Water velocipede, c. 1877
Man operating water tricycle, probably early 20th Century
A Hydrobike brand hydrocycle
Modern pedal catamaran with propeller drive (Germany, 1999).

A hydrocycle is a bicycle-like watercraft. The concept was known in the 1870s as a water velocipede[1] and the name was in use by the late 1890s.[2]

Power is collected from the rider via a crank with pedals, as on a bicycle, and delivered to the water or the air via a propeller.[3] Seating may be upright or recumbent, and multiple riders may be accommodated in tandem or side-by-side.[4]

Buoyancy is provided by two or more pontoons or a single surfboard,[citation needed] and some have hydrofoils that can lift the flotation devices out of the water.[5][6][7]

Brands include Seacycle, Hydrobike, Water Bike, Seahorse (Cross Trek)[8] and itBike. Kits exist to temporarily convert an existing bicycle into a hydrocycle.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Edward H. Knight, Knight's American mechanical dictionary ... (New York : Hurd and Houghton, 1877), vol. 3, p. 2698
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. hydrocycle n. [cycle n. 11] a velocipede adapted for propulsion on the surface of water. 1898 River & Coast 9 July 13/1 One of the most interesting items was the Hydrocycle versus Skiff Race.
  3. ^ "Decavitator Human-Powered Hydrofoil". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2011-07-22.
  4. ^ Alana Dixon (2011-07-02). "Upon the seat of a water-bicycle built for two". Fairfax New Zealand Limited. Retrieved 2011-07-22.
  5. ^ "Wetwing". Human Powered Hydrofoils. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
  6. ^ "Muskelbetriebene Tragflächenboote". FreakSport. Archived from the original on 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
  7. ^ Leo de Vries (21–22 July 2001). "Human Powered Boats World Championship in Eutin". World of Waterbiking. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 2011-07-24.
  8. ^ "Seahorse Bike Powered Airboat".
  9. ^ Mike Hanlon (June 4, 2004). "Shuttle-Bike - convert a bike to a pedal-power boat". GizMag. Retrieved 2011-06-24.