GB’s Greenspeed SLR

Update: I’ve had GB’s SLR hanging on the wall now for over a year and a half. I’ve ridden it a couple of times, but realized that I may no longer be able to ride it. The extreme laid back position now bothers my neck. So, sadly, I’ve decided to let it go to another rider.

My older brother Greg passed away in November 2015. It was a huge loss. We did a lot together. When I was a kid, he built my slot cars for Tuesday night races. He was my engine builder, mechanic and crash repair fabricator when I raced Formula Vees and Formula Fords. In later years, we both really got into recumbent trikes and bikes.

His wife, Linda, sent me a special reminder of Greg. She brought his favorite trike, a Greenspeed SLR, to Recumbent Cycles of Lancaster to have them pack and ship it to me. It arrived today. It was a very bitter sweet experience re-assembling it. It had his finger prints all over it from the pencil mark on the derailleur adjuster to the mesh seat cover and seat bag that he sewed. This is a very special trike.

My brother bought this trike many years ago from a woman in Arizona. She didn’t know anything about the trike. Looking around on the web, we noticed that it looks very much like the SLR shown in this old Greenspeed brochure. It was configured the same – including the blue seat mesh. It had the exact same components. However, it was missing the large chainring and rear fender. I’d really like to know more of the history of this trike if anyone has any information. Here’s all that I can find.

Here are the pictures from the original Craigslist add.

New Wheels

I decided to build a set of wheels for the SLR. I had most of the parts needed except for the rear hub. I wanted to switch it out for a hub that can use the Shimano Capreo cassette. The Capreo is a special cassette that has a high (small) gear of 9 teeth, which is especially nice if your rear wheel is only a 349 (16 inch). I bought a Bike Friday Capreo-compatible hub. It is much nicer and lighter than the Shimano Capreo hub. Here are some pictures of the SLR with the new wheels. By the way… the dead grass in these pictures is courtesy of the California drought.

406 Rear Wheel

After building the new wheel set using 349s all around, I noticed that there seemed to be enough clearance around the rear wheel to maybe allow me to fit a 406. I was under the impression that a 406 just wouldn’t fit. In fact, when I had my previous SLR built, I had GS elongate the rear triangle to fit a 406. So, I built up a 406 rear wheel for GB’s SLR and it just barely fits. I first mounted a new-old stock 406 Stelvio and it just touched the frame. I then tried an used Stelvio that had a wear pattern that flattened the profile. It clears with about 1/8 inch to spare. An Ultremo or Schwalbe One will clear with even more room to spare.

Here are a couple of pics with the 406 rear wheel.

img_0569img_0564Screen Shot 2017-09-03 at 10.16.10 PM

9-32 Capreo Cassette

The 406 gives me a little taller gearing, a little more ground clearance and I think it looks a little better. However, I was losing a bit of low gearing with the 406 and the standard Capreo 26 tooth low gear. To solve the problem, I drilled the rivets out of the stock Capreo cassette and a 11-32 9-speed cassette I had laying around. I was able to use cogs from both cassettes to make a very evenly spaced Capreo 9-32 cassette. It all worked out very well.