Greenspeed Aero Review on November 12, 2018
So right to the most important question, is the Greenspeed Aero the fastest trike on the market? The answer, Yes, definitely and by a fairly big margin when you are comparing all the ultra fast trikes from ICE, HP Velotechnik and Catrike. But how can that be? The rear wheel on the Greenspeed Aero is only 20” and a bigger wheel on other brand trikes will roll farther on each revolution. Also a larger rear wheel will give you a higher amount of gear inches right? That is somewhat true but not in this case, and here is why. Greenspeed studied small wheel vs bigger wheels and here is why Greenspeed prefers the smaller wheels. The 20” wheels are lighter and have less rotating mass; they also spin up to speed faster than a large wheel. The 16” front and 20” rear wheel are more aerodynamic and stronger. The smaller wheels, with the carbon wheel cover, cut down on wind drag significantly over regular spoke wheels. Next, Greenspeed just added three teeth to the large front chain ring to give you the same gear inches as the other trikes so you will not run out of gear inches. At twenty five miles per hour, eighty percent of your effort is fighting wind drag and the Greenspeed Areo cheats the wind better than any other trike brand. First, when you sit on the Greenspeed Aero compared to any of the other trikes, you will instantly see you are lower, and the seat angle is farther back than the other trikes. The lower seat height and more laid back angle makes your frontal area significantly smaller and more aerodynamic. Greenspeed also made the frame tubing areo shaped to cut down on wind drag. Greenspeed uses the Sturmey archer drum brakes which are enclosed inside the wheel coves so there is no wind drag from a disc brake caliper or disc..
Frame: The frame on the Greenspeed Aero is made from 7005 aluminum, TIG welded together in Taiwan exclusively for Greenspeed. I would have to say the welds are beautiful and of the highest quality in the industry. The frame is constructed out of, shaped aero aluminum tubing.
Paint: Greenspeed paint jobs are nice and will not disappoint you. The Areo is available in three colors: red, yellow and black. We found the powder coat to be applied evenly with no thin spots or imperfections.
Drive Train: The shifting is superb on the Aero. Greenspeed chose a premium Shimano 105 drivetrain with ten gears to choose from in the rear and three in the front for a total of thirty. The Shimano 105 front and rear derailleur performed flawlessly mated to the Shimano Dur-Ace Bar End Shiftres. Greenspeed prefers Bar End Shifters and you will see them on most Greenspeed trikes. Bar end shifters are my shifter of choice as well. Bar end shifters just make sense for me. I feel they are easier to use than the grip type shifters you see on most other brands of trikes.
Brakes: The Greenspeed Areo used Sturmey Archer Disc 90mm Drum Brakes. The Sturmey Archer brakes stop well enough and are the best choice for the Areo over disc brakes. The biggest advantage to the Sturmey Archer brakes is that they can be enclosed inside the carbon fiber wheel covers which make them much more aero than disc brakes. The second advantage is there is zero brake rub and they also stop better in the rain than most disc brakes. The Sturmey Archer brakes are simple, reliable and easy to adjust. Greenspeed chose a simple Velcro strap that you wrap around one of the brake levers for your parking brake. I really like this because it is simple and adds no weight to the trike. This also allowed Greenspeed to be able to use a premium brake levers. The Greenspeed Aero is a purest race trike, a parking brake is not a nescient so leaving the parking brake off was the right choice.
Seat: Greenspeed is famous for their seats. Greenspeed uses shock cords to give a seat some extra give. The seat height is very low on the Areo and the angle is not adjustable and is at 20 degrees. Greenspeed seats were developed with help from a Doctor and I will have to say they just seem to fit people’s back shape very well.
Ride: The ride was about what I expected. The smaller wheels are stiffer than bigger wheels and hurt the ride quality slightly. Greenspeed has a home run with the Scorcher tires on the Areo. The Scorcher tires might just be the best rolling tires on the market. The tires are suppler that other brands of tires allowing them to roll over imperfections in the road better. The Schorcher tires are a bit wider than other high performance tires which is an advantage as well. Being there is more air volume in the tires, they deform to the road surface easier helping with the roll and adds to a more comfortable ride. So who does the Aero appeal to the most? Well, someone looking to race or just be the fastest person in their trike group.
Handling: This is where all Greenspeed trikes really shine. The handling is just awesome. With the super low seat you can take the Aero around corners like you are running from the police and always feel in complete control. I rode the Areo hard and turned sharp and it just feels glued to the road. The steering is also different than other trikes. The handlebars move forward and backwards only, they do not pivot from a central part of the frame like the ICE or Hp Velotechnik trikes. The handlebar set up is more aero and the handlebars are closer to your hips making you more aerodynamic.
In conclusion: I will have to say the Greenspeed Aero is maybe the perfect trike for 2% of the trike buyers on the market. Getting in and out of the trike will be too difficult for most trike buyers. The ride is what you might expect from a rigid trike with small wheels, a bit stiffer than most trikes. This trike is the fastest trike I have ever ridden. I think it is my favorite Greenspeed trike and one of my favorite trikes of all times. If I was going to have two trikes the first would have suspension for that long ride day and the second would be the Greenspeed Aero just because it is just so darn fast and cool looking.
Pros: Fantastic quality, this trike will make you faster than you are on your current trike.
Cons: The Aero is low and a lot of people will struggle with getting in and out of this trike. The neck rest is a must have because you are laid back so far.
Best place to buy: Your local Greenspeed dealer or www.industrialbicycles.com