The Shuttle Bike is quite the add-on to your normal road or mountain bike. It is basically an assembly kit that lets your turn any normal type of bicycle into a waterbike / pedalo letting you cross rivers, lakes and even oceans! It is the kickass brainchild of Italian Robert Siviero and engineering company SBK engineering and it looks absolutely amazing!!
The shuttle bike kit, with all its parts, comes in a small backpack weighing around 12 kg, and it allows you to transform any type of normal bicycle in an aquatic bike. The backpack is amazingly compact with its dimensions of 49x37x30 cm, which would even allow you take it as carry-on luggage on your next budget airline flight.
Quite a bit lighter than the 25kg DIY amphibious Velocatamaran invented by Ukrainian adventure wizzkid Leonid Mikula – and which he used to reach Cape Chelyuskin, Eurasia’s northernmost point.
Once you arrive at your waterfront destination you assemble the frame, attach the rudder and inflate the yellow floating pontoons/floats with a special bicycle pedal powered pump with a total prep time of under 10 minutes without the need for any tools. Easy peasy and you are ready to float your way onto the water with a top speed of 10km/h. The rear tire of the bike drives a roller, which drives a prop under the bike’s front wheel via a flex shaft.You can use all of the bike’s gears.
The shuttle bike got featured and tested by Discovery Channel a while ago and their video does a great job about explaining how you assemble and use your own shuttle bike.
Here is another fun (and pretty cheesy) Italian promotion video for this funky product even featuring former Italian professional cycling hero Claudio Chiappucci.
Some noteworthy kickass (ad)ventures have been undertaken with the shuttle bike that proof the potential of this device. These aquatic trips are almost as cool as the one where some GUYS SAILED A BOUNCY CASTLE across LAKE GARDA.
A couple of bike touring travelers used the shuttle bike kit on their Australian trip to ride and float their bikes on the water past the Sydney opera house and underneath the Sydney Harbour bridge (from 1:50min)
A French guy named Gerand Laurent became the first man to cross the English Channel (‘La Manche’ in French) on a Rancig Bike with Shuttle-Bike kit. On the 3rd of September 1999 he set off from the Isle of Wight (U.K.) to the Port of Sr. Vaast-La Hougue, (France). In a direct line the trip would have been km115 – but due to the currents Gerard Laurent had to pedal 152 km to make the trip.
A fun 20min. documentary was made about this adventure. Definitely worth the watch (if you understand some French)
On Sunday the 13th of October 2013 Franco Giuseppe Cianti (on the photo) made a round-trip crossing of the Messina Strait, from Scilla on the Italian mainland to Cariddi on Sicily on a normal racing bicycle equipped with the Shuttle-Bike kit ®. It took him 1 hour, 43 minutes and 50 tenths to ride/float/sail the 11 miles of treacherous sea of the mythical Messina Strait.
Is the shuttle-bike kit one to take on your next cycling adventure?!