What We Do
At T-Cycle, we design and make parts for recumbent bicycles right here in our shop in Portland, Oregon. But not just normal parts; we make parts that will make your ride better. We believe you can't expect things to have soul if you simply pay someone in a factory far away to crank them out for you. We want all our parts, even our less expensive ones, to be more than just "very good." We want them to be exceptionally satisfying to own and to use, to have an essence of the people and dreams that made them. From our amazingly adaptable Accessory Mounts to our worldclass Windwrap Fairings, our load-redefining Cargo Monster to our over 50 types of customizable Idler Kits, we make parts that you will love.
Why We Do It
In short: because we love everything about it.
We love recumbents. We like all bikes, actually, but recumbents—what can we say? If you ride one, you know what we mean. And because we know how much love recumbents deserve, how much time recumbent owners spends gazing at their beautiful machines and how how much difference exceptional equipment can make in the feeling and capability of the ride, we are sure to imbue our parts with the love and attention to detail that recumbents merit.
We love really nice stuff. Really nicely made useful stuff. Stuff that's nicer than it needs to be, that works better than it has to, that makes us wonder why we ever bothered with normal stuff. We hear time and again people tell us they were reluctant to buy T-Cycle at first, but now that they have: "I don't see myself ever traveling without it!"
We love making things: real, three dimensional, functional things. We love the craft and the challenge of making things that work exactly the way they were designed. And we like knowing a piece of ourselves goes into every part we make.
We love Portland. There are lots of great places in this world, and Portland's one of them. Great people, great riding, great bicycle community. And we can ride bikes or walk to get most everything we need: end mills, earplugs, stainless bolts, pizza, you name it. This is very cool, and a big inspiration for making bikes so good you'll never need a car again!
The Complete T-Cycle History
In January, over five million people joined the Women's March as it took place in 673 locations on all seven continents (even Antarctica!). While T-Cycle only managed to ship our products to six continents and to not quite five million people, it's just fine coming in second to such a noble and important cause. The re-re-redesigned Fully Configureable Battery Mount is now available for 15 (and counting!) different sizes of tubing; the Chain Tensioners boast 18 different sizes of clamps; idlers have attachments to make them go lower, higher, inner and outer...the long lists of available T-Cycle mounts keep getting craftier and more versatile!
For the first time in over a century, the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. For the first time in over a century, the T-Cycle team completely runs out of ideas for recumbent goodies. Just kidding, 2016 was amazing! 2016 saw the rollout of a brand new Sport Power 23t Idler, a totally revamped Elite Power 15t Idler, the all-new Bar End Shifter Mount, the anywhere-going T-Cycle Flag Mount, the life-easing Easy Racers and RANS Screamer Kickstand Mounts, as well as expansions to the lines of clamps that fit with T-Cycle Chain Tensioners and T-Cycle Battery Mounts, which means the number of trikes to which they attach is... mounting!
On a chilly July night, NASA's New Horizons satellite is the first spacecraft to do a flyby of Pluto, sending home brilliant images of the distant celestial body. Back at home, the T-Cycle team works its fingers to the bone, trying desperately to keep up with the busiest year its ever had, in the pursuit of sending brilliantly crafted accessories to the homes of people all across Earth. The SeatSide Mount family is expanded to include bags, bottle cages and clamps that allow for better and more versatile mounting to a number of popular trikes, as well as the wildly popular clamps that bring Arkel bags 2.5" closer in. And as though incremental growth wasn't enough, T-Cycle announces the acquisition of Purple Sky Flags. Never has a bike flag looked so cool. With all materials made in the US, from the super sun-and-weather-resistant body material to the 3M brand reflectives and top quality black fiberglass poles, this is sure to become a flagship product.
