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Magnum BW Overview

Way back in 1990, the very first GreenSpeed trikes were built with 26” rear wheels. However we discovered that using a 20” rear wheel had a large number of advantages. Not only was the wheel itself lighter, stronger, and stiffer, but it also fed lower stresses into the frame under cornering, so the whole frame could be made smaller and lighter, giving compounding weight savings. Plus the whole machine could be made more compact, and the performance improved. However we pondered why the trike with the smaller back wheel was faster when conventional wisdom said the larger wheels rolled easier. Thus we tested a large number of different sized wheels, and were surprised to find that at the same section size, same tire construction, and same pressure, the smaller diameter tires rolled easier! Plus we found that not only did wider tires also roll easier, but the type of tire construction played a far larger role in the comfort of the ride, than the diameter of the tires.

So in 1993 we changed over to building all our trikes with 20 inch wheels all round. And then in 2006, we went one step further and produced the GT3 folding trike with 16” wheels, which gave a further benefit in performance.

However there still are a lot of people who firmly believe that the larger wheels are faster. “If smaller wheels are faster, why don’t racing cyclists use them?” Plus not everyone has the need for speed, and many just ride for exercise and enjoyment. Then there are those who just prefer the LOOK of the larger rear wheel, thus there is a continuous demand for a trike with a large rear wheel. So we thought why not?

Greater Stability with Big Wheels

Normally trikes with large rear wheels are unstable due to problems with rear wheel flex and rear end instability. Thus we have made special GS rear hubs with a much wider flange spacing than normal, which has resulted in a 26” wheel with more lateral stiffness than a 20” wheel! Plus we have increased the section size of the rear forks. Thus with the longer wheelbase, the Magnum BW is even more stable at high speed than the Magnum SD.

For people who want even larger wheels than 26”, the Magnum BW frame has been built to accept a 29 inch rear wheel. Plus the rear forks are wide enough to accept a 4 inch wide tyre, and 4” wide wheels may be fitted, with 20 x 4 on the front, and 24 x 4 on the rear, for use on sand. For use on sand we recommend the use of an internally geared hub like the Nu Vinci or the Rohloff, and the frame is fitted with Rohloff OEM dropouts and extra cable guides.

Virtual Suspension for Comfort

The major reason for most people buying a recumbent is for more comfort than you get on the small saddle of an ordinary bike. A number of trikes are now offering mechanical suspension, but this inevitably adds weight, which you feel at the first stroke of the pedals, and labour with up the hills. Whereas the Magnum BW has what is known as virtual suspension. 1st there are the tires. The Schwalbe Big Apple balloon tires chosen for the Magnum BW are made in both 20” and 26” giving matching tires front and back, and some say the 26” rear wheel results in a better ride. Then the frame is designed to flex, and finally the seat is laced with shock cord, so that it gives a measure of suspension. Plus the seat frames have been anodized instead of power coated, to allow the seat fabric to move more easily on the frame. The seat was designed by a chiropractor, so that it provides both lumbar and shoulder support. Another feature which enhances your comfort is the adjustability of the seat. The seat adjusts for height, so that if you have difficulty getting in and out of a low seat, you can start with the seat high, and then as you get fitter, and/or lose weight, you can lower the seat, and take advantage of the better stability you get with a lower centre of gravity. Plus to further enhance your comfort, the seat is adjustable for angle. Some people who suffer back pain may find the more reclined angles better, while others may prefer a more upright angle. Also the seat height adjustment in conjunction with the angle adjustment allows you to vary the angle between the pedals and your body, to best suit your physical form, and get your most comfortable pedalling position. Plus the handle bars are adjustable for width, angle, and fore and aft.

Performance Efficient & Fast

It is not much use having a really comfortable trike if it performs like a slug. A trike should be a joy to ride, and reward you for every pedal stroke. In fact not only should a recumbent trike be more comfortable than an upright bike, it should be more efficient and faster, due to better aerodynamics. This is where the Magnum shines. Unlike upright bikes, recumbent trikes are a mono tube design, and with every stroke of the pedals, the boom will flex down and the frame will flex up under the seat, wasting some of your effort. To overcome this the Magnum BW uses a rectangular main tube and crank extension. Thus the main tube is over 30% stiffer and stronger than the oversize round main tube used on the original round tube Magnum!

Big Wheel and Gearing

The large 26” rear wheel of the Magnum BW has a number of advantages over the 20” of the Magnum SD. Instead of needing the special 52/42/30 crankset of the Magnum SD, the Magnum BW uses the standard Shimano Sora 50/39/30 crankset so replacements will be easy to get. Another advantage is the larger wheel lifts the rear derailleur and chain further from the ground, so that the trike is more suited to off road use. Plus, as the 26” wheel is the most common size bike wheel, there are a greater selection of tires available. Finally, the larger rear wheel just LOOKS better than having the same size wheels all round.

