1 September - October 2003
New GTX Sports Trike with new seat & steering system.
|Welcome to the 1st edition of the
Greenspeeder. Many thanks to the many of you who have asked to
receive this newsletter. I am humbled by growing number of over
one hundred requests. I hope that I can satisfy your desires for
more news and information about Greenspeed. Please let me know what you would like to see in this newsletter. The
more feedback I get, the more likely I am to meet your
expectations. This one is a bumper issue as I'm trying to
shove in all the things that have happened in the last year!
Ian Sims September 2003
New Seats and Steering
New Rims and Tyres
New disc brakes
Coming Bike Shows
On the Road - Current
1. Greenspeed Expansion
Last year the ever increasing demand for
Greenspeed trikes forced us to buy a third factory in Knoxfield,
and we have now completed a major re-organization of the Knoxfield
The frame building section has been moved into
the 3rd factory, Unit 3/31 Rushdale Street. The old frame building
factory, Unit 4, was completely cleaned out with the aid of a
"factory sale" and is now divided into just parts, and
assembly, giving more room and better efficiency to both these
sections. The original factory, Unit 5, which at one time
housed all our operations, is now used for packing and office
space, and the upstairs section is used for rim and and hub
Last month we bought a new lathe for the frame
building factory, to replace our old one which was made in 1942,
and was getting too worn to work efficiently. This has put a smile
on the face of all who use the new lathe, which is a lot more user
The increasing distance between the factories
has made communications slower, so we have just installed a new
phone system, which should make it easier for you to contact us by
phone, and much easier for you to find the right person to talk to
at Greenspeed. All the present direct numbers will still work, but
we now have the facility to transfer calls back and forward, even
from Head Office, which is about 2 miles away. For direct phone
numbers please see:-
2. New Seats & New Steering System.
These were 1st introduced on prototypes at the 2002 Interbike
Show in Las Vegas, but it took us until July this year to
re-design most of our trike models to accept the new seats and
steering, and to get them into full production. The new seats are
currently being fitted to the GTO, GTR, GTC, GTE, GTS, GTX, GTT
and GTV. The new steering has been fitted to the above solo
trikes, but is not needed nor compatible with the Tandem Trikes.
For more details and photos on the new seats and steering see:-
We have had a number of enquires from owners
asking about upgrading existing trikes. If you have a standard
size GTO which has a frame made by our Taiwanese factory, then it
is possible for us to make a new "Ergo" seat that will
fit it, and the price for the new GTO "Ergo" seat is
$600 AUD, including seat cover and shock
cord. The "Ergo" seat covers are cut to go around the
seat braces so that the cover sits better on the frame. The TW
frames have tappered seat stays and chain stays which are
bronze-welded to the dropouts, and use the neater TIG welding on
all other tube joints. If in doubt, please email us, quoting your
frame number, which is on a plate underneath the rear of the main tube.
Trikes with integral seats like the GTR, GTS, GTE
and GTT cannot be retro fitted, as the seat is part of the frame.
Retro fitting the new steering is far more
difficult and is not economical IMO. This is due to changes in the
kingpins, tie rods, handle bars and finally the frame, to provide
the room to fit the new handle bars between the main tube and the
seat, and to provide more ground clearance.
with New Seat & Steering
3. New Rims and Tyres.
Size has its advantages. As we have grow, we have
had the economies of scale to do more, and get more special bits
made for our trikes, so that they function better for our
customers. One example is our new lightweight rims. I was un-happy
with many of the narrow, box section rims on the market, as most of
them use a shallow, curved well, with no clearly defined well or
bead seat, making it difficult to seat to tyre
correctly and difficult to get the tyre of and on the rim.
became more of a concern when Schwalbe introduced their 28-406 Stelvio
tyres, which we found rolled better, griped better, and lasted longer
than the Conti GP tyres we had been using on the GTS, and on the light
weight wheels for the GTO. Plus the standard Stelvio tyre has a Kevlar belt for
puncture protection. Pressure rating is 120 psi.
I designed a new rim section, with a proper well and bead seat, plus
nicely curved side walls to give it a smooth aero section, like the
wider disc brake rims we have been using on the standard GTO, GTR
and GTT trikes. Velocity have now made new rolling equipment to roll
16" rims, so we now have the these new rims, called the
Velocity Sims rim, in 349 (16" x 1 1/8"/ 1 3/8") and
406 (20" x 1.125") sizes. The 16" rims are available
from us in 24, 32 and 36 hole drillings, and we have the 20"
rims in 32 and 36 holes. The holes as also drilled at an angle making
them suitable for large flange hubs like the
drum brake hubs.
