We all admire the efficiency of the bicycle – but are we missing something? Yes, says Dutch surgeon and cyclist Lex van Stekelenburg, inventor of the 4 Strike Bike. As he tells it, the idea arose from physical complaints: “I developed troublesome back and shoulder complaints from years of performing lengthy surgical operations while standing with a bent and crooked posture. To recover from and prevent these problems, I came up with the idea of this bike.
“We have now constructed a bike that you can cycle almost as if you were four-legged, assuming a more horizontal position and with harmonious movement along the shoulder and pelvic girdle. As well a steering, the hands now move with the feet in a parallel pedalling movement, using all four limbs to create more speed.”
It’s an interesting system. The handlebar contains a patented mechanism that allows upper body “pedalling” and steering to be combined. The front drive system incorporates a steering stabilising mechanism and the crankshaft has a special freewheel mechanism that allows the bike to be cycled using both arms and legs, or the legs alone. The handlebar features a click system that allows the “handpedals” to be fixed in their highest position, transforming the bike into something approximating a regular machine.
Making use of gravity, the weight of the upper body is shifted alternately from the left handle to the right handle, and back again. The gravitational force of the upper body brings the handles and crank into motion. The handles on the 4 Strike Bike push and pull on the central crank set, moving the bike forward. Dr Van Stekelenburg and his associates are looking for investors, so if you’d like to be part of a two-wheeled revolution, pay him a visit at 4strikebike.com