Sometimes, I think Hammacher Schlemmer is just a front for some guy who wants to import weird bicycles but is somehow embarrassed about it. These are the guys importing a bar powered by cycling, drinking patrons, after all. By that standard, the Touring Quadracycle isn’t quite so odd… but it’s still plenty odd.
Developed in Denmark, where they ride bicycles everywhere because it’s cheaper and it’s not like there’s much else to do in Denmark anyway, the main selling point is that you can put the children, or people you don’t particularly like, in the front row of seats, which come with foot wells and seat belts. It’s pretty tough, with the steel chassis able to accept a 550 pound load, and heavy enough that it needs two people to pedal. Those pedals are in the back seats; the front are just freeloaders. The person in the left-hand seat steers, possibly towards other quadracycles depending on how annoying and rowdy the kids in the front seat are.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s an interesting concept and it looks like a lot of fun, but this really was built, from the ground up, for parents to troll their children. Think about it: The kids are strapped in up front. They can’t steer. They can’t pedal. If Mom and Dad decide to start playing chicken on the bike trail or see what happens when you take a steep hill with this thing, there’s not much they can do about it.
On the other hand, this thing is heavy enough that it only gets up to about ten miles an hour under human locomotion. There is no word on whether it will go faster down a hill, and whether or not it can get some sweet air off a ramp, but if you’ve got $5000 lying around, you can find out for yourself.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.