GREENSPEED’s GT3 & X7 Trike Comparison

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I have been riding my GreenSpeed GT3 trike for a couple of years now. First released in 2004, the GT3 was the first of GreenSpeed’s folding trikes.  I tried a couple of different Performer and GreenSpeed models, but nothing could match the sporty feel and great handling of the GT3. 16“ wheels, moderately low seating position with a fixed mesh seat; not too reclined but not upright either and most importantly, it came in a small frame size which suits the short legs part of my 163cm/5”3’ body.  We have customised it with shorter 165mm cranks and a double chainring at the front giving me 18 speed.  Low enough to climb most hills and I only run out at the top when speeding down serious hills – but who want to be pedaling then anyway?

Recumbent trike GT3
GreenSpeed GT3 (Small frame)

As we get different models of trikes through the doors, I give them a test ride.  (Can’t touch the GreenSpeed Aero since I’m too short – but don’t like the extreme recline either.)  Recently we decided to add a GreenSpeed X7 to our demonstrator fleet. Having never seen one in person we figured the only way to assess its capability was to get one and see how it went.  The X series trikes first came out soon after the GT3 and was described as a ‘folding sports trike’.

The current GreenSpeed marketing line is:

At the corner of racing and touring boldly sits the GreenSpeed X7. This machine is an all-encompassing package of speed, outstanding handling, powerful road grip, and pure fun.

And they are right!

Recumbent trike, X7
GreenSpeed X7

This trike is zippy and responsive and fun to ride. It has more gears than you’ll ever need at both ends with its triple front chainring. Like the GT3, the wheels are 16” and combined with the dropped frame. This provides a lower riding position giving you better stability and handling.  The GT3 & X7 both have the same type of indirect, under-seat steering. Although the geometry is slightly different, the steering feels the same  – light and responsive.  They both corner and roll very well. Both fold, and the seat shape is pretty much the same.

Unlike the GT3, the seat of the X7 is also height and tilt adjustable.  GT3 is made of steel and the X7 from lightweight 7005 aluminium alloy. This really only becomes relevant when you have to lift them.  

Because the GT3 came in different frame sizes, less of a range of boom-length adjustment was provided. The X7 is a 1-size-fits-all trike, and the boom retracted far enough for me to ride comfortably.

The other main difference is the front boom angle leading to the height of the crankset. The GT3 has a bottom bracket (the bit that attached the crankset to the boom) that is noticeably higher than the seat, whereas the X7 bottom bracket is almost in line with the seat even with the seat bracket in its lowest position.  The GT3 geometry suits me better as I ended up with a bit of knee pain quite quickly while riding the X7.  Small cranks, like I have on the GT3, may improve this.

One recumbent trike image overlaying the other.
GT3 with X7 shadow overlay.

While the rear derailleur on the X7 appears quite low while parked, in practice it is not a problem. As you shift up gears, the derailleur pulls up so clearance of debris on the track is not a problem. I rode through clumps of grass cutting from the council tractor mowers and didn’t pick any up.

Overall, I still prefer my little GT3. You do see them come up for sale occasionally on the various recumbent pages.  They are a robust, sporty little machine. The X7 comes in as a close second and is an excellent GT3 alternative if you want a newer model with more adjustability. It’s priced from A$5000.

By Michelle, Mrs DT Recumbents;

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