Riding a rowingbike: a sensational experience!

Riding a rowingbike: a sensational experience!

You can't think of a better way to use your muscles, than on a Rowingbike. Considering this fact, in 1986 the concept of the Thys Rowingbike was born. By now the Rowingbike has developed into being the ultimate fitness machine, full of well-considered and new technology.

Riding a Thys 222 Rowingbike is the ultimate sport in which you use virtually every muscle in your body. Both your legs and arms are being used for the propulsion of this remarkable bike: while pushing the pedals, you pull the handlebar towards you. This effective way of using your muscles, in combination with superb aerodynamic qualities, makes the Thys 222 Rowingbike a perfect fitness device as well as an efficient means of transportation. Click image to enlarge.

There's also a page with video's.

Results, pictures and video of the EC 2013

European Championships Rowingbike September 15 & 16 2012

Menno van Blitterswijk prolongs title majestically

European Championships Rowingbike September 15 & 16 2012

EC 2012: Check pictures on Dutch EC pages!
and /or on:

made by Sander Davidse

made by Henk Meerman

Picture: Menno wins sprint against Martijn Rempt too!

See the Television broadcast from Omroep Zeeland on

Rowingbike events 2014

June 1 2014
one-hour race for rowingbikers during HPV day in Peer, Belgium. The races are on a 400 metre tarmac track. Provisional planning: rowingbike race is from 14.15 tot 15.15. More info at www.hpv.be. Provisional planning is that the rowingbike race will be held from 14.15 to 15.15.
Additional info at www.hpv.be.

June 7 2014
Rowingbike tour on Saturday in Anna Paulowna. This tour is organized by Cor Zwaag (gmail.com), Piet Rempt and Ingmar Zondervan. Camping space is reserved for Friday night June 6 and Saturday night June 7, because for many it's quite a ride . But you can also arrive on June 7, naturally. Inform Cor in time if you're attending, so a nice program can be made. More info in May.

15 juni 2014
Row event Dutch Masters Open at the Willem Alexanderbaan in Rotterdam. In the break of the (water) rowers, around twelve o'clock, a rowingbike criterium is planned around the Willem Alexander row track. Highly appropriate for rowingbikers: smooth and wide track with only a couple of curves which require some braking. The rowingbikers cover two laps, a total of 10 km and finish at the starting tower immediately in front of the row canteen. After the race a tour through het Groene Hart ("Green Heart") of 40 km can be attended.

June 27-28-29
Cycle Vision at FlevOnice. Lots of opportunities to take part in races, maybe a separate rowingbike race. More info later on this site.

New mirror mounted on bell.

New mirror mounted on bell.

On the rowingbike this is exactly the right place for a mirror, on top of the bell.
It is mounted very simple and thoroughly with a stainless steel ball joint screwed on the bell on which the mirror joint pivots.
In the store you can order the mirror and joint under revolver parts.

News 2012, February

improved cable attachment system

Improved shape of Snek and footsliderring make it very easy to turn your cable around. You can see how easy it is now on:

You can use this system on all Revolver type rowingbikes. You can have your Snek milled in Middelburg and you can order a new ring , see prices on

There are more very practical new instruction video's available; look at:

25 years of Rowingbikes in January 2011

March 5: 25th anniversary party of the THYS rowingbike

25 years of Rowingbikes in January 2011

The party was held in the cantina of the Rugby club Oemoemenoe in Middelburg, Netherlands

The program is as follows:

For rowingbikers only: 13.00- 14.00 hours arrival at the rugbyclub
14.00 start rowingbiketour Walcheren ( 40 km)
16.00 -16.30 finish tour & shower at Rugbyclub
from 17.00 hours on we can have drinks and meals in the rugby cantia

For all that are invited: From 20.00 hours on be welcome for coffee and/ or drinks in the rugby cantina.
There will be a DJ with music later in the evening.

The actual first rowingbike that has his 25th anniversary will be present on the party ( thanks to bike museum Velorama)
If you want to see the history of the rowingbike have a look at roets.eu/site/EN/History/Precursors-Rowingbike/
For this 25th anniversary I have tried to give a complete view of all the different rowingbikes ; prototypes and experiments that have taken place in the last 25 years. Pictures of almost all prototypes can be seen. To make the picture more complete i have also added some antique rowingbikes and several rowingbikes made by colleagues/ competitors on the rowingbike market.

25 years of Rowingbikes in January 201125 years of Rowingbikes in January 2011

Flying as a bird, Todd Reichert did it!

Flying as a bird, Todd Reichert did it!

On August 2, The Canadian Todd Reichert was the first man to fly a human powered ornithopter: a wing flapping aircraft without propeller.

Please look at the video of the flight. It is not only amazing for airplane freaks, it is also an esthetical wonder how these large wings flap.

You've probably heard about human powered aircrafts, but those were all propellor driven. The unique feature of this project is that the thrust is created by a flapping wing motion, as birds do.

The transmission of the pushing movement of the pilot to the flapping wings is based on the super efficient Snek transmission of the rowingbike: extreme light dyneema cords on a Snek (fusee).

Thijs Industrial Designs has supported Todd's team with know how since 2006 and sponsored the team with rowingbikeparts for the "Snowbird", the Snowbird simulator and rowingbikes for training the pilots.

