Doppelmayr Introduces 'Bike Cab' Gondola Design That Can Fit 8 Bikes

May 6, 2021 at 12:36
by Alicia Leggett  

The Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group, a leader in the chairlift industry, introduced an eight-bike gondola cab solution that may facilitate the most efficient bike loading than we've seen so far for lift-accessed bike parks. A bike cabin and a passenger cabin together can fit ten people and eight bikes, making the design appealing to resorts that also offer lift-accessed hiking and sightseeing.


From Doppelmayr:

The Bike Cab is the new solution for the simple, secure and comfortable transport of bicycles. Eight bikes can be carried simultaneously with just one Bike Cab. Loading and unloading is performed by the riders themselves, who attach their bikes to the bike holders in the bottom station and then board the next cabin. The bikes are carried safely up the mountain and in the top station guests have plenty of time to retrieve their bikes – then it’s off to the downhill thrills.

Suitable for bikes with the following specifications:
- Weight up to 25 kg
- Wheel size between 24” and 29”
- Tire width up to 12 cm
- Marsh Guard possible

Benefits:
- Carriage of up to eight bikes
- High transport capacity: speeds of up to 7 m/s possible
- Top comfort for riders
- Long service life
- Innovative

Bike rack VARIA
This bike rack, which was specially designed by CWA, fits in all “VARIA” ski holders. It is inserted into the ski rack from above and secured at the bottom. The bike rack is CE certified and can support a suspended load of up to 20 kg. It weighs 12 kg and is supplied in aluminum as standard. Custom paint finishes are available on request.

Benefits:
- Not necessary to remove ski rack
- No storage of ski rack required


Bike holder:
This bike holder enables the safe transport of bicycles outside the cabin. With an added weight of approx. 9 kg, it is both lightweight and sturdy. This option is intended for cabins without VARIA ski racks.

Benefits:
- Can be used without ski rack
- Not dependent on cabin model (OMEGA IV series not a must)
- Simple assembly
- Maintenance-free



107 Comments

  • 117 8
 great concept in theory but no way 8 people will pull this off smoothly.
Biker (1) would be the first in the cab but likely the last out when on the top of the mountain....unless they launch themselves over the other 7 people to get out first, it would seem they would miss their bike rotating past spot 1. If you cannot get to your spot on time, on the first rotation, do you have to wait for your bike to travel all the way down and back up again to get it?
  • 36 0
 My first thought too, humans aren’t going to pull that off like the animation every time
  • 33 2
 I can’t believe this got any downvotes its legit the most sensible comment I’ve ever read on here.
Anyone who has ever been to Whistler and and seen some riders with with rentals and such putting there bikes on the lift will now that this would never work for the majority of time.
  • 17 0
 @rockroll: All you gotta do is mark the spots on the ground and mark the seats in the cab, bike 1 goes to seat 1, and so on. But without instruction, they'll f*ck it up.
  • 11 0
 Why would that be the case? The seats are labeled 1-8 so the person who is #1 would sit nearest the opening of the gondola and be first out.
  • 19 1
 Nah. Lifties can help the idiots sort this out no problem. Even my local mountain has at least 2 (usually 3) and the bottom and 2 at the top. You can slow the lift just a touch and still speed up lines by like 50%.
  • 25 0
 @pumpjumpnflow: You can trust people to pay no attention to the numbered positions.
  • 1 0
 @pumpjumpnflow: without a tutorial on how it works (or prior use), I assume riders would naturally load into the cab back to front so you aren't forcing people to step over you as they get in. From experience on similar lifts here in the States (skiing/snowboarding), there isn't much space separating your knees from the person across from you. I agree that it COULD work if everyone is paying attention, knows what to do, and respects the order...but life experiences have me seriously doubting a group of strangers will pull this off each and every time.

