activating a snap-coupling with the tip of the toe. The two luggage compartments can also be removed quickly without tools.

The first LEITRA was built in 1980. Since 1982 it has successfully participated in many tough rallies in Europe, such as Trondheim - Oslo (1983) and Paris-Brest-Paris (1987). It has proven to be a real practical vehicle for long distance touring. Several million kilometers have been covered without personal injuries.

With its three wheels the LEITRA will not overturn on a slippery road. A low center of gravity (typically 35 cm over the ground) and a wide gauge (90 cm) of the front wheels reduce the risk of overturning. The steering is not affected by extra luggage load, because the luggage is kept low, under the seat. At starts and stops, e.g. at traffic lights, it is not necessary to get on and off the bike. The cyclist can sit relaxed, ready to start.

In city traffic, it is important that the cyclist is able to accelerate along with the traffic. The LEITRA has an excellent acceleration ability because of low weight, suitable gearing, and an efficient back and loin support provided by the seat.
The special LEITRA steering geometry provides a unique manoeuvreability, with a correct coordination of the front wheel steering (Ackermann) even at a turning radius as small as 2 meters. Steering can be performed with right or left hand, or both. The control levers are located at the front end of the arm rests.

The LEITRA has brakes on all three wheels. About 40% of the weight of the cycle and cyclist is concentrated on the rear wheel, which is furnished with a rim brake (standard), a drum brake or a disc brake. Blocking of the rear wheel should be avoided by sensible and moderate operation of the brake. Violent braking will cause the rear wheel to skid and will spoil the tyre, or in extreme cases result in an overturn. If the vehicle should be forced into an overturn, the cyclist is protected by the frame and the fairing. The frame is a space frame surrounding the rider. It has proven to give an efficient protection of the rider, also in the case of collisions.
The rider has a good view in all directions. In forward direction and to the sides the cyclist looks through the front screen. The field of vision in the backward direction is covered by a convex mirror on top of the fairing. The visibility through the front screen is not significantly affected by normal rain, but fine rain, fog and slush may restrict the visibility severely. Therefore, the front screen of a LEITRA is designed with a flat front section. This makes it possible to install a laminated glass window with a wiper in the critical view sector. The front screen is furnished with a special fresh air ventilation duct, which leads an air flow to the inside and thereby prevents formation of dew and ice on the inside. The system works well, when the LEITRA is moving.
The aerodynamical shape of the fairing results in a low air resistance, when riding fast and against head wind. Also in side wind the air resistance is considerably lower than on an ordinary bike, and the velomobile gets a push by the sail effect.
The rolling resistance depends very much on the road conditions and the tyre pressure.
Because the Leitra is fully suspended, it is possible to keep a high tyre pressure in order to minimize rolling resistance without losing comfort. In snow and on soft ground the rolling resistance of a tricycle is higher than that of a conventional bike.
The fairing replaces raincoat and overcoat, boots and other weather protection gear. In the wintertime a woolen sweater is usually enough to keep warm. An overcoat is not needed before the temperature is below -10 Centigrade. In summertime shorts and a T-shirt form a suitable outfit, even on chilly nights.

The fairing can be opened to a vertical position. This gives plenty of space to get in and out of the vehicle. Acrobatic exercises, as often called for with other velomobiles, are not necessary. In strong wind, one should always open the fairing against the wind!
Luggage can be stored in two luggage compartments under the seat, or in the tail fairing. The tail fairing can be either fixed, hinged or replaced by a closed luggage box with hinged cover. Special versions of the luggage box have been made for children, dogs or other small passengers.

The LEITRA Avancee is a step further regarding improvements and enhancements over the original Leitra Sport, improved by Bike Revolution and Steintrikes but it features all the vital qualities of the original design.

Read more on Leitra.dk official home page

"It is now official, that Bike-Revolution in Austria has taken up the production of Leitra "Sport" in a slightly modified version. The rear wheel suspension has got a traditional steel spring shock absorber, and the rear part of the fairing is integrated with the luggage compartments under the seat. This gives a more smooth look.
It will be marketed under the name Leitra "Avancee"
Bike Revolution is also producing another velomobile, the "Thunderstorm", which is based on the off road trike "Mad Max" and a modified Leitra fairing (lower and wider). See more on Bike Revolution web site
Leitra DK ApS will continue to produce the original Leitra models in Denmark."

Technical specification:

Overall length: 230 cm
Track width: 90 cm
Wheel base: 90 cm
Type of wheels: 406 mm (20")
Seat height: 33 cm
Seat angle:: 55°
Overall height: 120cm - 130 cm
Weight without fairing: 19,5 kg fahrfertig
Weight including fairing: from 29 kg fahrfertig
Rear suspension: 75 mm
Front suspension: 35 mm
Load cappacity: 120 kg
Luggage boxes volume: 100 l

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