Technology

A portfolio of firsts. A triumph of form and function.

Ti-Trikes began the process of creating the world’s finest recumbent trikes by first studying the competition. Before turning out our first CAD drawing, before welding our first Titanium frame, we took a long hard look at the recumbent trikes on the market – then figured out how to improve upon them. With a focus on the unique needs of Baby Boomers and adaptive cyclists, we started out with a clean sheet of paper and proceeded from there. The result? An impressive set of technical innovations and industry firsts that leave our competition looking for answers. Here are some highlights:
titanium iconTitanium Frame

Titanium is a costly aerospace material that is considered by other recumbent trike manufacturers to be too expensive and difficult to work with. At Ti-Trikes, however, we recognize that Titanium is a superior material for recumbents, offering lightness, strength, durability, and corrosion resistance that is unmatched by any other material, including steel or aluminum. Aerospace manufacturers rely on Titanium because of the material’s high strength-to-weight ratio, fatigue resistance, and corrosion resistance. Unlike steel or aluminum, a Titanium frame will never rust or corrode and never needs to be painted. It will retain its beautiful lustrous finish for life. For all of these reasons, a titanium frame can last for decades.

Adaptive By Design (ABD)

Ti-Trikes is the only recumbent manufacturer building trikes specifically to meet the needs of seniors and disabled individuals. Our handlebars, for example, adjust in a variety of dimensions (axes) to give every rider the perfect fit they deserve. Our comfortable upright seat adjusts up to 5″ fore and aft and the seat back angle adjusts 5″ in depth,  30º in range, and 6″ in height. The front boom on the frame also adjusts up to 5″ to fine tune the fit for different leg lengths. Ti-Trike can also customize a trike’s fit and components to satisfy those with special needs.

 

Planetary front gear system

The vast majority of recumbent trikes use front cranksets and chainrings borrowed from regular bicycles. These have sharp-edged exposed chainrings, making them hazardous to riders and passersby. The front derailleur is also exposed to the elements and may periodically go out of adjustment, making shifting noisy and difficult. At Ti-Trikes, we decided to take a different approach, selecting a fully enclosed planetary front gear system called a Patterson Transmission. Shifts perfectly while pedaling, under full load, or at a standstill. More expensive, but worth it.

 

Contoured NASA Foam seating

Our previous work with NASA led us to select NASA Foam for our seat cushions and seat backs. NASA Foam is a premium micro-cellular material originally developed for aircraft pilot and Space Shuttle seats. In contrast with conventional recumbent seat materials, it offers greater comfort, better pressure distribution, and improved vibration. All the right reasons to select the best seating material we could find.

 Ackerman steering compensation

Seemingly simple, the steering system on a recumbent tricycle can make a big difference in the trike’s stability, handling, and responsiveness. We looked at a variety of available tadpole recumbent steering designs and chose Ackerman steering compensation for its superior combination of predictability and control. Ackerman steering compensation solves the problem of front wheel scrubbing while turning by having the inside wheel turn more sharply than the outside wheel. The steering geometry we chose is smooth and responsive without being overly quick or twitchy. To eliminate wobble and provide additional safety, we added a separate linear hydraulic steering damper similar to those used in motorcycles.

 

Power Assist

Ti-Trikes is the first and only manufacturer of electric power-assisted recumbent tricycles. We chose to develop this innovative capability to serve riders who may lack the leg strength or fitness to pedal up medium or steep hills or participate in longer rides with friends. There are multiple uses for power assist. It can give you a higher top speed to get from point A to B more quickly. It can help you go farther or get around when your legs are tired. And it can compensate for a discrepancy in one’s right or left leg strength, as might be the case with a stroke patient. All-in-all, a very worthwhile option for many people. Power assist is available on both our recumbent trikes (T-250) and recumbent handcycles.