A 40-mph electric recumbent tricycle that changes your commute forever

I’m sitting in a bucket seat, wearing a full-face helmet, going so fast that my instinct for self-preservation is telling me to hit the brakes. I’ve been in this situation before, in cars. But right now there’s no bodywork around me, no windshield, no steering wheel. I’m riding the Outrider 422 Alpha, an electric recumbent tricycle that does 40 mph and writes a strange new chapter in the annals of transportation history — it’s a hybrid where your legs are part of the powertrain. It’s also a blast to ride. If you don’t think 40 mph sounds like much, consider that that’s about how fast you’d be traveling after a five-story freefall. Riding the Alpha is probably about as visceral.

The 422 Alpha has some impressive stats. With a 2.1-kWh lithium-polymer battery, it can cover 100 miles at 20 mph. A recharge takes only two hours. And the price? Well, it’s not cheap: $11,995. But nice bicycles are expensive, and this is really an exotic bike. I guess the way to think of it is not as a $12,000 bike, but as a $12,000 piece of transportation that’s also gym equipment and tech-geek lust object. Outrider also makes a less powerful, all-terrain version called the Horizon, which starts at $8,545. That one was funded through Kickstarter and sold out its first production run.

But the Alpha is, as its name implies, the top of the food chain. Outrider ran a modified version up to 85.9 mph, which they say is the speed record for a vehicle weighing less than 100 pounds. They also won their class at Pikes Peak (yes, there is a class for electrified bikes) and then climbed the mountain a second time without recharging. It should be more than capable for your commute.