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  #1  
Old July 17th 05, 10:47 PM
Cully_J
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Default steering

Hello all,

I'm new to the recumbent community. I'm absolutely, positvely clueless about
certain - and probably straight forward - things.

I was looking at recumbent trikes on the Greenspeed website
(http://www.greenspeed.com.au/NewGSwe...a/homeusa.html) and I
noticed that most of the bikes have the two wheels in the front and one in
the rear.

I really have no problem with that. But I do have one question:
How do you steer?

Regards,
Cully_J


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  #2  
Old July 17th 05, 11:15 PM
Jeff Wills
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Cully_J wrote:
Hello all,

I'm new to the recumbent community. I'm absolutely, positvely clueless about
certain - and probably straight forward - things.

I was looking at recumbent trikes on the Greenspeed website
(http://www.greenspeed.com.au/NewGSwe...a/homeusa.html) and I
noticed that most of the bikes have the two wheels in the front and one in
the rear.

I really have no problem with that. But I do have one question:
How do you steer?

Regards,
Cully_J


With the handlebars!

OK, OK- that was a little too obvious. On Greenspeeds, the handlebars
pivot on a frame fitting, and there are linkage rods that connect the
handlebars to the kingpins that hold the front wheels. In reality, the
setup is very similar to almost every automobile built since time
began.

Not all trikes are like this, but this'll get you started. If you want
to learn more, this page should provide you with many clues:
http://www.eland.org.uk/steer_intro.html

Jeff

  #3  
Old July 18th 05, 11:23 AM
Jeff Grippe
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At this point I've owned four trikes (I still have two of them) and I've
test ridden at least 6 others. The design of the tadpole steering (two
wheels in front, one in back) is fairly simple yet there is quite a bit of
variety in implementation. If you are considering a purchase, test rides are
certainly required. Examples:

The Deltas (two wheels in back) tend to steer like ordinary bikes although
you still have the Under Seat or Above Seat choice.

Tadpoles have a bit more variety. When I test rode the Catrike I crossed it
off my list immediately because I didn't like the feel of the steering. I
understand that they have re-designed their steering for 2005 so I might
feel differently now.

Greenspeed and WizWheelz have more conventional tadpole steering.

There are a few trikes that have a stick for steering. WindCheetah is the
most famous. The stick is very responsive. On my first ride in a parking lot
at low speeds I had the WindCheetah up on two wheels. That never happened in
real riding.

Tricruiser has "one sided" steering as standard with more conventional "twin
stick" steering as an option. I've never ridden one with single stick
steering. I am taking a friend of mine to look at a single stick model,
however. He has a hand injury from a car accident that is not going to
improve. The only option he has for cycling is to find something that he can
completely control from one side. The Tricruiser with a single stick, disc
brakes (front left and right controlled by a single brake lever), and a
Rohloff Speedhub should be able to put steering, braking, and transmission
all on one side of the trike. We'll see if it works for him.

The sidewinder has front wheel drive and rear wheel steering. The feel is
quite strange compared to everything else. I'd be afraid to ride this trike
anywhere where you encounter high speed although the video on the website of
the rider doing tight 360's is fun to watch. I wouldn't do it myself,
however.

So your simple question doesn't have quite the simple answer that you might
expect. If your serious about getting a trike you've got to test ride them.

Jeff


  #4  
Old July 18th 05, 01:18 PM
Peter Clinch
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Jeff Grippe wrote:

The Deltas (two wheels in back) tend to steer like ordinary bikes


Objection! ;-)

IME any trike[1] (including uprights) doesn't steer like an ordinary
bike, because you have to actively move the steering to a far greater
extent. On a bike you soon get used to steering by leaning the bike and
using the inherert instability of a two wheel design to your advantage.
Can't do that on the trike, so the go left you steer the bars left,
rather than just lean the way you want to go.

This can be *very* embarrassing on one's first go on a trike, as it
/should/ be easier! I spent the first 100m on a Kettwiesel crashing
into the kerb because I couldn't adjust for the camber and right wheel
drive just by body position like I do quite unconsciously on a bike.

Pete.

[1] some cunning lean-to-steer designs may well be exceptions
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/

  #5  
Old July 18th 05, 05:36 PM
What Me Worry?
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"Cully_J" wrote in message
...
Hello all,

I'm new to the recumbent community. I'm absolutely, positvely clueless
about
certain - and probably straight forward - things.

I was looking at recumbent trikes on the Greenspeed website
(http://www.greenspeed.com.au/NewGSwe...a/homeusa.html) and I
noticed that most of the bikes have the two wheels in the front and one in
the rear.

I really have no problem with that. But I do have one question:
How do you steer?


The two front wheels are connected together by tie rods, like a car. The
rear half of the trike (seat, frame, drivetrain) is very similar to a
two-wheel recumbent bike.

Some tadpole trikes (Catrike, Lo-Go, MR Swift, etc) are steered with two
tillers that are directly attached to the front wheel kingpins (like a
headset on a bicycle). You move the tillers left and right to steer, which
is a bit unusual at first. This "direct steering" is *very* sensitive to
rider input, which can produce a white-knuckle ride at times. The trick is
to learn how to relax and modulate steering input, even when you are being
jarred from side to side. There is also considerable pedal-induced
steering, and significant brake-induced steering on many trikes. I have
owned two tadpoles, my current one being a Catrike Speed, which requires the
rider to learn how to evenly apply the disc brakes in order to stop without
going sideways ;-)

Tadpole trikes are designed to steer straight ahead automatically if you let
go of the tillers. So, yes, you can ride them with no hands; but you can't
lean-steer them as you can with a bike (darn). Some trikes have more
castering action than others. The Catrike has just barely enough castering
action to ride no-handed on level ground. Generally speaking, it handles
like a sporty short-wheelbase roadster. I describe tadpole trikes as
"three-wheeled go karts with pedals," which I find to be a useful analogy.



 




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