Speed Bent Development & Prototype
In the two years of constant development, I went through so many iterations and so many details that each prototype can have a book written to itself. The intent of the changes was straight forward.
The low seating meant no chain could be fitted and the drive mechanism is a reciprocating pedal system.
Steering is an aircraft-style joystick. The slim frame is a double-lined extrusion, very strong but not enough for this bike. Note bare seat, never got a chance to put a cushion.
The first version had a frame issue above all it was so bad that a completely new design came into life. The frame is an extrusion on which attachment assemblies mount to. Drive system switched to rotary drive. High mounted twin pedestal seat with backrest. Automotive-style steering with handlebar at the end of it. Folding came into the pictures, A very arduous process but nessesary.
This version worked and was so good and such an experience that my daughter refused to go back to riding a normal bike.
A completely different machine emerged…Again! The entire running gear was moved internally requiring a drive system redesigned and yielding a second patent. 12 lbs were shaved off, The complexity of multiple frame attachments was integrated into a mono frame which curved around the rear wheels along the way eliminating carrier assemblies for the steering, pedal box, and the rear wheel. The seat was mounted to the side of the frame inline to the wheels. The third prototype worked well. All the time spent on it showed, everywhere I went people want to buy it. I felt 90% of the work was done.
Unfortunately, the other 90% was still ahead; With the concept honed I wanted the bike to fold in a way that would make it easy to transport and store. The frame was 2″ shorter and upgraded to aircraft wing spar material, The gear materials were upgraded to a type used in turbine engines, this made them extremely wear-resistant. A new steering angel required everything from the forks to the handlebars to be changed and upgraded. The seat post became height adjustable, while the crank rods became stronger and thinner. By the time it was over a completely new prototype stood with virtually every component changed.
Shorter by 1″. The gears and the entire drive assembly were redesigned to withstand harsh conditions, a whole new seat, backrest, seat post and bracketry for the rear wheel. The changes to the seat allowed riders from 5ft to 6’3″ tall to ride it. The 9 months, that followed had me and a group of friends taking turns torturing the bike on a daily basis. Riding down rocky trails that would shake any weak points, dunking it in saltwater then sand followed by more testing.