Tuesday, September 27, 2022


RV Preview: Innovative Cercle Touring Bike

I am currently on a road trip to revisit some of the sights I feel I’ve missed along Route 66 in Arizona and New Mexico, primarily. It also puts me in a part of the country where winterization isn’t likely to be in anybody’s plans. 

But what has surprised me is how many people I’ve run into who are riding bicycles across the country. Quite literally. One gentleman I spoke with started in Maine and won’t finish his ride until he hits California. And he wasn’t the only one. I ran into people going along the southern U.S. and people doing circles starting from Colorado and other places and doing big round tours. 

Cercle Touring Bike is an RV?

So when I revisited some saved emails, I realized that the Cercle Touring Bike concept that Chuck Woodbury sent me a while back actually might make for a great RV review. I’m sure there are some of us who might actually be interested in getting one, but more of us are going to enjoy reading this from in front of our electric fireplaces in our theater seats. 

Something for everybody, eh?

Is it an RV?

First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room. Is this really an RV? Or would it be if you could buy one at your local bicycle shop? Well, perhaps. 

The Cercle bike starts as a two-wheeler that almost takes on the appearance of an old Penny-Farthing bicycle. There’s a huge “hoop” in the middle with a wheel at either side. 

Halfway down the back of the “hoop” is the bicycle seat and up in the middle are handlebars. Like you, I was curious how in the wide, wide world of sports those handlebars controlled that front wheel. But, apparently, inventor Bernard Sobotta from Austria’s FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences has figured that out by using cables in the frame to control that front wheel. 

The idea, according to its inventor, was to come up with a bicycle that could also incorporate overnight accommodations. 

But wait, there’s more…

Within that circle is a 7.7-pound folding module he refers to as the CampingCompanion. 

While the bike is on the road, that module folds flat in line with the rest of the frame. When it’s time for a rest you just drop down the two-legged kickstand and start the transformation. 

That CampingCompanion can fold out to become a chair with a table in front. As the day grows later, it can be folded completely flat to provide a bed. 

In the various compartments on the bike the rider can store an inflatable mattress, which gets inflated courtesy of one’s own hot air. 

The Cercle bike can even stow a tent along with the rest of your gear

Recent illustrations of this entire contraption even show a tent that you can stow to provide shelter. While some of you will read this and think, “no way is all this happening,” I have to tell you several of the cross-country bicyclists I encountered on this trip did, indeed, have tents, sleeping bags and even cooking provisions stuffed into various pouches and compartments hung from the sides of their bicycles. 

Bernhard is presently on an internship with German bike builder Portus Cycles, where he hopes to learn new skills which will go into the creation of two second-generation Cercle prototypes. Plans call for him and his friend Liam Cornwell to then take those bikes on a round-the-world tour, beginning next May. 

Ultimately, he’d like to open a small factory where several Cercle bikes per year are hand-built to clients’ specifications.

Follow the Cercle Touring Bike process

You can follow the process of this innovative two-wheeler via Instagram at @cercle_the_world or on Facebook and YouTube under the name “Cercle the World.” 

Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

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11 months ago

Thanks for sharing Tony, that bike is very innovative. I like that you change it up little, keep doing so even if it does trigger the haters that just have to do their thing.

Gigi R
11 months ago

Do you know that there is a site called warm showers that is made up of people who are bicycling long trips, often cross country, and people who will host them?
I host them, give them a place to sleep, let them shower, sometimes feed them, and let them do laindry. I have met some very nice folks, most are young, but have had couples in their 60’s. I have had Americans, Germans, a young man from Hong Kong, There are profiles and feedback so you can see who they are.
I have never had a bad experience.

Michael Galvin, PhD
11 months ago

The Adventure Cycling Association has maps for Many trips in the US; three are coast-to-coast. I followed their maps Canada – Mexico down the Pacific Coast, carrying all my camping gear. Great trip.

11 months ago

Fascinating piece, thanks. Sorry some of the closed-minded folks don’t want to see it. Maybe their spiritual home is over on www //crankyoldcrabs.com

11 months ago

I wish they would have shown an actual person riding the thing.

11 months ago
Reply to  Cindy

Agreed. It is rally neat, but does it really bicycle without killing the riders back, legs, arms……?

David Telenko
11 months ago

I have to kinda agree with The Lazy Q. However you have to look at the ingenuity & creativeness of his design, reminds me of a Swiss Army knife! Ya I know the Swiss dont have an Army!

Michael Galvin, PhD
11 months ago
Reply to  David Telenko

Yes, they do. But they don’t have a navy.

Tommy Molnar
11 months ago

I did a cross country bicycle trip in 1979 from Chicago to San Francisco. First off, this would make you the laughing stock of the back roads. Too much weight, and goofy looking. When you’re cross country biking every extra ounce counts. As soon as you hit even the slightest uphill you start thinking about what you can dump. And just like an RV, the more room you have to store stuff, the more you bring. Bad idea. I had a handlebar bag, and a set of panniers in the rear. A backpacking tent, sleeping bag, and a pad.

Megan Edwards
11 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

I would of liked the weight on this. I think this would be too heavy to use.

The Lazy Q
11 months ago

Really, pretty sure this is NOT something a 100% of readers are interested in when reading RVtravel.

11 months ago
Reply to  The Lazy Q

Pretty sure 100% of RVtravel readers aren’t interested in a LOT of articles that are published. But I still read them to get a different perspective, and even if they don’t apply to me I still enjoy some of them.

Richard Hughes
11 months ago

My wife said, “No!”

Scott R. Ellis
11 months ago

Bicycle touring tech is long, long established. This reinvented wheel (so to speak) is not going to catch on.

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