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RACING RECUMBENT
TRIKE
WHAT IS A RECUMBENT TRIKE ?
A RECUMBENT BICYCLE IS A BICYCLE THAT PLACES THE RIDER IN A
LAID-BACK RECLINING POSITION.
WHY USE A RECUMBENT FOR RACING?
RIDERS CHOOSE THIS TYPE OF DESIGN FOR ERGONOMIC REASONS

MOST RECUMBENT MODELS ALSO HAVE AN AERODYNAMIC
ADVANTAGE

DID YOU KNOW?

A RECUMBENT HOLDS THE WORLD SPEED RECORD FOR A BICYCLE,
AND THEY WERE BANNED FROM RACING UNDER THE UCI IN 1934,
AND NOW RACE UNDER THE BANNER OF THE HUMAN POWERED
VEHICLE ASSOCIATION (HPVA).
BRIEF HISTORY
• THE BANNING OF RECUMBENTS FROM BICYCLE RACING IN 1934 HAD THE EFFECT OF PUTTING
THE RECUMBENT BICYCLE DESIGN IN THE CLOSET FOR FIFTY YEARS, UNTIL IT WAS REDISCOVERED THERE PRIMARILY BY MIT PROFESSOR DAVID GORDON WILSON AND HIS
STUDENT.
•

BUT LET'S GO BACK TO SLIGHTLY BEFORE THAT UNFORTUNATE DAY IN

1934 AND LOOK AT
THREE RECUMBENT PIONEERS: CHARLES MOCHET, HIS SON GEORGE MOCHET AND CYCLIST
FRANCIS FAURE.
2 TYPES OF RECUMBENT TRIKES
DELTA CONFIGURATION

Greenspeed Anura Delta Trike

TADPOLE CONFIGURATION

Innesenti tadpole trike
2 TYPES OF RECUMBENT TRIKES
PROS:

DELTA CONFIGURATION

• EASY TO DESIGN, CONCEPTS FOLLOW THAT OF A
STANDARD BICYCLE

LOWER COST TO MANUFACTURER, USES STANDARD
BICYCLE’S COMPONENTS
•

CONS:
• QUICK MOMENT OF INERTIA CAUSES EXCESSIVE
ROLL.
• THIS CONDITION CAN BE CORRECTED USING A
LEAN STEERING MECHANISM.
• BRAKING IS COMPROMISED BY A SINGLE FRONT
WHEEL WHICH MUST PROVIDE THE MAJORITY OF
BRAKING FOR THE VEHICLE.

Greenspeed Anura Delta Trike

Source:
http://www.hellbentcycles.com/trike_projects/Recum
bent%20Trike%20Design%20Primer.pdf
2 TYPES OF RECUMBENT TRIKES
PROS:
• TWO WHEELS IN FRONT OFFER EXCELLENT

TADPOLE CONFIGURATION

OVERALL BRAKING

• OVERALL EXCELLENT HANDLING
CONS:
• STEERING SYSTEMS ARE MORE COMPLICATED
AND REQUIRE UNIQUE PARTS

• DESIGN IS COMPLICATED AND DEPENDENT ON
MANY CONTINGENCIES

Source:
http://www.hellbentcycles.com/trike_projects/Recum
bent%20Trike%20Design%20Primer.pdf

Innesenti tadpole trike
TADPOLE

DELTA

VS.
TADPOLE CONFIGURATION
ADVANTAGES
• TWO WHEELS

IN FRONT OFFER EXCELLENT
OVERALL BRAKING

• OVERALL EXCELLENT

HANDLING

DISADVANTAGES
• STEERING SYSTEMS ARE MORE
COMPLICATED AND REQUIRE UNIQUE PARTS

• DESIGN IS COMPLICATED AND DEPENDENT
ON MANY CONTINGENCIES

Innesenti tadpole trike
BERSERKER TRIKE
THE TADPOLE ADVANTAGE
• THE TADPOLE CONFIGURATION WITH A PROPERLY CENTERED COG PROVIDES
EXCELLENT TRACTION, TURNING AND BRAKING STABILITY. IT PROVIDES A
LARGER TILTING RANGE, SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO GET THE TILT ANGLE EXACTLY
RIGHT, AND IT CAN ALSO BE TILTED FURTHER WHILE STATIONARY WITHOUT
TIPPING OVER.
RELATED PRODUCTS

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
RELATED PRODUCTS
UPRIGHT BIKE

ADVANTAGES
 RELATIVELY EASY TO BALANCE AT SPEEDS
BELOW 2 MPH.
 TRANSPORTATION IS EASY
 LIGHTWEIGHT
 CAPABLE OF VARIOUS STUNTS SUCH AS
BUNNYHOPPING, JUMPING UP CURBS,
WHEELIES, AND TRACKSTANDS.
 GOOD FOR UPHILL CLIMBING
 MORE VISIBLE
DISADVANTAGES

 RIDER IS ADVISED TO CHANGE
POSITIONS OFTEN TO AVOID SORE

SPOTS.

 SADDLESORE I.E. BRUISED PERCH
BONE AREA, CARPAL TUNNEL
PROBLEMS I.E. SORE PALMS AND
NUMB FINGERS, ALSO SORE WRISTS,
ELBOWS, SHOULDERS, AND NECK,
TENDER KNEES.
 TOO MUCH WEIGHT PUT ON
LEANING POSITION.

 BACK IS NOT RELAXED
 NECK STRAIN
RECUMBENT BIKE
EXERCISE MACHINE

 IT IS USED FOR THE BENEFIT OF PEOPLE
WHO HAVE CARDIOVASCULAR
PROBLEMS OR THOSE WHO ARE LESS
FIT.
ADVANTAGES
 WORKOUT OF GLUTEAL MUSCLE.

