Steering Designs


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:

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.
Drawing 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.





Drawing An example of this design is the S-327.

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. Drawing



This can be seen on the Windcheetah (sometimes called Speedie). Drawing



Drawing 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. Drawing



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.




Drawing Can been seen on Rick Horwitz's trike the Thunderbolt.Also check out USA patent 5263732





Drawing This can be seen on theWiz Wheelz Terra Trike. Also see USA patent DES 369130





Drawing This is like on the Jouta VX.



Drawing 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 free movement.

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.



Drawing Look at the Landstrider.
Front wheel steer format - See USA patent 3913929

Rear wheel steer format - See USA patent 4497502


Drawing This can be seen on the Luke Breen's (owner of Calhoun Cycles) fixed gear recumbent kids trike.

Drawing 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


Drawing This is shown as Rear wheel steering.

Also check out USA patent 4799704 for another version similar to this.


Drawing 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.

Drawing 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

Top view A Rear Wheel Lean Steer trike with front wheel drive. This is probably the Patent for the Tricumbent Raven and has just been aquired by Just 2 bikes.
USA patent_number 5568935



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Last updated Friday, 30 January 2009