By Eva Jacobs
Perhaps you were thinking of buying the Snoek.“But it’s so little… maybe I don’t fit in everything I need… and go on vacation? Impossible…”, I hear you thinking 😉
I used to cycle in Quattrovelo for a long time. Going on holiday with QV was my specialty. You can bring complete camping equipment including two children.
Children grew up and my bike squeezed to minimum. Let’s have a look what three people can cram into the Snoek, for a long brevet trip, a weekend, a week or for a long long journey.
I think many velomobile riders know him. He lives in France, but tours Europe. He is retired. When he is not in his workshop, does he cycle, or vice versa? He is 175 cm tall with a shoulder width of 44-45 cm. In the summer he sleeps at a campsite. In the spring, he prefers a hotel or B&B if there is room for a velomobile. Takes only a 750ml water bottle and taps water at coffee stops or in a cemetery. Denis has introduced the blue-orange color combination to the velomobile world 😉
“You can see on the picture what I can put inside and there is always some space for a few luggage.
The tent is for 2 persons, the sleeping bag is made with duvet able to have comfort at 0°c, the main advantage is that you can compress it and put it in the top between the body and the rear wheel arch.
The mattress is a Thermarest not the lightest one but more strong and less noisy when you move on it.
The stove is a Primus Etapower, very powerful! In the package I have a pan, a plate, a fork and a handle. It takes about 2-3 minutes to boil a liter of water. And you need a bottle of gas.
An inflatable pillow, a chair Helinox, very comfortable.
And a bag of 12 liter for the clothes.
In addition I have a small bag with all the electronic cables and charger.
Another small bag for the toilet, shampoo…
I also used to have my laptop.
Some food, tools and one front tyre.”
My own travel gear is similar to Denis’s. I don’t bring a laptop and a chair, I sit leaning against the Snoek. I purchased two things especially for the Snoek rides: a new tent and a homemade food bag. The rest I have already for many years, the synthetic sleeping bag and the stove more than 20 years. I like wild camping (with all respect for nature), but it’s nearly impossible in NL, till now I have managed 3 times. I am 164 cm tall with 42-43 cm shoulder width.
The tent is an ultra-light 1.5 person model (or two in love), Lanshan PRO1. Very clever design, which you can build up in the rain and even when you’re crazy tired (during a brevet trip). It’s only 750g, but you’ll need a walking stick to put it on. I use old aluminum tent poles instead, which weigh only 80 grams. I have made a bag from a grocery bag with 4 sections (right down in the picture) for: battery pack, snacks (my favorite are low fat chips – almost pure carbohydrates) and energy drink powder (during brevet rides) or bread and other snacks. I carry 2.5 l water jerrycan (drinkt easily than a camelbag), not always full. The gas cartridge (of my simple stove) fits inside the 550 ml cup. I wrap Alu foil around it to guide the heat bit. The wooden spoon I made myself, 9 g. I take two front and one rear spare inner tubes and always nitrile gloves (for drive train repairs) and duct-tape ( the grey stuff on the pump) for fixing large holes in a tyre. It is not in the picture, but for the brevet rides I carry set of extra light (B&M head light and simple rear light, both rechargeable). I take a lot of clothes: a rain jacket, a warm cycling jersey, a long trousers, two shirts, two shorts and dry underwear for sleeping. In the little blue bag are toilet paper and wet wipes.
I don’t take the cat with me, she just didn’t understand what I was doing ( I took 3 times the picture, she was always there).
The left photo shows my handle bar with Garmin Edge 830 for navigation, beep every 20 min – drink water! and beep every 1 hour – eat something! I get serious problems if I don’t drink or eat enough. The mobile is attached to the wheel arch with Velcro. In the photo on the right you can see Snoek with all the stuff in it, and you can see that there is still enough room for extra groceries for the evening (left side of the chair).
Lea, the ultra-distance cyclists
Lea is new among the velomobilists. But incredibly tough cyclist, sleeping in a bivvy bag or hotels. She has now so much space in the Snoek, that her dream, to take and use a sleeping bag, came through 😉 Lea makes long days at work and lives just in one room to save all the money for long trips. She is 168 cm tall with 41 cm shoulder width. She lives in UK.
“My current setup is still work in progress. It’s working for me for rides up to 4 days however, it’s not the most efficient setup yet. It has been great to have so much space in the Snoek compared to being on an upright bike. For my training rides I don’t really mind the weight I carry and so far I didn’t need to be too careful about the space. However, there are many things I still want to improve before doing any much longer rides.
