archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Triker Glen (Custom Delta)

Glen Aldridge, a cool triker (literally, especially during Canada’s deep freeze winters) has had a few trikes, the first of which was a TerraTrike, the second a Trident, the third a custom built delta design, which has morphed into his fourth trike, a reincarnation of the third. Built at home between blizzards, the sun poked out long enough for him to take and send us a few preliminary photos. If you recall, Glen was a member of the 2011 Coast to Cactus Tricycle Expedition. Below are the first photos near completion, along with some text from Glen, followed by some video footage:

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We finally started getting some Spring weather here and I have been tweaking Delta Version 2. Although it may look similar to Version 1 there are some considerable differences. Significantly, I didn’t make nearly as many mistakes as the first build. It’s lucky I don’t know what I am doing as I wouldn’t be so open to trying new ideas.

Despite the best advice & intentions of others telling me, “that won’t work,” or “you can’t do that,” for the most part the trike is a huge improvement over the first build. I still have a few wrinkles to sort out though. A key difference between this & Delta 1 is the size & weight. On D1 I used industrial strength square aluminum tubing & it rode like a truck! Rock Hard! You could feel each & every imperfection in the road. It also steered like a truck – very heavy steering & the rim brakes were not up to the job at all. On D2 I used a lighter weight aluminum & it has made a huge difference in the ride. It is also about 4 inches shorter than D1. I suspect the frame is flexing as the ride feels suspended now which may be a problem down the road if the frame is flexing too much.

I also used Sturmey Archer Drum Brakes on the back wheels which sceptics kept telling me, “that won’t work, it’ll be dangerous,” or, “it will flip you in the corners.” While I haven’t had it up to any break neck speeds yet, the brakes are wonderful. Extremely smooth & progressive braking & I would never go back to P.I.T.A. disc brakes again. (Crossing my fingers on the next mountain descent.)

One problem that still persists is the Pedal Steer – with each turn of the pedals the front wants to turn away from the pedal stroke. I am hoping the application of steering strut dampers will help this. I was also able to get my Shimano Nexus 8 speed IGH to work with the front dérailleur to give me a total of 24 speeds. I was expecting to only get the middle & 48 tooth chain ring. Unfortunately, the chain tensioner sticks out too far & is subject to heel strikes. I think I will do away with the front dérailleur, shifter & chain tensioner as I am a big believer in keeping things simple and the Nexus 8 speed is a fine reliable unit on it’s own & I really don’t need to go 30 or 40 mph.

I may go for a hard shell seat as I think some of the pedal steer is due to moving my bum when I pedal. A hard shell seat might offer more stability. Seat of the pants testing would put the total weight around 37 pounds, as it feels considerably lighter than my Trident Stowaway 11 I had in 2011. Next chance I get I will get it on a scale.

Center of gravity is nice & low along with the package shelf on the back. Majority of the weight is over the front wheel where you need it on a front wheel drive, so much so that I had to redesign my trike stand to not twist itself while the trike was up on the stand.

Feel free to comment, ask questions, tell me I’m an idiot for sinking so much money in to this etc. All is welcome, Glen

Glen's Delta 02 Glen's Delta 03 Glen's Delta 04 Glen's Delta 05 Glen's Delta 06

Here are some recent photos of the trike ready to ride.  Finally got some decent weather here so I thought you might like some photos of the trike. Here are the specs –
Overall length – 67 inches
Track width – 31 inches
Wheel base – 45 inches
Ground clearance – 4 inches
Cargo rack – 21.5 x 19.5 inches
Bottom of seat height – 12 inches (Can be lowered to 10.5)
Weight (via bathroom scale) – 44lbs.

Glen Delta final 01 Glen Delta final 02 Glen Delta final 03 Glen Delta final 04 Glen Delta final 05

Video of Glen on his custom delta trike:

Here is Glen on his Trident Stowaway tadpole trike he used to own:

Glen is the man in yellow.

Glen’s former tadpole trike, a Trident Stowaway: