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Description

 

Introduction

The Roller recumbent tricycle, or trike, is a high specification, top quality machine primarily designed for comfortable long-distance touring and fast, enjoyable day rides.  Although it could be easily stripped down into a lightweight and competitive racing machine, the addition of a simply attached trailer quickly converts it into a work-horse for moving heavy goods, recycling trips to the local council tip or for shopping for bulky items. 

 

Design Considerations

After studying early recumbent trikes, makers’ brochures, several years’ membership and reading the newsletters of the British Human Powered Vehicles Club and their excellent ‘So you want to build an HPV’ booklet, scouring the archives of the IHPVA trikes list, and many, many hours of researching the internet, it became obvious that the only way to make a new (ideal?) trike was to take as many good points of existing designs as possible, add all our own improvements and requirements, and proceed. 

There were many considerations such as, should the trike be able to be ridden through a standard door?  Steering to be direct or indirect, joystick or handlebar, or even side levers?  Three wheels the same size and if so, what?  Should the seat be moulded or suspended mesh?  What type of gearing?  Fixed or adjustable seat back angle?  A one-piece chassis or maybe two or more parts?  Steel or aluminium construction?  If steel, what kind of joints - brazed, welded?  If aluminium, what sort of gussets - web, tube or saddle?  Rim, disc or drum brakes?  Seat height?  Wheel suspension?  To fit what size of rider?  And so on . . .  

There was no problem deciding about the need for mudguards and a luggage rack - they were considered essential.  

After weighing up all the options, making hundreds of CAD drawings, constructing several prototype and pre-production Rollers, it was decided that adjustability, comfort, quality and safety were the most important factors.  Therefore the final, production version Rollers would have:

 

  (a) A comfortable seat with adjustable head/neck rest, wide enough to accommodate the largest rider.

The wide, suspended seat effectively and practically replaces the need for wheel suspension in almost all circumstances, without the weight penalty. The low seat height ensures plenty of cornering stability and inspires confidence.  For most riders an adjustable mesh seat is also the most comfortable, especially in hot weather.  The seat is quickly detachable (just two bolts) and does not form part of the main chassis frame.  Adjustable head/neck rests, a lumbar cushion and padded armrests complete the 'comfort zone'.

  (b) Intuitive handlebar steering with adjustable rake, width, and ratio.

The familiar handlebars won the argument, despite the need to meet the conflicting requirements of the wide seat, a reasonably small turning circle and a practical front wheel track dimension.  Handlebars also have plenty of room for brake levers, twist grip gear changers, padded hand rests and mountings for rear-view mirrors – and there’s no learning curve.  The steering ratio (the amount of movement the handlebars need to turn the front wheels lock to lock) is also adjustable. 

   (c) Reliable, long-life, all-weather front brakes.

The chosen layout enables the use of very short cables that won't collect water and freeze up in cold weather and levers and controls that are mounted the ‘right’ way round. With the main brakes on the front wheels and the low centre of gravity, the braking is particularly effective.  Although all types of brake were  evaluated, drum brakes were found to be the best all-round choice.  They are well known for their efficiency and longevity, require very little maintenance, and can be trusted to bring the trike to a safe stop under all conditions.  There are many instances of drum brakes still operating smoothly and with their shoes showing hardly any signs of wear after decades of hard use - virtually 'fit and forget.'

  (d) A hub gear option with twist grip operation.

Particular benefits are the ability to change gears whilst stationary, in traffic or part way up a hill, and the provision of a wide range of gear ratios.  With the Rohloff 14 gear Speedhub the owner has the added advantage of very low maintenance as all the gears run in a sealed internal oil bath. The SRAM DualDrive option combines the efficiency and simplicity of the derailleur gear, a wide range and the convenience of stationary gear changing by the flick of a thumb lever.

  (e) An adjustable seatback – which can fold down forward. 

As most new trike riders may have no idea what seatback angle will suit them best it was felt important to be able to adjust it over a wide range, easily and quickly - a fixed angle was never considered an option.  Many riders start out with the seatback in a fairly upright position and with experience, and as confidence grows, they gradually lower it until it is close to its 30 degree position.  The low overall height when the seatback is folded forward enables the Roller to be stored under a table or carried in the rear of a small estate car.    Also, as at least one owner has discovered, it makes it possible to get the Roller onto various trains in the UK.  The raised seatback makes it very easy to steer the trike when it has to be pushed through a pedestrian-only shopping precinct.

  (f) A separate rear wheel parking brake.

Useful at traffic lights, especially when on a gradient.  Stops an unattended trike running away in a breeze and assists some riders in getting into and out of the low seat.  Also makes dozing off in comfort under a shady tree feel more secure.