 NO MORE SORE OR NUMB WRISTS BECAUSE
PALMS NO LONGER ASSIST THE BURDEN OF
THE ENTIRE BODY.
ADVANTAGES
 RIDER SITS INTO THE BIKE FRAME
 SEAT LOCATED ALMOST IN-LINE WITH THE
PEDALS

 LOW COG (CENTER OF GRAVITY)
MAKING THE BIKE AND RIDER VERY STABLE

 NATURAL, RECLINED POSITION WITHOUT
NEED TO BEND HEAD OR BACK

 NATURALLY COMFORTABLE SEAT = MORE
COMFORTABLE WORKOUT

 CYCLING IN A MORE NATURAL POSITION OF
BODY ALIGNMENT REDUCES FATIGUE
THE “Q FACTOR"
 THE Q FACTOR OF A BICYCLE IS THE
DISTANCE BETWEEN THE PEDAL ATTACHMENT
POINTS ON THE CRANK ARMS

 SOME RECUMBENT BIKES MAY HAVE A WIDER
Q FACTOR TO ALLOW FOR BRAKING
MECHANISM, PULLEYS, DRIVING
COMPONENTS, AND COSMETIC COVERS

 A NARROWER Q FACTOR IS ERGONOMICALLY
SUPERIOR BECAUSE IT CLOSELY MATCHES THE
NEARLY INLINE PATTERN OF HUMAN FOOTSTEPS
RECUMBENT BIKE
ADVANTAGES
 NO MORE SEAT PROBLEMS: RECLINED
SEATING

 NO STRESS AND WEIGHT PUT ON BY
LEANING

 NO SORE HANDS: ARMS NATURALLY
HANGING ON THE SIDES

 NO NECK PAIN
MORE ADVANTAGES

 COMFORT - LONG RIDES ON AN
UPRIGHT BIKE CAUSE TOO MUCH
PAIN

 AERODYNAMICS - MANY
RECUMBENT SETUPS HAVE A SMALLER
FRONTAL AREA, WHICH MAKES THE
BIKE FASTER IN A HEADWIND

 HEADS-UP POSITION

 PROTECTION FROM ADVERSE
WEATHER

 PRACTICALITY
DISADVANTAGES

 UNNERVING ON STEEP
(WOBBLE FACTOR)

CLIMBS

 UNSTABLE(2 WHEELS ONLY):
INCREASED CHANCE OF
FALLING OVER

 SLOWER CLIMB BUT FASTER
DOWNHILL
MORE DISADVANTAGES

 LESS STABLE AT VERY LOW SPEEDS; HARDER
TO KEEP RECUMBENT IN A STRAIGHT LINE
WHEN GOING UP A STEEP HILL

 HARDER TO RIDE ON GRAVEL ROADS
 CAN’T SHIFT BODY WEIGHT TO
COMPENSATE FOR MINOR FISHTAILING
OF THE WHEELS

 CAN’T ―FALL STANDING UP‖ WHEN
YOU LOSE CONTROL AT LOW SPEED

BECAUSE LEGS ARE HORIZONTAL

 HARDER TO SEE OVER TRAFFIC DUE TO
LOWER SEAT HEIGHT
2 TYPES OF STEERING ON RECUMBENT BIKES
OVER SEAT STEERING
PROS

 THERE IS A PLACE FOR A REARVIEW
MIRROR ON THE HANDLE BAR.
 BIKERS ARE MORE USED TO THIS STEERING.
ALTHOUGH IT MIGHT CAUSE WRIST SORES
AND NUMBNESS OF FINGERS.

 EASIER TO ―WALK‖ YOUR BIKE.
CONS

o SLIGHTLY HARD TO USE
2 TYPES OF STEERING ON RECUMBENT BIKES

UNDER SEAT STEERING
PROS

 EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE AND EASIER
TO RIDE

 GETTING ON AND OFF IS EASIER SINCE
THERE IS NO HANDLE BAR IN THE WAY
CONS

o ALTHOUGH MOST BIKERS ARE NOT USE
TO THIS POSITION

o IT HAS NO PLACE FOR REARVIEW
MIRROR
UNDER SEAT
STEERING

OVER SEAT
STEERING

VS.
SEATING
HAMMOCK MESH
PROS
 OFFERS BREATHABLE COMFORT.

 LIGHTWEIGHT
CONS

o DUE TO THEIR DESIGN, A MESH BASE
CAN MAKE THE BIKE DIFFICULT TO
HOLD UP AT A STOP (EVEN FOR A TALL
RIDER).
MOLDED SEAT

PROS
 EURO MOLDED SEATS HAVE A
DISTINCT LUMBAR CURVE AND ARE
DESIGNED TO FOR A VERY LAID-BACK

POSITION.

 FOAM AND COVER OFFERS A MORE
FIRM BASE TO PUSH AGAINST,
CONS

o

THOUGH IT MAY BE LESS
COMFORTABLE
MOLDED

MESH

VS.
WHEEL SIZE

20 INCH FRONT WHEELS
PROS
 MORE MANEUVERABLE
 MORE AERODYNAMIC

CONS


IT MAY FEEL WOBBLY FOR BEGINNERS

700 C OR 26 INCH REAR WHEEL
PROS

 FASTER
 SMOOTHER RIDES
CONS
 IT DOESN’T WORK
BASIS

ON DELTA TRIKES WITH LONG WHEEL
TADPOLE TRIKES BRAKE

•

MOST TADPOLE TRIKES USE ONLYFRONT BRAKES.

• FRONT BRAKING SYSTEM: DRUM, DISC

A BACK BRAKE IS RARELY USED.
DRUM BRAKES
DISC BRAKES
TADPOLE TRIKES BRAKE
DRUM BRAKES
• CLASSIFIED AS A SINGLE, LEADING SHOE BRAKE.
• USES TWO BRAKE SHOES INSIDE A CYLINDER
DRUM.

DISC BRAKES
• APPLIES A SET OF FLAT PADS ON OPPOSING SIDES
OF A REVOLVING ROTOR

• THE BRAKE IS INFALLIBLE TO FADING OR MOISTURE
BUILDUP.
DRUM BRAKES
ADVANTAGE
• IT PROVIDES SOLID AND RELIABLE BRAKING AND
IS OPTIMIZED FOR TADPOLE TRIKE DESIGNS.

