News Archive for Hellbent Cycles




New Facelift

We hope there is an improvement.  We have added a couple more sections; Spitfire Picture Gallery and FAQ.  However, the FAQ is still under construction and shall be completed shortly.  


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We underestimated the cost of our Extreme option and had to adjust the price accordingly.  After all, we are trying to make money too.  In addition, we have posted and enhanced a few more photos of the Spitfire.  We hope to have some better photos soon and hopefully a new face lift to this website. 



Spitfire RS Extreme

Rising to the challenge to produce the ultimate high-performance trike, Hellbent is now offering an upgrade option that reduces the weight of an RS down to 27.6 lbs.  making it one of the lightest production tadpole trikes ever sold.  The package includes Lightning Dynamic's ultra light-weight carbon composite crank-set, aluminum spoke nipples, DuraAce cassette, and lighter nylon covered Neoprene grips.  This option is available for only $250.00. 


This is for the serious sports enthusiast that demands a competitive edge and is not recommended for the casual trikester.



Thunderbolt Mk II Plans are now at Revision 2.0

Rev. 2 is a major change in the Thunderbolt Mk II plans.  The plans now include a new knuckle design currently used on the RS Spitfire and an OSS Steering Tiller.  In addition, a few problems were fixed in chapter 9 and a couple more drawings were added.  The complete package in Adobe Acrobat now stands at 4.5 Meg. in size.  



Spitfire ST Pricing and Specification Change

The price for the ST-20 and ST-24 is $3,495 and not $3,595 as indicated in the Spitfire specification table.  We apologies for this typographical error.   We also had time to weigh the finished ST and it comes in at a svelte 30 lbs. 15 oz.  as weighed on a US postal scale.  This weight is without accessories or pedals.  The ST-24 weighs 3.8 oz less. 



The Spitfire ST has arrived

After solving some steering handles issues, we have finally released the Spitfire ST 20.  A photo of this trike is shown below:

water bottles/holder, rear rack and mirror sold separately.

For additional information on the ST, click here



Demo Sale

Over the next few months Hellbent will have many trikes going out for rider reviews to major Recumbent editors.  As such, these trikes will be for sale at discounted prices at the areas where they are being reviewed.  Periodically check our Demo Sale page


Thunderbolt Mk II Trike Plans Status

Rick is currently in the final stages of completing the OSS tiller Steering for the Thunderbolt Mk II trike plans.  In addition, some changes to the steering knuckles will be incorporated to make fabrication easier and to unify the Steering components to that of both the RS and ST Spitfire.   In the following weeks we plan to include several new items on our parts page that will allow builders an alternative to machining some of the more complex parts of the trike.



Spitfire ST Specification Change

Great News!! We upgraded all the rod-end bearing to feather light 7075 aluminum body bearings on the Spitfire ST.  These bearings are 90% as strong yet weigh 60% less than the steel version.  A complete track rod with bearings and jam nuts weighs only 80 grams.  In total, this upgrade sheds over a half pound of weight.  Best of all, the price remains the same.


New Photos of the Spitfire -check them out!!!!!



Spitfire Production Update

We have been terribly busy over the last month, but as you can see there is light at the end of this tunnel.   We have made some changes to the Spitfire specification.  All chain tubing is being replaced by PTFE black Teflon.  Next, we upgraded our wheels to include black rims and spokes with machine side walls.  Last, most exposed aluminum will be painted gloss black.  This color scheme makes this trike a real show stopper!


 Included below are photos of an unfinished ST 20 (Red trike) and of an unfinished RS 24 (Blue).   The special powder coat finish we are using on these trikes is extremely hard to shoot.  Consequently, we had only about a 35% yield.  Everything else will need to be chemically stripped and repainted.  However, for the few frames that passed our inspection are all drop dead gorgeous!


Without the seat sling you can really appreciate the beauty of the frame of this Spitfire ST 20. 


It appears that the seat back is suspended, but it is actually mounted at the rear section using an adjustable mount that secures it forward of the seat stays.


As a casualty of an unacceptable powder coating, we had no bottom bracket booms for this photo shot :-(((((.


The rear-view mirror shown above looks like it was made for the Spitfire.  We are currently looking for a source for a right hand mirror.


The RS above is assembled with all major components, yet it weighs less than 23  lbs.  A target weight less than 29 Lbs will be easily achievable.  Shown in this photo is an XTR rear derailleur and cassette, DuraAce Triple crank and Ultegra front derailleur and bottom bracket.   Not shown in detail are the aluminum Rod-ends or titanium hardware. The use of these materials nets us almost a lb. in weight savings!


The raw RS frame shown above is 8.5 lbs.  Prior to painting, it weighed 7.3 lbs. BTW- the ST frames are .5 and .75 Lbs heavier than the RS.


We are currently taking order for the Spitfire.  First run quantities are limited to 11 frames.



