Imagine, if you will, a four-wheeled vehicle that is stable, clean, elegant and an absolute blast to ride. The Animas Quadracycle is approximately four feet in width and five in length, weighs under one-hundred-fifty pounds and produces absolutely no pollution.
This new vehicle has four-wheel independent suspension, with wheel movement along parallel planes of travel in order to be energy efficient. The rear suspension uses swing-arms that allow up to twelve inches of wheel travel. The front end is a light-weight version of an automotive system with 4.5 inches of sprung travel.
Energy from the riders powers the vehicle through a transverse drive shaft turning freewheels driving chains to each rear wheel. This serves as a lightweight differential so that the rear wheels may rotate at different speeds, eliminating energy loss in turns.
The seats are aluminum-frame recumbent bicycle seats with adjustments for the riders’ size. Handlebars in front of the driver (on the left) and grips alongside the other rider serve as mounts for gearshift and/or brake levers.
21-speed bicycle gears and freewheels for each rider allow for independent gear selection. The rear wheels are driven equally in the lowest range of three final-drive ranges. The other two ranges are “overdrives,” and power the vehicle through that wheel only, allowed by the opposite side’s final-drive freewheel. This give a possible 63 gears for each rider, letting them do terrain ranging from sand or steep hills to paved roads, such as a mountain bike could.
The frame consists of military spec cro-moly steel tubing, MIG-welded. All suspension joints are 3/8, 1/2, or 5/8 inch spherical rod-ends. Wheels are alloy-reinforced bicycle rims with either bike or motorcycle tires with panels of 7075-T6 aluminum alloy sheet, formed, heat-treated and aircraft-riveted together. Drum brakes on each rear wheel are controlled by a central hand-operated lever, capable of use as a steering brake. Front brakes are hydraulic disc with a handlebar-operated lever.