A brief historical perspective
How did the veloped come around? Since the development of the veloped was influenced by both the original bicycle and the rollator, let us recapture a bit of history. Don’t worry, we’ll cut it short…
German inventor Karl von Drais is credited with developing the first bicycle. His machine, known as the “swiftwalker”, hit the road in 1817. This early bicycle had no pedals, and its frame was a wooden beam. The device had wooden wheels with iron rims and leather-covered tires. As the name suggests, a rider walked on top of the bike with his feet leaving the ground during descents.
Age of the velocipedes
While it might seem simple and obvious now, getting the rider’s feet completely off the ground was a major step (excuse the pun) forward in the development of the bicycle. The rider used pedal-cranks attached to the hub of a wheel to propel himself. There is a dispute as to who invented the machine that became known as the “velocipede,” but there is no question as to its impact.
The velocipedes of the mid 1800’s consisted of two wooden tires, a front fork, handlebars for steering, a saddle on wooden frame, and pedals on the axle of the front wheel. The velocipede also received a nickname, the “boneshaker“. With the rider now completely mounted on the bicycle, he felt all of the bumps – the early velocipedes were not equipped for absorbing vibrations. It wasn’t until the development of the pneumatic tire that this problem was effectively addressed.
In the 1970’s the world’s first rollator saw the light, at the time a true revolution amongst walking aids. The rollator had four wheels, contrary to the simple walking frame that had to be lifted step by step. It also had brakes and a seat, and usually a basket as well.
Bernt Leander from Hjortsberga in Sweden is regarded as the inventor of the rollator. Bernt himself is very humble and says that he came up with the idea of adding two more wheels to a wheeled walking frame, but if he was the one that invented the 4-wheeled rollator he cannot say. His creation has become very popular, and in Sweden alone there are today 300 000 rollator users.
Enter the veloped
In 2004 engineers Stefan Kindberg and Johan Kuikka of Sweden came in contact with a rollator for the first time. While working on a design project they accidentally met some rollator users and they were surprised by the huge amount of people using them.
With 25 year experience from bike racing and bicycle design they wondered why the rollator still pretty much had the same design as the one that Bernt Leander had developed 30 years earlier. A rollator performs well indoors and on smooth surfaces, but as soon as the user hits uneven ground he or she ends up in trouble. Their opinion was that a rollator feels very much like the “boneshaker” of the early 1800’s when walking outdoors. The rollator had entered the year 2000, still running solid tires and no suspension whatsoever. They decided that there had to be room for new innovations and started developing a completely new type of product instead of making improvements to the existing rollator.
Their work resulted in a new invention, the veloped. The veloped derives from Karl von Drais swiftwalker in that it makes you swift-footed, chares the purpose with Bernt Leander’s rollator by giving walking support, but then brings the whole concept up to date with innovative technique.
With its unique climbing wheel, the suspension and an awarded design, the veloped is truly a product of the new millennium. Designed with comfort and activity as leading stars, it is everything but a “boneshaker”.
If you would like to be swift-footed, walking with comfort and style while looking cool – then make sure to try a veloped the next time.