  (g) A chassis that can be split into two main parts and is adjustable for size.

The Roller can easily be transported in the back of an average family estate car or broken down into a few large pieces for shipment overseas.  Economic replacement of major parts is also possible in the event of crash damage.  Both the forward boom and the seat position are fully adjustable making it easy to accommodate almost any size of adult or large child rider. 

  (h) Only the best components fitted. 

Because of the amount of time, cost and effort that goes into producing a Roller it was considered that only the very best components would do.   It was felt a false economy to make a machine fitted with cheaper components with the view that they can always be upgraded with better parts when they wear out.  Why not start out with the best available parts and enjoy the dual benefits of longer wear and better performance right from the beginning? 

It was considered important to choose components that incorporated aluminium alloy or stainless fittings, etc., wherever possible.  This usually means selecting well-known and respected ‘high end’ items for the cycle components and careful selection of respected brands for the engineering parts.  Therefore, all fasteners are metric and of stainless steel, ball-bearing races are sealed, steering system ball joints have phosphor-bronze low-maintenance bearings.  All the components that make up a Roller are well-engineered, long-lasting and more than capable of doing the job asked of them.   

We believe in the old adage of  "Build up to quality, not down to price".

  (i) The chassis constructed of aluminium alloy.

The aluminium chassis helps to keep the overall weight low.   Because the material is relatively light, large diameter tubing with added extra stiffening can be used without any significant weight penalty.  The resultant reduced flexing means more of the rider’s effort finds its way to the rear wheel, and hence, to the road.  The grades of aluminium alloy chosen for the Roller are particularly corrosion-resistant, and with the addition of a chromate layer prior to powder coating, even greater protection is provided.

    

 

Pricing Policy

As you will see from the 'Specifications and Prices' page, there isn't a list of optional extras for the Roller - because none are required.   We've steered away from the 'shopping basket' approach because we found it embarrassing to quote a price and then have to add the cost of 'optional extras' which are really essentials that everyone needs.

If there are any items in the specification that a customer does not require, for any reason, the price will be reduced an appropriate amount. 

Changes to the general specification to meet a customer's needs can be provided as long as the overall quality is not compromised.  It is expected  Rollers produced in, say, five years' time will look essentially the same as they do today.  

 

 

Ordering a Roller

When you place an order for a Roller a deposit of about 25% of the price is requested.  At present, the aim is to have your new machine ready for collection within seven weeks of accepting your deposit.  This period may vary slightly depending on seasonal demand - most orders seem to come in late Spring!

Placing an order for a Redmount Roller is simple - you only have two significant decisions to make; the chassis colour and the type of gearing - everything else you are likely to need is included in the specification and the price. 

Because we know that circumstances can sometimes change even in the relatively short time between placing an order and taking delivery, we will return your deposit (less any irrecoverable expenses) if, for any reason, you are unable to complete the purchase of your Roller.

 

 

Guarantee

The Roller chassis is carefully designed, strongly built, and almost certainly, very long lasting.  The chosen components are amongst the best available. 

We therefore guarantee to replace or repair, free of charge, any part of the chassis that fails, in normal use, from material or manufacturing defects, within the first five years.

We also guarantee to replace or repair, free of charge, any component (apart from tyres, tubes, chains and pulleys) that fails, in normal use, from material or manufacturing defects, within the first two years.

 

 

Demonstration Rides

Few cyclists have ever ridden a recumbent cycle, let alone a recumbent trike.  Most first-timers find the experience very interesting and enjoyable, quickly acquiring the skills to ride the machine with complete confidence.  Recumbent bicycles are well-known for being difficult to balance and most require considerable experience to achieve complete confidence in all situations. Trikes, in contrast, are mainly intuitive and can be mastered by almost anyone within a few minutes' riding time.  Some enthusiasts even make the immediate decision to own one after only their first ride.   

Trikes are still quite rare and it is difficult for a prospective owner to try out the various makes of machine.  Few cycle shops have any contact with recumbent machines and therefore, are unable to offer any useful assistance towards making a decision.  Many trike makers deal directly with their customers and consequently purchasing decisions are often based on either visits to manufacturers, magazine reviews, a short ride at a cycle rally or maybe a recommendation from an existing owner.  

There is no better way to make your purchasing decision than to take demonstration rides on as many trikes as possible.  We welcome visitors and will accompany you for a demonstration ride in and around King's Lynn (Sustrans National Route 1 passes through the town) at any reasonable time.  Weekends are particularly favourable but we can usually make time any day for a ride out and about.  Please give us some notice (preferably an hour or two) if you intend to travel any distance to see us.

 

 

 

Last checked: 24 November 2007