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A team of researchers and engineers in Swansea, Wales, have designed a four-wheeled bike in order to allow people with mobility issues to enjoy downhill racing.
Project manager Calvin Williams started the project after he fell 50-feet from a cliff and felt like his love of mountain-biking would have to take a backseat after his injuries meant he had to spend a year in a wheelchair. Speaking about the project, he said he hoped it will make racing more accessible.
The project, named Enduro, started in 2004 and is an initiative backed by the Welsh Government through European Regional Development Funding. The general aim of Enduro was to design, create and manufacture a four-wheeled mountain bike. Today, the project peaked in the unveiling of a new prototype tested on Snowdon.
Predominantly for use by disabled people who seek an adrenaline rush and the chance to participate in a competitive sport, other able-bodied people aren’t banned from using it, and no doubt a whole following of people will use the bike as a brand new thrill-seeking experience.
Powered by gravity alone, the bike has no pedals and requires the rider to fit between the four wheels as they ride. A set of handlebars, like a regular bike, allows the cyclist to steer and alter the course of the bike whilst sitting on a carbon-fibre seat with top-end suspension – custom features which aim to make a huge breakthrough impact on the extreme sports market and will hopefully see innovations such as Enduro lead the way for future development of bike and healthcare products for the disabled.
Williams stated, “The project is developing well beyond our initial aspirations.”
“As time goes on more trails are becoming available to ride the bikes and we are having enquiries from potential riders from across the world. Hopefully we will see a race series soon, where able bodied and disabled athletes will be competing head to head at Welsh trail centres.”
The bike itself should actually be on the market in December 2014.