|Design Rational & Standard Equipment.
We have been aware for some time that there is a demand for a high quality, user friendly, recreational trike for older and handicapped riders, who are unable to get up and down from our low trikes, and from people who would like to ride higher in traffic. When I toured our Dealers in the USA in 2004, I found the delta trikes on offer were very heavy, and had poor steering and braking. The dealers said they wanted something better for their customers.
So I designed a rather unique higher trike for this market, and Paul and Michael spent some time developing and improving the steering to make it a "no brainer". The reason we have used the one wheel front and two wheels rear format (delta) for this trike, is that it avoids having the cross member in front of the seat, making it easier to sit down, and the wheel in front of the rider gives a feeling of greater protection when riding in traffic. It also resembles the traditional upright trike, making people feel more comfortable with this format.
Some of the problems reported with deltas on the market were the front wheel skating sideways on steep hills, and poor braking. Thus we have fitted a differential as standard equipment, and also three wheel disc brakes to eliminate these problems. The differential balances the drive to each rear wheel, so that the trike will turn easily in either direction, and track straight up steep hills. The two rear brakes are controlled by the right hand lever, and the front by the left, so the braking can be modulated to obtain maximum braking on any surface.
We have used under seat steering, to put the hands in the most natural and ergonomic place, beside your hips. This avoids the cheaper "Ape Hanger" handle bars, with the "sit up and beg" riding position, and having to swing the bars in the opposite direction to which you want to go.
Having found both an increase in performance with the lighter weight of the 16" wheels, and reduction in overall size and weight, we have used 16" for the delta with our 16" x 1 1/2" Scorcher tyres. These tyres were 1st used on our GT3s and have proven to have both a lower rolling resistance and a better ride than most 20" tyres.
To improve ground clearance we are fitting the Schlumpf Speed-Drive as standard equipment. This two speed bottom bracket enables a short cage rear derailleur to be used, increasing the ground clearance at the rear axle. It is used with an eight speed free-wheel, giving 16 speeds, but with the same range as a 24 speed system, as the low ratio is 1:1 and the hight ratio 1: 1.65. This gives less overlapped and redundant gears. It also allows you to shift while stationary. So if you have to stop quickly and don't have the time to wind the derailleur gears down, you can shift to low in the Speed-Drive to allow an easier take-off. Another advantage is the whole gear range can be moved up or down by replacing just the single chain ring. The Speed Drive is changed by kicking the cranks with the heel, avoiding the need to fit a front derailleur, and a front shifter, leaving one of the handle bars free to fit a rear vision mirror, if desired.
We tried using just two brakes on the rear wheels as used by some deltas but found that the braking was not as good as our other trikes. However when we tried discs on all three wheels, the braking was awesome - even better than our other trikes. So we are fitting the three discs as standard. Having a disc brake can make the wheels more difficult to remove, as sometimes the caliper needs to be removed 1st. So at the rear of the trike, we are using a six-pin drive, so the wheel can be removed with one Allen screw, leaving the disc brake on the axle. See pic.. We were aware that some people had problems finding space for their trikes, so we have made this trike so it can be parked vertically, and take up very little floor space.