Swingtrike: Foldable three-wheeler carves through corners
May 11, 2011
Getting about on a bicycle is environmentally friendly, great for your health and cost effective. One drawback – particularly for those learning to ride or for whom balance is an issue – is the instability that comes with being on two wheels at low speeds. Tricycles offer a way to overcome this problem, but three-wheelers have their own set of stability issues when it comes to cornering at higher speeds. Like the Deliver-E Trike we looked at earlier this year, the Swingtrike aims to provide a best of both world solution by employing a tilting design that keeps all wheels on the ground across bumpy terrain and through corners, making it safer – and more fun – than traditional fixed frame trikes.
The front wheel drive Swingtrike uses a strong rubber spring between the rear wheels to allow it to rock and sway in a controlled motion while keeping all wheels on the ground. The trike's track can also be adjusted from 300 mm (12 in) track to 500 mm (19.5 in) to offer more stability for the rider without effecting the lean functionality.
To up comfort levels, the Swingtrike's to saddle is located 20 cm (8 inches) behind the cranks and the steering bar is in a high position to give the rider a more upright seating position. The ergonomic position also ensures the rider is looking straight ahead, not orientated toward the ground. The seat is 6cm lower (2.5 inches) than on common bikes and the frame height can be adjusted for easier mounting and dismounting.
The Swingtrike has disc brakes all around, 20-inch wheels at the in front and 16-inches in the rear. Its standard three gear system can be upgraded to a Shimano eight gear hub and other options include include a child seat, aluminum carrier, lighting system and mudguards. It's also foldable for storage and transportation and retails for EUR1,699.
The German company also has plans for electric motor-support (pedelec) as well as some some interesting concept designs for electric tilting three-wheelers.