Russian recumbent trikes
Last update: March 2015
Update March 2015:
- Due to chronic lack of space elsewhere my trike has been mostly up in the loft :-( but I have plans to get it back into action soon!
- Meanwhile, the Russian creators are still somewhat active, but if you Google-translate the Russian version of their website trike.ru it says that trike production would only resume if an investor comes forward to make it happen. Any takers?
- I still occasionally hear from other owners. The links to the forum below are broken as it was part of the now-retired old Velo Vision site, but I should be able to relink them soon to the static archive of that forum. I'll look at maybe setting up a new forum on this site at some point if there's any interest.
Update Nov 2009: I have my trike back! After going through several owners it's back in my hands requiring some TLC and repair. I've set up a new Russian trikes forum on the Velo Vision website where I'll report on its restoration - and I hope other Russian trike owners will also use it to exchange notes. First pictures of my trike as received back are here.
The S-327 is a Russian-made recumbent trike, and I own one. It's an interesting design, with some wonderful aircraft-grade engineering throughout, lot of titanium... The most unusual feature is the front-wheel drive, which it would probably be uneconomic to make in the West. I guess it's the engineering appeal of these trikes that explains people's eagerness to overcome the sometimes considerable logistical difficulties of getting one...
Though this model has not been made for a few years now, the trikes were relaunched in July 04 with a new website at www.trike.ru and a new all-wheel-drive version with many improvements. I'm very tempted to upgrade... but as of April 2008 they still don't appear to actually be available to buy.
The history of these trikes is a bit complicated, and although the people behind www.trike.ru have a solid record of reliable trading, there have been other companies with problems in delivering what's been ordered. There is a a Yahoo mailing list (now pretty inactive) if you want the details.
My trike was made many years ago now - around 1995 as I recall, although the Solovjov seat and carrier rack were added more recently.
Here are some adaptations and extras I've made for my trike:
I made a lighting mast to support head and back lights above my head. I had a rather neat system (since removed) where the caving caplamp seen could be transferred onto a helmet clip, making it a powerful head torch. But it was a bit heavy, and not much use when not wearing a helmet. But I've left the mast on, as it's good for visibility and means I can usually not use a flag. If I do feel the need for a flag there's a mounting hole for one in the white plastic block.
I went a bit over the top with this - I'm sure a lighter more elegant solution is possible. Note how plastic 'fingers' go underneath the front rack member - these are designed to break away if I accidentally go under some low obstruction.
Mudguards - essential accessories for UK! The Russian manufacturers offer 'proper' ones too. I incorporated a bottle cage each side on the mudguard mounts
At some point one of the drive shafts broke where it goes through the front wheel hub. After a few false starts I decided it was easiest to make a one-piece stainless steel replacement incorporating half of a U-joint - in contrast to the titanium originals, which were threaded to join the shaft. Seems to work well enough!