|Critical criteria we wanted this vehicle to meet include:
We didn't feel we could satisfy these criteria with mere add-on's to existing products. It was time to look past previous achievements and make a dedicated velomobile (VM). In 2005 we started work on what we called the Quad, our full-suspension four-wheel disc-brake version of the velomobile. The Quad and its prior versions managed to get rid of the single main frame underneath the rider in favor of two side rails with the seat dropped down to the same level.
In 2006 colleague Michael Rogan realized some of his design ideas coming together while playing with his son's toy collection?and he and Paul Sims got straight into turning the concept into a full-size reality. The result? A space frame in which the frame resembles more of a box that the rider gets into, rather than sits on. Ian immediately saw the merits of it and declared the VM, alongside Anura, top priority for the company's R&D efforts.
The first full project utilizing this space-frame design also tested one of the aero shapes of the NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics). Although our tests revealed the NACA shape to be deficient in crosswinds, that name stuck and all space frames from that time onwards were referred to as NACA's in the Greenspeed factory. Needless to say we went back to the tear-drop design. The three-wheeler proved very close to the Quad in stability?and for much less weight, so we stuck with it.
Our next three versions of the NACA refined seating and steering mechanisms, saw a few braces added or lost. The final prototype inherits the full suspension, which has been thoroughly tested on the Quad and various other trikes from the MR Components workshop. Only minor refinements are required before the model is released in 2009.
This last prototype has a naked weight of 39.6 lbs, which we found impressive, considering the rigidity of the frame and the fact that this included the full suspension, Shimano 105-level components and a SRAM DualDrive. The weight with the fiberglass fairing on worked out at just shy of 80 lbs.