March 26, 2013
Introducing Ti-Trikes Titanium Recumbent Trikes
With several decades of experience building high performance wheelchairs, downhill racing chairs, and mobility products for the U.S. Army, Ti-Trikes founders Patrick Summers and Ken Messier set out to build the world’s finest recumbent adult trikes.
Recognizing the important role that exercise and recreation play in people’s health and wellbeing, Pat and Ken set a goal of bringing the sport of cycling to a wider audience, including people with disabilities like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), stroke, cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and Spina Bifida.
Located in the heart of Connecticut’s world-class aerospace alley, Ti-Trikes spent several years doing research and development; fine-tuning their design, optimizing frame geometry and evaluating, testing, and selecting the best components for their complete line of recumbent trikes. Their survey of the trike market revealed some serious shortcomings among the current generation of trikes, including heavy weight, uncomfortable seating positions, use of low-grade steel or aluminum tubing, and finicky brakes. To save weight and improve durability and strength, Ti-Trikes selected aerospace grade Titanium as their frame material of choice for every one of their trikes. Their Titanium frames will never rust, chip, or corrode for the life of the frame and offer an exceptional load carrying capacity, supporting a combined rider and cargo weight up to 400 pounds.
Every Ti-Trike model is built with the goals of comfort, safety, and performance in mind. Unlike conventional two-wheeled bicycles that require strong balance skills and excellent coordination, three-wheeled tricycles are inherently easy-to-ride, stable, and safe. For these reasons, Ti-Trikes are ideal for senior citizens who would like to continue to cycle but can no longer safely balance on a conventional bicycle. One satisfied Ti-Trikes customer with Multiple Sclerosis summarizes her feelings this way: “I kept wishing there was a way I could ride a bike, and then I found out there was, I took off and had tears coming down. To feel the fresh air and sunshine on my face – I was in heaven”.
Design and Technology
Unlike some brands of low-slung recumbent tricycles that deliver high performance at the expense of comfort, people of all ages and fitness levels can ride Ti-Trikes. For those needing an extra boost going uphill or for long distance on the flats, the company also offers electric power-assist on all four of its models of trikes. On level ground, these trikes can cruise at speeds of 15 miles per hour with a range of 20 to 25 miles. Both speed and range can be increased with pedaling input from the rider. In addition to using a high performance welded titanium frame, every Ti-Trike is designed using a highly stable “tadpole” configuration, with two wheels in the front and a single wheel in the rear.
Ti-Trikes called their design philosophy “Adaptive By Design (ABD)”. In an effort to make the trikes as comfortable as possible for seniors and disabled individuals, many of the components like the handlebars, seat, and pedals offer a full range of adjustments. All of the key Ti-Trike components like gear shifters, derailleurs, brakes, wheels, and seat have been carefully chosen for their comfort, ease-of-use, and reliability.
As a recent startup, the company is experiencing strong sales and growth, especially as an environmentally friendly mode of transportation for cross-town trips, riding on bike paths, and general exercise. Given their excellent comfort and performance, Ti-Trikes also excel at long distance rides, as evidenced by founder Ken Messier’s 3000-mile long transcontinental Ti-Trikes ride two years ago.
Several models of Ti-Trikes are designed to meet specific cycling and transportation needs. The T-350, for example, comes equipped with a large wooden cargo bed for grocery hauling and shopping trips. The newest Ti-Trike model, the T-450, is the world’s first tadpole handcycle, designed to go long distances using only hand and arm power. Ti-Trikes has applied for a patent for this innovative new design.
Made in USA
In recognition of its advanced technology and innovative use of materials and components, Ti-Trikes has received a substantial loan and grant from the State of Connecticut under the state’s new Small Business Express program. Unlike most brands of trikes that their frames built in overseas Asian factories, every Ti-Trike model is machined, welded, and assembled in South Windsor, Connecticut. Ti-Trikes is one of the few recumbent trike manufacturers that can proudly say “Made in USA” for every one of their trikes.