Cirque du Soleil performers, Google employees, and blind members of The Helen Keller National Center are riding the seven-person-tricycle. Why?
While the Conference Bike, or CoBi-7, is handmade in Germany and uses a Porsche-engineered rack-and-pinion steering system; it’s much more than transportation. It’s a movement.
The seven-person-tricycle was designed by the great modern American artist Eric Staller. In 1991, he built the OCTOS – a circular bike for 8 riders, complete with futuristic black and white costumes. The reaction was astounding. “I could see that the OCTOS was something more powerful than art! It was something to be used and enjoyed by everyone. It was functional and there was never anything like it,” said Staller. He transformed his art into the functional seven-person-tricycle.
Critics have called his work a revolution of modern art. Modern art takes traditions of the past and throws them aside in a spirit of experimentation. But Staller takes it further. He has broken through the experimentation and reached the other side – where he found functionality. He has reconnected the renaissance with romanticism. As the CoBi-7 exemplifies the spirit of innovation, it is little wonder world-changing companies like Google identify with it.
Now, Eric Staller’s mission is to cover the world with his inspired invention.
Already, the Conference Bike is being ridden in 18 countries. It’s used to give tours through Berlin, Baltimore, and San Francisco. It has become a symbol for sustainable transportation in The Earth Center in England. And it’s used to demonstrate mechanical principles in The Jerusalem Science Museum.
So, how does this metal octopus really work? Well, the seven seats all sit close together above one tricycle. Each rider can cycle with their own set of pedals at any time. Together, they can ride at up to 16 km/h. One of the riders controls both the steering and hydraulic brake system – which is how six blind friends can ride together with the assistance of one sighted captain.
Google employees use the seven-person-tricycle for team-meetings; Cirque du Soleil perform with it; deaf and blind members of The Helen Keller National Center ride a bike for the first time. The CoBi-7 exemplifies innovation and progress. It’s more than a bike, it’s a movement. If you’re ready to join the ride, grab a seat – or seven.
- Seven people riding one tricycle together
- Porsche steering system
- Handmade in Germany
- Steering: Porsche-engineered rack-and-pinion steering system
- Brakes: Hydraulic brake system
- Lights: Pedaling powers an internal dynamo that illuminates two headlights
- Seats: Seven adjustable seats
- Weight: 182 kg
- Length: 2.5 m
- Width: 1.9 m
- Height: 1.3 m