History and backgrounds

History and backgroundsTechnician, athleet, pioneer. Although he sees himself primarily as a technician and a bike builder, Derk has an impressive list of athletic performances.

His creative inventivenesses is the motor behind his performances. Or, as he puts it: “if I come up with something, I want to prove it will work”.
As a result, he was one of the first windsurfers, one of the first hang gliders, one of the first recumbent cyclists and the first rowingbiker.

As a technical highlight, he designed and built the rowingbike with the patent pending Snek transmission.

This is where it stands now, but it all started early in the seventies with a career in windsurfing.

Technical innovations
An early -1977!- sign of his inventiveness was the ‘sinker’; a surfboard incapable of supporting the weight of the surfer (hydrostatic). He also invented the combination of surfboard and kite; a speed medium pur sang.

Here you’ll find a drawing of a sheet deposited at a civil law notary in january 1978(!) which summons associations with the designs of Leonardo da Vinci. He was years ahead of the windsurf scene, with the kite even decades.

In the passing he developed numerous applications for surfboards and bicycles, and even did some interior design and ergonomics.

The rowingbike is a recumbent propelled by a rowing movement, comparable to that of a skiff. After decades of experimenting and improvement, the rowingbike is a well thought out sports apparatus enjoyed by owners all over the world. In addition to the Thys 222 rowingbike, the lower and faster Thys 240 is introduced. The 240 was used many times during the Rowingbike Tour de France. As of 2010 The Carbon 209 model and carbon tandem are available.

In 1985 Thijs began building his first rowingbike. He felt that the typical circling movement of the conventional bike was too unilateral. He looked to the movement of a rowing-skiff for more dimensions, and thus more power and fun. It’s has been a long way from that first prototype. The invaluable experience of 110.000 km on many prototypes of the rowingbike resulted in the design of the new and exciting Thys 222 Rowingbike.
A breakthrough in developing the Thys 222, was the invention of the Snek (fusee) transmission by the brothers Bert en Derk Thijs. In 1998 a patent was requested and the Snek was applied for the first time.

He has worked extensively with Bram Moens, the designer of M5 recumbents. This resulted, amongst other things, in the co-production of two “record recumbents” which set a number of worldrecords.