I-Corps, November 2019

We, a student and I, got accepted into the fall 2019 Milwaukee I-Corps cohort to investigate the market viability and options for the PantherTrike. We are tasked with conducting 40 in-person interviews in the next 4 weeks, and the number 1 rule is “don’t pitch your product.” We’re supposed to listen instead to identify what a potential customer or business partner is looking for.

If you have an idea of what you need to continue riding comfortably, drop me a line. We’d love to hear from you.

In other news, the local VA has loaned us a Sun delta trike, with which I hope to investigate what it would take to retrofit is for tilting. Is there a kit we could make that will do the job?

In the lab, we continue to develop the ability to trim to vertical.

The ASME HPVC student group is wrapping up their brainstorming and starting to create detailed designs for PanterTrike v1.5 and v2.0 for the competition in April.

Recumbent Cycle-Con, October 2019

The view from our booth

I had a great time, I learned a lot, and I thank Charles Coyne, the organizer, and AD Carson, of Recycled Recumbent, for making it possible for me to attend. It was great to finally meet the Parkers from Cruzbike, they both test rode the PantherTrike, and I got to test ride their S40, which was fantastic. I also reconnected with Peter Stull, of Bicycle Man, who sold me my first recumbent, at Burley Canto, in 2002.

The trike performed well on the test track and got a lot of positive responses, such as “Hey, that looks cool!” At least two exhibitors I spoke with mentioned that tilting trikes are the “Holy Grail”, and one went further to describe the ability to stay vertical, not just perpendicular to the pavement, as the “Horcrux”. It remains to be seen if the market agrees.

I was reminded several times that there have been plenty of tilting trike attempts before, some have even been exhibited at Recumbent Cycle-Con, possibly the Kervelo, but no one could assert that they’ve already seen what we have, continuously variable stability.

Meanwhile, back at UWM work on V1.5 and V2.0 progresses. V1.5 will feature stability control from the handlebars, and V2.0 will feature a full aerodynamic enclosure because the students want to go faster. It appears that our next outing will be the ASME HPVC event on April 3-5, 2020 at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, where we plan to enter two vehicles, so perhaps we’ll see you there.