arcadiagt5 (arcadiagt5) wrote,
arcadiagt5
arcadiagt5

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Greenspeed Anura

The Greenspeed Anura is the first delta (ie two wheels back) trike from Greenspeed. As with my previous review of the WizWheels TerraTrike Cruiser most of the comparisons will be made to my tadpole (ie two wheels front) Greenspeed GT5 because that is what I spend most of my time on.

I really should make one disclaimer: I'm not the target market for the Anura as I'm too much of a go-karting hoon so bear that in mind as you read on.

The Fit

The base of the Anura's seat is twice as high as that of the GT5 making sitting down and standing up easier. At this height, the seat should be at about the same height as most dining room chairs. The height also enhances the views as you are riding. 


Here you can see how high the Anura's seat is compared to the GT5.

The delta configuration (which puts the paired wheels behind the seat , and the longer wheelbase (which puts the single wheel much further forward) removes a great deal of clutter from the cockpit area, again enhancing ease of access to the seat. Further clutter is removed by replacing the front dérailleur with an internally geared speed drive. The result is a clean, open, cockpit that is comfortable and relaxing as well as enabling the rider to fully appreciate the scenery. 



The RANS seat used on the Anura provides both adjustability and comfort. The seat is supported at the rear by two telescoping rods with clamps. As shown in the images below this supports a wide range of seat angles (although I chose an upright position for my test ride). The seat also includes a nifty foam pad at the base which is really comfortable. 


Loosen these clamps and the seat angle slides up and down. Easy! Also note the chain rub on the right fork of the frame.


Fully reclined.


Fully upright. This was the position I had the seat in for the test ride. 

Adjustments for varying leg lengths are made via a telescoping boom adjustment.  The square boom also ensures accurate alignment of the boom and cranks (occasionally an issue with the GT5 boom). However this style of adjustment can limit the ability to adjust a trike for different riders due to the need to also adjust chain length but the absence of the front dérailleur also helps here. The simpler drive train can accommodate more slack in the chain and would allow for a wider range of adjustments before being forced to also adjust the chain length. Having said that I would recommend using a correctly adjusted chain length for a trike that would only have one rider.

It should also be noted that there is now a steering rod that also needs to be adjusted in length when the boom is adjusted. This should be done last and also carefully or there'll be a tendency to turn left all the time.

The Track

The track is longer but narrower than the GT5. The narrow track will be useful if you need to get through doors or other narrow entrances. Having said that the longer wheel base will make navigating tight spaces such as zig zag bike gates (such as are seen at roadways or rail crossings) an interesting experience.

The track width is also irrelevant from a comfort perspective when the wheels are behind you rather than next to your knees.

The Layout

As noted above the delta configuration makes for an open, roomy cockpit that is easy to get in and out of. The views are superb from way up there. The speed drive on the front ring enhances the clean lines of the Anura, and the integral chain guard is a nice touch that will keep trousers away from entanglements in the chain. The guide tubes for the chain are not too intrusive but do obscure the Greenspeed logo on the right hand side. There is one point at the rear where the chain run crosses the frame so installing some protective covering for the paintwork at this point is recommended.

What isn't so nice is the lack of places to put accessories and what I fear is a USA focussed design choice in the control layouts. Specifically the placement of the bar end shifter for the rear dérailleur on the right handlebar removes the option of a bar end mirror on the right hand side. American riders would obviously prefer this layout as a bar end mirror on the left hand side will be providing rear vision into the main space of the roadway. I think Australian riders would benefit from a mirrored layout as a left hand side mirror is rather less useful to us than a right hand side mirror. Absent any other mirror mounts I would strongly recommend a helmet mounted mirror for Anura riders. [As an aside a further consideration relates to turning whilst signalling: in the current configuration an Australian rider turning right across traffic would be unable to also change the rear gears whereas an American rider has this option whilst turning left. I've noticed this on occasion with the GT5 and I've occasionally considered switching the control runs as a result]

I noticed a lack of mounting points for other accessories such as a computer etc, although the test trike did come with a water bottle mount installed. Also missing was a dedicated flag mounting point or two (the flags in the photos are fed through the eyelets of the seat). My understanding is that accessory mounts will be available for later iterations of the Anura's design which would address this concern.

