The bike of Rien Waaijer

Name: Rien Waaijer (Netherlands,Technician at Demo)
Price: Unknown
Brand: Custom made
Striking Feature: Everything about it

Having been born and raised in the Netherlands, it’s no surprise that cycling is a way of life for Rien Waaijer.

In fact, he said that he travels between 80-90% of the time by bike. However, there is something unique about his choice of two-wheeled transportation.

His one-of-a-kind, self-built ligfiets, or recumbent bicycle, has many unique features. The most obvious one is the bright yellow color of the frame. “My colleagues call it the yellow canary” he said. And in contrast to most recumbent bikes that have a smaller front wheel, Waaijer’s creation has two 28-inch wheels. In addition, he cut holes in the seat to allow for more air flow, which results in less sweating.

This is the third ligfiets that Waaijer has imagined and created. He said he bought a damaged frame from someone, which he repaired, then pieced together. The appeal, he said, is that you can go much faster than a standard bike with the same pedal power because of the low profile. The streamlined design results in significantly less wind resistance.

According to Waaijer there is one serious drawback to the ligfiets. The low profile can make it hard for cars to see, giving it a greater likelihood of being in an accident. He also noted that you have to learn to balance differently than a standard bike.

As a welder at the Reactor Instituut Delft (RID) for 22 years, Waaijer said he has always been interested in technical things. In years past he actually considered starting his own ligfiets factory, but decided

instead to make building them more of a hobby. He estimated that he spent about three months working on the current bike. Once he feels like a build is complete he sells the bike and starts a new project.

And it seems that the yellow canary may soon be on the market. “At home there is no more space in the shed,” Waaijer said. In typical Dutch style, they have seven bikes for four people.

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