The Dandy Horse was the first means of transport that used the concept of a human-powered vehicle. Karl-Freidrich Drais invented the Dandy Horse in the mid-nineteenth century. The older version of dandy horse was unfit for adults. As a result, Noir Vif studio founders Andre Fontes and Guillaume Lehoux brought some modifications to the earlier version and developed an user-friendly adult-sized dandy horse crafted from molded plywood. Positive public responses to those prototypes have prompted the Departmental Domaine of Chamarande to produce more dandy horse cycles by 2015.
The pedal-less Dandy Horse could make a perfect bike for the elderly and those with physical or mental disorders. The leather-packed saddle which could be raised and lowered, and handle bars offer comfort for the rider. Each dandy horse features a basket in the front. Although one needs to propel himself by exertion of his own energy, the easy-to-use dandy horse is ideal for exploring the Deaprtmental Domaine of Chamarande’s 98-hectare public garden.
A block brake can be found on the rear wheel but it is not very effective as the rider needs to use both feet to stop the cycle. The monobloc plywood frame was designed using an industrial high-pressure wood molding process. As part of the Domaine’s commitment to sustainable development, the vehicle is crafted from maple wood extracted from sustainable managed French forests. All the cycle parts including the iron tires were completely manufactured in France. With a total weight of 25 kg, it is much lighter than today’s European city bikes.