The Ride

In a word: smooth.

I'm not sure if it was the foam padding on the seat, the longer wheel base, or some combination of other factors, but the Anura was a very nice ride indeed. There is one stretch of bike path in Canberra that I flinch while crossing on the GT5 (regularly as that stretch is usually part of my commute) but that was no more than mildly irritating on the Anura. Lesser bumps I tended to not notice at all, and it even handled speed bumps reasonably well. I doubt that climbing a kerb is an option but riding off a kerb should be managed without too much drama due to the much higher ground clearance. Don't try this in a GT5 by the way, even by accident.

I found the Anura to be a fairly good climber. At 23" the low gear isn't all that low but I didn't have any trouble getting up Mount Pleasant or Capital Hill. I didn't have a cycle computer so I don't know how fast I was climbing (probably not all that fast) but I was comfortably spinning and getting up the hills without working too hard. Once at speed on the flat the Anura just cruises along, although probably not as fast as the GT5. I felt confident during the descents and the all-around disc brakes performed flawlessly (although I didn't try any hard stops)

The gear shifting for the speed drive of tapping the heel from side to side took a little getting used to but the ability to change the front gear while stationary was magic. I've been caught on the wrong front ring after a sudden stop too many times on the GT5 and could easily fall in love with this style of gearing. The rear dérailleur is controlled via the same bar end shifters used on the GT5 and this is good (you may recall that I really didn't like the grip shifters on the WizWheels Cruiser). 


The speed drive in low gear (the left plate is in, a heel tap from the right would switch to high gear). Also note the chain guard.

Where the ride suffers is in cornering. Or rather in hard cornering. The higher seat, the narrower track, and the longer wheelbase all combined to produce a trike that I just didn't feel safe in trying to corner the way I corner on the GT5 (which is to say as fast and tight as possible). This isn't to say that the Anura has poor handling, rather that it designed to be a comfortable cruiser rather than a racing trike (like the Hase-Kettwiesels for instance). 

At this point I remind you that as a go-karting hoon at heart I'm not really the target market for the Anura anyway. :) 

The Bits

Oh where to start? OK there are lots of good bits mounted on the Anura so I may only hit the high points.

Parking brakes. The mechanical disc brakes come with integrated pins that can be used to lightly lock the brakes - and gently pumping the brakes pops the pin back out again.

Tyres. Greenspeed Scorchers as standard (hardly a surprise) but these are the tyres I use on the GT5 and they are great. The tyres aren't the Scorcher TRs but that only becomes an issue in puncture rich environments.

Differential: Standard so that there's even power to both the rear wheels. The differential tends to click when in motion which makes for a slightly noisy ride but you filter it out after a while. 

The 8-speed Shimano Sora rear dérailleur handled the shifting well enough but there were some moments when it wouldn't settle in gear. However this may have been due to a not-quite exact chainlength. I've mentioned the front speed drive already. It should be noted that a smaller chain ring could be considered for riders seeking a still lower gearing range, as could substituting a mountain drive for the speed drive (although I'm not sure if this is actually available at present).

The Look

Prior to actually seeing a delta in the flesh I had a fairly negative view of their appearance. I suspect that this was at least partially a rationalisation of my selection of a tadpole. Now that I've had a closer look I'm rather impressed - that openness, and easier access, is really attractive.

On the Anura, the yellow frame has a beautiful powder coat and contrasts well with the black seat and boom extension. The Anura also comes in a silver but I think I prefer the yellow, partly because it would be more visible on the road.

Summary

For a first version the Anura is an impressive debut from Greenspeed and would make an ideal touring/cruising trike. The biggest criticisms I have are the lack of accessories (largely as a result of it being a V1.0 release) and the fact that it isn't really for me. But don't let that stop YOU!

Tags: reviews, test rides, trikes
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