Paul Sims

Admittedly, a velomobile wasn't high on my list of vehicles as a "must have". I prefer my recumbents stripped back to the bare minimum, simple, lightweight and fast. I have however always enjoyed Pedal Prix racing and have spent many hours designing, building and racing many different configurations.

If you'd asked me several years ago what a VM should be, I'd have said a monocoque frame/body to make it rigid and crash resistant. Now with some experience under the belt (not that I ever made THAT machine) I soon worked out that it would have been too heavy, too costly to manufacture and expensive to repair.

Turning point number one was the first racing Quad we made, the "heads out" fairing was truly a joy to race in, quiet for a carbon fairing, easy to see where you're going, no fogging up windscreens, a weight benefit from using no screens and a smaller frontal area. The quad had much promise with high cornering ability, much less tire wear and potential for low carrying area. The downside was the extra weight and complication in non-standard cycle parts for the transmission.

Turning point number two was when we decided that as all the Pedal Prix rules were getting much more stringent with roll cages, why not use the roll cage as our chassis. This quickly progressed into an alloy space frame that was markedly lightweight and awesomely stiff. We wrapped this in a Coroplast fairing and the whole trike weighed less than 44lb (20kg) ready to race. The fairing proved to be not fast enough but the chassis was yet another leap forward in previous designs. It was coming together now, a reworked Quad fairing, the new chassis and we were all getting pretty excited with what this new direction would bring.

Advantages of the new design were, increased stiffness in the chassis, somewhere to mount suspension from, built in roll cage for safety, a newly designed sliding seat with spring release catch for easy adjustment, a fairing that is expendable e.g. crash replaceable, and the chassis stiffens the fairing and the fairing stiffens the chassis.

I am fortunate that Michael Rogan decided that working with Greenspeed was something that he really wanted to do, as without his drive nothing would have progressed to what you see today in the Glyde. From my point of view, we bounced lots of ideas of each other but it was he that did all the hard work on the Glyde and I was merely a consultant to work through various design aspects. I hope you can see what we did from those early days to what you see now, it sure has been a long road I can tell you, and I've only included the last couple of years!



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