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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Three wheels or four?

    I've been devouring as much HPV stuff as I can Google. I've read the pros and cons re: Delta vs Tadpole but besides the Pedal Car racing fraternity in England quadcycles are just about ignored. I have seen some recreational (Rhoades Car) multi-passenger four wheel designs but the only high performance quadcycles are built one off for racing. Do quadcyles effectively end the Delta vs Tadpole argument and if so why are they not more used? I would think with modern materials one more wheel (than three) should not make such a critical difference in weight and/or rolling resistance? Pedalcoupe.com has an interesting vehicle for sale. What say youse guys? TIA.

    H

  2. #2
    Recumbent Ninja
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    It does make a big difference. Not to mention the extra frame tubing needed, etc.

  3. #3
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    Yeah. Absolutely no need to go to four wheels. Blech.
    www.rebel-cycles.com

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  4. #4
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Without going into detail, I'd just say that quads have efficiency issues, which would make them unattractive to most riders.

  5. #5
    Dr.Deltron
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    5 people, 5 wheels!

    Are we all riding unicycles?



    NO! A tadpole!

    We like our trikes!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Bendigo Youth Racing Wheelchairman's Avatar
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    The boys @ Greenspeed raced this prototype @ the 2006 Wonthaggi GP. It placed 5th in the race. It was extremely quick in a straight line. Altough it was but a prototype, a fella @ the Greenspeed stand at a later event commented that the design may be refined, as there were thoughts of mass producing it.

    As to the argument though. 3 wheels anyday. Less weight, more stable IMO too.
    Pain is weakness leaving the body
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm
    I've been devouring as much HPV stuff as I can Google. ....H
    A quad could be built smaller overall and yet more stable than a trike the same size. Problem is, nobody seems to be doing it.

    Rhoades cars are rather heavy as they are built. I have never owned one or even seen one in person, but I have heard that opinion from a number of different people: a Rhoades car is strictly a neighborhood, flat-terrain machine--unless you put a motor on it, other than you.

    While a 4-wheel vehicle would likely weigh more than a 3-wheel vehicle, I don't know that the issue of rolling resistance is much of a concern.... Rolling resistance is not simply the total number of wheels, it is also dependent upon on the weight that is being carried per wheel. Is 4 wheels carrying 3 lbs each going to cause more rolling resistance than 3 wheels carrying 4 lbs each? I dont know which would be less--but I'd bet that these two setups would be very very close.
    ~

  8. #8
    Senior Member geebee's Avatar
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    The Quad from GreenSpeed is going to be produced as far as I am aware, apparently they have found some undisclosed ways to lower the weight etc..
    A quad in theory will be more stable, the main problems are that a dif. is required for even drive and good cornering and the chassis has to be much stronger than a trike or suspended as you have to allow for rough surfaces causing a wheel to lift off and inducing twist.
    Greenspeed GLR trike
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  9. #9
    Pedalcoupe owner! fishcube's Avatar
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    I ordered a Pedalcoupe and should have it by Father's Day. I have talked with two people who own one and they both love it. They can't say a bad thing about it. One of them has done many 20-50 mile rides with it. It's not much difference in weight from a Sun Tadpole.

    I look forward to trying it out in person. Plan to do alot of riding after its here.

    Your welcome to ask questions about it and I can relay what I know and have learned about it.
    Last edited by fishcube; 05-30-07 at 08:38 PM.
    Sharon & Steve
    ---
    Pedalcoupe arrived 6/22 - Love this Quad!
    http://www.pbase.com/fishcube/image/81207413.jpg
    See more pics below...
    Pics: http://www.pbase.com/fishcube/pedalcoupe
    Also own a Sun Tadpole

  10. #10
    Senior Member geebee's Avatar
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    Fishcube, we are all hanging out for your full review after it's arrival, it's one of the machiones everyone looks at and no one seems to buy.
    Greenspeed GLR trike
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  11. #11
    Pedalcoupe owner! fishcube's Avatar
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    Picked up the Pedalcoupe on Tuesday. We were just too busy with family visiting to pick up on Friday or Saturday. I rode it around a little, and was amazed how well it went through grass and gravel (no cement around). No comparison to the Sun Tadpole through grass/gravel. It felt real good and comfortable. The color is beautiful and he made the boom shiny silver. He also added blue pedals (special blue colored metal iodized sp?), and they are more rugged (spiked) then the normal flat pedals. My feet stay on them alot better. It looks and feels very solid, and he did add aluminum axle which will allow for some suspension.

    We had a good conversation about the pedalcoupe and he was very nice. Explained everything fully etc.

    I havn't ridden since then, since we didn't get back home till 10pm and I've been out of town today. I plan to take it to a large state park on the bike paths sometime this week. So, I can get used to the shifting etc. The internal hub and it looks like its going to work great, kinda like clutch shifting in a car.

    But, I'm loving just looking at it heh I'm going out soon to clean out garage and rearrange to accommodate both trikes, for easy entry and exit. Lawn equipement will move to front of garage.

