Delta Trikes

Silk Not mine–I have a tadpole [a Catrike 700 known as Silk]. So, what the difference between a delta and a tadpole?  A delta trike or tricycle has one wheel in front and two behind, where a tadpole trike has the reverse.

Here is the new guy on the block: The RANS Trizard. Read Randy Schlitter’s Into the Ride Article #73 for information on this interesting trike. So you ask, are there other delta trikes available? Yes!

My Facebook friends and BROL members Jennifer Lang & Bobby Baxmeyer [her fiancé] [cellolang & bbax] and Mary [TrikeDiva] have  Kettwiesel Trikes. I also rode with Parky (a Kett owner) in the Face of America ’08 Ride.

Then there is the Greenspeed Anura, introduced in 2007. I do not know an Anura rider. Both the Kett and Anura offer a differential option. The Trizard does not. The Trizard uses the left wheel as a drive wheel.

There are other delta trikes [see this BROL Interbike ’07 article]. These three are frequently discussed on BROL.

This post is to introduce the RANS Trizard and generally comment on two other popular delta trikes. Deltas are but one of many recumbent cycles. Ride what works for you. You see that I ride road bikes [DFs] as well as recumbents [an LWB, an SWB, and a tadpole trike] and a MTB. I hope to add a Crank Forward later this year. It fits between a ‘bent and a DF [also known as an upright].

Here is the BROL Thread started by Nanda [BROL Member Stradavarius] that informs BROL readers of Randy Schlitter’s [RANS Founder] Into the Ride Article #73 on the Trizard.


Riding with my new upholstered neckrest and relocated GPS

pb270033Nirvana! Having ridden my VK2 in several different configuration and retrying many of them, I am completely satisfied with my neck rest and current GPS location. The vinyl covering on the neck rest eliminates the problem of my helmet damaging the foam and is comfortable to my skin. The GPS is in its most readable position. I have a bit of touch-up to do.


Relocated GPS

Head/Neck Rest

Reply to a BROL question from Dragonfly:

“Jim, how did you make your head rest? I’m thinking of buying or making one somewhat like that. Always nice to have great photos like yours to view!

I always work on upping my speed, too. After seeing the comparisons of women RAAM teams to men, I don’t feel so bad when the guys I ride with are typically faster than me.”

Hello Dragonfly,

On speed, I understand. In my cycling club there are several lady riders [all DFs] who drop me all the time. I can probably get them on a sprint or climbing a hill, but general speed on the flats, they are amazingly fast. So, I just recognize there are really fast ladies and do the best I can.

This is probably the 4th iteration [and best so far] of a neck-rest for this bike. I am using the carbon-fiber neck rest that I purchased with the bike. I shortened it and cut the top back to about an 1 1/4 inch. I’m using 3 layers of pipe insulation (like this) [that I also use to protect the my DF’s top-tube when it is transported for organized rides], cut to a width of ~4″, that is wrapped around a junk piece of plastic [could be PVC pipe or anything light] that is hollow. I used strips of dark double-sided tape to secure the layers to each other. This cushion is then attached to the carbon-fiber piece with a black strip of Velcro wrap.

I find this neck-rest the right height for me and pretty comfortable to rest against. I try to shift positions as I ride for maximum comfort. I still wish I had better bottom comfort. The top of my gluts are a bit uncomfortable after about 30 minutes of riding–any suggestions???

The Excitement & Pleasure Continues…

I recently rode my VK2 twice. The bike is sweet and such a dream to ride. So far this year, I’ve been riding my DF–I’m not DF hatin’.

Last Thursday, I rode with 4 other church members and today with member of my cycling club. Although I may not yet have my “bent” legs, I managed to make the bike move quite swiftly.

Today I achieved a 38.5 max speed. On the two rides, I rode to the rear of the other rider, yet managed to average above 17 mph. I’ll be riding more as the weeks go by.

Now, I’ve got to get the RANS Stratus back on the road.

BTW, today I used my old Ventisit Fabric Pad [with additional padding]. I was more comfortable, but not totally comfortable. Does any bicycle saddle/seat give total comfort? I’ll likely use both, the Zotefoam for the shorter rides and the Ventisit Fabric Pad for the longer rides.

5K Goal Realized–and on the VK2

Today’s ride was a blast. It reminded me of the ease with which I caught DF riders on the last day of Cycling North Carolina 2006. My average speed today was 17.9 mph over 14.8 miles. That was with 3 adjustments I need to make to the VK2:

  1. change the chain tube holder so my knees does not strike it–DONE;
  2. reinstall my neck rest–PROTOTYPE CREATED (the riding position warrants neck (head) support ; and,
  3. add more padding to my seat–to do. (My butt is not quite comfortable yet.)

I‘ll ride again soon and try to average near 19 mph. Today’s ride ended up being a check ride based on the adjustments I realized as I was riding.

René E-Mail Dialogue–Day2

Time now allows me to answer René’s questions from yesterday.


