Grant Sinclair & his Iris recumbent E-trike

This is Grant Sinclair, nephew of Sir Clive, with his prototype pedelec-class e-trike at the 2017 Cycle Show at the NEC. He told me it's been extensively tested on the Bath-Bristol cycle route and he's had more than enough interest to put it into production as soon as possible. The UK & EU versions will be restricted to the 250watt continuous power permitted by the regulations for non-registered ebikes, but there is likely to be a 750watt version for the US and other markets. He claimed that even with only 250watts of power it could be pedalled up to 30mph with ease.
I make no apology for putting it up on bikeweb because it's the closest thing to a production FF for sale that anyone has built in the UK since....the Voyagers of 1988-1989.
More information at
I told Grant that the posted price of £4,249 is far too cheap! PNB
Photo: © Paul Blezard

Grant Sinclair & his Iris recumbent E-trike

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I'm just glad I'm not about to launch a production FF that the general public, unable to distinguish between three wheels and two, will confuse with this!

(Rolls Royce, asling for new projects in 1997, on seeing the Voyager brochure, "Isn't a bit like the (Sinclair) C5?")

I've seen some odd things on the Bristol Bath railway path (Official title, it's for pedestrians too). If the enclosed trike was one of Grant's prototypes I'd say he needs to attend to noise reduction and suspension compliance.

On another point, the limitation to 250 watts and 12 mph by a governmenet (lobbied by Piaggio) that wants us all to cycle is idiotic in the extreme. Make it 20 mph at least, preferrably 30mph and you'd see some progress in urban take up. Of course rider training would be needed but as bicycles (and motorcycles) are the most dangerous wheeled vechicls in public use (Unaccompanied accidents) that's already a given.

EU EAPC rules in the 21st century: 25kph/15.5mph & 250watts cont

The ancient UK law which restricted the original Sinclair C5 of the 1980s to 200watts and 12mph was ignored for many years in favour of the EU limits of 250 watts of continuous power and assistance up to 25kph(15.5mph). Revised EU regs for ‘electrically assisted pedal cycles’ (EAPCs) were finally integrated with UK law in January 2016, the only downside being that sensible 'throttles' were also banned – the electrical assistance has to work via sensors in the pedal cranks and any throttle can only assist up to 6kph! Despite all the years spent on them, however, the regs are far from perfect. For example, the 250watts of *continuous* power actually allows peak power to be much higher, just as the 11kw of continuous power on A1-class motorcycles also allows peak power of more than three times as much – 35Kw/47bhp in the case of the BMW C evolution (although this turned out to be a massive 51bhp at the rear wheel when measured on a dyno!).
I couldn't agree more about the 15mph limit being too low. 20mph would be far more reasonable, especially now that so many urban areas have 20mph limits – whole boroughs of them in London, even on major trunk roads! (And 30kph/18mph sur le continent).
The limits for electric bicycles in most US states are 20mph and 750watts.
However, the Dutch and Germans also have their own special class of 'speed pedelecs' which are allowed to assist up to the moped limit of 45kph/28mph. The Construction & Use regs are, I believe, much less onerous than for conventional mopeds, but pedals are required and throttles are still not permitted. In the UK anything capable of more than 15mph, but no more than 28mph, is automatically classed as a moped.
As with many other things in life, the rules in Northern Ireland are perversely different:
"In Northern Ireland, you need a motorcycle licence to ride any electric bike. The bike must also be registered, taxed and insured."


There's a clear contradiction between stated government policy and the laws that are in place. And that's across the board, not just biycles! Then there's the category of laws in place but not enforced...

E-power is a bit like rocket power, increasing power means increasing weight so that there's a quite small increase in overall perfromance as battery weight increases. This means that very lightweight E-powered vehciles, like bicycles, are actually a very important part of the spectrum, capable of perfectly practical range and speed at quite moderate prices. Suitably specified they are capable of playing a huge role in urban transport.

So the state places limitations on the performance and control system (largely I believe because of lobbying by Piaggio, defending it's two-stroke moped market) which renders E-power bicycles incapable of running with normal traffic, in verhicle engineering terms a complete no no. This is the same state that avoided requireing Euro 6 diesel cars to fit urea injection, eliminating NO2 emissions, (because of lobbying by auto manufacturers, like VW, who claimed there wasn't room for a urea tank) and now bitches about NO2 emissions from the same cars... Euro 6 buses and trucks do require urea injection, which will make a big difference to air quality - when they become ubiquitus. Bristol has over 700 pre-Euro 5 buses at present, subsidised by local tax payers, so there is some way to go.

"Those whome the gods would destroy, they first make mad" And they've sure done a job on this lot!

Common E-bicycle solution in Bristol is to buy an old E-bike with throttle and replace the shot batteries. I've got two, I'll fix them when they take my licence to ride FJ away.