    I will post pics and more details soon.
    Sharon & Steve
    ---
    Pedalcoupe arrived 6/22 - Love this Quad!
    http://www.pbase.com/fishcube/image/81207413.jpg
    See more pics below...
    Pics: http://www.pbase.com/fishcube/pedalcoupe
    Also own a Sun Tadpole

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    I've been lusting after a Lightfoot Cycles Duo. They're a side-by-side four-wheel tandem, and you can get a bench seat to put the kids on in the back. Four people on one bike; I think that's a great reason to have four wheels. Rhoades makes one with a similar configuration, but the Duo is much lighter and uses better parts.

  13. #13
    Pedalcoupe owner! fishcube's Avatar
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    Pics:









    More pics at the url in my signature.
    Sharon & Steve
    ---
    Pedalcoupe arrived 6/22 - Love this Quad!
    http://www.pbase.com/fishcube/image/81207413.jpg
    See more pics below...
    Pics: http://www.pbase.com/fishcube/pedalcoupe
    Also own a Sun Tadpole

  14. #14
    Pedalcoupe owner! fishcube's Avatar
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    First good ride! 6/28

    OMG! Is all I can say after my ride today on the pedalcoupe I love it... I can't believe the difference in riding compared to the Sun Tadpole. No comparison. I was only able to ride 15min on the Sun Tadpole at a time, and today on the pedalcoupe I was riding 1 1/2 hours and didn't want to stop. But, knew I needed to take it easy since I'm not used to riding and my legs will be sore tomorrow.

    Husband and I plan to ride again at the State park on Saturday, we'll take turns on the pedalcoupe and a 2 wheel bike.

    Pedaling was quite easy (love the 2 wheel drive), and all the gears make it so easy to use. I love the internal hub, works like a clutch on a car. Shift anytime and then pull pedals backwards and it goes into gear. Was told this works great on hills, you can keep pedaling in a harder gear and then shift and remain pedaling and then when you hit the hill, back pedal and your in a lighter gear. I was riding it most of the time in 2nd gear on both, and middle ring in front (which is manual moved). I used the brake steer some and I think this will really come in handy when moving at any kind of speed.

    The turning is different from the Sun tadpole and is somewhat harder to turn, but I found out you don't have to move the handlebars much to get them to turn. So, after a little getting used to, I love the steering. I learned to barely hold the handlebars, except when going on grass/offroad etc. Then you have to grip harder etc. I tried it going faster and turning and it seems rock solid. Though I wasn't any kind of speed demon on it yet

    As for offroading on grass, gravel, it works great. I'm so pleased about this, since I could barely move the Sun Tadpole on grass, the pedalcoupe is a breeze.

    I can't wait for my next ride
    Sharon & Steve
    ---
    Pedalcoupe arrived 6/22 - Love this Quad!
    http://www.pbase.com/fishcube/image/81207413.jpg
    See more pics below...
    Pics: http://www.pbase.com/fishcube/pedalcoupe
    Also own a Sun Tadpole

  15. #15
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    One problem with 4-wheelers...they may not be legal for use on streets and bike paths. For example, here's the definition of "bicycle" in Washington State:

    RCW 46.04.071
    Bicycle.


    "Bicycle" means every device propelled solely by human power upon which a person or persons may ride, having two tandem wheels either of which is sixteen inches or more in diameter, or three wheels, any one of which is more than twenty inches in diameter.
    So, laws that specifically include and allow "bicycle" use would not allow 4-wheelers.

  16. #16
    Pedalcoupe owner! fishcube's Avatar
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    My pedalcoupe is no wider then our Sun Tadpole Trike, so is basically the same thing except for an extra wheel. I don't see anyone having a problem with it. As long as its Human powered. Reason they only have 2-3 wheels listed, is because there are very few Quads available.
    Sharon & Steve
    ---
    Pedalcoupe arrived 6/22 - Love this Quad!
    http://www.pbase.com/fishcube/image/81207413.jpg
    See more pics below...
    Pics: http://www.pbase.com/fishcube/pedalcoupe
    Also own a Sun Tadpole

  17. #17
    Senior Member trailwarrior's Avatar
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    Which Trike is a Bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by deraltekluge
    "Bicycle" means every device propelled solely by human power upon which a person or persons may ride, having two tandem wheels either of which is sixteen inches or more in diameter, or three wheels, any one of which is more than twenty inches in diameter..
    So this also excludes my HPV Scorpion with (3) 20" wheels and my Trice Micro with (3) 16" wheels?

  18. #18
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailwarrior
    So this also excludes my HPV Scorpion with (3) 20" wheels and my Trice Micro with (3) 16" wheels?
    As well as the Catrike Road and the Pocket. I doubt these people get pestered though.

  19. #19
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  20. #20
    Yes, No, Maybe, WTF...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelchairman View Post
    As to the argument though. 3 wheels anyday. Less weight, more stable IMO too.
    I don't see how an optimized three wheel bike can be more stable than an optimized 4 wheeler unless you make the three wheeler much wider than the 4 wheeler. It is a simple matter of physics.

    - Bryan

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