Congratulations on your investment of a GreenSpeed. We believe that you have purchased the finest recumbent tricycle available in the world today. It is also our belief that the present level of motorized transport on this small planet is not sustainable, in environmental and social terms. Thus your GreenSpeed has been designed for everyday use, whether it be shopping, commuting, touring the world, or just exercising, relaxing and having fun! With care, it should last a lifetime.
Included in this manual are instructions on how to assemble, maintain and get the most from your GreenSpeed. We have tried to include information on all the models available in one form or another. To see larger pictures, just click on the picture itself.
Tools required – Scissors.
If you are reading this you have probably got the box open. As you will notice there is a fair amount of packing keeping your GreenSpeed safe from damage on its arduous journey from our factory to you. Start by removing the packing being careful not to damage the powder coated finish or your fingers, with sharp objects.
Tools required (depending on model)
If you have a table/bench free, your back will thank you as it will make it easier to assemble at waist height.
Depending on the GreenSpeed model you have, start by assembling the frame see S&S Coupling section if required.
You may need to fit the kingpins (GTO excluded) next making sure the steering arms face forwards.
Note a small amount of grease on the thread is required to stop the thread seizing. Tighten up with a 24mm or 15/16″ spanner (wrench) until they just tighten up, then back off one ‘flat’ (60°) to provide free play.
The front wheels are not usually marked to show that they are left and right. Observe the spokes on these wheels and try and fit them the same way in the future to prolong the life of the wheels (see fig. 3). Fit the wheels making sure the aluminium spacer is on the axle before you fit them (later models have the spacer already integrated into the axle). Tighten up the wheel nut with a 17mm socket or 6mm Allen key (later model).
Fit the rear wheel (3×7 shown) making sure washer tabs face downwards and into the dropout slots. Tighten with a 15mm spanner (wrench). (see fig. 4) Note the frame is upside down in the photograph.
Next, attach the steering rods to the steering arms on the kingpins with the bolts that are already in the arms (see fig. 5). Note a small amount of thread lock should be applied to the bolt before it is fitted to prevent the bolt from loosening. The alignment is preset at the factory so no adjustment should be needed.
If you haven’t already, attach the seat and raise the handlebars up (coupling models).
Hint put the bolt in the front mount first (finger tight) followed by the rear bolts/couplings and tighten them all using a 6mm Allen key or coupling spanner.
Here’s where we fit the crank extension using the coin. Firstly loosen the screws on the underside of the boom with a 5mm Allen key and completely remove the front screw and thread it in from the other direction. Place the coin in the slot and tighten the screw so that the slot starts to open (approx two complete turns).
Note don’t place the coin too far in or it will stop the crank extension from going in.
Note careful to not over tighten, as this may make it harder to fit the extension and possibly damage the frame.
Next step is to insert the extension into the boom taking care to not damage the protective shim inside the boom.
Hint starting it off with a slight angle can help so as not to catch the edge of the shim.
Remove the coin and turn the screw around to its correct position and pinch up one of the screws. Lightly grease the pedal threads and fit the pedals. Hint left and right pedals have different threads, the right one tightens clockwise, the left one anticlockwise. Sit on the seat and place your heels on the pedals and adjust the extension so that your leg is slightly bent when in the outstretched position. To align the extension, sight along the top of the bottom bracket to the front of the seat cover and rotate the extension until they line up. Tighten screws when happy. Note you may find small adjustments can make a big difference, so play around with this setting before you do a long ride.
Next fit the cables into their appropriate cable stops/guides. The cables have been fitted at the factory so should just fit straight in. The rear derailleur is usually just bolted on using a 5mm Allen key taking care to hold it up far enough to not damage the ‘b tension screw’. Hint to get the cable outer into its stop, make sure the shift lever is all the way forward, then with your hand, push the rear derailleur into first gear (the largest sprocket) while putting the cable outer into its stop.
The front derailleur is similar but the cable has been removed. Put the outer into all the stops, lever forward and cable into the clamp where it has been pre-bent for easy installation.
To fit Dual Drive screw in shifting rod. Make sure thumb shifter is in 3 so the cable is slack. Holding the click box in hand, push the top button all the way down. Making sure that the cables are correctly seated, slide the click box over the shifting rod and axle all the way on. Once the click box is steadily on, push the button up, from underneath. If the click box doesn’t stay on, repeat the above procedure making sure that the yellow lines are aligned on the click box.
