“Most likely, anything you can come up with has already been done” – by Miguel Hernandez
This was the case when I came up with the idea for a full suspension leaning recumbent trike. I spent weeks sketching such a concoction when one day surfing the Internet all my dreams of wealth and stardom were shattered as I clicked here: http://tripendo.com.
The only difference between Tripendo’s leaning recumbent design and my original concept is how the leaning is controlled. Tripendo uses a lever to control the amount of inclination and the other lever to control the steering. According to Tripendo designers, it takes a little bit to get used to it but as you can see on the video they have available for download, they have truly mastered this system. My concept would only need for the rider to shift weight to either side to get the recumbent to lean. The recumbent would tend to straighten itself by means of a spring system.
Before finding about Tripendo, I had sketched several designs and I was seriously planning to build a prototype at home. I even enrolled two times at a part time MIG welding course at BCIT but both times the class was cancelled for lack of applicants.
The whole leaning recumbent idea wandered in my head for over two years. During that time, I spent many hours sketching designs and building Lego prototypes. You probably wonder: what the hell are the advantages of a leaning recumbent over a regular bicycle? Some, I guess.
The fact that recumbents have a lower center of gravity allows them to corner faster. However, trikes can easily roll over when subject to high lateral forces during cornering. To avoid this, creating a leaning mechanism is the solution.
Another advantage is the comfortable seating position and no need to worry about maintaining balance anymore.
The main disadvantage is weight. Having an extra wheel and the extra frame to carry it will always make trikes heavier than their two wheeled counterparts.
They are quite more expensive than a regular bike and harder to find. I would really like to try some of the very accomplished designs I have found on the net. Some of them come with a full body fairing and even wind wipers!. Check these links to see what I am taking about: