Construction of the Quike: the story so far

Step 1: The idea

It was November 2007 when we first visited Paul at Greenspeed for a chat about a custom tandem recumbent thing.  We spoke at length about various options, such as wheel size, suspension or not, clearance, load capacity, seat angles, steering options, gearing options, braking options...  This was the start of the Quike project, and after talking with Paul that day we felt a bit more confident that it might just be crazy enough to work!

Step 2: Design

Sometime in January we received some designs from Paul with a couple of different configurations for clearance and luggage storage.  After a bit of deliberation we decided on 20 mm of clearance at the lowest point.  The concern was that being lifted up too high would've affected stability, especially when cornering.  The designs looked pretty good - it had wheels, and seats, and all the other stuff... great!

Step 3: The frame

Sometime in March 2008 we popped in to visit Paul to see how things were shaping up. The frame looked pretty beefy with its 2" tubing.  But more importantly, it looked like something that might, at some stage, hit the road.  At that point it had only 3 of 4 wheels, but it was a promising sign.

Step 4: Get it rolling

The maiden voyage.  We picked it up just before Easter, 2008, when we took it off to the You Yangs for some off-road testing.  We were very happy with how it felt and handled when we took it for a spin around the carpark.

Step 5: Off-road testing

Then it was off to the You Yangs to try out some MTB tracks.  This was good fun and we worked out a few special Quiking techniques.  We also found a few advantages (stability and lazy comfort) and disadvantages (speed or lack thereof) of the four wheel system.

Step 6: On-road testing

We thought it'd be a bit of fun to take the Quike out on a real road ride.  The opening of the Eastlink freeway for one day to cyclists provided that opportunity.  We had a few stares as we cruised along...

Step 7: Load 'er up!

Our first ride with a rack and luggage wasn't too successful.  We tried to find snow and failed, and our makeshift rack base was a bit too hard to piece together.  But we learnt a few lessons, and it was still fun!

Step 8: Snow testing

On our second attempt we found snow and managed to do a proper loaded overnight ride.  We tried out Fat Surly rims and tyres and found them to perhaps offer a small advantage for the Quike in snow.  Hmm...

Step 9: Sand and heavy loads

So next we got a top rear rack to go with our front rack and lower rear racks.  And we headed out to NW Victoria to Murray-Sunset and Wyperfeld National Parks for some sandy track testing with heavy loads.  And we mean heavy - 150 litres of water plus all our other luggage for a 4 day tour.