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GT26 Overview

Way back in 1990, the very first GreenSpeed trikes were built with 26” rear wheels. However we discovered that using a 20” rear wheel had a large number of advantages. Not only was the wheel itself lighter, stronger, and stiffer, but it also fed lower stresses into the frame under cornering, so the whole frame could be made smaller and lighter, giving compounding weight savings. Plus the whole machine could be made more compact, and the performance improved. However we pondered why the trike with the smaller back wheel was faster when conventional wisdom said the larger wheels rolled easier. Thus we tested a large number of different sized tires, and were surprised to find that at the same section size, same tyre construction, and same pressure, the smaller diameter tires rolled easier! Plus we found that not only did wider tires also roll easier, but the type of tyre construction played a far larger role in the comfort of the ride, than the diameter of the tires.

So in 1993 we changed over to building all our trikes with 20 inch wheels all round. And then in 2006, we went one step further and produced the GT3 folding trike with 16” wheels, which gave a further benefit in performance.

However there still are a lot of people who firmly believe that the larger wheels are faster. “If smaller wheels are faster, why don’t racing cyclists use them?” Plus not everyone has the need for speed, and many just ride for exercise and enjoyment. Then there are those who just prefer the LOOK of the larger rear wheel, thus there is a continuous demand for a trike with a large rear wheel. So we thought why not?

Greater Stability 26" Bigger Wheels

Normally trikes with large rear wheels are unstable due to problems with rear wheel flex and rear end instability. Thus we made special GS rear hubs with a much wider flange spacing than normal, which has resulted in a 26” wheel with more lateral stiffness than a 20” wheel. Plus we have increased the section size of the rear forks. Thus with the longer wheelbase, the GT26 is even more stable at high speed than the GT20.

For people who want even larger wheels than 26”, the GT26 frame has been built to accept a 700c rear wheel, and the larger 20 inch 451 bsd rims may be used on the front. Thus the special GreenSpeed wide rear hubs, and special front hubs are available for people who may want to build up two wheels sets – one for road use and one for off road use. In fact we have left enough room in the rear forks to fit the Schwalbe Big Apple tires if need be.

Virtual Suspension for Comfort

The major reason for most people buying a recumbent is for more comfort that you get on the small saddle of an ordinary bike. A number of trikes are now offering mechanical suspension, but this inevitably adds weight, which you feel at the first stroke of the pedals, and labour with up the hills. Whereas the GT26 has what is known as virtual suspension. 1st there are the tires. While not supple as our Scorcher tires, the Schwalbe Kojak tires chosen for the GT26 are made in both 20” and 26” giving matching tires front and back, and some say the 26” rear wheel results in a better ride. Then the frame is designed to flex, and finally the seat is laced with shock cord, so that it gives a measure of suspension. Plus the seat frames have been anodized instead of power coated, to allow the seat fabric to move more easily on the frame. The seat was designed by a chiropractor, so that it provides both lumbar and shoulder support. Another feature which enhances your comfort is the adjustability of the seat. The seat adjusts for height, so that if you have difficulty getting in and out of a low seat, you can start with the seat high, and then as you get fitter, and/or lose weight, you can lower the seat, and take advantage of the better stability you get with a lower centre of gravity. Plus to further enhance your comfort, the seat is adjustable for angle. Some people who suffer back pain may find the more reclined angles better, while others may prefer a more upright angle. Also the seat height adjustment in conjunction with the angle adjustment allows you to vary the angle between the pedals and your body, to best suit your physical form, and get your most comfortable pedalling position. Plus the handle bars are adjustable for width, angle, and fore and aft.

Performance Efficient & Fast

It is not much use having a really comfortable trike if it performs like a slug. A trike should be a joy to ride, and reward you for every pedal stroke. In fact not only should a recumbent trike be more comfortable than an upright bike, it should be more efficient and faster, due to better aerodynamics. This is where the GT26 shines. Unlike upright bikes, recumbent trikes are a mono tube design, and with every stroke of the pedals, the boom will flex down and the frame will flex up under the seat, wasting some of your effort. To overcome this the GT26 uses a rectangular main tube and crank extension. Thus the main tube is BOTH stiffer and lighter than the oversize round main tube used on the Magnum! To reduce the weight further, the GT26 uses the special lightweight Aero hubs, and new kingpins which are ½ the weight of the kingpins used on the Magnum.