These rims are also
suitable for bikes which use drum or disc brakes, and the bead seat
is more likely to retain the tyre in the event of a blowout, making
it a safer rim.
We also now have the new
FOLDING Stelvio tyres in 28-406 (20" x 1.125") which have
a Kevlar bead instead of the normal wire bead, making them both
lighter and capable of being folded, so that you can easily stuff a
spare one in your pannier, etc.. These tyres have a totally new
puncture resistance belt, called the Armaduro, which Schwalbe claims
actually LOWERS the rolling resistance over having no belt at
all! GS part number TY-3SF. The best Schrader valve tubes we
have for these tyres are the 18" x 1 3/8" (28/37 -
387/406) part number TS-1838. And the lighter Presta valve tubes are
18" x 1" (19-400), part number TP-181.
main advantage of these tyres over the standard Comp Pools is that
at 176 grams they are less than 1/2 the weight, giving noticeably
faster acceleration. OTOH, they won't last as long as the Comp Pools
or give as good a ride.
Velocity Sims Rim - well defined Well & Bead Seat
Sims Rim & Stelvio Tyre
Stelvio Folding Tyre
4. New Disc Brakes
When Sachs discontinued the original disc brakes we
were using a few years ago, we tried the Hayes disc brakes for a
short period but some people had trouble with the pistons sticking
and the brakes dragging, so we switched to using the Hope disc
brakes, which had the reputation for being the best. I've had a set
of these on my personal GTS Sports Tourer for a couple of years, and
been very happy with them. However they are fairly expensive, and
some customers have had problems in knowing how to adjust them, esp.
then the fluid expands in warm weather.
Unfortunately most disc brakes are only made for
bikes, and are not suitable for use on trikes,
plus we found that all the cable disc brakes on the market did not
offer any advantages, and some disadvantages, over the standard drum
This year Magura have introduced a new disc brake
made esp. for trikes, and we have been testing it since the 1st
prototypes were available. It is called the Magura "BIG"
disc brake. Unlike the Hope C1 brake we were using, it is self-adjusting,
and in testing this week on our tandem race trike, we
found that it performed better, running cooler with more control
under extreme conditions. (see left)
The best new is that we are able to buy them for a
lower price than the Hopes, so we are now able to offer them for an
upgrade price of only $600 AUD instead of the $900
AUD upgrade we had to ask for the Hopes.
Thus Greenspeed will now be fitting the Magura "BIG"
disc brakes to the tandem trikes as standard equipment. Both Angle
Tech, and Go-Bent now have GTOs fitted with the Magura
"BIG" brakes available
for test riding.
The Hopes will still be available for the riders
who prefer them.
Ready, set, go!
"BIG" Disc Brake
5. New Lights
Laws in Europe have restricted bicycle lights to 6
volts and 3 watts for many years, and although higher wattage
battery lights have been available both here and in the USA, I have
found them most inconvenient, as I can never remember to charge the
damn things up, and they are inevitably flat when I suddenly need
them for a night ride. And even when I have remembered to charge
them up, the capacity has often been reduced by old age, or/and
misuse, leading in one case, to a bad accident.
So I've been reduced to using a Swiss dynamo with
a Busch & Muller 3 watt headlight, which has been enough to ride
to and from the factory at night, but not really good enough for
high speed. So I had intended to make up a new battery system to use
as well as the dynamo system.
However the laws were recently changed in Europe
to allow the use of 12 volt, 6 watt systems, and some time ago we
got our first shipment of the new Busch and Muller 12 volt systems.
The B&M S 12 dynamo is more than twice as
efficient as the many of the old 6 volt dynamos. In fact it will
continue to spin after you give the roller a flick with the fingers,
and I found I could not detect any extra drag in pedalling the trike
with it on. It has a fully electronic regulation system, so that the
voltage stays constant no matter how fast you go. The beam from the
5 watt headlight is both broader and deeper,
with a greater range than the 3 watt headlight.
The "Toplight" 12 volt tail light
contains two bright LEDs and has a super capacitor with charges up
from the dynamo, and continues to shine for about 5 minutes after
the trike stops. The headlight also has a super capacitor which
runs a separate white LED after the trikes stops, giving enough
light for me to park and lock my trike at night.
