No. 5 June - July 2004
stand at Spezi 2004, Germersheim, Germany.
taken me some time to come back to earth after our trip, and to
catch up with the work that was waiting for me when I got back.
I've now managed to put more details of our new GT3 Folding Trike on the GS Web
Site, at :-
shows in detail how the trike folds up. I've also put up more
pictures of the other trikes with the Ergo seats, and there is
more to come. Plus I've put links to the frame colours and seat
colours on the order page. Please let me know of more things that
you would like to see on our Web Site.
Ian Sims CEO June 2004
- World Tour 2004
- New USA Distributor
- GT3 Production
- Ultra Short Cranks
- New tyres
- Tailbox development
- Tandem upgrades
- Newsletter Feedback
Please click any picture for a
1. World Tour 2004
Rachael and I enjoyed our overseas trip, visiting
Germany and then the USA. The Spezi show in Germersheim continues to
grow, and now fills three halls. I believe that it is now the
largest and most interesting special bike show in the world. Reports
can be found at Bent Rider On Line
in Velo Vision No. 14
following weekend we did the New York City Bike Show in the USA.
This was completely different, and we found we were the only
recumbent manufacturer there. Entertainment was provided by CHUNK, a
bicycle club which had a hobby of making fun bikes out of scrap
bikes. These consisted of choppers, bikes with excentric wheels,
bikes with an extra pivot in the frame, and tall bikes,
which were one bike welded on top of another. The tall bikes were
used for jousting, with lances make from 3" PVC pipe.
Unfortunately Rachael's camera packed up, so we aren't
able to bring you any pictures :-( For more info see :-
hard part about the trip across the USA was getting up early most
mornings, taking two plane trips to get to the next city, and
carting all our luggage plus the GT3 in a case. Only on one flight
did I have to pay for it, when I told the girl behind the counter I
had two bags and one oversize case. "Doesn't look
oversize" she says and comes up with a ruler. "Yes it is
oversize - you will have to pay for that". I had no idea
there was a charge for oversize, as we were within the weight
limits. Needless to say, I never mentioned it again! We used the
"Folding Bike Case" from :-
best part was was meeting all the great shop owners and staff who
took care of us, and who were excited to ride the GT3. It was really
special to be able to talk to dealers and
customers face to face. We wish we had been able to stay longer, and
learn more. Maybe next year!
GT3 in Case
At Valley Bikes
2. New USA Distributor
indicated in the last newsletter, Jerome Hediger, Greenspeed USA,
and formally of Wicks Aircraft Supply, is our
new USA Distributor. We have been working with Jerome since 1999, so
we have full confidence in him and his knowledge of trikes. In his
own words :- "I am very proud to announce that I have been
accepted as the United States distributor for Greenspeed Trikes and
HPV's. I have
been involved with the distribution and support of homebuilt
aircraft components for most of my life and have been an avid
recumbent cyclist for more than 15 years. Greenspeed trikes have
always impressed me as being the best engineered and built trikes in
the world, and I am very excited about being involved with a company
that will continue to bring new and innovative products to market. I
have extensive personal and business experience with the trike
market and I look forward to serving all US
Greenspeed dealer needs". - Jerome Hediger.
Jerome is at present building new facilities for
the storage and assembly of Greenspeed trikes. These are now near
completion, and will be able to accommodate more than TWO container
loads of Greenspeed Trikes. Furthermore the savings in freight
should be enough to pay for the storage and distribution, so that
the cost to the shops and the end customer should be no more. Plus shops
will now be able to buy their trikes in USD, which should stabilize
the prices, and not leave the dealer out of pocket if the currency
rate changes before the trike is delivered.
Delivery times will also be reduced with stock
held in the USA instead of Australia, and Jerome will be able to
answer enquires in normal USA business hours, instead of people
having only a narrow time window when they can call Australia. He is
now getting weekly production updates from here, the same as the GS
factory staff. Rachael and I inspected his facility when we visited
him and his wife Nancy on our tour, and we expect them to visit our
factories here, later this year or early 2005, so that they are
completely familiar with everything that we do.
We look forward to meeting them again at Interbike,
and introducing them to our USA Dealers.
In May the pre-production batch of 12 Oz made GT3s
were finished and delivered. The next batch 50 GT3s, being assembled
here is now nearly
finished, with only one remaining to be completed. All these
GT3s are now sold, and the next batch of 150 is presently being
assembled on the production line in Taiwan. Shipping date for these
trikes is June the 10th, so by the time you read this newsletter,
they should be on the water. Delivery is expected early in July.
awaiting packing at the Knoxfield factory
4. Ultra Short Cranks
Some years ago I saw a picture in BCQ No. 13 of
Frank Lienhard using 110 mm cranks on his low rider recumbent.
Whereas after a lot of research, I'd ended up using 185 mm on my
personal trikes. This was also confirmed for me by a paper on the Web
So I dismissed the idea of very short cranks. Then our
U.K. dealer Rob Hague, http://www.wrhpv.com
started using 150 mm cranks for racing, and found an improvement in
his performance over the usual 170 mm, despite the
fact he is about 6' tall. Next Mark Mueller, started using 110
mm cranks, and again found improvements in performance, with
training, on this size of crank. In fact he even tried 75 mm cranks
before fitting the 110 mm to his Greenspeed SLR Race Trike :-
Then my son, Paul, took the 175mm cranks off his
personal GTR, and fitted 100 mm cranks. He found such an immediate
improvement in both performance and the stress on his knees and
legs, that he announced that there was no way he was ever going back
to using normal size cranks, and sent back the 170 mm Rotor cranks
he had been testing in the view to using on his own machine.