Fit the chain next following the diagrams shown. Hint start by feeding the chain through the front derailleur cage, down the chain tube, under the pulley, over the sprockets and down through the derailleur. Put the rest through the lower tube and join the two ends together, making sure the chain is not twisted inside the tubes, with the split link provided or use a chain breaker if you prefer. Check the Chain adjustment section to make sure the chain is the right length. Note if this is not correct, damage may occur to your rear derailleur.
Connect up the brakes next following the diagram provided. Check the brakes by squeezing the brake levers. Should they not feel right for you, check the Cable adjustment section. If you are using discs see the Disc brake section.
You must be getting pretty excited by now as your GreenSpeed is taking shape and looks ready to ride. Quickly check the gears by placing an object either under the left dropout or the left side of the ‘T’ piece of the frame. If the shift is fine you can go for a quick spin around the block, if not, go to the Cable adjustment section.
Did you have fun? Is everything working ok? You can fit the rest of your accessories now eg rack, mudguard etc. To appreciate the finer points of riding a GreenSpeed see Riding tips.
Note there is a ‘break in’ period of around six weeks, so check that bolts are still tight (especially the crank arm bolts) to assure that your trike and you stay safe, and prolong the life of the components. If you own an S&S model of trike, it is most important to re-tighten your couplings after the first ride and re-check after every ride with the spanner (wrench) provided
Steering alignment should be done once a year or when excessive tyre wear is noticed. The front wheels should ‘toe in’ between zero and 1/16″ (0-2mm). That is, the measurement across the front of the wheels should be between 0 and 1/16’ less than the measurement across the back of the wheels, at axle height.
A check can be made with a tape measure, and adjustment made by undoing one of the steering connections (eg steering arm on kingpin) and screwing one of the rod ends (ball joints) in or out half a turn at a time. Note you will notice that the rod ends have a jam nut (lock nut) to prevent them unscrewing and to eliminate movement on the thread. This will have to be loosened first before the rod end will turn and locked up again before each measurement is made.
A more accurate way is to use a trammel. A trammel has two pointers on a bar, which sits at the back of the tyres at axle height. A mark is made on the tyre with a pen, the trike rolled forward half a wheel revolution, and the marks compared against the trammel pointers. This method eliminates any inaccuracies due to wheel run out etc. All measurement should be done with rider on seat if possible as this helps flex and preload everything into position.
The chain can only be adjusted once the cranks have been set to the right leg length.
Shift firstly small chainring to small sprocket (both gear levers all the way forward) and check to see if it matches fig. 16.1. If the derailleur cage is sitting too high, fig. 16.2 there is excess chain which needs to be removed. If the derailleur cage is too low, fig. 16.3 chain needs to be added.
For tandems the procedure is the same as above but some tips for tightening the front chain are included in the Tandem section. Note if you change the crank position from your setting, re-check the chain length as derailleur damage could occur. Hint it is not always important to set the crank length for someone who just wants to go for a quick ride, as most people can slide up or down in the seat.
The chainline below suits GLR, GT, GTC, GTE, GTO, GTR, GTS GT3 and the REAR of all GTT’s.
On the right is the diagram showing the chain route for the front of the tandem. Five coupling tandems use two more pulley, but the chain still follows the same path.
The diagram on the right shows the chain path through the pulley/chain tube setup.
Brake cables need to be adjusted so that a/ the brake lever doesn’t bottom out on the handlebar, b/ the brakes don’t rub while you are riding (feels like you have left the handbrake on).
These adjustments can be made through the barrel adjusters on both the hub and brake lever. Wind them away from the lever for a tighter cable or in for a slacker one (slacker if its rubbing, tighter if brake lever travels too far). Note with GreenSpeed’s famous centre point steering and independent front brakes, normal braking may be done with either hand, leaving the other free for signalling. For emergency braking and/or high speed both hands are used.
Now for the fun of gear adjusting. We will start with the front derailleur as it is easier to adjust but gives you a good start for the rear.
Firstly determine the problem you are having, is it a/ won’t go into the large chain ring or b/ won’t go into the smallest chain ring?