DISADVANTAGE
• IS THAT A DRUM BRAKE PERFORMS POORLY IN
WET WEATHER CONDITIONS (IF MOISTURE GETS
INTO THE DRUM)
• IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO HEAT FADING.
• THE SELF-ENERGIZING DRUM BRAKEACTION IS
NONLINEAR AND MAY BE SLIGHTLY
UNPREDICTABLE.
DISC BRAKES
ADVANTAGE
• THE SELF-ENERGIZING DRUM BRAKE ACTION IS
NONLINEAR AND MAY BE SLIGHTLY
UNPREDICTABLE.

• ACTION IS PROPORTIONAL AND PROVIDES
SMOOTH BRAKINGEVEN DURING THE HARSHEST
WEATHER CONDITIONS.

DISADVANTAGE
• HEAVY COMPARED TO DRUM BRAKES.
• LIGHTER DISC BRAKES ARE AVAILABLE BUT VERY
EXPENSIVE

• MOST DISC BRAKES ARE PRONE TO RUBBING
AND ALSO A PERFORMANCE ROBBER
DISC
BRAKE

DRUM
BRAKE

VS.
SHELL
VARNA TEMPEST
•

AN AERODYNAMIC CARBON FIBER AND

•

CAN MAKE A TOP SPEED OF

KEVLAR SHELL BUILT AROUND A LOW-PROFILE
RECUMBENT BICYCLE.
82.819 MPH
All-Weather Firefly Trike

•

CAN HANDLE ANY KIND OF INCLEMENT WEATHER
AND IT’S EQUIPPED WITH

LED LIGHTS TO MAKE IT
VISIBLE TO CARS AT NIGHT.
Capsule Shields Cyclists

•

A SLEEK AERODYNAMIC SHELL THAT
SNAPS ONTO ANY BICYCLE TO PROVIDE
PROTECTION FROM THE ELEMENTS ONCE
THE WEATHER TURNS FOR THE WORSE.
AEROK BICYCLE
• PROS:
• THE SHELL RESISTS THE OPPOSING WIND AND
THUS, HELPS THE BIKE TO SAIL THROUGH WITH
MAXIMUM EASE.
• THE AERODYNAMIC OUTER BODY OF THE BIKE IS
CALLED THE SHELL, MADE OF STURDY CARBON
FIBER, WHICH NOT ONLY ENHANCES THE VISOR OF
THE BIKE, BUT ALSO HELPS IT TO RUN FASTER BY
LETTING THE AIRFLOW GO SMOOTHLY.
• THIS SHELL OFFERS COMPLETE SAFETY FOR THE
RIDER IN CASE OF ANY ACCIDENTS.
TURNING
DELTA
• LONG WHEEL BASE OF DELTA
DECREASES THE TWITCHINESS OF THE
STEERING, IMPROVING HIGH SPEED
CONTROL AND PRECISION
• REARWARD WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION FAVORS
OVERSTEER. TEND TO SPIN OUT AND LOSE
TRACTION ON LOOSE GRAVEL.
TURNING
TADPOLE
• MORE STABLE THAN THE DELTA
• POSSIBILITY OF TIPPING FORWARD WHEN

COMBINING TURNING AND BRAKING FORCES.
LEAN STEERING
A LEAN STEERING TRIKE IS A THREE WHEELED VEHICLE THAT STEERS BY VIRTUE OF LEANING THE RIDER'S BODY
INTO THE DESIRED DIRECTION OF THE TURN.

ALTHOUGH SEVERAL VARIATIONS EXIST, THE MOST NOTABLE

IMPLEMENTATION IS WHERE THE SEAT MOVES IN RELATION TO THE FRAME CAUSING THE VEHICLE WHEELS TO
TURN OR ALTER THE WHEEL GEOMETRY.
BE A

A STATIONARY HORN OR TILLER IS FIXED TO THE FRAME (THIS CAN ALSO

U-BAR) ALLOWING THE RIDER TO LEAN THE SEAT LEFT OR RIGHT (THE SEAT IS LINKED TO A STEERING

MECHANISM), HENCE STEERING THE VEHICLE. SINCE THE RIDER LEANS INTO THE DIRECTION OF THE TURN,
THE CENTER OF GRAVITY IS OPTIMIZED PRODUCING A TRIKE WITH EXCELLENT LOW SPEED HANDLING. THE

CONCEPT IS SIMILAR TO STEERING A BICYCLE WITH ONE OBVIOUS EXCEPTION: THE LEANING IS LINEAR TO THE
STEERING AND NOT BY THE

G FORCES APPLIED. CONSEQUENTLY, THE STEERING IN THIS IMPLEMENTATION IS

NOT OPTIMIZED FOR HIGHER SPEEDS.
TILTING

30 DEGREE

TILT

PROS

 POSSIBILITY OF LOW SIDE
TITLTING TRIKE
CONS

o SITTING TOO LOW IS A
SAFETY CONCERN
TILTING

45 DEGREE TILT
• THE BODY IS TOO HIGH, THEN I'LL NEED A
REALLY WIDE TRACK TO MEET ONE OF MY
MINOR DESIGN CRITERIA — THAT LEANED
FULLY OVER, THE VEHICLE WILL NOT
ACTUALLY TIP OVER AND FALL IF NOT
MOVING. WITH NO ABILITY TO PUT MY
FEET DOWN, THIS LITTLE DETAIL IS CRUCIAL.
ON THE POSITIVE, IT'D MEAN A NICE HIGH
LINE-OF-SIGHT. IT WOULD SEEM PRUDENT
TO FIND SOMETHING IN BETWEEN.
TILTING
• BY ALIGNING THE BOTTOM

OF THE

BODY WITH ESSENTIALLY THE AXLE
HEIGHT, I THINK I'VE FOUND THE
SWEET SPOT.

