CycloCable: Awesome Norwegian Bike Lift

On June 18, 2014 by Tim Newman

Bicycle Lift - Trampe - CycloCable - foot plate

I’ve never felt more jealous of the residents of any city in the world than I do right now. The first and only bicycle lift in the world was built in Trondheim, Norway in 1993. It’s kind of like a ski lift but it’s for cyclists instead. Living in hilly old Brighton as I do and riding the occasional bicycle as I do, I can’t see any reason in the Universe why we couldn’t have a few installed here?

The inventor of this truly marvelous bicycle lift – Jarle Wanvik – loved cycling but hated getting sweaty. Wanvik lived in Trondheim, and like Brighton, it’s hilly. He needed a solution and boy oh boy he found one.

Bicycle Lift - Trampe - CycloCable - in use

After a bit of council jiggery-pokery his idea came to fruition as the Trampe. It was popular with residents and tourists alike and whirred and carried its way up hill for the next 15 years. Due to health and safety concerns (despite there being literally zero accidents for a decade and a half) the original Trampe was replaced by a modernised contraption that still stands today, the CycloCable.

Bicycle Lift - Trampe - CycloCable - trondheim norway

Here’s the instructions from the official CycloCable site explaining how to use this technological wonder:


Position your bicycle 10 cm away from and parallel to the lift rail (not on top of the rail). The left bicycle pedal should be in a lower position.

While standing astride the bicycle, put your left foot on the left pedal. Furthermore, place your right foot in the start slot of the start station. Stretch your right leg backwards determinedly while still keeping your right foot in the start slot. Remember, you are preparing for the coming push from the soft start mechanism.

From now on, the lift will carry you – the bicycle is there merely for a means of support. It is essential that you move the weight of your body from the bike to the start slot. To be sure this is done properly you should not be sitting on your bike seat. Stand up in your bike. After having experienced a few takes, you should get accustomed to the lift movements, and you may try to take on to your seat.

Bicycle Lift - Trampe - CycloCable - norway


Push the green “Start” button. When the first footplate is about to arrive, you hear a sound signal inside the start station, and the soft start mechanism will start pushing your right foot, and – if performed correctly – both you and your bicycle. If you have problems keeping up, don’t cling to the footplate. You may step off the footplate anytime you want and give it a new try. The footplate that you have left will automatically unfold and disappears into the rail slot.

Bicycle Lift - Trampe - CycloCable - buggy

Here it is in action:

Brighton council… please take note.

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