Transportation & Interchangeability

Two-Piece Frame System

The Tomcat Two Piece Frame™ System, allows a Tomcat trike to be separated into two independent sections for transport and storage. Dismantle and assembly time is just seconds. It’s also the mechanism that allows a trike to become a trailer and vice versa.

Next to Carer Control™ the Two Piece Frame system is Tomcat’s best known feature. It allows the Tomcat to dis-assemble in just 5 seconds as you can see from the real time video. With a couple of tries under your belt, it really is as simple as it looks, but its operational simplicity hides a very sophisticated safety system that leaves nothing whatsoever to chance.

It took 57 sketches and 7 prototypes before a suitable design emerged but it was important to get it right because the whole point of Carer Control and a lightweight frame, was to get kids out in the countryside rather than bumping about the school hall.

The problem was; to get to the countryside you might need a car, and to transport a trike in a car, you’d need one that splits in two. Other trikes could do that, but they needed spanners and time. We wanted one that separated in the blink of an eye.

The problem wasn’t really the separation system, the problem was the safety system, and that had to be maintenance free, idiot proof, accident proof, child proof, and Desperate Dan proof, not to mention utterly reliable and completely wobble free.

We’ve built approximately 5000 Tomcats with a Two Piece frame system that’s been tested to 263Kg (that’s over a quarter of a tonne). There have been no incidents at all in service because of its interlocks and safety features and though that’s as it should be, we’re really quite proud of its record at keeping kids safe.

Trailer Trike

A Trailer Trike™ is a tricycle that converts quickly and easily into a two wheeled trailer which can then be attached and towed by an adult bicycle (usually dads). In this way, two entirely different activities can be enjoyed from much less equipment and at a lower cost.

How it works

Tomcat tricycles are famous for the speed at which they can be disassembled. 10 seconds is average but less than 3 is possible if you’re in a hurry. Despite its speed, the mechanism is childproof whilst safety interlocks make accidental release impossible. It’s the best trike separation system that money can buy – pure and simple!

The Tomcat Trailer Trike™ uses the tricycle’s superb quick release system to change itself into a trailer. The Two Piece Frame™ system first separates the trike into an upper and a lower part. The lower part comprises rear wheels and pedals and the upper part comprises front wheel, handlebars and seat system. When converting to a trailer, the upper part is removed and replaced with the trailer bar section which comes equipped with its own handlebars and seat system. In this way a trike can be converted to a trailer within 30 seconds and vice versa.

 

Some essential features when towing the trailer

The trailer bar comes complete with a universal attachment joint that allows the bicycle to be ridden normally. It can lean into corners and ride over sleeping policemen without affecting the trailer and vice versa. All the rider notices it a little more weight to pull, but the trailer is surprisingly light and easy to tow, even for bigger riders.

The trailer quickly locks onto the towing bicycle which has the clamp permanently fitted to it. Any number of bicycles can tow the trailer providing they have this clamp fitted.

Trailers always have a free-wheeling drive. This ensures the riders legs are not driven around by the wheels as would happen with a fixed drive. When tricycles with fixed drives are converted to trailers the drive is changed from fixed to free-wheeling during the changeover.

Trailer Trikes with “Multi Geared Drives”

Tricycles that have multi geared drives can still be converted to trailers despite the complexities of the gear change cable. When a Tomcat trike with multi gears separates, a clever system called “Make and Break” breaks the gear change cable automatically; then re-makes it automatically when the tricycle is reassembled. (See the “Make and Break” invention page for a full description) When the trike is converted to a trailer, the trailer bar section is equipped with its own “Make and Break” gear change system, and simply locks on automatically in the same way as the tricycle. The Tomcat is the only trike with this advanced and innovative technology.

Special Needs Accessories and Provisions

From the riders point of view, the trailer is the same as the tricycle in terms of accessories and other provisions. Any Tomcat tricycle accessory can become a trailer accessory and vice versa. So if you have a bottle carrier on the trike, it’s there on the trailer. If you have a very special support system for your legs or trunk or head, it’s also there on the trailer.

Trailer safety Features

There are certain provisions on the trailer that might not be needed on the tricycle and these usually concern safety. For example a pommel is usually provided on a trailer so that sliding forward is prevented under heavy braking. It is also useful for riders who might have a paddy on the trailer. It won’t stop the paddy; only chocolate can do that, but it will make sure they have a paddy on the trailer and not off it.

Invention Timeline

Tomcat invented the Trailer Trike for Kieth McKaig so that he could take his son who was a wheelchair user on longer rides than he could manage on his tricycle. Thereafter Trailer Trikes were built to special order only, until 2006 when the introduction of the MK II Trike Separation system made the manufacture of a reliable interchange system safe, practical and cost effective.

The Trailer Trike™ has since become one of Tomcats most iconic and popular inventions and so it should be because it has allowed thousands of families around the world to be a family, and enjoy what is so often taken for granted – togetherness.

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