40º SEEMED EASY

WITH ONLY THE WHEEL PANT IN
DANGER OF INTERFERENCE THIS
PUTS IT ALMOST EXACTLY WHERE
MY LINE-OF-SIGHT IS IN MY

MINI,
WHICH IS ACTUALLY VERY GOOD.
•

VERY CLEAN AERODYNAMICS AND
EASY ROAD GOING OVER FAIRLY
SUBSTANTIAL ROAD HAZARDS.
DESIGN PARAMETERS

• FRAME DESIGN-

CARBON FIBER (LIKE THE AEROK BICYCLE SHELL)

• STEERING- UNDER SEAT STEERING
• TADPOLE CONFIGURATION
• MESH SEAT
• 20 INCH FRONT WHEEL AND 700 C OR 26 INCH REAR WHEEL
• BRAKING SYSTEM- DRUM BRAKE
•

TILTING

Aerok bicycle shell
DESIGN PARAMETERS
• SADDLE WIDTH- 355MM TO 406MM (TILTED UP TO 5 DEGREES AT THE FRONT)
• BACKREST ANGLE- 30 T0 40 DEGREES
LENGTH- 450 MM

•

CRANK LENGTH – 160 MM (MIN=640MM, MEDIAN 790MM MAX=940MM)

•

BOTTOM BRACKET TO BACK OF SEAT 800MM TO 1100 MM

•

BOTTOM BRACKET CLEARANCE- 350 T0 400 MM

•

BOTTOM BRACKET HEIGHT- 400 MM

•

SEAT HEIGHT- 400 TO 470 MM

•

LUMBAR -190 MM

•

SHOULDER SUPPORT-120 MM
CONCLUSION AND SUMMARY
RECUMBENT BIKE

ONE OF THE MOST COMMON REASONS FOR USING A RECUMBENT BIKE IS COMFORT. NOT
ONLY DO THEY HAVE A LARGE SEAT, BUT THE BIKES ALSO OFFER COMPLETE BACK SUPPORT. THIS
ERGONOMIC ADVANTAGE IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE WITH BACK OR NECK
PROBLEMS.

BECAUSE OF THEIR LOW CENTER OF GRAVITY, RECUMBENT BIKES ARE ALSO MORE
AERODYNAMIC AND CAN PICK UP SPEED MORE EASILY.
POSITIONING
SEAT POSITIONING

• IN A RECUMBENT BIKE, YOU ADJUST THE SEAT EITHER FORWARD OR BACKWARDS, RATHER THAN
UP OR DOWN LIKE AN UPRIGHT BIKE.
•

THE SEAT RECLINE ALLOWS FOR ADJUSTMENTS, START AT A MID-POSITION.

ACCORDING TO

BACCHETTA BIKES, BEING TOO STRAIGHT OR TOO RECLINED CAN CAUSE DISCOMFORT AND
PAIN FOR BEGINNER RIDERS. AN UNCOMFORTABLE SEAT POSITION CAN ALSO PUT ADDITIONAL
STRESS ON YOUR KNEES AND MAKE RIDING MORE DIFFICULT.
LEG POSITIONING

• THE LEG SHOULD HAVE ONLY A VERY SMALL BEND
•

IN A RECUMBENT BIKE, THIS MEANS AN ANGLE OF JUST A FEW DEGREES. THE LEGS SHOULD
NOT BEND TOO MUCH AT ANY GIVEN TIME, SINCE THIS PUTS A LOT OF PRESSURE ON THE KNEES.
KNEE POSITIONING

•

THE LEGS ARE ALWAYS

EXTENDED FORWARD, THE RIDER MIGHT END UP WITH SORE KNEES

AFTER RIDING A RECUMBENT BIKE.

• THE MORE YOU LEAN BACK ON YOUR SEAT, THE MORE YOU HAVE TO USE YOUR LEGS AND THE
LESS PRESSURE YOU PUT ON YOUR BACK AND OTHER PARTS OF YOUR BODY. RECUMBENT BIKES
ALSO REQUIRE LITTLE WRIST AND LOWER ARM STRENGTH.
STEERING POSITION

• UNDER SEAT STEERING

GOES WAY BEYOND WHAT MOST RECUMBENT WILL DO FOR COMFORT.

• THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF USS, DIRECT AND INDIRECT. DIRECT IS BEST THOUGHT OF AS A
HANDLE BAR MOUNTED TO THE BACK SIDE OF THE FORK AND EXTENDING BACK FAR ENOUGH
TO DROP YOUR ARMS STRAIGHT DOWN BESIDE THE SEAT AND GRAB ON.

A COUPLE OF THE

DRAWBACKS TO THIS DESIGN ARE HAND POSITION AND INTERFERENCE WITH THE SEAT IN SHARP
TURNS.
• LONG BIKES USES AN INDIRECT STEERING. INDIRECT IN THAT THE HANDLE BAR IS MOUNTED TO
THE FRAME AND USES LINKAGE (IN AUTOMOTIVE TERMS, A DRAG LINK) TO CONNECT TO THE
FORK

•

A COUPLE OF ADVANTAGES ARE THAT THE STEERING RATIO OR SPEED CAN BE ADJUSTABLE
AND THE HANDLE BAR ROTATES ABOUT A PIVOT POINT UNDER THE SEAT. THE ENDS OF THE
HANDLE BAR MOVE IN AN ARC BESIDE YOUR LEGS, WITH A MOVEMENT THAT IS ESSENTIALLY A
PUSH PULL BY THE RIDER.
USS (UNDER SEAT STEERING

• ADVANTAGES
• RELAXING AND DOESN'T PUT ANY STRAIN ON THE UPPER BODY.
• BETTER SUITED TO CYCLISTS BEARING HAND, ARM OR SHOULDER INJURIES
• A GREAT WAY TO ENSURE YOUR KNEES AREN'T GETTING BASHED ON THE HANDLEBARS.
• DISADVANTAGES
• MORE COMPLICATED MECHANICALLY AND THUS REQUIRES MORE MAINTENANCE AND
ADJUSTMENTS.
• FAR MORE EASILY DAMAGED IN EVEN A MINOR ACCIDENT.
• MORE UNUSUAL AND THUS CAN BE MORE DIFFICULT FOR AN INEXPERIENCED RECUMBENT CYCLISTS
TO ADJUST TO.

