This is a set of different steering designs I have come across when looking at what to try on my trikes. It's not meant to be a comprehensive list nor do I claim authorship of the designs but is put here to stimulate thinking when designing HPV's. They are not drawn to scale and so some of the angles shown may not quite look right but all of these I have come across on working machines. Consider this for your steering design:
The steering control rods need to clear the chain. This is most evident on a recumbent as the chain is often routed past the steering system and can lead to chain inefficiency and complication of the drive chain routing.
The handlebar controls need to move the expected way. Pull the left bar to go left etc This seems obvious but has been overlooked before and rules out several design I first drew up.
Would be best set up with Ackerman compensation. See http://www.ihpva.org/com/PracticalInnovations/design.html & Australian International Pedal prix Constructors Guide & Automobile Ride, Handling and suspension design with implication for low mass vehicles & Three-Wheelers in Automotive Application, Primary Factors That Determine Handling Characteristics. This allows the inside wheel to turn in alignment to the outside wheel in a turn. (Don't do it and your tyres will scub & there will be excessive speed loss when turning)
Click here to download a spreadsheet specific to direct handlebars on the kingpins, Additionally to this I would say.... You could also go to Peter Eland's Ackermann steering design Spreadsheet program Web page for this and many more.
The more joints the more chance of slop in the steering.
Try to allow for wheel alignment toe-in toe-out adjustment.
Many of these designs can be used for rear wheel steering by reversing the drawing.
|See this Trike. Here's a 5 second video showing the steering movement. 475k, MPEG format, viewing size 320 x 200.|
|This design would have some problem with bump steer. When the wheels contact a rough surface the axle would tend jerk around and be hard to control.|
|An example of this design is
Also have a look at the Trice made by Ross.
|See this picture for an example of this design. It may not be so suitable for trikes going at too greater speed (over 60 KPH) but has been quite functional on all the trikes I've made and is quite simple to build.|
|This can be seen on the Windcheetah (sometimes called Speedie).|
|This is seen on the Greenspeed trikes.|
|For a description of a lean steer project take a look at these Web pages produced by F.Bokhorst.|
|For a example have a look at
the Web pages by Samuel
Quadflieg, also the Mountain Quad & ICE trikes.
This would not give much steering movement but is functional.
|Can been seen on Rick Horwitz's trike the Thunderbolt.Also check out USA patent 5263732|
|This can be seen on theWiz Wheelz Terra Trike. Also see USA patent DES 369130|
|This is like on the Jouta VX.|
|This can be seen on the Human Powered Machines Tritan. and Earth Traveller|
|This idea designed for a SWB
bike but there's no reason why it can't also be used on a
trike. The control chain is tensioned on both sides in a
way that makes the handlebars straight and also give slop
The idea is to use bike chain to connect the handlebars to the forks. A tube is welded to the top of each fork crown so that bolt can pass through it. The bolt is used to tension the closed loop system. The end of the bolt is flattened out, a hole drilled into the end so that the chain can be clamped on as they usually are, using the chain pins. On the handlebar side either a lug is welded onto the bars or a metal strap wrapped around the bars with the chain clamping to it using it's own pins.
|Look at the Landstrider.|
|Front wheel steer format - See
USA patent 3913929
Rear wheel steer format - See USA patent 4497502
|This can be seen on the Luke Breen's (owner of Calhoun Cycles) fixed gear recumbent kids trike.|
|Steering is done by cables. Front control arms come back about 4" to make a convenient place to bolt the brake torque control bolt. Then go toward each other for about 2" . There is a heim jointed control rod connecting the 2 of them. The 1/4" bolts that connect the 2 heim joints are extra long. The extra length is where I tie in the cable turnbuckles and the cables. The cables go around 2 pulleys in the center of the trike and then back to the handlebars. Mr Bill|
|This is shown as Rear
Also check out USA patent 4799704 for another version similar to this.
|The Joystick pivots in the middle and both are connected with a rod below the pivot so they move together.|
|Check out this USA patent 5069469 of the HPE Corsa Trike. - Another pic.|
|This uses bike cogs on each pivot point. The kingpin cogs can be bent elliptical to give ackerman compensation. An alternative is to have the closed loop system joining the kingpins only then have an arm from one of the kingpins with a rod to the handlebars. (like several above)|
|See the USA patent 4469343|
|For a row bicycle- See USA patent 4541647|
|See USA patent 4659098|
|See USA patent 4674762|
|See USA patent 4373740|
|See USA patent 4432561|
|A Rear Wheel Lean Steer trike with front wheel drive.
This is probably the Patent for the
Raven and has just been aquired
by Just 2 bikes.
USA patent_number 5568935
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Last updated Friday, 30 January 2009