Re: [CR] British racing trikes: our version of mules.

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From: "Mark Lawrence" <>
To: "" <>, Classic Rendezvous <>, "" <>
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2009 11:40:00 +0100
Thread-Topic: [CR] British racing trikes: our version of mules.
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Subject: Re: [CR] British racing trikes: our version of mules.

As I recall, the Taylor's were not particularly interested in trikes beyond making them. Somewhat unselfconsciously, they considered eccentric those that chose to ride them. However, their expertise in making trikes did lead to some interesting markets. The North East of England has quite a large 'Gypsy' traveller population, more Irish than Romany decent I am led to believe. Ken decribed them as a mixture of "gansters, travellers and horse people". With a certain amount of respect, the travellers would bring their sulkies or jogging carts to the Taylors to be rewheeled or repaired. Ken Taylor used to make their wheels with Maxicar hubs, steel rather than alloy ones. So Harvey, to elaborate upon the horse theme in your title 'British racing trikes: our version of mules', indeed, if riding a solo bicycle can be compared to riding a horse, then riding a trike can be compared to harness racing. The Taylors also made two-front wheeled trikes, but, these probably did not deliver as much hair-raising fun.

Mark Lawrence Oxford, United Kingdom

________________________________________ From: [] On Behalf Of Harvey Sachs [] Sent: 24 October 2009 01:00 To: Classic Rendezvous; Subject: [CR] British racing trikes: our version of mules.

I put a lot of miles on a Jack Taylor trike a couple of decades ago. A lovely build. In my not-so-humble opinion, a racing trike is a cross between a bike and and a really Bad Idea. Yeah, I got ok at riding it, could ride far as I wanted on two wheels, etc. Neat novelty, but for most folks I just consider it a mutant w/o much grace. First, there was the steering. Why do bikes have the front geometry they use? so they will steer in the direction of the lean. So, riding in a lane on a crowned road means that the trike continually wants to steer itself toward the edge of the road. The gutter. Neat, eh? And then there is the drive train. Marc has the rare bikes with differentials. The JT had one-wheel drive. Drove the left rear wheel through a live axle on which the FW was mounted. OK in Britain, but Bad Idea here in the colonies where we drive on the right, and weight transfers to the right on that same crowned road. Yup, sure was easy to get the drive wheel to spin. And then there is cornering. It is an unnatural act. Have you noticed that children's trikes have changed from the functional equivalent of a high-wheeler with two trailing wheels to low seat units that slide out in corners instead of tipping? Well, the vintage trikes still tip right good, eh? By comparison, I find high wheelers pretty easy to ride.

So, as far as I'm concerned, the classic racing trike is just a triumph of craftsmanship over sound design. When I'm old enough for a trike, mine will be a "tadpole" recumbent: low center of gravity, single rear drive wheel, and automotive steering for the dual front wheels. Handling is super, and braking is vastly superior to the kludges of the old Brits: typically two brakes on the front wheel, nothing in back. If I want a vintage feel, I can always mount a Campgranola Gran Turismo on it, eh?

end of rant. :-)

Marc, you can send me any spare Abingdons, eh?

harvey sachs, curmudgeonly at the end of a hard week. mcLean va. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
   > Hi Dmitry,
   > I have two fixed gear trikes; a Buckley and a Selbach. Both use the Abingdon differential. The Selbach is disassembled and at the shop of a well-known builder, the other I ride from time to time. People in Livermore, California do not know what to make of a racing tricycle. I've had folks ask if I was handicapped ;^) Yes, a fixed gear trike in a corner is a handfull. I suspect that the focus for these spindly old girls was out-and-back time trials; e.g., one corner taken slow.
   > Marc St. Martin
   > Livermore, California
   > USA