• MORE DIFFICULT TO MANHANDLE.

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Racing recumbent trike final

  • 2. WHAT IS A RECUMBENT TRIKE ? A RECUMBENT BICYCLE IS A BICYCLE THAT PLACES THE RIDER IN A LAID-BACK RECLINING POSITION.
  • 3. WHY USE A RECUMBENT FOR RACING? RIDERS CHOOSE THIS TYPE OF DESIGN FOR ERGONOMIC REASONS MOST RECUMBENT MODELS ALSO HAVE AN AERODYNAMIC ADVANTAGE DID YOU KNOW? A RECUMBENT HOLDS THE WORLD SPEED RECORD FOR A BICYCLE, AND THEY WERE BANNED FROM RACING UNDER THE UCI IN 1934, AND NOW RACE UNDER THE BANNER OF THE HUMAN POWERED VEHICLE ASSOCIATION (HPVA).
  • 4. BRIEF HISTORY • THE BANNING OF RECUMBENTS FROM BICYCLE RACING IN 1934 HAD THE EFFECT OF PUTTING THE RECUMBENT BICYCLE DESIGN IN THE CLOSET FOR FIFTY YEARS, UNTIL IT WAS REDISCOVERED THERE PRIMARILY BY MIT PROFESSOR DAVID GORDON WILSON AND HIS STUDENT. • BUT LET'S GO BACK TO SLIGHTLY BEFORE THAT UNFORTUNATE DAY IN 1934 AND LOOK AT THREE RECUMBENT PIONEERS: CHARLES MOCHET, HIS SON GEORGE MOCHET AND CYCLIST FRANCIS FAURE.
  • 5. 2 TYPES OF RECUMBENT TRIKES DELTA CONFIGURATION Greenspeed Anura Delta Trike TADPOLE CONFIGURATION Innesenti tadpole trike
  • 6. 2 TYPES OF RECUMBENT TRIKES PROS: DELTA CONFIGURATION • EASY TO DESIGN, CONCEPTS FOLLOW THAT OF A STANDARD BICYCLE LOWER COST TO MANUFACTURER, USES STANDARD BICYCLE’S COMPONENTS • CONS: • QUICK MOMENT OF INERTIA CAUSES EXCESSIVE ROLL. • THIS CONDITION CAN BE CORRECTED USING A LEAN STEERING MECHANISM. • BRAKING IS COMPROMISED BY A SINGLE FRONT WHEEL WHICH MUST PROVIDE THE MAJORITY OF BRAKING FOR THE VEHICLE. Greenspeed Anura Delta Trike Source: http://www.hellbentcycles.com/trike_projects/Recum bent%20Trike%20Design%20Primer.pdf
  • 7. 2 TYPES OF RECUMBENT TRIKES PROS: • TWO WHEELS IN FRONT OFFER EXCELLENT TADPOLE CONFIGURATION OVERALL BRAKING • OVERALL EXCELLENT HANDLING CONS: • STEERING SYSTEMS ARE MORE COMPLICATED AND REQUIRE UNIQUE PARTS • DESIGN IS COMPLICATED AND DEPENDENT ON MANY CONTINGENCIES Source: http://www.hellbentcycles.com/trike_projects/Recum bent%20Trike%20Design%20Primer.pdf Innesenti tadpole trike
  • 9. TADPOLE CONFIGURATION ADVANTAGES • TWO WHEELS IN FRONT OFFER EXCELLENT OVERALL BRAKING • OVERALL EXCELLENT HANDLING DISADVANTAGES • STEERING SYSTEMS ARE MORE COMPLICATED AND REQUIRE UNIQUE PARTS • DESIGN IS COMPLICATED AND DEPENDENT ON MANY CONTINGENCIES Innesenti tadpole trike
  • 11. THE TADPOLE ADVANTAGE • THE TADPOLE CONFIGURATION WITH A PROPERLY CENTERED COG PROVIDES EXCELLENT TRACTION, TURNING AND BRAKING STABILITY. IT PROVIDES A LARGER TILTING RANGE, SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO GET THE TILT ANGLE EXACTLY RIGHT, AND IT CAN ALSO BE TILTED FURTHER WHILE STATIONARY WITHOUT TIPPING OVER.
  • 13. RELATED PRODUCTS UPRIGHT BIKE ADVANTAGES  RELATIVELY EASY TO BALANCE AT SPEEDS BELOW 2 MPH.  TRANSPORTATION IS EASY  LIGHTWEIGHT  CAPABLE OF VARIOUS STUNTS SUCH AS BUNNYHOPPING, JUMPING UP CURBS, WHEELIES, AND TRACKSTANDS.  GOOD FOR UPHILL CLIMBING  MORE VISIBLE
  • 14. DISADVANTAGES  RIDER IS ADVISED TO CHANGE POSITIONS OFTEN TO AVOID SORE SPOTS.  SADDLESORE I.E. BRUISED PERCH BONE AREA, CARPAL TUNNEL PROBLEMS I.E. SORE PALMS AND NUMB FINGERS, ALSO SORE WRISTS, ELBOWS, SHOULDERS, AND NECK, TENDER KNEES.  TOO MUCH WEIGHT PUT ON LEANING POSITION.  BACK IS NOT RELAXED  NECK STRAIN
  • 15. RECUMBENT BIKE EXERCISE MACHINE  IT IS USED FOR THE BENEFIT OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE CARDIOVASCULAR PROBLEMS OR THOSE WHO ARE LESS FIT.
  • 16. ADVANTAGES  WORKOUT OF GLUTEAL MUSCLE.  NO MORE SORE OR NUMB WRISTS BECAUSE PALMS NO LONGER ASSIST THE BURDEN OF THE ENTIRE BODY.
