The biggest change for 2006 is the creation of our new "Custom Shop", and the availability of the small frame GT series and X series trikes. Thus GreenSpeed trikes are now available as standard models and also as custom models. This has been done to give better availability of the standard trikes, and to give a greater variety to customers wanting special trikes to suit their specific needs. Thus the standard models have been rationalized, and the custom models expanded.
In the standard range, we have the X3, X5, GT3, GT5, GTO, and standard GTT2S models. These trikes will only be available in red and blue for the GTs, GTTs and the GTO, and yellow and metallic grey for the Xs.
The Custom Shop will offer the GTS in both 20" and 16" wheel versions, and with a choice of 800 or 750 track widths. The 16" GTS will be a new model, which is virtually a fixed frame X series trike, with the cambered wheels, and advanced steering geometry. The X7 will continue as the high end of the X series, with a choice of 750 or 800 mm track. A new trike will be the GLO, which is a S&S coupled version of the X series trike, which will pack down even smaller than the folding X series.
The GTR is now also a Custom Shop (CS) trike, and will be available with 20" or 16" wheels. There is a choice of track for the 20" of 800 or 750 mm, and 750 or 700 for the 16" wheels. Same with the Custom Shop GTO - note that the 16" GTO replaces the GTC, and is essentially the same machine. The GT7 is also available in two track widths of 750 mm, or 800 mm to suit larger people. The five coupling GTT is now a CS trike, as will be heavy duty frames, and unusual sizes, like large/large. All trikes from the Custom Shop will be offered with an expanded range of 21 frame colours, including metalics!
All these options will be set out on the web site, and in the new, 2006 catalogue, which is nearly finished. See draft copy, opposite.
To help customers come to terms with the large number of choices in the Custom Shop, we are in the process of building a new interactive order form, which will explain the pros and cons of each choice as the form is filled out, by just checking the options. It also adjusts the price as each option is chosen. The format is pdf, and here is a draft copy for you to have a look at. Please note that this not the final version, and that this is a large file of about 1.1 meg, and will take some time to download. Adobe Reader 6 or above is required to read this file. Adobe Reader 7 is available free from Adobe.
We would appreciate any feed back you would care to give us on this form.
We now have small frames for both the GT series (GT3 & GT5) and X series (X3 and X5) trikes. This will enable us to cater for small women and others who have not fitted our standard frame trikes. Rather than having the small frame GT3/5s fully assembled in Taiwan, we have decided just to have the frames built over there and to have them powder coated and assembled here, like the GTOs. This will give us greater flexibility to meet customer preferences with model choices, colours and options. The small frames are available now. The X series frames are built here in Oz, and are also available now.
There has been an agonizingly slow wait for the 40-406 Scorcher tyres, since the success of the 40-349 (16 x 1 1/2") Scorcher tyres. We had always intended to produce a 20" Scorcher, but decided to have the 16s made 1st as there was no 16" x 1 1/2" tyre available, and we hoped to learn from the development of the 16" before we produced the 20". As luck would have it, I was not satisfied with the fit of the tyre on the rims, as the tyres had been made to a rim seat diameter of exactly 349 mm, rather than 1mm under at 348mm, which seems to be more or less general practice. So we had to get the tyre Co. to change the mould and were rewarded with a better fit on the undersize Velocity AeroHeat rims (348mm) and a good fit on the Sims and Jalco rims (349mm). IMO these two rims have a proper bead seat, so that the tyre is more likely to stay on the rim in the unlikely event of a blowout.
There was also some problems with delamination when the tyres were used tubeless with Stan's NoTubes puncture resistance system. The tyre is rated at 40 to 100 psi, and Stan's system is NOT supposed to run at over 40 psi - http://www.notubes.com/support_detailed.php
Plus we had similar problems with other tyres. Thus we have decided for now to only recommend Stan's tyre sealant be used in tubes, rather than to be used "tubeless" with the Scorchers.
The first 40-406 Scorcher samples arrived the week after Christmas, and I have now tested both the plain "Scorcher", and the Kevlar belted "Scorcher TR". The plain Scorcher appears to roll better than our old favourite 20" tyres, the Tioga Comp Pool, and Scorcher TR (Thorn Resistant) is about the same - see table.
Unfortunately the production of the 1st batch of 406 Scorcher TRs, with the Kevlar belts, has been delayed, pending further testing. However the 1st production batch of the plain 40-406 Scorchers has now been finished, and is on the water. We are expecting delivery in April. Our UK Dealer, Rob Hague, Westcountry Recumbents, will be the 1st to receive the 406 Scorchers, as his are being air lifted.
It has always been my dream for GreenSpeed to produce a practical, high performance, fully faired trike or Velomobile. We have built a number of fully faired trikes, but have never been happy with them or any others which are presently on the market in various countries. One of the many problems has been stability, esp. at the much higher speeds possible in these machines, compared with ordinary bare trikes. Early rolling test with the 1st faired trike I built, down Wheeler's Hill, showed a difference of between 45 and 69 kph, between the unfaired and faired versions of our earliest trikes, so a good fairing should more than double the efficiency. Used as a commuting vehicle I found my AVERAGE speed increased from 20 kph to 30 kph with a level road cruising speed of 40 kph. However it was difficult to get in and out of, and had many practical problems. It was not easy to keep on the road at 80 kph, and all of the faired trikes I have ridden seem to have some stability problems, esp. in gusty side winds.
Thus when Paul produced his 1st quad for racing, as featured in the "news" in VeloVision, it seemed like it might be the answer. We found that four wheels gives much better stability for the same track or overall width compared with a trike. In fact no trike could stay with it on the corners, and it was only rolled once in the 24 hour race, when it was involved with a collision with another vehicle. Whereas last year's race trike was rolled a number of times. The head-out design also makes it easy to get in and out, reduces visibility, ventilation and noise problems. Plus the four wheels allows for cargo space between the rear wheels, and gives in increase in the allowable cargo weight.
The race the machine had a relatively upright seat of 40 to 50 degrees, depending on rider size, but we've found this can easily be reduced, to allow a fully faired version, which would increase speed, further improve stability, improve weather protection, and still retain outward visibility. Thus we could have a number of different "tops" for the machine for different seat angles and different purposes, including the full fairing. So we have decided to continue the development of the "Quad" for both racing and road use.
We have been aware for some time that there is a demand for a high quality recreational trike for older and handicapped riders, who are unable to get up and down from our low trikes, and would like a more user friendly trike. Thus I have designed a rather unique higher trike for this market, and Paul has spent some time developing and improving the design while I have been away in Queensland. He is now getting the prototype ready for production. No photos or details are available, as the final version may change, and we hope to begin production in 2007.
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.
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..............