Snoek EnerPower battery – 2 pc
Garmin Edge 1030Plus – after years of using Garmin 800 and 810, I finally upgraded and bought Garmin Edge 1030Plus. There are many advantages of this new Garmin but for me it changed how my routes from multiple sources are organized (it’s so simple now!).
Electric and USB chargeable Air Compressor to pump up tyres.
I am still experimenting with this. I have been looking for any pumps that would be quick and would fit easily on the valves while on the road. This was the cheapest option (a few months ago) but it has proven to be not that reliable (the pressure gauge stopped working). It’s also quite loud which isn’t ideal for any punctures late at night. Just a small note that anyone researching this or reading reviews will find that most of these pumps have issues with overheating. So far I haven’t experienced such issue with this pump though.
CO2 Canister Pump – due to the issues with the electric pump, I started carrying this with me again – until I find the best solution. Multitool, Lezyne innertube patch kit, Swiss army knife scissors – these came in handy many times, black electrical tape, tyre levers. For a shorter trip (up to 3-4 days):
2x – front wheel and 3x – rear wheel spare inner tubes.
As mentioned, I am still adjusting to having sooo much space in the snoek, so I haven’t been paying enough attention to being 100% efficient with how much weight I carry and how much space it takes. For example, with the below spares, once I go for longer trips (over 1 week), I would carry more inner tubes and I would pack them better 🙂
For summer nights out (while not in mountains), I would use Alpkit Hunka bivvy bag. The second layer I normally use is the Lifesystems Thermal Bag. I found it especially useful when sleeping in windy fields (or when caught in huge storms). However, these were OK on upright bike where space was scarce but while I usually had OK sleep, I always wished I could have carried sleeping bag to be a little warmer. So now with the Snoek, I started carrying a very inexpensive big synthetic sleeping bag. This is just an interim solution while I find a sleeping bag that fits the bill (is warm enough, compact and light). But for now this sleeping bag will definitely get me through spring to autumn.
Wet wipes (crucial), alcohol hand sanitation and tissues, sunscreen SPF50 & SPF 50 sunscreen stick, Assos Chamois Cream – I am still experimenting with clothing and found chamois cream useful. This is not the best option for women but I have been using it for many years without problems.
Soft Flask 500 – water bottle from Decathlon – I use it for any flavoured drinks and energy drinks and Hydrapak Seeker 3L – on multiday trips.
I’m wearing a shirt and shorts and a cycling jersey (it’s nice warm) and there is a bag with 3 extra pieces of clothing.“
I discussed many velomobile related topics with Lea when she bought her Snoek in fall 2021. She made the same handy bags I did. Just cut a grocery bag in half and add some sections. She now has 3. It keeps the overview in your velomobile, nothing gets lost under your seat, things are not damaged by the carbon laminate surface and it is very light.
In the left picture you can see 2 drink cans – Lea’s fuel is Red Bull.
Not only the pump but also the charging of the batteries is an issue. She needs something reliable and light for her ultra-distance travel. Perhaps a solar panel would be a good solution, as she will be alone on the road for many days. She used to have a SON dynamo on her up-right bike. If you have a good experience! with something that works well on velomobile and the gear she carries (Snoek battery pack, a smart phone and a garmin), leave a comment below. Please don’t post homemade crafts, but existing products.
A very interesting post– sadly at age 73 I’ve ceased doing long multi-day trips in my velomobiles. (eQV and Snoek) but still ride them often. I’m pleased to have done some long rides with Eva (+ Allert) and Denez- and recently saw Lea while riding in my eQV in Hertfordshire UK.
Hi John, good to read that you are still cycling a lot. It’s not long time ago that your were with us touring in France – the only one with full gear and no engine 😉 !!
What about the practicality of ground clearance, 28mm tyres and the big turning circle. Do you have to plan your trip in detail, examining road surfaces and (lack of) tight turns or are these only problems when sitting at home on the couch convincing yourself you shouldn’t buy a Snoek 🙂
Regarding electricity on the road, there’s a discussion on the German VM forum (somwhere, can’t find it at the moment) about adding a Velogical rim dynamo to the rear wheel. Some concerns about the noise this may or may not generate though.
Regarding the electric pump:
I’m using the big Fumpa Pump with LED manometer for three or four years now with the Milan GT and my ICE Trikes. It just works, is very fast (25-622 from 0 to 7bar in less than 30 sec) and the manometer is precise enough. I will immediately buy a new one if my dies tomorrow (but maybe not, their customer service is pretty good!).