For the 24 hr race, mentioned in the last newsletter, he decided to use 150 mm cranks, as none of the rest of the team had trained on Ultra Short Cranks. The fact that they won the 24 hr race seemed validate their use, so then Paul did some testing on our Computrainer dynameter. He tried four different lengths - 175, 155, 125, & 100 mm. Over the 4 lengths, power output was virtually constant, with a slight reduction of max. power for the 100mm. See Test Results.
So if the power is the same, then what are the
benefits? Mechanically it reduces the need for high gearing,
eliminating the need for oversize chainrings and extra small rear
cogs. Even by going down to only 150 mm cranks for his race trike,
Paul found that he only needed a 12/25 rear cluster with a 75t
chainring, and furthermore the 12t was not used in the race. And
this was with a 16" rear wheel. Thus the top gearing used was
only 75/13*16.5 = 95 inches. With a 20" rear wheel the standard
52/11gearing gives 95 inches, so with 110 mm cranks one could go
This is due simply to the higher cadence one
automatically achieves with the shorter cranks, and the higher
cadence (crank revolutions per minute) is what gives the benefits to
the legs. This was brought home to me when I fitted a new customer,
Irene, for her trike. She had hired a demo trike for a couple of months, to
see if it would solve her transport problems, as she had never
driven, and her husband had suffered a stoke. Measuring her short
legs, I found that according to Palm (above) she would need 150 mm
cranks, so these are what I fitted to her new trike, whereas she had
been using 165 mm on the demo trike. Latter I got an email saying
how much smoother the the new trike was, which did not make any
sense to me. Then she told me that she was not getting the cramps in
her legs that she had suffered on the demo trike, and the penny
dropped. The shorter cranks had made the difference!
Another mechanical benefit is with faired trikes.
The smaller circle that the feet move through mean that the cranks
can be set lower, as on our SLR race trike, and because the knees do
not move as much, the front of the fairing can be lower again. This is
very useful for head out fairings, as it means the seat can be more
laid back, reducing the whole frontal area and making the whole
machine more efficient. This is possibly what accounts for
performance increases with bare trikes - moving the feet less would
have less disturbance on the air stream, giving less drag.
Yet another benefit for the legs seems to be that
moving through a smaller angle is easier on the knees and the hips.
Both Rob and Mark are now training on 75 mm cranks
and have 110 mm cranks on their race trikes. These short cranks are
simply made by shortening existing cranks, and we can do this work
for anybody who wishes to try a set.
110 mm cranks
Rob Hague's SLR
Racing at Spezi with
110 mm cranks
Mark Mueller's SLR
with 110mm cranks
Paul's Faired Racer
with 150mm cranks
with 150 mm TA cranks
Mark's 75 mm
Having spent many years testing all the
tyres available on the market for trikes, and even some which are
not, I believe I now have a good idea of what is needed to make a
superior Trike Tyre. Unfortunately the most frustrating thing has
been trying to find a tyre company which is capable and willing to
make something a bit different. Now after talking to a tyre company
for two hours at the Taipei show, and countless emails back and
forth, I am finally waiting for a quote. IF it is satisfactory, and
IF the samples come up to expectations, we should have some better
tyres for both our 20" (406) wheels and 16" (349) wheels.
The sizes will be 40-406 and 40-349.
And for those people who have punctures too often,
we are also working with another tyre company who makes airless
tyres. Together we have developed an airless tyre which rolls as
easy as some pneumatic tyres. These are currently undergoing field
trials in Germany and the USA.
Thanks to the many people who provided feedback on
the four tailbox designs that we had sketched by a design company.
They are now working on integrating this feedback into a new design,
and we will get quotes for that.
The timing chain on
our tandems needs to keep fairly tight to prevent derailment when
the captain is pushing hard, over rough roads, so we investigated
adding chain tensioners to the timing (front) chain. However even
the best added an un-acceptable amount of drag on the chain. We also
searched for a long time, unsuccessfully, for some decent looking
chain ring guides. Now at last we have been able to get some good
looking chain ring guides from the French company, Specialites TA.
These do a brilliant job of keeping the chain on with less tension.
These will suit chain rings up to 54 t on a 130 mm PCD, so they will
fit the Standard Sugino RD 7000 Tandem crank sets, we have been
fitting to our GTT Tandem Trikes for some time, and even the Shimano
RX 100 cranks before that.
So if you are
having any problem with chain derailments, please contact Rachael
letting her know the serial number of your Tandem Trike, and she
will be happy to post you out a set cost free. We also have a
limited range of TA guide rings in other sizes for other
applications. Please contact Rachael
for details and prices.
As indicted in
Newsletter 1, we changed from fitting the Hope disc brakes on the
GTT to fitting to Magura BIG disc brakes, as they performed better
under extreme conditions, like descending a mountain with a camping
load and a trailer. We have now been fitting a rear disc brake mount
to all tandems as standard equipment, and have changed over to
fitting the much larger 210 mm rotors, at the front, and at the rear
when the optional rear disc brake is ordered.
New TA Tandem Chain Guide Rings
Magura BIG 210 mm rear disc brake
This newsletter is produced for your information,
so I'd like some feedback on the sorts of things that YOU would like
to read about :- GS News? Technical Stuff? Owners' travels? Owners'
letters? Repair tips? Accessory reviews? Other
stuff? Please drop me line - email below.
69 Mountain Gate Drive
Phone +61 (0) 3 9758 5541
Web Site www.greenspeed.com.au