TerraCycle (recumbent cycling)

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TerraCycle, Inc. is a designer and manufacturer of recumbent bicycle parts based in Portland, Oregon in the United States. The TerraCycle brand has gained international recognition, especially for its idlers[1] and Cargo Monster load-carrying extensions.[2]

An example of a recumbent bicycle, fitted with a fairing.



In 1996, Pat Franz began making custom-fitted recumbent bicycles in a small office in Portland, Oregon.[3] Recumbent cycling is a small market, so in order to make the bicycles, many of the parts had to be hand-crafted. Before long, other recumbent bicycle manufacturers noted TerraCycle's parts and began asking to have parts made for their own recumbent cycles.[4] TerraCycle shifted its efforts from building whole recumbent bicycles to manufacturing recumbent cycling parts and has since gained international recognition in the recumbent cycling community.[5][6] Today, TerraCycle parts can be found in stores in North America, Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan and around the world online.

In late 2011, an upcycling company also named TerraCycle purchased the rights to www.terracycle.com, formerly held by the recumbent cycle part manufacturer. The new home of TerraCycle recumbent cycling is www.t-cycle.com.


In December 2007, TerraCycle acquired FastBack Systems, a recumbent cycling hydration system and frame pack manufacturer out of Fort Collins, Colorado. Mike Vogl, the founder of FastBack, said in a press release: "We’ve grown quickly, and the demands of the business require increasing time and resources."[7] TerraCycle has continued producing the lines of packs and bags, expanded the line to include other products and begun selling the FastBack line in Europe.[8]

In December 2009, TerraCycle acquired WindWrap, a maker of fairings for recumbent cycles based in Eureka, California. The WindWrap line of fairings has been expanded and improved upon, and is now available in Europe. WindWrap founder, Mark Mueller, said of the move: "I am proud that Windwrap fairings are in use around the world. Now its time someone who can make these an even better product to take things from here. We've been working with TerraCycle for years and believe they will be a great company for this."[9]

In December 2011, Terracycle acquired Velogenesis, and began selling the seat strut clamps developed by Velogenesis founder, Ray Brick.[10]


Innovations in recumbent technology[edit]

TerraCycle's first bike, the TerraZa was lauded for its ground-breaking customizability. The TerraZa won the acclaim of Recumbent Cyclist News for being revolutionary: "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."[11]

The folding stem developed at TerraCycle has changed the way that other companies approach their products. Bacchetta Recumbent Bikes has adopted TerraCycle's GlideFlex folding stem as standard equipment.[12]

The Cargo Monster, designed by TerraCycle in 2009, is a load-carrying extension that transforms the carrying ability of most any recumbent cycle.[13]

In 2011, TerraCycle's Sport Idlers won Accessory of the Year on BentRider Online.[14]

Involvement in recumbent cycling culture[edit]

In 2005, TerraCycle sponsored the Race Across Oregon, when Robert Johnson of TerraCycle participated on the team RAO Speedwagon. The team used only recumbent cycles in what is ordinarily an upright bicycle competition. RAO Speedwagon finished first place in what was a big win for the recumbent cycling community both in terms of promoting recumbent cycles and demonstrating their efficacy.[15]

TerraCycle appears on The People of Recumbent Cycling webpage, a website dedicated to people who further the sport of recumbent cycling.[16]

Over the years, TerraCycle has supplied idlers to various teams participating in the ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge.[17] In 2005, the Oregon State University Human Powered Vehicle Team placed 5th overall with the help of TerraCycle parts.[18]

Various events in the recumbent cycling community, like the evening event following the Oregon Human Powered Vehicle Challenge, are hosted at TerraCycle's workshop, which has become known as a hub of cycling innovation.[19]


  1. ^ "Exquisite Idler Kits by TerraCycle | undercover cycling". Go-one.us. 2007-12-28. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  2. ^ "TerraCycle Cargo Monster | SPEZI: Liegerad Faltrad Dreirad Vierrad Tandem Rehabilitation Velomobil Anhänger Pedelec E-Bike". Spezialradmesse.de. 2010-07-18. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  3. ^ http://t-cycle.com/about-us-ezp-1.html
  4. ^ "TerraCycle". Icletta. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  5. ^ Alan Barnard. "EcoVelo » Blog Archive » TerraCycle". Ecovelo.info. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  6. ^ http://www.exacteditions.com/exact/search.do?type=magazine&titleId=442&term=terracycle
  7. ^ "NEWS". Fastbacksystem.com. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  8. ^ "New year roundup". Velo Vision. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  9. ^ "TerraCycle acquires Windwrap Fairings". Recumbent Journal. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  10. ^ "'BentRider Online» Blog Archive » TerraCycle Buys Velogenesis Seat Clamp Line". Bentrideronline.com. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  11. ^ Bryant, Robert J. (November 1999). "The New Terra-Za SWB". Recumbent Cyclist News (54): 10–14. 
  12. ^ "TerraCycle Easy Reacher Underseat Rack". Bentrideronline.com. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  13. ^ "Blog Archive » Portland's TerraCycle unleashes their 'Cargo Monster'". BikePortland.org. 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  14. ^ "'BentRider Online» Blog Archive » Bike And Trike of The Year!!!". Bentrideronline.com. 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  15. ^ "Team RAO Speedwagon's 2005 Race Recap". Race Across Oregon. 2006-04-18. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  16. ^ "The People of Recumbent Cycling". Recumbentcycling.blogspot.com. 2008-03-28. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  17. ^ "Idler Kit: Terracycle Front Idler Kits for TerraTrikes". Utah Trikes. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  18. ^ http://files.asme.org/asmeorg/Events/Contests/HPV/9395.pdf
  19. ^ "Human Power Challenge News Archives". Ohpv.org. 2007-05-23. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 

External links[edit]