In the interests of saving money some trikes have twist grip shifters. While this might be OK on an upright bike with horizontal handle bars where one can get one’s thumb and fore fingers around them, they are awkward to use on vertical handle bars, where one can only get the two smaller fingers around them. Thus the Magnum BW uses the Shimano Dura Ace Bar End shifters which make changing gear easier. Also the Magnum BW has a special MicroShift front derailleur which only needs ½ the force required by the Shimano Sora F/D. We also found that the 11 speed chains now in common use were only lasting a fraction of the mileage obtained from 9 speed chains, plus the 11 speed gears needed more frequent adjustment. Plus, witnessed by the fact that a number of people are choosing to ride single speed machines, it was obvious that 11 rear speeds were not needed. Thus the Magnum BW has “only” 27 speeds.

Should this range not be enough for some people, a wide range of additional gears maybe fitted, as the Magnum BW has special dropouts and extra cable guides for the German Rohloff 14 speed internally geared hub. The Schlumpf two speed bottom bracket and Nu Vinci infinitely variable hub, as fitted as standard equipment on the Anura IGH, are also popular GreenSpeed fitments, as is the SRAM DualDrive hub which is fitted as standard equipment on the Magnum Hand trike.

Power Assist Option

We have been fitting all kinds of power assist options to our trikes for over 20 years, but have never advertised them, because we have never found one which has been as reliable as our trikes. Plus they have been rather messy with batteries, controllers, displays and wiring all over the place, spoiling the clean lines of our trikes.

Now, at last, at least for the GT26 and the Magnum BW, there is a new power assist on the market in the USA and Europe, which has NO visible battery, controller, display or wiring!! It is the Copenhagen Wheel from Superpedestrian – One of the best things about this option is that if it were ever to fail, one can very easily replace it with another or the original rear wheel. Installation and replacement is as easy as changing a rear wheel! We have tested it and can recommend it for use on our trikes. It is now available to buy direct for Superpedestrian or you can have it fitted at one of their dealers.

Special 90mm Q/R Drum Brakes

Many trikes use disk brakes. However, most disk brakes are fiddly to adjust, the rotor can easily get bent, and the pads can have a short life, plus it can be difficult to remove the wheel. Thus the Magnum BW has special 90 mm drum brakes. These may take some time to bed in and give their best performance, but the shoe size is much larger than the pads used in disk brakes, making them practically everlasting, and performance is 30% better than the standard 70 mm drums, and better than say the Gator hydraulic disc brakes used on the GT5. We are also using a push button quick release axle, allowing front wheel removal in less than one second! The drums also give a cleaner appearance than the disks, and wind tunnel testing has proved they are faster, due to reduced wind drag.

Superb Steering System

Some trikes use what they call direct steering, in which the handle bars are merely extensions of the kingpins. This is done because it is cheap, with no extra linkage except for the track rod. However, this usually results having the arms out stretched in uncomfortable and awkward manner, or at the best, having the use the weaker muscles of the arms to move the handle bars sideways, rather than using the biceps in a fore and aft motion. The Magnum BW uses the GreenSpeed “Cross Over” steering system, for easy and superior control, and unlike conventional “indirect” steering systems, which have a larger turning circle, the Magnum BW has a tiny turning circle for its size, making it extremely manoeuvrable. Plus the Magnums use NSR steering geometry, 1st introduced on the Series II GT3s, in which the steering automatically corrects if you use only use one front brake. The 5 degrees of negative camber increases the stability of the trike and reduce the overall width, making it easy to steer through bollards, gateposts or doorposts, and ensuring that the tire rather than the axle end will touch them if you happen to get too close.

As the steering is light, it works well for people with the use of only one arm, like stroke survivors, as all the controls can be fitted on one side.

Strong, Light, Folding Frame

The Magnum SD/XL/BW is a new frame design from GreenSpeed. Similar to the rectangular section main tube used on the Anura for many years, the new Magnum main tube is both stronger and stiffer than the round tube used on the early Magnums. And to make further gains in strength and stiffness we have eliminated the welds in the main tube and the cross member, by making the front main tube in one piece, and cross member also in one piece, and curved so that it comes closer to the seat to enable the rider to mount and dismount easier. The frame material is 7005 aluminium alloy, which is stronger than the more commonly used 6061 aluminium alloy and stronger than mild steel, yet only 1/3 the weight. The frame is hinged like the earlier GT3, so that rear half can be folded over the front half to reduce the size enough to fit in the trunk of a car. The rectangular main tube also makes it easier to adjust the trike for leg length, as the cranks are now self-aligning, plus the cranks will not twist in the frame, if the pinch bolts or Q/R for leg length adjustment have not been done up really tight. We have also welded a boss to the frame to take the fixed idler for the optional Chain Gobbler, which automatically adjusts the chain length, as the cranks are moved in and out, to suit riders with different leg lengths.