  • 17. ADVANTAGES  RIDER SITS INTO THE BIKE FRAME  SEAT LOCATED ALMOST IN-LINE WITH THE PEDALS  LOW COG (CENTER OF GRAVITY) MAKING THE BIKE AND RIDER VERY STABLE  NATURAL, RECLINED POSITION WITHOUT NEED TO BEND HEAD OR BACK  NATURALLY COMFORTABLE SEAT = MORE COMFORTABLE WORKOUT  CYCLING IN A MORE NATURAL POSITION OF BODY ALIGNMENT REDUCES FATIGUE
  • 18. THE “Q FACTOR"  THE Q FACTOR OF A BICYCLE IS THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE PEDAL ATTACHMENT POINTS ON THE CRANK ARMS  SOME RECUMBENT BIKES MAY HAVE A WIDER Q FACTOR TO ALLOW FOR BRAKING MECHANISM, PULLEYS, DRIVING COMPONENTS, AND COSMETIC COVERS  A NARROWER Q FACTOR IS ERGONOMICALLY SUPERIOR BECAUSE IT CLOSELY MATCHES THE NEARLY INLINE PATTERN OF HUMAN FOOTSTEPS
  • 19. RECUMBENT BIKE ADVANTAGES  NO MORE SEAT PROBLEMS: RECLINED SEATING  NO STRESS AND WEIGHT PUT ON BY LEANING  NO SORE HANDS: ARMS NATURALLY HANGING ON THE SIDES  NO NECK PAIN
  • 20. MORE ADVANTAGES  COMFORT - LONG RIDES ON AN UPRIGHT BIKE CAUSE TOO MUCH PAIN  AERODYNAMICS - MANY RECUMBENT SETUPS HAVE A SMALLER FRONTAL AREA, WHICH MAKES THE BIKE FASTER IN A HEADWIND  HEADS-UP POSITION  PROTECTION FROM ADVERSE WEATHER  PRACTICALITY
  • 21. DISADVANTAGES  UNNERVING ON STEEP (WOBBLE FACTOR) CLIMBS  UNSTABLE(2 WHEELS ONLY): INCREASED CHANCE OF FALLING OVER  SLOWER CLIMB BUT FASTER DOWNHILL
  • 22. MORE DISADVANTAGES  LESS STABLE AT VERY LOW SPEEDS; HARDER TO KEEP RECUMBENT IN A STRAIGHT LINE WHEN GOING UP A STEEP HILL  HARDER TO RIDE ON GRAVEL ROADS  CAN’T SHIFT BODY WEIGHT TO COMPENSATE FOR MINOR FISHTAILING OF THE WHEELS  CAN’T ―FALL STANDING UP‖ WHEN YOU LOSE CONTROL AT LOW SPEED BECAUSE LEGS ARE HORIZONTAL  HARDER TO SEE OVER TRAFFIC DUE TO LOWER SEAT HEIGHT
  • 23. 2 TYPES OF STEERING ON RECUMBENT BIKES OVER SEAT STEERING PROS  THERE IS A PLACE FOR A REARVIEW MIRROR ON THE HANDLE BAR.  BIKERS ARE MORE USED TO THIS STEERING. ALTHOUGH IT MIGHT CAUSE WRIST SORES AND NUMBNESS OF FINGERS.  EASIER TO ―WALK‖ YOUR BIKE. CONS o SLIGHTLY HARD TO USE
  • 24. 2 TYPES OF STEERING ON RECUMBENT BIKES UNDER SEAT STEERING PROS  EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE AND EASIER TO RIDE  GETTING ON AND OFF IS EASIER SINCE THERE IS NO HANDLE BAR IN THE WAY CONS o ALTHOUGH MOST BIKERS ARE NOT USE TO THIS POSITION o IT HAS NO PLACE FOR REARVIEW MIRROR
  • 26. SEATING HAMMOCK MESH PROS  OFFERS BREATHABLE COMFORT.  LIGHTWEIGHT CONS o DUE TO THEIR DESIGN, A MESH BASE CAN MAKE THE BIKE DIFFICULT TO HOLD UP AT A STOP (EVEN FOR A TALL RIDER).
  • 27. MOLDED SEAT PROS  EURO MOLDED SEATS HAVE A DISTINCT LUMBAR CURVE AND ARE DESIGNED TO FOR A VERY LAID-BACK POSITION.  FOAM AND COVER OFFERS A MORE FIRM BASE TO PUSH AGAINST, CONS o THOUGH IT MAY BE LESS COMFORTABLE
  • 29. WHEEL SIZE 20 INCH FRONT WHEELS PROS  MORE MANEUVERABLE  MORE AERODYNAMIC CONS  IT MAY FEEL WOBBLY FOR BEGINNERS 700 C OR 26 INCH REAR WHEEL PROS  FASTER  SMOOTHER RIDES CONS  IT DOESN’T WORK BASIS ON DELTA TRIKES WITH LONG WHEEL
  • 30. TADPOLE TRIKES BRAKE • MOST TADPOLE TRIKES USE ONLYFRONT BRAKES. • FRONT BRAKING SYSTEM: DRUM, DISC A BACK BRAKE IS RARELY USED.
  • 33. TADPOLE TRIKES BRAKE DRUM BRAKES • CLASSIFIED AS A SINGLE, LEADING SHOE BRAKE. • USES TWO BRAKE SHOES INSIDE A CYLINDER DRUM. DISC BRAKES • APPLIES A SET OF FLAT PADS ON OPPOSING SIDES OF A REVOLVING ROTOR • THE BRAKE IS INFALLIBLE TO FADING OR MOISTURE BUILDUP.
  • 34. DRUM BRAKES ADVANTAGE • IT PROVIDES SOLID AND RELIABLE BRAKING AND IS OPTIMIZED FOR TADPOLE TRIKE DESIGNS. DISADVANTAGE • IS THAT A DRUM BRAKE PERFORMS POORLY IN WET WEATHER CONDITIONS (IF MOISTURE GETS INTO THE DRUM) • IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO HEAT FADING. • THE SELF-ENERGIZING DRUM BRAKEACTION IS NONLINEAR AND MAY BE SLIGHTLY UNPREDICTABLE.