Any amount of tread on a bicycle tire will slow you down on the road, so while the Kojaks chosen for the GT26 may not roll quite as easily as our Scorchers, they lighter and thinner, giving less air drag. They are the next most popular tire for the Australian Pedal Prix racing. Finally the 26” rear wheel gives you speed without the need for special gearing systems.

Big Wheel and Gearing

The large 26” rear wheel of the GT26 has a number of advantages over the 20” of the GT20. Instead of needing the special 56/42/30 crankset of the GT20, the GT26 uses the standard Shimano Sora 50/39/30 crankset so replacements will be easy to get. Another advantage is the larger wheel lifts the rear derailleur and chain further from the ground, so that the trike is more suited to off road use. Plus, as the 26” wheel is the most common bike size, there are a greater selection of tires available. Finally, the larger rear wheel just LOOKS better than having the same size wheels all round.

In the interests of saving money some trikes have twist grip shifters. While this might be OK on an upright bike with horizontal handle bars where one can get one’s thumb and fore fingers around them, they are awkward to use on vertical handle bars, where one can only get the two smaller fingers around them. Thus the GT26 uses the Shimano Ultegra bar end shifters which make changing gear easier. Also the GT26 has a special MicroShift front derailleur which only needs ½ the force required by the Shimano Sora F/D. We also found that the 10 speed chains now in common use were only lasting a fraction of the mileage obtained from 8 speed chains, plus the 10 speed gears needed more frequent adjustment. Plus, witnessed by the fact that a number of people are choosing to ride single speed machines, it was obvious that 10 rear speeds were not needed. Thus the GT26 has “only” 24 speeds.

Should this range not be enough for some people, a wide range of additional gears maybe fitted, as the GT26 has special dropouts and extra cable guides for the German Rohloff 14 speed internally geared hub. The Schlumpf two speed bottom bracket and Nu Vinci infinitely variable hub, as fitted as standard equipment on the Anura IGH, are also popular GreenSpeed fitments, as is the SRAM DualDrive hub which is fitted as standard equipment on the Magnum Hand trike.

Special 90mm Drum Brakes

Many trikes use disc brakes. However, most disc brakes are fiddly to adjust, the rotor can easily get bent, and the pads can have a short life, plus it can be difficult to remove the wheel. Thus the GT20 has special 90 mm drum brakes. These may take some time to bed in and give their best performance, but the shoe size is larger than the pads used in disc brakes, making them practically everlasting, and performance is 30% better than the standard 70 mm drums, and better than say the Gator hydraulic disc brakes used on the GT5. Axle size has been increased to 15 mm to reduce axle flex, and any possibility of drag with heavier riders. The drums also give a cleaner appearance, and wind tunnel test have proved they are faster, due to reduced wind drag.

Superb Steering System

Some trikes use what they call direct steering, in which the handle bars are merely extensions of the kingpins. This is often done as it is cheap, with no extra linkage except for the track rod. However, this usually results having the arms out stretched in uncomfortable and awkward manner, or at the best having the use the weaker muscles of the arms to move the handle bars sideways, rather than using the biceps in a fore and aft motion. The GT 26 uses the GreenSpeed “Cross Over” steering system, for easy and superior control, and unlike conventional “indirect” steering systems, which have a larger turning circle, the GT26 has a tiny turning circle, making it extremely manoeuvrable. Using the special, narrow hubs made for the Aero, in 20” wheels, has enabled us to reduce the kingpin inclination on the GT26, so that it retains the NSR steering geometry, 1st introduced on the GT3, Series II, yet is not as heavy as the Magnum. Thus the steering is as light and accurate as the legendry GTO trikes, yet has complete freedom from brake steer. The 5 degrees of camber increase the stability of the trike for no increase in overall width, and ensure that the tire rather than the axle end will touch the bollard, gatepost or doorpost if you happen to get too close.

Folding Frame Conveniently Collapsible

The GT20/26 is a completely new frame design from Greenspeed. We are using the rectangular cross section main tube as used on the Anura, which both stronger and lighter than the round tube used on the early Magnums. And to make further gains is strength and weight we have eliminated the welds in the main tube and the cross member, by making the front main tube in one piece, and cross member also in one piece, and curved so that it comes closer to the seat to enable the rider to mount and dismount easier. The frame material is 7005 aluminium alloy, which is stronger than the more commonly used 6061 aluminium alloy and stronger than mild steel, yet only 1/3 the weight. The seat is the same material, but standard size, instead of the large seat used on the Magnum, thus it is lighter, and has lighter and simple struts for angle adjustment, yet the same Q/R adjustment at the front for height adjustment. The frame is hinged like the earlier GT3, and the Magnum, so that rear half can be folded over the front half to reduce the size enough to fit in the trunk of a car. The rectangular main tube also makes it easier to adjust the trike for leg length, as the cranks are now self-aligning, plus the cranks will not twist in the frame, if the pinch bolts or Q/R for leg length adjustment have not been done up really tight. We have also welded a boss to the frame to take the fixed idler for the optional Chain Gobbler, which automatically adjusts the chain length, as the cranks are moved in and out, to suit riders with different leg lengths.

