We at Brike Int. Ltd. design our handcycles with these two philosophies, "simplicity is its own design", and "no compromises." Accomplishing a functional design goal, using the fewest number of parts and accepting no compromises in the execution, ultimately creates a superior design, . After starting with a superior design which accomplishes all of the desired performance goals, we needed to choose a frame material. We tried aluminum and found that while it can be made to work satisfactorily, it must be used in a diameter and wall thickness that can easily equal the weight of chrome moly. It is quite flexible and if not heat treated after welding it is prone to stress cracking. These issues need to be addressed completely or longevity will suffer. Also the added cost of working with aluminum such as material cost and heat treating drive the price up.
We also tried titanium and found that while some of its attributes were desirable such as light weight and absence of corrosion, others were a detriment. Material costs were very high, and it is also an extremely flexible metal. This can be designed around also, but when you add in the extra cost of special welding system requirements it quickly falls from the list of ideal materials.
Carbon fiber falls even farther on the list not only because of initial cost, but it is extremely labor intensive. It is also quite fragile and can fracture if subjected to impacts. Molding costs make it unsuitable unless you can produce huge quantities of product to spread the expense.
For now, to meet our design requirements we decided on thin wall 4130 chrome moly tubing. Final product cost, ease of manufacturing, strength and durability make chrome moly tubing very hard to beat.
Our frames are then built on precision machined welding jigs using the TIG welding method and our small parts are fabricated with a laser cutting machine.
We use stainless steel hardware and the 6061 T-6 aluminum tubing we use in selected areas to meet special design requirements of lightness and flexibility is polished and clear anodized to eliminate corrosion.
Our frames are then powder coated with an oven baked on finish at 400 degrees that is the most durable paint available today.
To meet our requirements for lightness and flexibility, our seat frame is constructed with 6061 T-6 aluminum. It is custom contoured to wrap around the body, and the upper part of the seat back is cut in a triangle shape to support your upper spine and allow your shoulder blades to rotate freely without contacting the seat while pedaling. We then cover it with the finest foam and nylon fabrics that are UV protected for years of use. Our leg supports also use high quality nylon straps for years of use.
Our rear axle on the "SUPERBIKE" is made of 6061 T-6 aluminum which is polished and clear anodized. It uses CNC milled axle lugs that are machine turned from solid 6061 T-6 aluminum. Inside the threaded lugs we install a special stainless steel thread insert to assure a lifetime of durability. They are then glued into the axle tube using a special 3M aircraft adhesive. We pin them in place for perfect alignment along the tube. Before shipping, all our axles are mounted in the rear frame section, then aligned at the factory with the wheels installed to achieve perfect alignment. The frame and axle are then drilled to receive a special alignment screw that allows the axle to be removed and reinstalled without losing their perfect alignment.
We custom CNC lathe turn or own T-handles. The spindles are tool steel which are hard chromed for lasting luster and durability. The handles are a special Delron plastic that is lathe turned to form a custom shape to fit your hands. They are then angled to fit the natural bend of the wrist. For their bearing mounts, the handles are bored slightly off center so the longer end will be heavier and will always rotate downward to the bottom position and be in perfect placement for your grip. We then mount high quality sealed bearings on the spindle shafts for years of use.
The hydraulic steering dampener we use between the two piece frame is a very expensive precision piece. It is made of aluminum and is adjustable. We custom build the linkage out of aluminum which allows the dampening to be adjusted from soft to firm while riding. The dampener as well as the rear frame pivot point use high quality spherical ball joints at their axis of rotation.
The front hub on the "SUPERBIKE" is built by White Industries and is known to be one of the finest available on the market today.
The high quality rear hubs on the "SUPERBIKE" are built by R.C. of France and are of the thread-in design so there is absolutely no play in the rear wheels for optimum performance. The quick release rear hubs on the FREEDOM RYDER are built by Phil Wood who is also well known for his high quality products.
Our rims are built by Sun and Weinman and use a "double walled" design that is extremely strong.
We use dual pivot side pull caliper brakes for exceptional stopping power. There is an optional second brake kit available for the "SUPERBIKE" for racing applications.We use Shimano bicycle components on all our bikes. Shimano is the finest name in the industry. Below I explain a little about the different levels of their component groups so you can fully appreciate the level of quality we use on our bikes.
The "SUPERBIKE" and the FREEDOM RYDER STAGE 2 come standard with the "LX" line. Shimano has many different levels of components and the "LX" line is the THIRD down form the top behind "XT" and "XTR". An "XTR" "SUPERBIKE" is available as an option for those who must simply have the top of the line. No other handcycle on the market comes as well equipped as FREEDOM RYDERS and "SUPERBIKES".
Quality comes first at Brike Int. Ltd. and if you want someone else’s word on this just visit our forum, or see how many "WORLD RECORDS" have been set on FREEDOM RYDERS that no other handcycle can match.