Grant Sinclair Iris eTrike: A leap in electric-assist velomobiles

Grant Sinclair Iris eTrike Velomobile
Shipping for the Iris eTrike is projected to begin in the first quarter of 2024. Images © Grant

British tech entrepreneur and inventor, Grant Sinclair, has recently released images of the planned production version of the Iris eTrike, a groundbreaking electric-assist velomobile initially introduced as a prototype in 2017. The images and specifications released by Sinclair underscore the vehicle’s stunning design and innovative features.

An evolution of the recumbent tricycle, the Iris eTrike combines pedal power with electric assistance. Its aerodynamic, fully-enclosed plastic fairing design allows it to achieve higher speeds than conventional bicycles on flat roads and descents. The eTrike’s rider-friendly design assures a comfortable seating position and protection from adverse weather conditions.

The Sinclair family has a history of pioneering inventions. Sir Clive Sinclair, Grant’s uncle, was known for his Sinclair C5 pedal-electric trike and two early home computers, the ZX-81 and Spectrum, in the 1980s. More recently, Crispin Sinclair, Sir Clive’s son, introduced the Babel Bike, proclaimed to be the world’s safest bicycle.

The production model of the Iris eTrike is constructed with a chromoly steel chassis and an expanded polypropylene (EPP) foam body encased in a polymer shell. A clear Plexiglass hinged canopy with a water-repellent coating further boosts the vehicle’s weather resistance.

Grant Sinclair Iris eTrike Prototype 2017
Grant Sinclair pictured inside the fully operational prototype of the Iris eTrike.

This advanced eTrike features a 9-speed drivetrain, LED lighting system complete with headlights, turn indicators, strip lighting, and a brake/tail light. A HEPA air filtration system and cooling unit funnel filtered air into the cabin, enhancing the rider’s comfort. The production Iris also incorporates a 120-degree rearview camera that streams real-time video to a docked smartphone.

The rider can opt between a 250, 500, or 750-watt mid-drive motor to supplement pedaling power, reaching speeds over 30 mph (48 km/h). The 48V/20-Ah lithium-ion battery, with a single charge, offers an estimated range of 30 miles. Furthermore, the Iris boasts carbon wheels, 24-inch in front and 26-inch at the back, fitted with puncture-proof Tannus cargo bike tires.

Grant Sinclair Iris eTrike Plexiglass Canopy
Access to the vehicle is facilitated through a hinged Plexiglass canopy.

The Iris eTrike’s additional amenities include a 100-liter lockable cargo compartment, Spyre mechanical disc brakes, and Shimano A530 SPD double-sided pedals to support both clipless and platform riding styles. An LED screen presents essential data such as speed, distance traveled, battery charge, and electric assist level. The eTrike dimensions are 260 cm long, 94 cm wide, and 128 cm high (102 by 37 by 50 inches), with an estimated weight of 50 kg (110 lb).

The Iris eTrike, in its captivating black or silver color options, is now available for a special preorder price of £4,999 (approximately US$6,178). Shipping is projected to begin in the first quarter of the following year.

Grant Sinclair Iris eTrike Velomobile Aerodynamic Body
The vehicle’s aerodynamics are significantly enhanced by its sleek, streamlined body design.

Source: Grant