The TRIX human-powered carving trike


April 21, 2006

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April 22, 2006 The first prize at the 10th International Bicycle Design Competition in Tapei is a rip-snorter. A brief look through our powered three-wheeler portfolio shows we love trikes and the carving concept of steering in particular. The TRIX uses rack and pinion steering to offer a carving-like experience to human-powered trikes, removing the utilitarian feel of the flat turning arc of a rigid frame and replacing it with pure fun without removing the intrinsic cargo-carrying benefit of the three-wheeler. The steering also means a tighter turning circle and significantly improved manoeuvrability as it can slalom between obstacles and lean into curves like a motorcycle. As it is ideally suited to negotiate narrow, or congested streets, TRIX is ideal for city centre life and can be adapted to transport goods or become a space-age rickshaw with a single, front-seated passenger.

Yves Plattard’s design was chosen from amongst 400 concept submissions along the way to the grand prize. His initial submission was based around constructing his ideas using technical Lego, making dozens of sketches and conceptualising how he could solve what he calls “the leaning conundrum” using parallelogram principles - the whole frame puts pressure on the springs, allowing TRIX to turn into corners.

The first four pictures got him through to the second stage, for which 24 projects were selected. Yves then spent every night and weekend for a month working on a 70cmx40cmx35cm model.

Yves Plattard’s works for the ideal company to turn his concept into model form – using The Product Group’s extensive model-making facilities (CNC router, machine tools, spray booth) he got the model finished and sent in 4 parts, all packed in different small packs for safety, to Taiwan just 1 day before the deadline.

In addition to the prize of 10,000 Euros, Yves has won the interest and admiration of 5 organisations, all of whom have expressed interest in developing the concept, so he is going to be busy, not least because he relishes the freedom to use his skills and choose the constraint and the market and has resolved to participate in at least one competition per year.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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