Hike up, wheels down!
Where shall we go next?

I came across this recently in the Scottish Mountaineer Magazine (Mountaineering Council of Scotland Publication) and thought to myself, “That looks fun”.

In mountaineering the buzz generally comes from climbing rough terrain, always with the summit in mind.  Sometimes however, descending can sometimes be less fun, lacking the thrill of the climb.  Also, for some oldies like me, my knees sometimes start complaining a bit on long descents back to the car.

It’s quite different with mountain biking – here the descending is the fun bit, worth working for and bringing you effortlessly back to the valley floor, covering greater distances than you might otherwise manage.  So why not combine them.

The “Bergmönch” does just this.  It’s an integrated system of rucksack and scooter.  Uphill you climb unrestricted with free hands, then swoosh back down to valley floor level either standing or kneeling.  If the terrain is really rough, you can stand on the Bergmonch with your weight well back.  Otherwise you can ride kneeling, with relaxed musceles for the descent.

The geometry is the logical result of numerous tests; the riding position, upright, low and set well back, and the different sized wheels.  All apparently create superb handling and safety downhill, while achieving a perfect compromise between compactness in uphill mode and comfort downhill.  Could this be the answer for those hills in Scotland that have a good path or track most of the way?  We’ll see.

One question I do have is about the carrying capacity for other kit?  What about your waterproofs, extra layers, first aid kit, lunch, flask, etc, etc?  Is there room to carry that too or does that have to go on the Bergmönch Trailer?!!!  There are 19 litres of rucksack capacity – perhaps enough for a warm, summer day, but it is Scotland we live in!

Cost – £1300, although you can hire them too if you want to try before you buy.

Your thoughts and comments would be extremely welcome.  It looks great fun.

More info about the Bergmönch (including a promo video) at www.bergmonch.com

Bergmönch – Hiking uphill Wheeling downhill from höfats GmbH on Vimeo.

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