I agree lifties would help but that's not what is shown in the vid.
  • 2 0
 I see people struggle to get 4 bikes on. 8 people on this rotisserie, roulette wheel is not likely to work as shown.
  • 24 0
 well it doesnt really matter who unloads what bike right, just grab one and get out of the way problem solved, switch bikes outside the lift house
  • 12 0
 @scvkurt03: Assistance will definitely be needed especially after three out of eight guys will be really stoned! LOL
  • 1 0
 @SATN-XC: Yeah I guess I'm a little too optimistic lol. I'd easily trade following a few directions in exchange for a quicker line time but I can see the issues others have pointed out.
  • 2 1
 Youre assuming the center is on a fixed/driven spinning pivot huh? What if its just light friction that can easily be spun more or stopped. It likely is free spinning anyway since they would never let it rotate unchecked & risk someone getting pulled into the carrier between the bike & outer support. 8 people would absolutely require constant reiteration by employees on what to do though. It would be hectic.
  • 1 0
 How does it attach to hitch?
  • 25 3
 I'm sure your 3 minute analysis of their product far outweighs their years of expertise and time spent designing and consulting of bike parks around the world. This isn't a new wheelset from a small manufacturer. This is a massive product designed by a team of experts in their field, produced by a major player in their industry.
  • 4 0
 @z-man: Z-man get's an A-man
  • 2 0
 @Jolinwood: What could go wrong?
  • 4 0
 I can already see all those german tourists cluelessly watching their bike go back down on top of the mountain Big Grin

Jokes aside, I think that its ment to have a employe put the bikes off the gondola.
  • 2 1
 the auto-rotation is a VERY bad idea. This is stuff that only works on paper and animations. I really wonder how they came to the conclusion that this will actually work. If they ever deploy this, it will lead to very funny videos and chaos.
  • 3 1
 @GuinnessRCD: The ones you are referring have a rental bike and this is regardless of nationality Smile

There must be a service person there to even prevent people without bike from entering the rack thinking it is some kind of ride attraction Smile
Or they think it's for their dogs.
  • 6 0
 @Keepiru: because bikes never get stuck in racks, pedals never get tangled, nobody ever panics and fumbles... First time this is used we'll have a whole Friday Fails video
  • 2 0
 @zstover: Even with instruction, we will f*ck it up! :-D
  • 1 0
 @Jolinwood: Yes! It's called shared cooperation - who cares who takes off someone else's bike - you take theirs, they take yours and you both say 'Thank You" and go hammer. Sounds like an innovative way to move lines fast. People can do things together.
  • 1 0
 sharing is caring
  • 1 0
 @z-man: Because nobody that ever designs anything for a living ever got things wrong...?

This could just be a concept (likely) which could mean zero real world testing. And that's ok, because that's what concepts are for. But it doesn't mean that this is a good idea....yet.
  • 2 0
 But there's an instructional video showing Rider no. 1 first in and first out! What more do you need
  • 1 0
 yellow jersey is turning it up to 11 though @TransitionBikeCompany
  • 2 0
 @neimbc: ...not to mention the 8-seat gondola; 2 or 3 people max know each other, and they are all crammed in like sardines. No more safety meetings!
  • 3 0
 @z-man: these are the same people that built the newish Blackcomb Gondola with racks that didnt fit fat skis or snowboards properly/ at all. Lets just digest that for a moment - or 3 ski seasons to date.
  • 1 0
 @regdunlop: Are you referring to the new Fatty Fat Fat boards and skies?? if so you might need to take the slower/ longer route to the Mtn top;Because those things are wide AF!
  • 29 0
 I worked three seasons as a "lifty" and can guarantee you that there is no way this would work. Loading three people on a gondola with bikes is already crazy difficult and requires way more stops and slows than two people. For experienced bike park riders maybe, but even that's a stretch, once you mix in all the kids, squids, and first-timers... Not a Chance.

For everyone complaining about lift lines, just practice loading your bike at the provided spots at your resort before you mess it up and the lift operator has to slow it down or stop it for you. It's a procedure all lift operators have to follow or the resort can be shut down by the ITA or heavily fined.