Yet another feature of the GT26 frame, is the ability to change frame sizes. The standard frame will take riders with an X-seam from 41 to 51 inches, or from about 5’ 3” to about 6’ 5” in height. However, as the boom clamp is an external clamp, rather than part of the frame, the main tube can be shortened as much as 6” to allow riders with an X-seam as small as 35 inches or about 4’ 6” in height.

So, now at last you can have your cake, and eat it too! A 26” rear wheeled trike with the legendary GreenSpeed roadholding and handling! The GT26 is available in all the GT20 colours, Red, Blue, Green, Yellow and Orange. The best news is that the price is only $2,890 USD / $3,190 AUD. The 1st initial GT26 shipment has now landed, so if you are interested, please order from your local GS dealer now, to avoid disappointment.

Uses & Accessories

The GT26 is designed as a light touring trike. Thus it is ideal for light touring, commuting, and recreational riding. With an overall width of just 31” it is narrower than the Magnum, and able to fit through standard doorways. Because of the versatile adjustments in the seat, the leg length, and the handle bars, it is also very adaptable for people with special needs. It is also ideal for lighter people, as at a 250 lbs rider weight limit, it is not over built and heavy. There are lighter accessory post mounts for mounting mirrors, cycle computers etc., plus a built in light mount, which will accept a mount for handle bar type lights. Plus, grab handles are available to aid getting in and out. There is also a new and lighter head rest for the GT20/26, which is easier to fit than the earlier GT3 and Magnum headrests. It clamps to the seat cross brace, so there is no need to remove the seat tube plugs.

See Accessory page or for more information contact Greenspeed USA or Greenspeed Australia.

GreenSpeed – Changing Lives

"My Name is Peter James, a 62 year old disabled man diagnosed in Oct 1995 with Multiple Sclerosis. MS is an insidious incurable autoimmune disease affecting the central nerve system. With a rapid decline in mobility and associated health issues forced me to early retirement at age 54 in Jan 2006.

I have secondary progressive MS, T2 Diabetes and Osteoporosis. Gradually I became obese through a sedentary life style and increasing disability from the ravages of MS".

Read Full Story GS Lineup Video 2018


Frame Aluminium 7005 Alloy with removable seat and centre fold
Width 31" - 79 cms
Length 86”- 218 cms*
Height 27" - 69 cms
Seat Height 12 to 17" - 30 to 43 cms
Seat Angle 30 to 48 degrees
X-seam range 41 to 51" - 104 to 130 cms **
Ground Clearance 6" - 15 cms
Turning Circle 14 feet - 4.4 m diameter
Track 29.5" - 75 cms
Wheelbase 46" - 118 cms
Wheels 20” & 26”, alloy rims with stainless steel spokes
Tires Schwalbe Kojak, 20 x 1.35" & 26 x 1.35”, 55 to 95 psi.
Gears 24 speeds
Cranks Shimano Sora 50/39/30 x 165 mm
Cassette 8 speed 11/34
Front Derailleur Micro Shift
Rear Derailleur Shimano
Chain YBN S8
Shifters Shimano Ultegra Bar End 8 speed
Gear Range 24" to 118" - 515%
Brakes GS - Sturmey Archer 90 mm drums
Standard Equipment Rear mudguard, safety flag
Optional Extras Mirror, head rest.
Rider weight Limit 250 lbs – 113 kg
Luggage Weight Limit 66 lbs - 30 kg
Trike Weight 38 lbs – 17.5 kg
Boxed Size 36 x 28 x 15” - 90 x 70 x 37 cms

* with crank extension at max.

** frame can be shortened to reduce X-seam to 35”

Specifications subject to change without notice.

$2,890 USD / $3,190 AUDFind a Dealer near you ORDER GT26 NOW For more info Contact us

3030 Cally Lane, Highland
IL, 62249, USA.

Phone: 618 514 3955


Skype: jerome.hediger1

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