Direct VS Indirect Steering on Recumbent Trikes | Which Is Better?

Direct VS Indirect Steering on Recumbent Trikes | Which Is Better?

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Video Transcript 

Hi, this is James, Master Trike technician at Laid Back Cycles. Today we are going over direct steering versus indirect steering. Which one is better? Okay, I got you there. One is not really better than the other, they are just different. Indirect steering essentially puts the steering on a bearing underneath the seat and operates two tire rods. Because of the way it's levered it takes a lot less energy to move. Also, the wheels can be engineered because of how they have the tire rods. The initial movement is less but as you turn, it turns the wheel more. This can give you a little bit more stability when you're going really fast; and also gives you a really good turn radius for when you're on a bike path and you have a single lane. 

Now direct steering also has this advantage. As its name implies the handlebars are directly connected to the wheels. This has several advantages because like a sports car you are directly connected to the road. You actually feel everything, and you can correct when you have those little bumps or little divots inside of the road. You can react to it a little bit more because there's more input to the driver of the trike. It's a simpler system run through us a single tie rod. How it rides versus the indirect depends a lot on the frame designs and the steering designs. A whole bunch of things will affect the feel. The design of the handlebars, the angle of the head tubes on both systems, and what the engineer was thinking when they designed the overall trike. So, we're going to take these things outside and show you a little bit about the differences.

The direct steering is very well planted. You can feel the road, you have total control over it, and the ability to move it is actually not that hard. You can do it with one hand pretty easily. This system on this Gran Tourismo is perfect. The Greenspeed, especially the GT20, has one of the best steering systems out there. One hand is real easy and it's not jittery in any sense. And when you turn it has a natural progressive feeling. This thing is great.

So, we just got back from our ride over here and as you can see, in actual practice, there's not a whole lot of difference between the two different types of steering. There is a difference in feel though; so you might prefer one or the other. But again the trike is more important than the steering. You should be able to feel comfortable in it before you even get to that point. And then from there if you have two trikes that you like and one happens to be direct steering and one is indirect, pick the one you're most comfortable with. But if you want to know more about the subject you should check out this next video.

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