With over 40 million downloads in three months, Serial became the most popular podcast ever created. With over 4 downloads in two years, a sneakily linked picture of a certain web-slinging hero remains hidden in the FAQ of T-Cycle's website. And while, for copyright reasons, that hero may go unnamed, a whole line of brand new T-Cycle awesomeness has been proudly named the SeatSide Mount System! With its release, a new litmus test was born: either a person loves the SeatSide Mount, or that person has never ridden with one. In addition to bringing your most needed belongings closer to hand, T-Cycle releases an all new Universal Battery Mount that will hold nearly any battery on the market and fits on just about any bike or trike. In the same vein as the battery mount, the Universal Boom Adjust Chain Tensioner debuts. A whole fleet of clamps is created to fit all the crazy booms out there and to allow for the sharing of trikes without the hassling of chain.
With inexplicably vigilant worldwide media attention, Prince George of Cambridge is born. With inexplicably non-existent worldwide media attention, T-Cycle unveils several upgrades to their products, including enhancements to the OnePoint Mount, a new and improved TailSok, and an expansion of its Underseat Racks in the form of a RANS Oval Tube Rack. Also, 2013 saw the creation of two popular mounting devices: the Adjustomatic Bottle Mount and the Mini Cockpit T.
After 244 years, Britannica Encyclopædia ceases to produce its printed encyclopedias. 7,320km away, T-Cycle also moves into the 21st century by launching a brand new website and Facebook page. It also expands its line of Velogenesis Seat Strut Clamps. Then, T-Cycle redesigns and makes improvements to Windwrap Fairing Mounts and launches the sales of Complete Fairing Kits, making shopping for fairings a breeze (the kind of breeze easily deflected by a Windwrap Fairing). Later, T-Cycle moves into a brand new shop, causing distress and commotion for everyone! But when the dust settles, T-Cycle finds itself with room to spread its wings.
The world population hits seven billion. Over at T-Cycle, the number of products available for purchase almost hits seven billion. Brand new and super addictive types of Accessory Mounts are rolled out. Like potato chips, many people find it impossible to have only one. T-Cycle acquires Velogenesis and begins to produce and expand upon the line of Velogenesis Seat Strut Clamps. Brandwide improvements in FastBack products are introduced. Pat heads to Germany and the Netherlands for research and a nice recumbent trike tour: "The beer was fine, but I enjoyed the bikes better." After this trip, Pat and the T-Cycle team completely redesign the Elite Series Idlers to reduce weight and make them even more durable. T-Cycle changes its domain name to www.t-cycle.com.
The 829.84m high Burj Khalifa is erected in Dubai and becomes the world's highest humanmade tower. 12,163km away, Bentrider Online names Sport Series Idlers Accessory of the Year, pretty much making them the world's greatest humanmade idlers. Progress is made on redeveloping and updating Windwrap mounts.
Airline pilot Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger maneuvers his failing plane into the nearby Hudson River, saves all 155 passengers and crew and is recognized as a modern day hero. 3,390km away, T-Cycle comes to similar acclaim in recumbent cycling circles when it reveals its brand new line of Sport Idlers, a cost-saving, durable, amazing piece of riding technology. Pat travels to Cycle Vision to keep an eye on the future of recumbent riding: "It was complete recumbent sensory overload walking around. Everything from 'commute on it every day, rode it 500km to get here' bikes to the most exotic racing machines you could imagine." This same year, T-Cycle acquires Windwrap and begins on its journey to create the industry's highest quality fairings. Later, T-Cycle introduces the Cargo Monster, a top down reinvention of the famous Xtracycle cargo kit, as well as the Floating Chainkeeper, an incredibly simple solution to the most troubling chaintube problems.
Michael Phelps wins eight gold medals at the summer Olympics in Beijing—more than anybody has before. 8,854km away, T-Cycle rolls out brand new, gold medal worthy Idler Kits and Underseat Racks for the Challenge, HPVT, Quest and Optima. Pat takes a trip to the SPEZI trade convention to research European cycles.
Computer company Apple breaks into the phone market with the iPhone. 914km away, T-Cycle dives into the world of cycling hydration and packing by acquiring FastBack Systems, a maker of frame packs, bags and hydration equipment. That same year, T-Cycle reinvents chainkeeping by creating Clamp-On Chainkeepers. Icletta is named the official European distributor of T-Cycle.
