Chapter 7, Part 5

Steering System Overview

Version 1.0

Written by Rick Horwitz


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As mentioned throughout my project plans, the Thunderbolt can be built using either an USS or OSS steering configuration.   Additionally, each steering system will vary slightly depending on the main cross-members configuration (110 or 90).  Therefore, a decision must be made as to the type of steering desired prior to proceeding.

OSS- Over Seat Steering

This configuration is simpler and slightly lighter than the 'U' bar USS system.  However, for finite control and comfort, many prefer the USS.   The OSS is geared towards racing and competition.

USS-Over Seat Steering

The USS system is a favorite for 85% of all recumbent trikes sold.   As the most popular, it is also heavier and more complicated than the OSS steering system.



Below are illustrated examples of all steering configurations supported for the Thunderbolt project.

Over Seat Steering Using a "T" Bar Tiller

90ass1.gif (6833 bytes)



90ass2.gif (6805 bytes)



110ass.gif (6632 bytes)



110uss.gif (7043 bytes)




90uss.gif (7188 bytes)


From an assembly perspective, the 110 cross-member system is better suited for OSS.  As illustrated, the USS benefits from the lack of obstructions found in the 90 cross-member system.