The urban bike magazine

The redefinition of traveling: Do you know the House-Boat-Bike Z-Triton?

The House-Boat-Bike was invented by the Latvia based designer Aigars on his 30.000 kilometres bicycle trip from London to Tokyo. In this interview he talks about the all-in-one amphibian home, the redefinition of traveling and why the House-Boat-Bike is addressing current global challenges as well as simply joy and fun.

karen Greiderer_square
Karen runs the Urban Independence Magazin since 2017. The passionate pedal pusher has already travelled plenty of miles on her bike. Today she combines either a folding bike and a bike trailor for kids or a Compact Cargobike with the railroad in Berlin and Brandenburg, touring mostly with her daughter. Her approach to riding a bike is multilayered with a love of detail, but always practical, going back to the days of her youth spend in Austria.
Foto © Zeltini / Z-Triton

Bike Citizens: Aigars, what is Z-Triton?
Aigars: Z-Triton is a House-boat-trike. Three things in one: a tiny micro house, an eBike, or better eTrike because it has three wheels and an electric Boat.

Give us a short glance about the history of Z-Triton
I used to live in London for six years and I was based in landscape architecture. Back in 2014 I decided to go on a bicycle trip. I cycled four years from London do Tokyo. On this trip the idea of amphibian homes developed. And as I cycled further the idea take shape.

Can you tell us a bit more of your bicycle trip in combination with developing Z-Triton?
I see this travel as the foundation of the work we are doing in our Design Studio ‘Zeltini‘ just right now: Creating products that are meaningful and definitely do not harm this planet. Not only the product also the concept of Z-Triton developed on this trip.

Can you explain that?
The House-Boat-Trike is not only fun and unique. It is also addressing current global challenges such as climate crisis: What will happen when your city is flooded?

Z-Triton

This is Aigars in his flat in Shanghai in 2017. On the photo he was prototyping Z-Triton on his four year cycle trip from London to Shanghai and Tokyo. © Zeltini / Z-Trition

At a glance, where did go on your bike trip? 
I cycled for four years and had four stops. London to Istanbul: I had a six-month break. Istanbul to Dubai: I stayed in Dubai for eight months. Dubai to and through South-East-Asia: I stopped in Singapore for three months. Then Shanghai, where I stayed for six months where I did the work on Z-Trition and my last stop by bike was Japan. I went back home by Sibirian train via Moscow.

Where can I use the House-Boat-Trike?
On fresh water and overland of course; you can also cycle around cities – but it is not made for the ocean.

How can I jump on and off the waters?
You don’t need any special conditions or anything else special to go on and off the water. It is just easier if it is not steep. One person can take it from land to water and back. I especially designed it for this. There is also a winch in the front of the boat which you can use to get it out. So it is helpful if there is a tree for instance.

How far does it go on water and land?
It totally depends on the battery and the conditions. But it would be ideal to go 40 kilometres overland and 10 kilometres on water. It is not a speedy boat.

Foto © Z-Triton / Zeltini

Foto © Zeltini / Z-Trition

Foto © Zeltini / Z-Trition

So, how long would it take me to travel from your studio in Latvia to Berlin for instance?
Oh, actually it depends on how social you are. After about 40 kilometres you will have to charge the battery and as for this you’ll have to talk to some locals. Which is a great way to travel by the way. The solar panels will charge Z-Triton a bit of course – but not enough so that you can continuously keep going.

What do you have to carry on Z-Triton to live the maximum of freedom – a folding bike, water, camp stove…?
I would take pretty much the same as I take on my long bicycle journey: Sleeping mat, pillow, food, stove, water filter, phone for navigation, photos and music, and you can go anywhere with this. You can go into town as well, so you don’t need a folding bike.

Would you do the journey again with Z-Triton?
It is not tested on long distance and I don’t think it is made for going around the world. But we are curious how people want to use it and we are fine with every kind of usage. Maybe we can customize it for going around the world and for the local weekend trip? We are still testing!

“Traveling is not consuming the world. Traveling is trying to understand the world – to understand the here and now. Traveling is creating awareness.”

What is your definition of traveling?
Bringing awareness into myself. Traveling is not consuming the world. Traveling is trying to understand the world – to understand the here and now. Where am I? What does it mean? How do I relate. Travelling is creating awareness to me.

Does traveling by Z-Triton can have an affect on how people move through this world?
I don’t expect a major shift in the way people travel but if it gives a little bit of a push how people will travel in future I will be more than happy as a designer. It would be also nice if Z-Triton can start a shift of how people interact with nature. Because it combines the key issues: It addresses sustainability. You are not going really fast. You engage with local people. And obviously it is very frugal and minimal.

One last question – addressing minimalism: Why does Z-Triton have an umbrella?
An umbrella is just a great thing to have! The whole idea was to bring as much comfort as possible to the House-Boat-Trike! I wanted to add something that makes cycling just a bit more comfortable.

Thank you and good luck with finding investors! 

karen Greiderer_square
Karen runs the Urban Independence Magazin since 2017. The passionate pedal pusher has already travelled plenty of miles on her bike. Today she combines either a folding bike and a bike trailor for kids or a Compact Cargobike with the railroad in Berlin and Brandenburg, touring mostly with her daughter. Her approach to riding a bike is multilayered with a love of detail, but always practical, going back to the days of her youth spend in Austria.

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