Pluto is demoted from planet to dwarf planet. 5,724,401,739km away, T-Cycle's accessories are promoted from "exceptional" to "totally awesome," with the introduction of brand new Accessory Mounts. The line of Idler Kits expands, as does the line of Underseat Racks. T-Cycle's website goes live and caters to the world's recumbent needs.
A small video hosting website out of San Bruno, California is founded and named YouTube. 878km away, T-Cycle introduces bike-specific Idler Kits for Easy Racers, RANS, Bacchetta and others. Later, T-Cycle leases a greater portion of its humble shop.
The Olympics returns to its roots and is held in Athens, Greece. 10,152km away, T-Cycle returns to its roots and develops brand new high quality Return and Over/Under Idlers and a line of Chain Keeper systems to take chain management to a whole new level. Later, the T-Cycle line of Underseat Racks is expanded to fit many types of recumbents.
The Human Genome Project is completed, with 99% of the human genome sequenced to 99.99% accuracy. In the T-Cycle labs, the GlideFlex Stem is redesigned for carbon steerers and higher production volumes, to be 99.99% perfect. The focus of T-Cycle shifts to recumbent specific parts and accessories. Following the focus, the T-Cycle TailSok system and Universal Steering Masts are introduced.
Brazil expands its trophy case to make room for its fifth FIFA World Cup after defeating Germany in the final. 7,823km away, T-Cycle expands its shop space to make room for a brand new Mori Seiki CNC vertical mill. Later, the Easy Reacher Underseat Rack is born. The new type of rack allows recumbent riders to carry pannier loads under the seat for increased stability and storage capability.
A new kind of encyclopedia launches onto the internet; they call it "Wikipedia." Using his own computer, Pat refines his design of a folding stem; he calls it "GlideFlex." Unlike all other folding stems, there's no metal to metal contact in the hinge or friction system, so it's silent, has very little wear, and is almost completely unaffected by weather. Down in Florida, a company called Bacchetta bikes forms. They order GlideFlex stems to use on their new bikes.
The billionth living Indian person is born. 12,358km away, Pat proves himself as one-in-a-billion by developing toothed idlers with 8mm bearings for the Terra-Za. As others take notice of the durability of the product and the precision of the craftsmanship, Pat begins getting requests for his specialty parts.
Star Wars fans everywhere cringe as Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace opens in theaters. Just down the street, Pat focuses his force into the creation of something beautiful: the T-Cycle Terra-Za. A stylish small wheelbase recumbent bike, the Terra-Za receives acclaim from recumbent enthusiasts everywhere, including Recumbent Cyclist News: "This is the way we like to see recumbents built, the way more should be built and the way many high-end bikes will have to built in the future." Later that year, SRAM buys Sachs and radically changes the 3x7 hub.
The Lunar Prospector spacecraft is launched into orbit around the Moon, and later finds evidence for frozen water near the Moon's poles. 362,570km away, Pat Franz tests the limits of short wheelbase geometries in a wide range of riding conditions. He begins dialing in to the ideal geometry and developing a revolutionary new frame design. In the meantime, he patents and begins making Sachs 3x7 hub quick releases.
J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is published. 7,914km away, Pat develops a unique short wheelbase adjustable geometry test bike. The riding position, weight distribution and all handling aspects are adjustable with a single Allen wrench. Soon thereafter, Pat begins work on a quick release for the Sachs 3x7 hub.
A chess computer "Deep Blue" defeats world chess champion Garry Kasparov for the first time. 3,876km away, Pat Franz, a veritable mastermind of the high-tech startup world, decides to take his talents to the recumbent bicycle startup world. His goal: to allow himself to take the time to design things and redesign things until they are perfect, and then to build them. Flourishing in a field where people care about how well the end product looks and how long it lasts, Pat takes to a one-room, leaky-roof shop in South East Portland, flanks himself with a CNC mill, lathe, welding bench and desk, and begins work on recumbent bicycles. Designs, redesigns and prototypes litter the office. "It had everything I could have ever wanted," he would later say, "except for all the stuff we have now, I guess."