“1) compare your Stratus versus VK2. I do not think a low racer should be compared to a LWB recumbent. The ride and handling characteristics are different [relevant to the type handlebars on each]. I purchased my SXP for
touring. As I have it setup, it is perfect for that task. The ride is comfortable and its load carrying ability is superb. The low racer (VK2) is a fast bike. As I see it more for sprinting than riding long distances. The ride and riding position are not as comfortable as on the RANS Stratus. I love them both, but see them as different bikes for different functions.

2) performances on flat roads, hill climbing, down hill Again, the VK2 I think will beat the Stratus on a short distance sprint–say a mile or so. It is a much lighter bike. My SXP is loaded [heavy]. I can make it go fast however, particularly downhill. The VK2 probably has the edge in hill climbing. Downhill–edge probably to the VK2 because of it weight and gearing. However, I’ve seen near 40 mph on the Stratus.

3) Also the handling. Some articles say the XP is hard to drive at low speed and unpredictable at high speed?? I’ve had no control problems at low or high speed. I do find both bikes twitchier as compared to my road bike. A low-center of gravity bike has different handling characteristics. It may however be me and the number of miles I have ridden. Other bent riders say the twitchiness will go away. I do not know…

4) What is the benefit in speed with the fairing?? Is it necessary to run above 15/18 miles per hour?? what are your comments ?? I do not know if I have seen a speed benefit with the fairing. I’d have to do coast down test to know for sure. A speed advantage is not important to me. I like the rain and wind protection the fairing gives, plus the bike is so COOL with it on. If you are riding over 18mph, you are suppose to get the fairing increased speed advantage.

Well René, I hope my responses are of some use to you. Can you travel to some other location in Europe to ride a Stratus. Given your concerns, I recommend you ride first. I purchased mind without riding one. I spoke with my dealer and described what I wanted to do and he recommended the SXP. The bike can be adjusted to fit your size. I’m a bit taller and heavier. I think I have a good setup for me.Have you visited my blog?

Sorry for the delay in getting this response to you. I may want to post our
dialogue in my blog. Do you have any objection?”



I didn’t know if I am well using the message forum to send you my response ??!!
I agree you post our dialogue on your blog ..
I have visited him
[the blog] ..fine but with the shots ..I see you have not same measurements as me!!
Concerning Stratus ..In Europe ..I didn’t know where is it possible to try
one I have the possibility to try a Tailwind ..the BB versus the seat
height is about the same as Stratus I could appreciate the position ..very
different of Bacchetta and VK!!
It is the only problem position
..possibility of recumbent butt ..comfort ??
for other considerations ..I think performance is lower .mainly hill climbing (Bacchetta Corsa or Aéro) but if handling is OK at 5 miles (not too meander as Bryan J .Ball write ) problem ..I take the risk to import from States ..
I have ordered my Bacchetta from Dana …
Have you opinion about Easy racer GRR?? someone says
performances and handling are better (??) than Stratus XP..other says :the same
?? difficult to choose !!
Thanks for your advices for me it is easier to have your mail address to answer separately ..if you want ??”


“Dana, Bent Up Cycles, is also my dealer. I purchased both of my bents from him. He is GOOD! On riding a SXP in Europe, you can start a thread on BROL that ask who rides a RANS Stratus in Europe who may allow you to test ride their bike.
I have no direct knowledge of other recumbents and their handling characteristics. Recumbutt is the result on a too vertical seat position. In a laid-back position, you should not have that problem.

GOOD LUCK!!! –jim”



Thanks for your “direct response” ..mainly my “forum box was full” !!
to understand is 300 at 500 miles to go to other country..
but I agree your good idea to start with a thread on the BROL..
but it is first time ..I have never do this !!
I confirm Dana is very capable..
I have also contacted “Angletech” who seems very free to discuss ..

Best regards,



I have also used Kelvin at Angletech. He is also good. The 300-400 miles by train in Europe may be worth it. Who knows, you may have a BROL Member in France who rides a Stratus. Again, good luck! –jim”


“Thanks JIM ..I have posted my first thread…on BROL!!
Take care.

E-Mail Dialogue with a French Gentleman–René

René says:


I am French bentrider having a Bacchetta Corsa, a Aéro Basso and a VK1 (20×26″ wheels) and I am looking to buy a Stratus XP ..!! But in France there is no Rans no could you give me advice??

I am looking for a bike having the “output” of the VK but with comfort of the Bacchetta !! Could you compare your Stratus versus VK2? Performances on flat roads, hill climbing, down hill? Also the handling. Some articles say the XP is hard to drive at low speed and unpredictable at high speed?? What is the benefit in speed with the fairing?? Is it necessary to run above 15/18 miles per hour?? What are your comments?? I am X-seam 39″ high 65″ and weight 140 poundsI am interested by the Stratus Standard XP.

..many thanks”

My reply:

“Hello René,

I’ll have to answer a bit later today. I’m involved with my business. Please visit my RANS Stratus Blog [Now Cycling Experiences…], if you have not.

I’ll respond to each of your questions as soon as I have time.

–Jim Artis”