Bicycles

Trivek leaning trike lets riders sit back and sit tall

Trivek leaning trike lets ride...
The Trivek not-entirely-recumbent leaning trike
The Trivek not-entirely-recumbent leaning trike
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A front view of the Trivek
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A front view of the Trivek
The Trivek's hub transmission is mounted above the front wheel
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The Trivek's hub transmission is mounted above the front wheel
Hand controls on the Trivek's under-seat handlebar allow riders to adjust the damping of the steering system as they're riding
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Hand controls on the Trivek's under-seat handlebar allow riders to adjust the damping of the steering system as they're riding
The Trivek's bottom bracket and the front wheel hub are essentially combined, situating the cranks/pedals on either side of the front wheel
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The Trivek's bottom bracket and the front wheel hub are essentially combined, situating the cranks/pedals on either side of the front wheel
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The Trivek not-entirely-recumbent leaning trike
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The Trivek not-entirely-recumbent leaning trike

Pain in areas such as the neck, butt and knees cause many cyclists to switch to recumbents. A lot of other people shy away from the low-slung bikes and trikes, however, as they have concerns about visibility. That's why Australian manufacturer Hiele has created the Trivek. It's a semi-recumbent delta tricycle that lets its rider sit back in a comfy seat while still sitting tall enough to be seen by motorists.

Along with its ergonomic-but-not-too-low seating arrangement, the Trivek also has a few other interesting features.

One of these is a steering system that allows the trike to lean into turns – this makes it more stable than traditional upright tricycles when turning.

Additionally, hand controls on the under-seat handlebar allow riders to adjust the damping of the steering system as they're riding. This means (for example) that they could set the steering to be more responsive when maneuvering slowly in traffic, while making it less so when traveling quickly on long straight highways.

The Trivek's hub transmission is mounted above the front wheel
The Trivek's hub transmission is mounted above the front wheel

Its front wheel-drive drivetrain is also pretty interesting. The bottom bracket and the front wheel hub are essentially combined, situating the cranks/pedals on either side of the front wheel – it's not a penny farthing-like direct drive system, though.

Instead, a chain on one side of the wheel transmits the rider's pedaling power to a Shimano 8-speed hub transmission, which is mounted above the wheel (a 14-speed Rohloff model is optional). After being "processed" by the transmission, that power is then relayed back down to the wheel, via a second chain on the other side.

Other features include dual rear 160-mm hydraulic disk brakes (a rim brake is used in front), adjustable seat height, and quick-release wheels featuring Alex rims and Schwalbe tires.

Hiele is now raising production funds for the Trivek, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$1,899 will get you one, when and if they're ready to go. You can see the trike in action, in the video below.

Sources: Hiele, Kickstarter

Trivek | A new tricycle experience

8 comments
Michael Logue
Hmm... turning puts the rear wheels to the inside of the curve instead of the outside which would provide more stability and traction. Kinda defeats the purpose.
LewisFreiberg
The steering geometry in this trike is quite complex. If you look closely at the video, you will see that the front and rear wheels are connected. This is to allow for steering to automatically maintain the arc throughout the corners. This places the center of gravity in the center of the three wheels regardless of the circle radius. Negating any force from cornering with the rider's center of gravity. Having ridden it, I can say that no other trike comes close to its stability when cornering.
mgb
Interesting design. Without actually test-riding it I can't say for sure, but at that sitting and pedaling angle it looks like the seat's edges are going to dig into the rider's thighs and his/her knees will surely suffer possible injury since stretching the leg at that sitting angle does not seem possible without lowering the seat and reclining the backrest.
alnpage8
Thanks mgb for your comments The first seatbase we tried did actually dig into the back of the thighs as you say. We fixed that by putting on a shortened seat base with more rounded edges. I often ride many miles on it without the slightest discomfort either from the back of my legs or stretching my legs. I use to however get a sore backside from riding my ordinary wedgie even relatively short distances which is why I built the trivek.
unklmurray
Thank You!! Alnpage8 for designing and building such a cool looking trike, I love trikes and yours is one of the most interesting I've ever seen, I just wish I could afford to get one........maybe when I win the lottery......LOL
SaysMe
How in the world do you change a flat front tire? The power angle of attack does not seem that you can give it full leg strength...
alnpage8
Hi SaysMe, changing the tyre is extremely simple, as the wheel releases forward on the dropouts leaving all the gear mechanisms fixed in their original positions. As for the angle of attack no other recumbent trike that I have ridden, has ever delivered the power that the Trivek can including whilst cornering. Hope this helps you regards Alan
alnpage8
Hi unklmurray, Thanks for your great feedback. We have improved the ride ability and appearance even more by lengthening the frame and 26' wheels all round. Keep an eye on YouTube. The trike is now so stable I can feet steer with arms folded even at speed through bends . The price reflects the low volume initial production costs although people who buy early can expect discounts on accessories such as electric motors , carriers ETC. when they become available.