  • 35. DISC BRAKES ADVANTAGE • THE SELF-ENERGIZING DRUM BRAKE ACTION IS NONLINEAR AND MAY BE SLIGHTLY UNPREDICTABLE. • ACTION IS PROPORTIONAL AND PROVIDES SMOOTH BRAKINGEVEN DURING THE HARSHEST WEATHER CONDITIONS. DISADVANTAGE • HEAVY COMPARED TO DRUM BRAKES. • LIGHTER DISC BRAKES ARE AVAILABLE BUT VERY EXPENSIVE • MOST DISC BRAKES ARE PRONE TO RUBBING AND ALSO A PERFORMANCE ROBBER
  • 37. SHELL VARNA TEMPEST • AN AERODYNAMIC CARBON FIBER AND • CAN MAKE A TOP SPEED OF KEVLAR SHELL BUILT AROUND A LOW-PROFILE RECUMBENT BICYCLE. 82.819 MPH
  • 38. All-Weather Firefly Trike • CAN HANDLE ANY KIND OF INCLEMENT WEATHER AND IT’S EQUIPPED WITH LED LIGHTS TO MAKE IT VISIBLE TO CARS AT NIGHT.
  • 39. Capsule Shields Cyclists • A SLEEK AERODYNAMIC SHELL THAT SNAPS ONTO ANY BICYCLE TO PROVIDE PROTECTION FROM THE ELEMENTS ONCE THE WEATHER TURNS FOR THE WORSE.
  • 40. AEROK BICYCLE • PROS: • THE SHELL RESISTS THE OPPOSING WIND AND THUS, HELPS THE BIKE TO SAIL THROUGH WITH MAXIMUM EASE. • THE AERODYNAMIC OUTER BODY OF THE BIKE IS CALLED THE SHELL, MADE OF STURDY CARBON FIBER, WHICH NOT ONLY ENHANCES THE VISOR OF THE BIKE, BUT ALSO HELPS IT TO RUN FASTER BY LETTING THE AIRFLOW GO SMOOTHLY. • THIS SHELL OFFERS COMPLETE SAFETY FOR THE RIDER IN CASE OF ANY ACCIDENTS.
  • 41. TURNING DELTA • LONG WHEEL BASE OF DELTA DECREASES THE TWITCHINESS OF THE STEERING, IMPROVING HIGH SPEED CONTROL AND PRECISION • REARWARD WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION FAVORS OVERSTEER. TEND TO SPIN OUT AND LOSE TRACTION ON LOOSE GRAVEL.
  • 42. TURNING TADPOLE • MORE STABLE THAN THE DELTA • POSSIBILITY OF TIPPING FORWARD WHEN COMBINING TURNING AND BRAKING FORCES.
  • 43. LEAN STEERING A LEAN STEERING TRIKE IS A THREE WHEELED VEHICLE THAT STEERS BY VIRTUE OF LEANING THE RIDER'S BODY INTO THE DESIRED DIRECTION OF THE TURN. ALTHOUGH SEVERAL VARIATIONS EXIST, THE MOST NOTABLE IMPLEMENTATION IS WHERE THE SEAT MOVES IN RELATION TO THE FRAME CAUSING THE VEHICLE WHEELS TO TURN OR ALTER THE WHEEL GEOMETRY. BE A A STATIONARY HORN OR TILLER IS FIXED TO THE FRAME (THIS CAN ALSO U-BAR) ALLOWING THE RIDER TO LEAN THE SEAT LEFT OR RIGHT (THE SEAT IS LINKED TO A STEERING MECHANISM), HENCE STEERING THE VEHICLE. SINCE THE RIDER LEANS INTO THE DIRECTION OF THE TURN, THE CENTER OF GRAVITY IS OPTIMIZED PRODUCING A TRIKE WITH EXCELLENT LOW SPEED HANDLING. THE CONCEPT IS SIMILAR TO STEERING A BICYCLE WITH ONE OBVIOUS EXCEPTION: THE LEANING IS LINEAR TO THE STEERING AND NOT BY THE G FORCES APPLIED. CONSEQUENTLY, THE STEERING IN THIS IMPLEMENTATION IS NOT OPTIMIZED FOR HIGHER SPEEDS.
  • 44. TILTING 30 DEGREE TILT PROS  POSSIBILITY OF LOW SIDE TITLTING TRIKE CONS o SITTING TOO LOW IS A SAFETY CONCERN
  • 45. TILTING 45 DEGREE TILT • THE BODY IS TOO HIGH, THEN I'LL NEED A REALLY WIDE TRACK TO MEET ONE OF MY MINOR DESIGN CRITERIA — THAT LEANED FULLY OVER, THE VEHICLE WILL NOT ACTUALLY TIP OVER AND FALL IF NOT MOVING. WITH NO ABILITY TO PUT MY FEET DOWN, THIS LITTLE DETAIL IS CRUCIAL. ON THE POSITIVE, IT'D MEAN A NICE HIGH LINE-OF-SIGHT. IT WOULD SEEM PRUDENT TO FIND SOMETHING IN BETWEEN.
  • 46. TILTING • BY ALIGNING THE BOTTOM OF THE BODY WITH ESSENTIALLY THE AXLE HEIGHT, I THINK I'VE FOUND THE SWEET SPOT. 40º SEEMED EASY WITH ONLY THE WHEEL PANT IN DANGER OF INTERFERENCE THIS PUTS IT ALMOST EXACTLY WHERE MY LINE-OF-SIGHT IS IN MY MINI, WHICH IS ACTUALLY VERY GOOD. • VERY CLEAN AERODYNAMICS AND EASY ROAD GOING OVER FAIRLY SUBSTANTIAL ROAD HAZARDS.