Yet another feature of the new Magnum frames, is the ability to change frame sizes. The standard frame will take riders with an X-seam from 40 to 50 inches, or from about 5’ 3” to about 6’ 6” in height. However, as the boom clamp is an external clamp, rather than part of the frame, the main tube can be shortened as much as 4” to allow riders with an X-seam as small as 36 inches or about 4’ 9” in height.

So, now at last you can have your cake, and eat it too! A 26” rear wheeled trike with the legendary GreenSpeed roadholding and handling! The Magnum BW is available in usual the Magnum colours, Metallic Burgundy, Metallic Blue, and Yellow. The best news is that the price is only $3,490 USD / $3,690 AUD. The 1st initial Magnum BW shipment has now landed, so if you are interested, please order from your local GS dealer now, to avoid disappointment.

Uses & Accessories

The Magnum is one of the most versatile trikes ever built. The original Magnum is in use by riders from as small as 100 lbs to as large as 400 lbs. The Magnum BW will best suit riders from 150 lbs to 350 lbs and with an X-seam from 36 to 50 inches or about 4’ 9” to 6’ 6” in height. It is equally at home doing a transcontinental tour, as it is commuting, popping down to the milk bar to pick up some bread, or just exercising and having fun outdoors. Because of the versatile adjustments in the seat, the leg length, and the handle bars, it is also very adaptable for people with special needs. There are accessory post mounts for mounting mirrors, cycle computers etc., plus a built in light mount, which will accept a mount for handle bar type lights. Plus grab handles are available to aid getting in and out. There is also a new head rest for the Magnum BW/SD/XL, which is easier to fit than the earlier GT3 and Magnum headrests. It clamps to the seat cross brace, so there is no need to remove the seat tube plugs. GS luggage racks are not yet available for the BW, but the as the rear wheel is 26 inch there are a number of racks which will fit, including the Bontrager Back Rack Deluxe L.

See Accessory page or for more information contact Greenspeed USA or Greenspeed Australia.

GreenSpeed – Changing Lives

"My Name is Peter James, a 62 year old disabled man diagnosed in Oct 1995 with Multiple Sclerosis. MS is an insidious incurable autoimmune disease affecting the central nerve system. With a rapid decline in mobility and associated health issues forced me to early retirement at age 54 in Jan 2006.

I have secondary progressive MS, T2 Diabetes and Osteoporosis. Gradually I became obese through a sedentary life style and increasing disability from the ravages of MS".

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Frame 7005 Aluminium with quick release seat and centre fold
Width 34” / 86 cms
Length 87” / 222 cms *
Height 31” to 36” / 78 – 91 cms
Seat Height 14” to 18” / 35 – 45 cms
Seat Angle 30 to 48 degrees
Seat Width 16” / 40 cms
X-seam range 40 - 48" / 102 – 122 cms **
6” / 16 cms
Turning Circle 16’ / 4.9 m
Track 31.5” / 80 cms
Wheelbase 47” / 120 cms
Front Wheels Push button quick release
Rear Wheels Standard bike quick release
Rims 20” & 26” box section alloy, eyeleted
Spokes Stainless Steel
Tyres 20” & 26” x 2.0” Schwalbe Big Apple
Gears 27 speed
Cranks Shun 165 mm, 50/39/30t
Cassette SRAM 9sp. 11/34
Front Derailleur MircoShift Touring Triple
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore super long cage
Chain YBN nine speed
Shifters Shimano Dura Ace Bar End
Gear Range 23” to 118”
Brakes Twin Sturmey Archer 90 mm drums
Rider Weight Limit 350 lbs / 160 KG
Luggage Weight Limit 88 lbs / 40 kg
Trike Weight 44 lbs / 20 kg
Boxed Size 37 x 30 x 17.3" (940 x 760 x 440 mm)

* with crank extension at max.

** min. x-seam may be reduced up to 4” by shortening boom.

Specifications subject to change without notice.

$3,490 USD / $3,690 AUDFind a Dealer near you ORDER MAGNUM-BW NOW For more info Contact us

3030 Cally Lane, Highland
IL, 62249, USA.

Phone: 618 514 3955


Skype: jerome.hediger1

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