T10 Q&A with “G” on the new look, new brakes, new handlebar and more!
In the Trikke community, he’s simply known as “G,” and judging by the passionate way Trikke riders love their Trikkes, the “g” could easily stand for genius. However, Gildo Beleski prefers to be known as the Trikke designer — even over “the inventor of Trikke.” That’s because, as the Brazilian native sees it, the joy of riding a Trikke begins with the design.
“G” should know. He’s been tinkering with his three-wheel wonder for almost three decades, constantly trying to improve the designs of various models. His latest effort is the all-new, body-powered Trikke T10 Roadster, now available via a special crowd funding campaign on the Trikke Tech website. So what makes this latest Trikke a good ride? Plenty, says Beleski, who sat down with The Carving Edge to answer 10 questions about the new Trikke T10.
Question: When and why did Trikke Tech stop making BPVs (body-powered vehicles)?
Answer: We never stopped making BPV models. We changed factories in 2013 and had to invest in new molds for aluminum frames. We had wanted to re-design the T8 and T12 but decided to bring out the T10 (instead of making 2 models). It just took way too long for various reasons, one of them being the investment needed. We always kept the steel models in stock and the T8 and T12 were available until the end of 2015.
Q: Why a T10 now?
A: The T10 has always been an “elusive” model, larger and faster than the T8 and more compact than T12, but still offering comfort for long rides. Within the community, we had long discussions about the T10, which has been in our plans since 2008. Since we had the T8 and T12, we never felt compelled to make it. I know I promised it a few times.
“…crowdfunding will expedite the production … it represents the true power of the crowd, craving for something, rallying and making it happen.”
Q: What are some of the T10’s best features and why did you include them?
A: The frame is stronger than before. The shape of the pipes is very cool (hexagonal). It’s a new theme. The new drum brakes work great and there are no complicated adjustments like with disc brakes. We also included the new trend of making the deck wider on the front, which feels more natural and comfortable.
Q: Who is the T10 good for?
A: It is good for long distances as was the T12. That’s why we call it the T10 Roadster. It’s also fairly portable.
Q: What makes the T10 a better choice than a T8 or T12?
A: Having the best of both worlds. When you switch from a T12 to a T8, there is a big difference in height, length and width. The T10 is exactly in between—not too tall, not too long (when folded), not too wide, but still fast due to the size of the wheels and the long wheelbase. From a tech point of view, … (the geometry is very important for the performance), one of the main differences between the T12 and T8 is the height from the ground (your leaning contact point) to the main axle (the link that drives the leaning of the trailing arms and the relationship to the handlebar height… you will notice a big difference in leaning leverage when you extend or shorten the handlebar.
The T10 seems to be in the sweet spot. I always thought about it.
Q: The Trikke’s handlebars have changed over the years. Why did you choose a “slick, flat handlebar” for the T10?
A: The body-powered version is the purest expression of our technology, a simple articulated frame with 3 wheels. That is it. The rider is the magic, not the vehicle. And I want it to be reflected in the design: a machine with clean and minimalist lines. The deck and handlebars are the connection points between rider and machine, and I like it simple. Less is more. The handlebar is a straight “T” bar with the cool hexagonal profile.
Q: The T10’s drum brakes are said to be practically maintenance-free. Can you explain?
A: The drum brake is like the old rear brake of cars—very reliable and enclosed (not exposed like disc brakes that can get bent). They last longer with very little need for adjustment. They won’t be affected bywater or contamination. It just works great. I have been testing them for a long time, they’re my favorite.
Q: Why are you offering the T10 via the crowdfunding route?
A: For us to make this large investment, it may take another few years, as all our resources are committed to the electric models. The new Defender [for security and law enforcement] is taking all the money we can get. It is a very expensive vehicle and doesn’t leave enough for us to invest in body powered models. We were getting enormous pressure from the community to bring back the T12. I personally want a new ride for myself, too, to get back into my BPV groove. I’ve been riding the T78 deluxe. The crowdfunding will expedite the production of this new ride. It is a commitment. It represents the true power of the crowd, craving for something, rallying and making it happen. If we pull it off, it is because of the community.
Q: What happens if the crowdfunding campaign doesn’t meet its goal?
A: It will be a bummer. We will have to wait until we can afford the investment. It’s not just the cost of new molds and tools, but all the project and production management issues, the manpower, time, the minimum lot required for a production. And we always have to pay in advance. I am sure we will get there.
Q: What would you say to riders who might be on the fence about buying the T10?
A: We are always improving the quality and the performance of our Trikkes. The T10 represents just that: a better machine, a better ride, a cool new look. This will be a “historic” series, the first T10, with a commemorative badge specially printed with the serial number and the name of the rider. How cool is that? You will be able to choose your serial number from 001 to 150. We may create a bid for the special numbers (001, 002, 010, 050, 100, etc). Also, you will get a special price if you pre-order and will be among the first riders to have it. Everybody else will have to wait for the next production. These units will not be sold in the stores.
- Go here for more information of the Trikke T10 Roadster.