"Cercle offers a professional answer to all areas of daily nomadic existence through a modified frame geometry and an integrated bed, chair, table construction. By simply folding out the bed frame, any suitable place can become a campsite, regardless of the condition of the ground. The height-adjustable table and the bed construction converted into a chair provide a portable workplace. The roofing of luggage, driver and vehicle offers safety and lets the adventurer merge with his vehicle."
If this seems like some wacky never-gonna-make-it student concept to you, consider that Sobotta puts his money where his mouth is. The avid cyclist, along with friend William Cornwell, took the Cercle on a long-range test drive, covering nearly 1,000 kilometers. For stretches of the trip where they had to take the bike onto a train or bus, "We always found a free space somewhere, despite the slight excess length."
In an interview with Bike Citizens, Sobotta discusses the inception and ongoing development of the project. "So far, touring bikes are based on a very narrowly defined initial question: What does a machine have to look like that is light and durable in order to be able to drive around the world on its own? That was a good and important question - and it was answered comprehensively and satisfactorily.
"When traveling, you don't just want to move forward, you also want to eat, chill, sleep. Questions that you ask yourself again and again: Where can I sit down and relax and have a snack? Where do I put the stove so it doesn't fall over? Where can I find a place for the tent that is reasonably level, clean and maybe even dry? Do I leave my panniers outside today or do I prefer to bring them to my tent so that they are safe? These questions have not yet been adequately answered with regard to the touring bike, which is why there is still a lot of scope for further development and innovation."
During the long test journey, Sobotta found that "The user experience in camping mode feels really good. The multifunctional bed-chair-lounger-table frame, which we call CampingCompanion, can be quickly unfolded. You sit well, the table is quite stable, you can sleep relaxed, and all in all, this module weighs just 3.5 kilograms."
Sobotta and Cornwell are planning to embark on a cycling world tour next year, with each of them riding a Cercle. This fall, prior to the journey, the pair are trying to solve one of the remaining design issues, and they could use a little help. "A big chapter is definitely the design and customization of the tent," Sobotta says. "So far we have been using an old tarpaulin as an emergency solution. It would be ideal to find someone who is interested in the project and has experience in tent construction."
You can follow the Cercle's development (and/or contact them if you've got an idea for the tent solution) on Instagram and Facebook.