Skin On Frame Velomobile

This is a page where I am collecting information for skin on frame construction. I am gathering this information for the possibility of building a velomobile using skin on frame techniques. This page will consist of links mostly.

My inspiration for this technique is Rick Gritters streamliner. 
From time to time I have seen reference to a velomobile being built from a frame with a covering of heat shrink material. Sounds easy enough if the covering is strong enough. I did a couple of internet searches and turned up zilch. Posted a couple of queries on forums and Doug G from BentRider Online referenced Rick Gritter’s streamliner on the site. Sure enough, turned up Rick’s lowracer and his streamliner. Seems Rick has been quite successful racing this streamliner with a cromo frame and Dacron heat shrink skin.

Here is another skin on frame that I found on Bentrider too and a nice thread on the subject.

Here is another very nice SOF posted on BROL but unfortunately the owner/builder is not identified.

EDIT: The White SOF below is Gilles from the The Forum Vélorizontal. Here is a thread on the build.

Another nice streamliner possibly from New Zealand.

If you have information on either of these nice SOF builds, drop me a note.

If you know of other velomobiles built with skin on frame techniques I would appreciate if you would leave a comment about it. Thanks.

I will add and delete links as needed.

Mosquito SOF VM Finished or nearly so.

I guess my quest for building a SOF VM is over or at least the  search for a model to follow. Two brothers in France have built this very unique VM from the ground up and it is very light. My understanding at this point is the first prototype weights in at under 44 pounds. The next build they are shooting for 35 pounds. It is a beautiful job they have done building the Mosquito. This FWD rear steer VM is now road testing.

Go to their website for pictures and specifications. Here, I have concentrated on the skin on frame body. As unique and creative as the body is, the trike is equally unique. I would love to be a fly on the wall in their shop. What you could learn.

There is a thread on The Forum Vélorizontal of their very detailed build. It is in French but Chrome translates it well. This thread spans about 4 years of build.

Here are a few videos. Great stuff.

mosquito carené première sortie 50km


In Town

Azub Dryve fabric fairing

azubfairingThe 2012 Azub Dryve has a two page spread on a fabric cover shell to fit their trikes. It was scheduled to release in 2013 but as of yet a no show. You can find the catalog on their site. The information if located on pages 52 and 53.  There is also a good write-up on Electric Trike site with more pictures. A very good idea starter page for a DIY’er.

Instruction and Sources  for Skin on Frame

Randolph Aircraft Products has very good written information on the installation of Ceconite/polyester fabric/Dacron. Just follow the header link at the top of the page to Articles by Ron Alexander. I find the information clear and to the point.  The more we read the more we understand. These articles helped to understand a lot that I missed in the following videos.  Ceconite is another brand name for polyester fabric.

Geodesic Airolite Boats has all the information needed to make a very lightweight velomobile. I’m basing much of my future build on the information found here. 








Here are the complete building instructions on You Tube. These videos are a must watch if you have a desire to build a very lightweight skin on frame velomobile.

Airolite Nimrod Canoe Build Part  1
Airolite Nimrod Canoe Build Part 2
Airolite Nimrod Canoe Build Part 3
Airolite Nimrod Canoe Build Part 4
Airolite Nimrod Canoe Build Part 5
Airolite Nimrod Canoe Build Part 6
Airolite Nimrod Canoe Build Part 7

Following are assorted links found on the subject. This is not a new process but there are new materials that could improve the build.

Amateur Boat Building. General information.

Good construction

Qajaq USA Forum with good info

You Tube

Skin-on-Frame Kayak Durability  It’s not stated what coating was used on the polyester.

Another Skin Test

Steam Bending Wood For Skin-on-Frame Kayak

3 Part Series on skinning with polyester

Skinning Polyester Part 1

Skinning Polyester Part 2

Skinning Polyester Part 3

Painting your polyister skin by Kuduz, a follow-up to the 3 part build.  Good


Kuduz Craft Kuduz also sells fabric, supplies and plans.


Build a skin on frame kayak Good complete information.

Canoe Building
I am looking more at canoe building because there is no sewing. I see the velomobile as an upside down canoe.

Jon’s Bushcraft very interesting site.

Flyfisher’s Skin on Frame (SOF) Canoe Page another DIY

Wood Frame Kayak Builds


Links page for everything Boats

Kuduz Craft Kuduz also sells fabric, supplies and plans.

Aircraft Spruce Everything for Planes and Pilots

This is just a reminder for me to check into this construction process Stitch and glue is a process that I think might have been used on one of Friend Wood’s velomobiles.

Dacron–A Canvas Alternative instructions for mounting Dacron canoe style.

Neat hood for a velomobile.  Merrill graciously shared his method on his blog.

Here is  a thread on BROL about Merrill’s $60 velo roof.

Just for inspiration. I think this is so cool and could be done as a SOF.

6 comments on “Skin On Frame Velomobile

  1. Hi, I built a velomobile starting with a Atomic Zombie plan and fabbed an aluminum frame and covered it with boat shrink wrap. Have pictures if you want them. Dave

  2. Hi I’m Tony from

    I am currently building a pedelec bike and my need for speed has got me lined up to build a velomobile after that. Air resistance being the main enemy of a street legal 250W electric assist vehicule, followed by weight. And I was thinking that a velomobile is just a trike with an upside down SOF canoe on top. Someyhing very light like a carbontrikes trike as the rolling gear and working from some of my favorite velomobile designs a SOF body as light as possible.

    Taking the boat influence all the way a kayak skirt like rain protection with only head outside would close the top of the “hull”.

    Still in the brainstorming stage but there are some very good ideas here thanks!!!


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