Owning and Riding
A Windcheetah is deceptively simple to ride, despite the unconventional appearance of the joystick steering. New riders very quickly become acclimatized to the techniques required. We have listed a few pointers to help you get an even more rewarding experience from your new purchase.
Getting in and preparing to set off
First of all make sure the parking brake is on and the joystick is resting in its forward position. Stand over the Windcheetah with both feet in front of the two cross arms. Pick up the joystick, hold the front brakes on and lower yourself into the bucket seat. Don`t twist the joystick when the vehicle is stationary, this will prematurely wear the steering U.J. Clip your feet into the pedals, we strongly recommend that you use clipless pedals and appropriate footwear. Release the parking brake and off you go.
Use the front and rear mechs just as you would on any cycle. The joystick arrangement makes it very simple to brake and change gear at the same time.
Holding the joystick
Occasionally new riders report that they tend to weave slightly on their Windcheetah when riding very fast. This is caused by holding the joystick too tightly and the phenomenon disappears once the rider has had a few rides and becomes used to the machine. Windcheetahs are stable enough to be ridden hands-off with ease. When making turn signals the brake can be operated safely by either hand, a great advantage when making a turn across the traffic flow at the bottom of a descent.
It is important to transfer body weight to the inside of the bend during fast cornering manoeuvres. This is part of the fun of owning a Windcheetah and quickly becomes second nature. If you don`t transfer weight the inside wheel can lift, this is easily corrected by leaning into the bend. Most riders do this naturally and the joystick steering makes this very simple. The 'stick moves with the rider ensuring that total control is maintained.
A good tip when cornering is to keep the inside leg out-stretched, this might be counter intuitive and may require some practice.
The Windcheetah can be stopped very quickly indeed if required, in fact it can lift the rear wheel in extreme circumstances! Excellent weight distribution and the very low centre of gravity gives superb stability even when the brakes are used to their full capability. Under normal conditions a light two-fingered touch is enough to handle most situations. Always use the park brake when leaving the machine anywhere, even on the flat a light wind is all that's needed to transform the carbon seat into a very effective sail.
All the wheels on the Windcheetah have cantilever [ single sided] axle mounts. This makes mending punctures a simple task; all that is required is a couple of tyre levers and a pump. Tyre pressure is a matter of personal choice, most riders opting for 100psi all round.
Lifting a Windcheetah
The best method is to stand on the left side of the machine, bend your knees and grasp the left cross arm with your left hand and the rear seat casting with the other. Lift up to chest height and hook the seat headrest over your right shoulder. The Windcheetah can then be safely manoeuvred through doors, up stairs etc. If you need to push the Windcheetah for any distance.don't! Pull it instead. Position the Windcheetah so it is facing backwards to the direction you wish to travel. Pick up the rear wheel at 12 o'clock with your right hand and proceed. The Windcheetah will follow you obediently wherever you want to go.
Transporting a Windcheetah
The Windcheetah will fit into most hatchback cars with the rear seat folded. The Windcheetah seat will need to be removed [ takes about 30 secs] and its best to tilt the machine over with the chainset resting between the two front seats. Certain estate cars [ station wagons] will swallow a Windcheetah whole. To carry on the roof simply fit two roof bars, position them so the Windcheetah`s wheels sit either side, not on top of, the bar. The tyres won't damage the paintwork. Using some good old fashioned toe straps, secure the three wheels to the roof bars. Remove the seat if you intend to travel at speed.
This is debatable, to pack or not to pack.that is the question. I have ridden my Windcheetah to Manchester International Airport, turned the left crank back through 180degrees, secured the cranks to the frame with bubble wrap and tape and handed it in at the check-in. I've then flown to Brussels, ridden to my destination and returned back to Manchester the next day with the Windcheetah totally unscathed. I suspect that most baggage handlers aren't anarchists at all, and that most damage to luggage is caused by the mechanical handling equipment. A naked Windcheetah has to be handled by a human being and I suspect they respect it more than an anonymous cardboard box. When shipping new Windcheetahs we use lots of bubble wrap and triple layer export spec boxes. Make your choice.
Never tried it, but I would imagine it would fit in the cargo hold of some of the larger coaches. I've put a tandem in one once. Check with the bus company first of course.
I've put one in the luggage van on a Manchester to London Intercity without any problems. There was a nominal surcharge. For packing see 'By Plane'.