A) The cable may have stretched. Check this by returning the chain to the smallest chain ring (shifter all the way forward) and feeling the cable between the cable stop and the derailleur, is it excessively slack? If so undo the cable pinch bolt and pull through the excess cable and tighten pinch bolt. Try shifting to the large chain ring again. If it still doesn’t work turn the ‘H’ limit screw (small screws on top of the derailleur) out by quarter turns each time and retry the shift. If you unscrew it too far, the chain will fall off the other side.
B) Loosen off the ‘L’ limit screw slowly and it should drop down, if not the cable may be too tight. To check this, undo the cable pinch bolt, loosen the limit screw again until it drops down and reattach the cable. Double check that it still goes into the large ring.
Also check the cable to see if it is still running smooth by undoing the pinch bolt, holding the cable in one hand and shifting with the other hand. Lubricate or replace the cable if it is hard or rough to pull through.
If neither of these things work, your derailleur could be worn or misaligned. Ring GreenSpeed or take to your local bike shop for further assistance.
The rear derailleur is similar in that if it won’t go into the larger sprockets there is not enough cable tension, or into the smaller sprockets there is not enough cableslack. Turn the barrel screw in for slack and out for tension. As with the front derailleur, use the limit screws only as a last resort, as these don’t affect the indexing of your gears. Loosen the ‘H’ screw if it won’t go into the smallest sprocket or tighten if it goes between the smallest cog and the dropout. Loosen the ‘L’ screw if it won’t go into the largest sprocket or tighten it so that the derailleur doesn’t go into the spokes (not too good if this happens). If you run out of adjustment with the barrel screw you will need to wind it all the way back in, put the shifter all the way forward and loosen the pinch bolt and pull through the excess cable and tighten the pinch bolt again.
Also check the cable to see if it is still running smoothly by undoing the pinch bolt, holding the cable in one hand and shifting with the other hand. Lubricate or replace the cable if it is hard or rough to pull through.
If neither of these things work, your derailleur could be worn or your derailleur hanger misaligned (bent through an accident). Contact GreenSpeed or take to your local bike shop for further assistance.
Your GreenSpeed has been built with many quality products to make maintenance a fairly easy task.
The chain should be kept lubricated with a chain lube that suits your particular climate/conditions (GreenSpeed recommends Prolink, www.progoldmfr.com); your local bike shop should know the ideal lube for your particular requirements. If it ever becomes dry and squeaks, it is crying out for lube, and will make the trike harder to push!
The steering ball joints are nylon and don’t require lubrication.
The kingpins are fitted with grease nipples, (see picture, below) but should only require greasing once a year. At the same time you lubricate the kingpins, turn your trike upside down and add a few drops of oil to the handle bar pivot.
Check your tyre pressure before each ride and you will find that your trike will be easier to push. Try experimenting with pressures, lower tyre pressure will give a more comfortable ride and higher speed on rough roads, but higher tyre pressure will make it roll easier on smooth roads. There is usually a good compromise at between 70-80psi.
Front hubs, be it disc or drum, have sealed bearings that don’t require lubrication. If you have any problems with the hubs, please contact GreenSpeed.
S&S Machine’s Bicycle Torque Couplings (BTC) allow frame separation without affecting the trikes’ rigidity or integrity.
The key to the couplings’ ability to maintain a frame’s strength is the material they are made of and their design. Most specifically their precision, tapered teeth that lock out all movement between the two frame sections when the coupling nuts draw the lugs together and are tightened with a spanner wrench. In actual torsion, tension and bending tests, the couplings are stronger than the frame tubes themselves. Though a frame can be separated into two pieces when the couplings are loosened, they will hold the frame together in perfect alignment, rigidity and safety as a regular one-piece frame when tightened.
Warning check the tightness of couplings with spanner provided before every ride as they may loosen off.
Cleaning and inspecting the Couplings during Regular Use
Attention If your couplings are stuck, before doing anything, go to section 4.0!!!
Be sure to adequately protect the teeth on the couplings when disassembled as they can be burred over when hit against something hard or cause damage to other components when packed into a box/case/bag.
Warning check the tightness of couplings with spanner provided before every ride as they may loosen off.
A manual for the particular model of brakes you have fitted, should have been sent out with your trike, so feel free to ask us for a copy if it has not been provided.