Trust me we hate slowing down the lift as much as you! Practice before you get there and the line will move faster!
  • 17 1
 and some weed
  • 7 0
 @Cyclehd: Came here to say the same thing. There's no way some pot-smoking park riders are going to figure out which number they are - even if you give them those colour-coded jerseys. Smile
  • 3 0
 @rrolly: If you're comfortable smoking joints in the park you're comfortable loading your bike.
  • 28 0
 I came here for the interpretive dance, was not disappointed.
  • 2 0
 Just BE the gondola luvvy darling, feel it become one with your inner self.
  • 2 0
 I thought we were talking about my rug
  • 1 0
 @Mfro: congratulations. You just won the "most disturbing" comment in this section!
  • 14 1
 So how are you supposed to f with your buddies bike setup on the way up the lift while their tire is putting mud all over your kit?
  • 10 0
 Great, just what we need- yet another new standard from the gondola industry...
  • 9 0
 Just stoked the rider kits match their bikes, that's what makes the most sense in this video lol
  • 6 0
 Too complicated for mtn bikers. Many are too busy chatting it up or dropping gloves, and forget it if they are holding a phone in one hand while in line. Better off with a flat tray and let people pile bikes on top on one another.
  • 7 1
 This is lunacy. People can't even follow the arrows on the floors indicating direction for aisles at the grocery store. Now we're asking people to match 1 to 1, 2 to 2? It's not gonna happen for 50% of the population.
  • 6 2
 Interesting design. I'd like to see it put into practice as I it looks less practical IRL than it does in this animation. What if your tire gets caught on the rack and the rack spins your ride into one of the cab's supports? As @SATN-XC mentioned, I don't think this can be pulled off smoothly.
  • 1 0
 Next level pranking your buddies right there.
  • 4 0
 Did doppelmayr forgot about the lift that Mountain Creek Bike Park uses? Way less complicated and same amount of riders to bikes. MCBP lift can fit 4 bikes and 4 people on the same lift. where this is 8 bike one lift and 8 people on another lift with plenty of chances to mess up loading one of the 8 bikes.... MCBP ftw!
  • 2 0
 Doppelmayr builds ski lifts and gondolas. This is a solution they are offering for stuff they build. It probably could be retrofit on some of their designs, but they're really not putting it out there for places to retrofit if they don't have gondolas.
  • 2 0
 And yet the lines have still been next level at mcbp the last few years. They need to open the other lift.
  • 1 0
 MCPB Gondola != to any gondola at a western resort. This is like some someone announcing a new 6 person detachable chair and commenting "Hey did they forget about those awesome T-bars they used to make?"... Yes, yes they did.
  • 1 0
 @mtb-jon: my duuuude
  • 7 2
 Pre-pandemic I think this may have been an amazing idea... Now we may have to wait awhile to see this get implemented anywhere.
  • 6 2
 Yeah, don't see how 8 people would ever mess up standing in the right spot, loading their bikes, sitting down in order or plucking their bikes back off in order. Definitely install it - wherever I don't go riding.
  • 3 0
 The lifties will take the bikes off so that isn’t an issue. I do agree getting 8 bikes on a moving target may be difficult.
  • 1 0
 Nvm misread the part about unloading themselves.
  • 3 0
 Regardless of the effectivity of the system, it's good to see a big player like doppelmayr put some effort into this. I hope it'll open the eyes of many resorts who only consider mountain bikes something to try and keep out of theyr land. I imagine for lift operators it's hard to see mtb as a business opportunity when the carrying system for bikes are plastic claws at best, and DIY metal hooks wrapped in black tape the rest of the time, while the ski crowd gets warmed leather seats and wifi
  • 3 0
 Apparently these folks have never loaded a gondola. There is zero chance 8 riders get in and out and into the next as it goes around the bull wheel.
  • 1 0
 Seems like a lot of negative responses on this. It's not like there's an existing system for gondolas that works seamlessly for bikes. Deasonbuilt's bike carriers like as seen on Creekside aren't exactly intuitive either with a similar dance of figuring out which bike needs to come on/off first. Doppie's design definitely does seem to have overcomplicated what is required for a bike carrier however. It's hard to beat Deasonbuilt's tray racks for chairlifts, but it would be nice to see a 4 bike carrier that actually fits on a quad gauge line without a hook to bodge 100% bike to rider capacity.
  • 1 0
 Why not have the bike loaders move into the car I’m front of their bikes? add some more concrete to the loading and unloading area so when moving forwards they can still get into the car. Then when they get to the top the walk backwards to unload and out?
  • 1 0
 The advantage is to have different setups for summer and winter. More "pure" gondolas during winter season and more theoretical capacity during summer season. Maybe some improvements here and there and this could work. Investment should not to be too high since you just can add some of those special carrier to an existing system. Try out and see and improve... or dump it...
  • 1 0
 The problem with this and all lift bike mounts that I'm aware of is that the time to load the bike has to be less than the cycle time of the lift system, and that there is no way to do any of the work in advance. And just for fun, the user has to do something on a moving target under pressure.

Most likely, this is why no company has attempted this before. It's not like attaching 8 bikes in a circle is some sort of incredible insight.

BUT - it's fairly simple to separate tasks so that each step has more time and doesn't hold up the line for a single mistake. For example, instead of having users load bikes directly to the rack you could add a gripper to all 8 stations that holds the bike carrier toward the rider before the gondola arrives, and then places it to the gondola as it passes by. Same trick on the unloading side. Then all 8 riders get the full gondola time to get their bike into or out of the contraption instead of having to do it in an 8th of that time.