I'm quite pleased to see the use of 12 volts for
cycle lights after cars have been using 12 volts for many years.
This should reduce the number of problems with bad wiring
connections, which are a common fault. The headlights will mount on
our standard headlight mounting as shown, and fitted to nearly every
Greenspeed as standard, since the very first prototype. The tail
light mounts on the rack mounts, which were introduced a couple of
years ago, and we have an alloy mount to fit the dynamo to the chain
stay. These lights are now available from Greenspeed, both as an
option on new trikes, and as upgrade sets or separate parts.
The only downside to the new lights is that they
cost twice the price of the 6 volt system :-( The good part is I'm
so pleased with them, I won't need to bother with battery lights
For more info about the lights check out this URL
12 volt System
Our seats are laced with elastic cord, providing
suspension within the seat itself, plus there is a fair amount of
shock absorption from both the tyres and the cross member. So most
people find they do not need the extra weight, cost and complication
of suspension. In fact, I don't think the human body was designed to
float on a cushion of air, and think that some massage as one rides
is a good thing ;-)
On the other hand we have had a number of requests
from people with genuine needs for suspension, and have been
building trikes with suspension to special order for some years.
Without suspension, one feels the worst bumps from the rear wheel,
as this is directly behind one's head, whereas it is easier to avoid
bumps with the visible front wheels, and in any case, the the frame
only lifts 1/2 the amount of a front wheel bump. So rear
suspension has been more popular than full suspension, which
is more complicated, and does not give as much bang (or rather the lack
of it) for the buck.
So we have decided to offer rear suspension as a
regular option, on our GTO and GTR trikes. A MTB air shock is used,
being adjustable for both load and damping, and it provides 3 inches
of travel. The luggage is suspended as well as the rider, with a
special Cro Mo pannier rack.
GTO-E with Suspension
7. Coming Bike Shows
We will be attending the Interbike show at Las
Vegas, Nevada, USA. This goes from Friday 10th October to Tuesday
14th. This year the Out Door Demo will be held over
the first two days instead of one day, for the 1st time. This
is where people get to road test many of the bikes and trikes in the
desert. This mainly a trade only show, so if you would like your
local shop to be a Greenspeed dealer, please suggest that they
attend. Each year we have something new to show, and each year we sign on
new Greenspeed dealers. Our booth at the Out Door Demo will be #808,
and our booth number in the main hall is #5016.
For more details please see www.interbike.com
8. On the Road - Current
One of the advantages of not owning a car is that
I ride more often, and can spend more time testing new trikes and
equipment. While in Europe for Spezi, my daughter Rachael and I took
some time out to ride the Cab-bike faired trikes, for some distance,
as we travelled north in Germany from Germersheim to Frankfurt. I
rode both the fully faired machine and the headout one, while
Rachael just rode the headout, machine. We were disappointed that
they did not seem to be any faster than our bare trikes, as our
average speed was the same. Also the suspension did not seem to
offer any improvement on our elastic laced seats, and they were definitely
harder to hold on line at speed with the joystick steering. The good
part was they were warm and dry inside (I had to strip down to my
singlet after a few kilometres) and not quite as tippy
as I had expected with their narrow track.
Thus when we got back to Oz, I designed a new
trike for a fabric fairing, to see if a could build a faster trike with a
much lighter fairing. I used 16" wheels to reduce the weight
and to allow a narrow track, without limiting the turning circle too
much. The track is only 700 mm, instead of our normal 800 mm. So far
we have built up the bare trike for road testing, and I have used it
for everyday commuting. While the road test team were not impressed
with the reduction in stability, I discovered that I could not have
been using the roadholding of My GTS Sports Touring to anywhere near
the limit, as I found myself going around corners just as fast with
the narrow track trike, as I had on the GTS. I also found that the
16" wheels with the 37-349 Primo Tyres gave a better ride than
the 20" wheels with 28-406 Schwalbe Stelvio tyres I have on the
GTS. OTOH, riding another prototype, with 16" wheels, the
37-349 Schwalbe Marathon tyres gave a worse ride, proving again,
that the tyres make more difference to the ride than the wheel size.
The next project will be to construct the fairing.
However this may have to wait until after Interbike, as spare
weekends are few and far between..............
69 Mountain Gate Drive
Web Site www.greenspeed.com.au