  • 47. DESIGN PARAMETERS • FRAME DESIGN- CARBON FIBER (LIKE THE AEROK BICYCLE SHELL) • STEERING- UNDER SEAT STEERING • TADPOLE CONFIGURATION • MESH SEAT • 20 INCH FRONT WHEEL AND 700 C OR 26 INCH REAR WHEEL • BRAKING SYSTEM- DRUM BRAKE • TILTING Aerok bicycle shell
  • 48. DESIGN PARAMETERS • SADDLE WIDTH- 355MM TO 406MM (TILTED UP TO 5 DEGREES AT THE FRONT) • BACKREST ANGLE- 30 T0 40 DEGREES LENGTH- 450 MM • CRANK LENGTH – 160 MM (MIN=640MM, MEDIAN 790MM MAX=940MM) • BOTTOM BRACKET TO BACK OF SEAT 800MM TO 1100 MM • BOTTOM BRACKET CLEARANCE- 350 T0 400 MM • BOTTOM BRACKET HEIGHT- 400 MM • SEAT HEIGHT- 400 TO 470 MM • LUMBAR -190 MM • SHOULDER SUPPORT-120 MM
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  • 52. RECUMBENT BIKE ONE OF THE MOST COMMON REASONS FOR USING A RECUMBENT BIKE IS COMFORT. NOT ONLY DO THEY HAVE A LARGE SEAT, BUT THE BIKES ALSO OFFER COMPLETE BACK SUPPORT. THIS ERGONOMIC ADVANTAGE IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE WITH BACK OR NECK PROBLEMS. BECAUSE OF THEIR LOW CENTER OF GRAVITY, RECUMBENT BIKES ARE ALSO MORE AERODYNAMIC AND CAN PICK UP SPEED MORE EASILY.
  • 54. SEAT POSITIONING • IN A RECUMBENT BIKE, YOU ADJUST THE SEAT EITHER FORWARD OR BACKWARDS, RATHER THAN UP OR DOWN LIKE AN UPRIGHT BIKE. • THE SEAT RECLINE ALLOWS FOR ADJUSTMENTS, START AT A MID-POSITION. ACCORDING TO BACCHETTA BIKES, BEING TOO STRAIGHT OR TOO RECLINED CAN CAUSE DISCOMFORT AND PAIN FOR BEGINNER RIDERS. AN UNCOMFORTABLE SEAT POSITION CAN ALSO PUT ADDITIONAL STRESS ON YOUR KNEES AND MAKE RIDING MORE DIFFICULT.
  • 55. LEG POSITIONING • THE LEG SHOULD HAVE ONLY A VERY SMALL BEND • IN A RECUMBENT BIKE, THIS MEANS AN ANGLE OF JUST A FEW DEGREES. THE LEGS SHOULD NOT BEND TOO MUCH AT ANY GIVEN TIME, SINCE THIS PUTS A LOT OF PRESSURE ON THE KNEES.
  • 56. KNEE POSITIONING • THE LEGS ARE ALWAYS EXTENDED FORWARD, THE RIDER MIGHT END UP WITH SORE KNEES AFTER RIDING A RECUMBENT BIKE. • THE MORE YOU LEAN BACK ON YOUR SEAT, THE MORE YOU HAVE TO USE YOUR LEGS AND THE LESS PRESSURE YOU PUT ON YOUR BACK AND OTHER PARTS OF YOUR BODY. RECUMBENT BIKES ALSO REQUIRE LITTLE WRIST AND LOWER ARM STRENGTH.
  • 57. STEERING POSITION • UNDER SEAT STEERING GOES WAY BEYOND WHAT MOST RECUMBENT WILL DO FOR COMFORT. • THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF USS, DIRECT AND INDIRECT. DIRECT IS BEST THOUGHT OF AS A HANDLE BAR MOUNTED TO THE BACK SIDE OF THE FORK AND EXTENDING BACK FAR ENOUGH TO DROP YOUR ARMS STRAIGHT DOWN BESIDE THE SEAT AND GRAB ON. A COUPLE OF THE DRAWBACKS TO THIS DESIGN ARE HAND POSITION AND INTERFERENCE WITH THE SEAT IN SHARP TURNS.
  • 58. • LONG BIKES USES AN INDIRECT STEERING. INDIRECT IN THAT THE HANDLE BAR IS MOUNTED TO THE FRAME AND USES LINKAGE (IN AUTOMOTIVE TERMS, A DRAG LINK) TO CONNECT TO THE FORK • A COUPLE OF ADVANTAGES ARE THAT THE STEERING RATIO OR SPEED CAN BE ADJUSTABLE AND THE HANDLE BAR ROTATES ABOUT A PIVOT POINT UNDER THE SEAT. THE ENDS OF THE HANDLE BAR MOVE IN AN ARC BESIDE YOUR LEGS, WITH A MOVEMENT THAT IS ESSENTIALLY A PUSH PULL BY THE RIDER.
  • 59. USS (UNDER SEAT STEERING • ADVANTAGES • RELAXING AND DOESN'T PUT ANY STRAIN ON THE UPPER BODY. • BETTER SUITED TO CYCLISTS BEARING HAND, ARM OR SHOULDER INJURIES • A GREAT WAY TO ENSURE YOUR KNEES AREN'T GETTING BASHED ON THE HANDLEBARS.
  • 60. • DISADVANTAGES • MORE COMPLICATED MECHANICALLY AND THUS REQUIRES MORE MAINTENANCE AND ADJUSTMENTS. • FAR MORE EASILY DAMAGED IN EVEN A MINOR ACCIDENT. • MORE UNUSUAL AND THUS CAN BE MORE DIFFICULT FOR AN INEXPERIENCED RECUMBENT CYCLISTS TO ADJUST TO. • MORE DIFFICULT TO MANHANDLE.