See Troubleshooting for details if you are having trouble with your disc brakes.
Note as disc brakes on solo trikes (not tandems) are a lot more powerful than drum brakes, care should be taken in familiarising yourself with them. Depending on the model of trike you have the front wheels will either lock up if over braked or the rear wheel lift if applied with no load on the rear!
A manual for the Rohloff should have been sent out with your trike, so feel free to ask us for a copy if it has not been provided. Note the oil in your Rohloff hub should be replaced every six months if ridden regularly (see page 21 of Rohloff manual).
A manual for the Mountain-drive should have been sent out with your trike, so feel free to ask us for a copy if it has not been provided. Note remove the screw on the front side and insert a few drops of bicycle or machine oil. A few drops a week is better than a gallon every month.
Below is a diagram on how the front mudguards should be fitted.
See Mudguard/Fenders Section for further details
Following are some tips that you might find particularly useful for tandem owners.
Tightening the chain between the front and rear cranks can be a two-person job. Assuming you have already set up the cranks for your leg length, get one person to sit on the front seat, loosen off the front boom bolts and push on both the pedals simultaneously. While the chain is taught tighten the boom pinch bolts. Although the chain may seem excessively tight, it loosens as you pedal, so reducing the friction.
The order for assembling a two coupling tandem is as follows, depending on the amount of disassembly.
Firstly reconnect the frame and tighten both the couplings, by hand at first, then firmly with the coupling spanner (wrench).
Secondly attach the wheels and the disc brake callipers. Note make sure the wheel spacers are in place before you attach the wheels.
Thirdly reattach the gear cables making sure they are seated correctly in their stops and do up the cable splitters. If they don’t reach, maybe you have put the cables in the wrong stops, change them around and try again.
Lastly, attach the cranks, fit the chain and adjust the front chain. Note:- The cranks MUST be set up with the front cranks ninety degrees out of phase with the rear cranks to reduce stress on the drive train components. i.e. when the captain’s cranks are vertical, and stoker’s cranks must be approximately horizontal. Hint a piece of tape wrapped around the crank extension to mark your leg length is a great time saver if you disassemble your trike regularly. Test your brakes and go for a ride. Check your gears while you are riding.
A five coupling tandem is the same as above except for the following points.
Attach the frame pieces together first, then attach the rear seat by placing in the bolts first (finger tight), then tighten up the couplings by hand and then firmly with the spanner (wrench). Tighten up the bolts with a 6mm Allen key. For the front seat fit the two lower bolts first, then the remaining top bolt. Tighten the bolts up with the Allen key.
This model also features the folding handlebars to make it compact, so they will need to be rotated up vertically, and tightened up into position with a 5mm Allen key.
Finally tighten couplings (especially under the front seat) as tight as possible to assure a safe ride.
GreenSpeed highly recommend the use of ‘clipless’ pedal systems, as they provide a safer attachment to your trike and help to reduce leg fatigue. Remember you are on a trike now so you can crank the tension up on those adjusters, as you only have to dismount at the end of your journey instead of every set of traffic lights.
The first ride is where you may notice yourself having a hard time keeping a straight line at speed. Try relaxing your grip on the handlebars, remember it is not a bike you are riding, so let that killer grip off a bit. Try avoiding pulling on the handlebars as well, you are riding a recumbent now, the seat provides a place to exert all your energy. Remember push into the seat not pull on the handlebars. If the problem persists, try riding using only one hand to steer, as this will stop you pulling unnecessarily on the handlebars.
Fitting your trike through tight spaces, doorways etc, can be made easier if you push/ride your trike through diagonally. The diagram (below) shows how this reduces the width of your trike.
With the seat behind you, you can exert a much greater force with your legs, so beware of over exertion until you build up your leg muscles. Non-recumbent riders seem to use their arms when standing on the pedals, so recumbent riders develop larger leg muscles. After about a month of riding you should find that you are quicker overall than say a mountain bike rider of the same fitness, despite any extra weight of the trike. Also if you ride together you should find you are less tired at the end of a day’s riding. The difference will be most noticeable against a head wind on level roads.
