Monash University
Stephen_Nurse_Exegesis_Sep_5_2017.pdf (5.87 MB)

A Simple Leaning Trike

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posted on 2017-09-06, 01:06 authored by Stephen Nurse
Cycling is human-powered transport. It benefits society by providing exercise and low pollution, low cost transport, and by relieving roads of car traffic. But cycling in Australian cities has aspects which could be improved. Some bicycles are not designed to carry loads, which limits their use as transport, bicycles are often fully imported, which limits their contribution to the local economy and standardised bicycle design limits opportunity for self-expression. This research proposes cycles which are locally made, provide fulfilment using DIY, and have inbuilt load capacity.
The cycles are leaning trikes based on a solid-timber framed prototype developed prior to candidature and the research question is: How can DIY leaning trikes contribute to sustainable transport? The question is answered through this exegesis and the design, production and testing of trikes.
The research trikes are recumbent cycles, and background research on recumbents finds they must provide good value and be likable to be widely accepted. Six trikes have been designed, built and tested in everyday use, and they improve on the prototype by allowing customisation, using lightweight aluminium and plywood materials, and by using laser cutting, casting, numerically controlled routing, and 3d printing in their construction. Testing found them to be broadly reliable, enjoyable to make, and suitable for commuting and shopping.
The DIY leaning trikes built for this project have already been used as sustainable transport, however to contribute further, the trikes or machines they inspire must be made in quantity and used as transport.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Mark Richardson

Additional supervisor 1

Robbie Napper

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre



Master of Industrial Design

Degree Type



Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture

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