Advanced Engineering 2018

Custom Composites Helps Advanced Velo Design Engineer Lighter, Stronger Trike

04 April 2017

Custom Composites Helps Advanced Velo Design Engineer Lighter, Stronger Trike

Custom Composites has helped Advanced Velo Design to launch a stronger, lighter version of its high-performance recumbent trike.

Custom Composites is part of the Attwater Group and is backed by decades of engineering excellence. The company says that its specialists were able to help Advanced Velo Design improve the strength of the trike's chassis without using any more material than necessary. It claims that the total weight was reduced from 12.5kg - already considered ‘light' for trikes in its class - down to 10kg.

Karl Sparenberg, Managing Director of Advanced Velo Design, said, "The original Windcheetah was designed as a training aid for athletes looking to push the speed record higher for human powered machines. It was soon realised the immense fun that could be had, and so the Windcheetah went into production for anyone to enjoy."

The Windcheetah is described as the first commercially manufactured trike in the world and started the revolution for recumbent style trike in the early 1980s. With its roots firmly in the performance end of the market, only sympathetic changes have been made as materials and manufacturing techniques have become available.

According to Custom Composites, the most recent innovation, the For Race Only variant of the Windcheetah, takes technology a step further and was designed with a specific customer in mind. Sparenberg explained, "We were approached by a lady who suffers from Parkinson's disease; she wanted to liberate herself from riding the heavy machine she was using. It had an electric motor to assist her on the hills or if she got tired during her ride, but if the batteries ran flat, she was left stranded.”

"The idea was to build a light enough machine to dispense with the additional weight of batteries and motors, then she would be freed and have the ability to get home under her own power."

Removing weight was a priority. Previous trikes had been made from aluminium and titanium. That's when Custom Composites was able to step in, providing carbon fibre tubes and tuning them to be strong, lightweight and compliant with all safety standards. Just as importantly, the Windcheetah was designed to remain a comfortable ride, especially crucial when many users will travel more than 200 miles in a single, long-distance event.

Sparenberg added, "Working with Custom Composites gave us the confidence to innovate. We can now invest in new tooling and techniques for further refinements in the years to come. We can now try new ways of wrapping tubes, and alter the orientation of fibres or try new materials as they become available. We are now investing in the future of our business and that allows us to keep one step ahead of our competitors."


Photo provided by Attwater Group

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