The Fliz: A Walking Machine With Wheels That Gets You There Faster

Sick of pedaling your bike? You might like it more when you see this alternative.

Behold the Fliz: part bike, part scooter, part walking-enhancer.

According to inventors, Tom Hambrock and Juri Spetter, the Fliz "builds on the most natural way to get around—the human gait." As the video below demonstrates, you use your legs to get it moving, and then glide along with your feet tucked on the back wheel.

There’s no saddle. Instead, you’re suspended in place with a swinging harness placed around your crotch area. It looks uncomfortable. But the creators say it is more ergonomic than a conventional bike, relieving the normal stress on your rear end. It might not, however, relieve your stress about looking really silly.

"The 5-point harness is integral with the body of the driver, so a totally new driving feeling is produced," says the Fliz web site. "The joints are relieved and the body weight is distributed over a larger area." Handling is "intuitive" and "driving stability is ensured."

Hambrock and Spetter say the inspiration was a "Laufmachine," or running machine, developed by a German inventor named Karl Drais in 1817. Drais also came up with early designs for the typewriter and the stenograph.

The carbon fiber prototype is yet to be commercialized, though the Fliz was recently shortlisted among German entries to the James Dyson Prize.

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  • DanGerAuto

    It needs two wheels in front, a quick release "pod" and additional head protection!

  • Shaya

    I share your thoughts on the two front wheels. I would want more stability if I was using this as a rehab apparatus. Not sure what you mean by a "quick release pod". The buckle attachment points have been specially designed to work off of a single release button. Beyond possibly padding the inside bars where the head pokes through, I would recommend a helmet, same as anyone would use for skates, skateboard or a scooter. This is not a bicycle it is a walking/ glider, when you're not  gliding your feet are on the ground. Unless one is perpetually in a drunken state,  typically developed human being are usually pretty stable on their two feet. 

  • Nic Johnson

    1. What if I fall over?
    2. It looks massive. How do I take it on a train?
    3. How do I hop off it and push it round the corner at the lights?

    I appreciate it, but I just don't understand what it's for.

  • Nic Johnson

    Oh and 4, what if I go over the handlebars. On a bike I can roll free. It looks like this device would lift you up high, then smack you down head first like a bone hammer.

    Oh and 5, what if you take a side impact. On a bike you might hurt your legs and pelvis. The two metal head bars on this machine look like they'd be squished together, pinching your head off like a steel toecap under a jackhammer.

    Still, it looks pretty cool though.

  • Shaya

    I don't understand the all the hate. This invention has tremendous potential as a rehab intervention. I have a client whose particular circumstances are a perfect fit for what this device can do and with the right therapeutic intervention along with this invention my client may learn to walk independently. I wish there was one I could get my hands on right now. 

  • Dakingvt

     I AGREE WITH YOU 100% SHAYA.  This could be a phenomenal device for many rehab patients if a tricycle version were available for those with less motor control.  Even the two-wheeled version would be very useful for many folks who cannot tolerate walking or running with full body weight because of injury.

    How does one contact the manufacturers?

  • saidas

    Really? Of all the desperately needed new inventions the world needs, that's the best you could spend your time and effort coming up with?

  • JJ

    Second that...I hope the stimulus money didn't got to this idea...another "Green" company that lives in a bubble creating something nobody wants.  Stick to engineering the "C" students ideas.

  • Rexagon Nogxer

    A bicycle and this walking enhancer have the same size ...,
    but with a bicycle, I don't have to walk ... I can sit on the pad and ride it
    but with this, I have to walk.

    Therefore, ...
    I think riding a bicycle is more comfortable than walking with this.

  • John

    But it's been proven that riding a bicycle burns very few calories where as walking and running burn quite a bit more, so for the avid exerciser for heart health and weight loss, this seems to be the perfect combination if you'd like to see more scenery.

  • cassie cruise

    Enduring 10 operations to correct severe lumbar scoliosis I've learned to respect it's vunerability  to the forces exerted to  this region of the spine. Why gamble?and we thought helmets made us look like dweebs!