Having many gears can be daunting at first. The key to using the gears is to change down before you have to! To make a change the rear derailleur, push the right handlebar end shifter forward to change into a higher/harder gear and pull back to change into a lower/easier gear. Note make sure you reduce the load on the pedals while making the gear change. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES allow the trike to roll back while changing the rear cluster, or even pull the trike backwards when the gear lever has been moved, as this will result in damage to the rear derailleur. The bar end lever on the left, controls the front derailleur in the opposite way. It is moved forward to drop the chain onto the smaller chain ring to lower the gearing and make hill climbing easier. Again, REDUCE the load on the pedals as the change is made.
Unlike the derailleur gears, the hub gears may be changed while stationary. As the three speed hub lever is moved, the ‘dog clutches’ inside the hub may not necessarily be lined up, so it is a good idea to back pedal when changing the hub gears. They can also be changed while pedalling, but ALL load must be taken off the pedals – again, back pedalling a fraction will help.
The large chainring and second (direct) gear in the hub is the most efficient combination and gives a useful range on the rear cluster. Using this combination gives you the option of a hub change down while stationary, if you have to stop quickly, without having the time to wind the derailleur gears down. Also having the option of an overdrive (third gear in the hub) for down grades and tailwind’s can be a godsend. The middle chainring (and first gear in the hub) provides low gears for steep hills, and the small chainring provides extra low gears for climbing very steep hills!
Trikes are inherently stable but can be tipped over if cornered hard, without leaning into the corner. Remember to always lean into the corners on faster corners. We find riding in a large car park, basketball court etc around in circles, slowly increasing speed, to find the limits of stability and your abilities. Note wear protective gloves. With practice you might be able to ride on two wheels! Just remember once you start to fall, turn to the direction you are falling which will simultaneously correct your balance. You may also use the brake as a device to correct your balance. Note Try to resist taking your hands off the handlebars if you feel yourself falling. This skill can be useful for mounting gutters, avoiding obstacles or showing off – skilled riders can perform figures of eight on two wheels in both directions!
Remember braking in a corner with only the inside brake will not slow you down as it is unweighted and will lock up. Try and use both brakes in an emergency situation. We have heard stories of people cornering at speed with their drink bottle in one hand, having to brake mid-corner, and finding they have very little brakes to slow them down.
Sliding can be great fun when mastered. Weight distribution is an important tool in achieving your goal of the perfect slide. By leaning further forward you un-weight the rear wheel causing the back to slide more. If you lean back the front will slide causing the rear to regain grip. On long corners, gravel or wet road etc, a combination of leaning forward and back you can achieve awesome three wheel slides.
Try not to carry heavy loads high on the rear of your trike, as it will make it unstable. If you have no choice, take it very slow around corners. Your trike is not designed for people carrying on the back. Child trailers etc should be no problem, but as always, find the limit of stability before you leave on that journey be it short or long.
Changes in road conditions can also effect how the trike will react. For example turning on an off camber corner or halfway down a steep hill will make your trike more likely to tip up than a banked corner or turning part way up an incline. Just think of a velodrome as the ultimate cornering situation because it is already leaning you into the corner, but riding along a slope and turning suddenly up the slope you are already leaning outward.
Potholes are best avoided by placing the pothole between the front wheel and the centre of the frame. If unavoidable potholes are best hit with the front wheels rather than the back, as it transmits less shock back to you, and the frame.
Punctures can be a nuisance, but with a few hints, life can be made slightly easier.
Front wheels are the easiest as they don’t need to be removed. To save kneeling on the ground, tip the trike on its’ side to put the wheel at an easier height to work on (fig. 22). You can either replace the tube or patch it depending on your preference.
Hint we try and place the labels on the tyres in line with the valve to make finding where the puncture came from a little easier. By finding what either caused the puncture, or the puncture itself, place the tube on top of the tyre with the valve in line with label. You then look across and either find the hole in the tube or what caused it.
Rear wheels can be a bit trickier but if you prefer to patch tubes have you tried repairing it in place? Instead of removing the wheel, just remove the tyre and repair it in place. As there is no rim brakes etc it makes this process fairly easy.
To replace the tube put the hub gear into third and quick release the toggle chain cable clasp on the 3×7, or remove the click box on the Dual Drive hub, and drop the chain into top gear (smallest sprocket) and undo the axle nuts. Drop out the wheel and replace the tube. Reverse the process and you are on your way.