Now, is this loading device super easy to design to never drop a bike or crush a human? Nope. But it's not exactly hard either. Just making the bike mount hardware removable from the gondola gets you 80% there.
  • 3 3
 I like that companies are working on getting more people up the mountain, however, bike parks also have to build more trails. Because same amount of trail and more people won't go very well together.

Doppelmayer, good call but bike manufactures have already found a solution : e-bikes ! Ahah
  • 2 1
 E bikes weigh more than the allowed 20kgs. I have never seen any eBiker riding uphill in a bikepark, they use the gondolas and chairlifts.
  • 1 0
 @cxfahrer: ebikes on lift-serviced parks is the funniest thing ever to see. Like buying a car then taking the bus.
  • 3 0
 It's gonna make the lifts so efficient that the log-jams will now occur on the downhills.
  • 3 0
 Those bikes are closer than 6ft. Does that mean they have to wear a mask? Asking for my bike.
  • 1 1
 If your bike has had it's experimental gene therapy jab, it will be okay (until it needs it's third jab, since the first two don't work). If no jab, it will not be able to participate in society on any level whatsoever.
  • 2 0
 "Ride in comfort". Well not those hikers at least. Anyone who's ever looked at the face of a hiker stepping in a gondola with them after doing a couple laps will know.
  • 2 0
 Why can’t bikes somehow be hooked to the outside of the gondola? Like a north shore rack.
  • 2 0
 Give me a couple of hrs with a disc cutter & a welder & I’m sure I could make all 8 bikes auto ejecto cuz .
  • 1 0
 So this is only appropriate for Gondola rides, not regular chairs like Fitz and Garbo, amiright?
  • 1 0
 id like to see every bike park with quality bike lifts. any park with those yellow plastic front wheel clamps is to many
  • 1 0
 What worries me the most is that this chairlift company has no idea how people use chairlifts in real life.
  • 1 0
 cool. But not 4 dudes + 4 bikes in the whistler village gondola cool.

(man I miss Whistler..)
  • 2 0
 I like it. Is it available with 1 steering whe, 8 cupholders and 4 wheels?
  • 2 0
 Now my husband can comfortably go to the mountain bike park
  • 2 0
 Rider 8 = Stressed rider
& that before they've hit the trails
  • 1 0
 I am absolutely impressed by the amount of gondola engineers in the comments. Pinkbike delivers as always!
  • 2 0
 You don't have be a lifty to know that this will NEVER work. Like, never.
  • 1 0
 There is no way a bunch of drunk downhillers will be able to do that loading
  • 2 0
 Make sure the testers smoke a joint before so its realistic demo.
  • 1 0
 We must stop assault style shuttle devices like this. There is no need to carry this many bikes for one person
  • 1 0
 im gonna hide in there and ride up the hill
  • 1 0
 On your e-bike
  • 1 0
 Would like to see this in Pleney, Morzine.
  • 2 0
 Sponsored by Transition.
  • 1 0
 MONT-SAINTE-ANNE, and BROMONT, yes please! Big Grin
  • 1 1
 Gondola in Bromont? Are you insane?
  • 1 0
 @parkisatool: Yes Bromont, I ride there every weekend. They already have a hybrid lift with gondola cabins. Lol how is this insane???? Insanely good yes..
  • 1 1
 @kyleluvsdh: that « mountain » takes two minutes to get to the top... you’d have to be a complete lunatic to invest in a gondola
  • 1 0
 @parkisatool: You clearly have no idea what you're talking about lol. Bromont has about 1150' of vertical.
It takes about 6-8 minutes to get to the top of the mountain via a detachable high speed lift, and they have already invested in a hybrid lift (gondola cabins and chairs). Or 18-20 minutes via a fixed grip slow lift.
So you're completely wrong. Smile
  • 1 3
 I ride my eBike with fun up AND down. Didn‘t use a chairlift since i own it. Still love to ride park though. Spare battery in the car. Can“t imagine sitting in a cabin with 7 other sweating riders half of the day…
  • 2 0
 Chair and gondola talk is the best. Best time to catch up and inform all the others about the unbelievable shit you just pulled off in the last run... I never want to miss that!
  • 3 2
 take my money!!!
  • 7 7
 "And now 8 people can take coronavirus once throught one single lift!"
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