Where is this development leading too? Click here for my vision on an aircraft that's propelled by a rowing motion. This aircraft should be able to start and ascend on human power only. Once in the air updrafts and thermal movements should be utilized the same way birds do.

The long distance human powered flight record by the Daedalus on April 23, 1988 from Crete to Santorini (115 km) is shouting for improvement. I wonder what is going to happen: is Todd going on and/ or will there be a Dutch initiative from universities and industry? I will be happy to join and help any initiative as long as we make and fly such beautiful machines as this Snowbird.

Read the press release of The University Of Toronto

New carbon Rowingbikes!

Years of work, but they're here: The Carbon THYS 209 and the Carbon THYS Tandem

New carbon Rowingbikes!

THYS 209

Based on the 222 version, there is now the Carbon THYS 209 Rowingbike. The concepts of the steel version have been largely maintained, but the carbon version is kilograms lighter and performs better in mountainous conditions.


The tandem is in fact a spin-off of the THYS 209 and also based on previous tandem designs. The handling proves to be effortless and the ride is really fast.

Read more about the Carbon THYS 209 Rowingbike

New carbon Rowingbikes!

Tandem tested on Crete

Tandem tested on Crete

Large picture: Theo Homan is having fun. Caroleen Meerman is co-rider.

Small pictures, except middle one: Derk and Annemieke Homan

Middle small picture: part of the international test team Crete May 2010. From left to right: Derk, Theo, Bartel, Alex (D) en Jacques (B)

Tandem tested on CreteTandem tested on CreteTandem tested on CreteTandem tested on CreteTandem tested on Crete

A few pictures of the Carbon THYS 209 on Crete

A few pictures of the Carbon THYS 209 on Crete
A few pictures of the Carbon THYS 209 on CreteA few pictures of the Carbon THYS 209 on Crete

1400 km in 3 days and 6 hours on a rowingbike

1400 km in 3 days and 6 hours on a rowingbike
Theo Homan on the right

Dutch Rowcyclist Theo Homan did it: an unbelievable 7th place in the famous Londen-Edinburgh-Londen cycle race. (LEL). LEL is a timed endurance event (1400 km) and is held once every 4 years. This year's edition had 599 participants out of 34 countries. The start was Sunday July 26th 08.00 hours and the first finished on Wednesday July 25th.

Riding such distances will seem to be quite loony for most readers but for the participants it is real sport. Once you get to know this sport of randonneurs you get admiration for it. They have to train and exercise for years before they are able to ride such extreme distances as LEL. It is an enormous achievement to finish LEL and I have the greatest respect for all participants.
Theo also trained on riding on for days and nights without sleep. On his 78 hour ride he only had 3 hours of sleep in the second night. The first and third night he just went on and on... Theo used a prototype of a new carbon 209 rowingbike.
Rowingbikes, although around for more than 20 years, are not very commonly known over the world. In fact it is a recumbent bike propelled by a rowing movement very similar to rowing a skiff. Interesting detail of the rowingbike is that it does not have a chain: it is propelled by a dyneema cable on a Snek (or Fusee). This unique continuous variable transmission system is more efficient than conventional racing bikes gearing systems that use chains and/or gear hubs. Comparison of achievements between rowingbikes and racing bikes are hard to make. On the flat the rowingbike is perhaps a bit faster as it has less air resistance. In ascending the rowingbike has a serious disadvantage in the discontinuous propulsion. Each stroke is followed by a recovery stroke during which the bike is freewheeling.
The charm and strength of the rowingbike is the grace and all round exercise of the rowing movement. It is a great body work out.
Theo proves the ergonomics excellence of the rowingbike by riding it so long and fast. So you cannot make a straight comparison but the fact that LEL has quite some steep climbs makes it very remarkable that Theo has managed to
reach the top 10 ranking.

Theo Homan, from Almere, the Netherlands, is 49 years young and is active in endurance sport for decades. In his rowing career he soon specialized on long distance racing. He has won several rowing races amongst which a 100km race. Theo was European Champion Rowingbike 2001 and also on the
rowingbike he soon started his specialism on long distance.
In 2003 he was the fastest recumbent bike in the famous Paris-Brest-Paris race (1200 km) on his THYS 240 rowingbike.
Theo was less successful in the 2007 edition: he got ill due to the hazardous whether conditions near Brest and had to abandon the race. Theo got over this disappointment and is back on top now. What a great achievement of this friendly sportsman!
On September 19 & 20 Theo will race again on the Open European Championships Rowingbike held in Zeeland, the Netherlands.

Derk could not not do it...

Derk could not <em>not</em> do it...

It is possible to make an human powered aircraft propelled by a rowing(bike) movement. On this page you can see the principles of this plunging wing aircraft and some preliminary designs.


In Memoriam Joeri Gorter

In Memoriam Joeri Gorter

Joeri was on his way from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon. On 9 October 2008 he was hit by a van that came from the rear. The driver had not seen him and hit him. Joeri died on the spot. He was 38 years old.
We will miss him enormously.

We are collecting responses to his death on the . Dutch version of this site.
If you want to add a message, mail to .

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