Resources & Builder's Corner

(formerly the Workshop)

Last updated on November, 2019


Ok gang, this is where I stash all my cool homebuilt resource stuff that relates to 'bent trikes.  I'm still compiling a homebuilder's Gallery featuring Thunderbolt Mk II/Mk III trike projects either complete or in process.   So if you have built or are building a T'bolt Mk III and want to share your projects with us,  let me know by emailing me at



The Recumbent Trike Design Primer

Whether you are new to recumbent trikes or a veteran, this is a must read.  I started this document several years ago while taking a hiatus from Practical Innovations.  This document is regarded by many as the Bible of recumbent trike design.  Over the years, I have made several updates, corrected some material, and added several new topics.  Recently, I made several changes making this document second to none.  I hope you enjoy it.

Click here to download 1 of 2  pdf 



Click here to download 2 of 2  pdf 



Recumbent Trike Frame Material Guide 

As a companion to the Recumbent Trike Design Primer, this guide explains the different type of materials used for building recumbent trike and compares them for strength to weight ratio, price to weight, and formability.  This is a must read and I know that you will enjoy it.

Click here to download pdf


Calculating Gear Inches

This ultra-cool program below not only calculates gear inches, but it also supports a mid-drive.  The program is Free-ware and written by Rod Heilfron.  Way to go Rod!!!

Click here to download









Bicycle and Component Technology

Anything and everything about bicycles, Sheldon Brown's

Website covers it all

Sheldon Brown's Sheldon Brown photo Bicycle Technical Info


Robert Q. Riley, Trike Suspension Technology

An excellent source for trike suspension technology


The International Human Power Vehicle Association

The IHPVA Source Guide is a great starting point,

but the information and resources might be long

at the tooth




Peter Eland's  Ackerman Steering Compensation Calculating

Many thanks to Peter Eland of Velovision for his excellent spreadsheet that calculates the geometry angles for Ackerman compensation.  I used it recently and I stand by the excellent results.  Throughout the Thunderbolt plans I mention Peter's spreadsheet.  Below is where you will find it.


Bob Doster's Fully Enclosed Winter Trike Project

This is utterly amazing!  Bob Doster was one of my first customer when I started building parts in the fall of 2002.  Bob envisioned a fully enclosed trike that he could use for winter commuting up in the Wisconsin area.  I gave Bob a couple sketches of a frame and sold him a steering system.   From there, Bob used his engineering know how to produce this true masterpiece.  The best part is that Bob donated these plans to my website and they can be downloaded here.  

Bob's Winter Trike Plans

Thanks Bob!!! 

Homebuilder's Gallery (the link works now!)


Göran Nicklasson Thunderbolt Mk I project and resources


Marco Dorta's Thunderbolt Mk II project

Paul Walters'


Home-Built Recumbents


Jim Ball's Thunderspeed Trike Construction Project


Vince's Thunderbolt Mk II project


Jenette's Steel Thunderbolt Mk II project- Total Girl Power! Absolutely Awesome!!!


Douglas Skidmore's Thunderbolt Mk III project

More stuff coming soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Need the most recent scoop on recumbents?

'BentRider Online


Recumbent Retailers

Hostel Shoppe - Your Recumbent Bicycle, Tricycle, and Tandem Headquarters

Parts and Materials





If anyone has a useful links to include to this list, contact me at