Ian built an efficient mid-engine sports car with a plywood body, doubling as a camper. He sold it when he became interested in recumbents, but is still runs today!
Ian developed a reputation for building the fastest sidecar racing outfits. He perfected a method of cornering that enabled his outfits to round corners in 4th gear while other side car racers were using 2nd gear.
This Electrathon Vehicle reached 40 kilometres (25 miles) an hour on two 12 volt batteries. Because of the shape, the nose cone doubled the efficiency. The rocket exterior enclosed a three wheeler frame.
Ian built a recumbent bike using scraps of metal. with a deck chair cover for the seat. His sons told him it was faster than his friends’ racing bikes. That gave Ian confidence, however the bike was hard to balance and felt unsafe. So in his home workshop he began working on a recumbent trike.
Ian was so enthusiastic about the performance of his 1st recumbent trike that he rode it 540 kilometres (336 miles) in The Great Victorian Bike Ride. Photographers followed him everywhere, thus giving Ian and the recumbent a lot of press. Ian knew he was on to something special and the Greenspeed name was registered to market recumbents worldwide.
Paul Sims demonstrated how much the trike’s performance could be improved by using 20” wheels instead of 26″, plus a lighter frame. Lab testing confirmed the superiority of 20” wheels over 26”and 700c wheels for weight, strength, and speed. Thus the Greenspeed GTS Sports Tourer and the GTR Touring Trike, are born, both with 20” wheels all round.
Ian received a request for sports tourers from a couple planning to tour Australia. They rode 14,000 kilometres (8,600 miles) in 14 months. It was the first major tour ever completed via recumbent trikes.
Greenspeed moved from the family workshop to a factory “five minutes down the cycle path.” Within five years they triple the factory space in order to meet consumer demand.
The GTT tandem became a popular transport for transcontinental touring.
Greenspeed introduced the GT3, the 1st folding trike. This trike took advantage of further performance, space and weight saving gains with the use of 16” wheels.
Greenspeed entered the delta market with the Anura. Three wheel disc brakes and 2 wheel drive were standard.
The Glyde epitomized much of what Greenspeed stood for, a true alternative to the automobile. It was over a decade in the making. Not a detail unattended and it showed. Unfortunately, It was so expensive to produce that it nearly ended Greenspeed. Ian pulled it from production only two years after its debut.
With its muscular frame and 20″ tires, the Magnum made a bold appearance at Recumbent Cycle-Con Trade Show & Convention in 2011. It was the first trike that allowed for different seat heights and recline positions, becoming Greenspeed’s best seller.
Speed is back on the agenda at Greenspeed. The new Aero will launch ~April 2016.