Two wheels, a set of pedals and a seat. This is what has remained to be the basic layout of a normal bicycle. But the architect and engineer, David Schwartz decided to play around the design a bit while he was watching an uphill section of the 2011 Tour de France. The idea came with the realization that the bodies of the riders were rocking back and forth, and hence, energy was going waste. If their backs could be provided support, the pedals would get more push.
In the Flying Rider Model, the normal seat and top tube have been replaced with a frame of steel tubing. These steel tubing form a cage in which the rider’s body is suspended by a harness. And this gives the bicycle its name, the flying rider!
When the rider pedals during a climb, his back meets a sort of “cage” from which his body is hanging and faces a reactionary force. For a 77-kg rider, this would result in a pedaling efficiency gain of around 10 percent. This is similar to pushing something with legs while getting support from a wall.
The prototype of Flying Rider is odd and not many would want their butts hanging, nor would they want being stuck in frame if the bike falls off. We also have to see if the gained power is worth the extra weight and inconvenience. However, we can, definitely, give the bike credit for being proof-of-concept. Schwartz realizes the weirdness and is working on a carbon-fibre version. He plans to take his Flying Rider for Interbike Trade Show in September this year.