While touring, don’t forget to utilise the space under the seat, as this can hold a fair amount of luggage when strapped to the back of the seat.
We recommend carrying at least the following tools when riding.
Q. Why are my tyres wearing out so fast?
Your wheel track could be out (See Steering alignment Section) or your tyre pressure may be excessively low. High corner speed and brake lockups also cause rapid tyre wear. We have found tourists wear their tyres least, as commuters can be the opposite, depending on their route to work and their confidence to push the limits of tyre adhesion.
Q. Why can’t I get first gear?
See Cable adjustment section.
Q. Why don’t my drum brakes work as well as they used to?
Your brake cables may need replacing. If not, try removing the wheel and checking the condition of the brake shoes. If they are glazed give them a light sanding to remove it.
Q. Where do I put the flag?
A small diameter tube is located either at the top of the seat tubes (near the tail light mount inside the seat cover) or on the rack on a few models.
Q. Why have my disc brakes locked up?
If you have Hope disc brakes fitted the following adjustments can be made.
As your brake pads wear you will find the brake lever will become closer to the handlebars. Wind the adjustment knob on the brake lever towards the ‘+’ to adjust the lever back to your desired position.
If the brakes are excessively rubbing, wind the adjuster towards the ‘-’ position.
Note due to the design of the ‘twin piston’ callipers, full pad retraction may not occur causing a slight rubbing on discs. Although annoying, this rubbing will not detract from the efficiency of the trike.
If excessive rubbing occurs, or wheels will not turn when adjusters are turned all the way to ‘-’, some careful bleeding may be required to remove excess brake fluid. Warning if any of the following information on bleeding sounds beyond your skills, please take your trike to a qualified bike shop.
To remove the excess fluid wind the adjuster knob on the brake lever all the way to the ‘-’. With the trike on all three wheels (as it normally sits) slowly release the bleed nipple on the brake calliper (8mm ring spanner) about ¼ of a turn (no more than ½ a turn) and the brake fluid should slowly drip from it. Note do NOT squeeze the brake lever while the bleed nipple is open. Check that the pads are releasing from the disc and close the nipple once the fluid stops flowing. If the brake pads haven’t retracted, some gentle persuasion may be required to manually retract the pads while the nipple is open.
See FAQ’s for many other Frequently Asked Questions.
Lights can be fitted to just about all GreenSpeed models. There is normally a tag welded to the front of the trike where a headlamp can be directly screwed on. If you have a handlebar style clamp the optional mount (part # LT-MT) can be attached to the tag and your light clamped to it.
The tail light mount (usually on the seat top) has an M5 thread if you want to change it from the one provided with your trike.
We recommend battery bags opposed to bottles as they use up less space and don’t take up your water carrying capacity.
If you have something particular you want mounted that doesn’t fit any of the mounts provided, you probably should have let us know, so that your frame was custom fitted to it. Don’t despair, as we may have a solution to help you.
Dynamos can be fitted. We recommend the highly efficient Busch & Muller “Dymotec S6” (part # DN-BS) and (part # DN-BRK) for easy installation. The LightSpin dynamo is one of the newest products on the market offering high efficiency never heard of up until now (part # DN-LS).
Pannier bags have been specially designed for GreenSpeed using the finest materials available today. The design eliminates the ‘heel cutaways’ found on regular bags which dramatically increases the volume (part # AC-BAG2). These bags also include reflective tape and easy to adjust and remove clips for secure mounting.
Pumps come with pressure gauge, and will pump up to 130psi. The Topeak Road Morph Pump (part # AC-PMP) is convertible and can be used on either schrader or presta/french valve.
GreenSpeed USA Distributor here
GreenSpeed Factory here
SRAM (Dual Drive hubs and chain) www.sram.com
Shimano (derailleurs and shifters) www.shimano.com
Hope Technologies (disc brakes) www.hopetech.com
Florian Schlumpf (mountain-drive) www.schlumpf.ch
Rohloff (14 speed hub) www.rohloff.de
S&S Machine (S&S couplings) www.sandsmachine.com
Carradice (pannier bags) www.carradice.co.uk
Busch & Muller (lights & dynamos) www.bumm.de
LightSPIN (dynamos) www.dynosys-ag.ch