Spitfire Specification and Pricing Update

It's been two months since we updated our status.  During this time we have experienced several setbacks with long lead-item parts and some last minute changes.  The eleven Spitfire frames are nearing completion now and should be ready for heat treatment and powder coating at the end of this month.  We hope to have some new pictures online by mid September.  In the meantime, we have updated our product specification and have lowered the prices of both RS and ST Spitfires.  The most interesting news is that our new Spitfire is available with fenders.  Not too many trike companies pull this off on their debut release.  For more information click here



New Model Designations for the Spitfire

After careful review, we have concluded that the Spitfire RST was an inappropriate description.  The 'RS' is a designation for our highest performing trike that is suited for Racing as well as Sport riding.  The RST was designated as Sport and Touring trike.  Consequently its new designation is now the 'ST'.



New Secure Online Ordering for HellBent Cycles Inc.

Links have been added for secure ordering through our sister company Factory Sports Inc.



We are now HellBent Cycles, Inc.!

As part of our new partnership, Hell-Bent Cycle Works has changed its name to HellBent Cycles, Inc. HellBent's manufacturing operations are moving to a 2,500 sf facility in Lago Vista, Texas (near Austin, TX) with an option on an additional 2500 sf. Full production operation should commence by the end of June 2003.  At that time we plan to begin shipping our 3 new models, the Spitfire RS24, RST 20 and RST 24.  Our new mailing address is:


HellBent Cycles, Inc.

PO Box 4241

Lago Vista, TX 78645.

Our shipping address is:

19701 Alfalfa Dr.

Lago Vista, TX 78645



Spitfire RS24 is Now Lower and Faster!

While Steve is preparing our new factory and company incorporation, I have been hard at work refining the seat for both RS and RST Spitfires.  The new seat allow reclining down to 28, making the RS incredibly low.  In addition, a lumbar support bend has been added for increased support and comfort.  See the new photo below.




Thunderbolt Mk II Change Status

Correction have been made to Chapter 5.  Specific changes pertain to seat height (reduced by .5").  In addition, the seat sling pattern has been changed accordingly.  The new seat pattern is also included as a 11x17 drawing for easier layout.  The revised plans are now at version 1.02.  For updates, provide your customer ID# and email Rickey at



New Pricing Structure for the Spitfire

We have redefined our Spitfire product line and have introduced a Basic Spitfire at a value price.  Click here for more.



Introductory Offer for the Thunderbolt Mk II Plans is Over

For new pricing Click here



The Diablo Project Updated

We have added a few more tidbits of information concerning the Diablo.  However, the release is dependent on raising venture capital to bring this amazing machine into production.  For investment opportunities, click here.


Thunderbolt Mk II Change Status

A few chapters have been revised.  In addition, I have created a 11x17 overview drawing, 8.5x11 drawing of the Knuckle Bulkhead Bracket and the Wheel Drop-Outs.  Chapters 4, 7, 8 and 10 have been revised.  For updates, provide your customer ID# and email Rickey at



Get it while it's hot!

As a friendly reminder, the Thunderbolt plans are on sale for a super low price as low as $14.95 .  The plans include 154 drawings and actual photos and consume over 125 pages of text.  These are the most detailed plans available for any recumbent.  As of April 15, the sale will end and we will offer the plans at the standard price .  So, as the captions says, get it while it's hot.  Click here for details.



Hell-bent Welcomes Steven Frick

The next evolution of Hell-bent is in the making.  I have partnered my company with Steve Frick.  Steve's knowledge and experience in strategic business planning is nothing less than phenomenal.

Steve Frick grew up all over the world as an Air Force brat.  He went to Rice University where he earned 3 degrees in four years: BS Mechanical Engineering, BA Economics and BA Business.  He then went to work in the oil field service sector as a field engineer for Schlumberger.  He took a year off to get an MBA from University of Houston and stayed in the oil field where he was involved in operations and marketing.

 In 1991, he moved to Austin and started a manufacturer representative company that focused on the outdoor sports industry.  He represented some of the leading companies in the scuba industry and later expanded into the canoe and kayak industry.

 Steve also started a web-based business (Factory Sports) selling kites and dryboxes over the internet in January of 2001.  See and

 Steve is active in outdoor and community activities including bicycling, kayaking, flying gliders, sailing, scuba, youth soccer coach and Cub Scout pack master.

Steve's talents will be instrumental in the continuing growth of Hell-bent Cycle Works.  So, when I say "WE" for now on, I really mean it.



Thunderbolt Mk II Pre-fabricated Parts Status

Fabricated parts of the Thunderbolt Mk II are slowly making their way to the Parts and Accessory page.   I still have much of the parts out for bid and should have them defined and priced by the middle of April.     



Thunderbolt Plans are Now Shipping



Thunderbolt Mk II Status Updates

Thunderbolt Mk II status is has been updated with the release delayed yet another 3 days.  The plans keep getting larger, as this advanced trike design is extremely sophisticated and requires detailed instruction never experienced by the recumbent community.  I have updated the status and included some detailed photos and drawings of the actual trike frame (Spitfire RST20) in the Thunderbolt Mk II  Preview  document.


Complete Spitfires On Sale Now

RS and RST Spitfire Trikes are on sale at an incredibly low introductory price.   Order now and save up to 20%.  Delivery is 6 to 8 weeks.


Spitfire RST20 Frame Sets On Sale Now only $1995

Click here  for details


Thunderbolt Mk II Plans progress

Starting today I'll be placing the progress of the plans on the Hell-bent main page.


Hell-bent Needs a Guinea Pig

I know this is a far stretch, but if anyone living in the Austin TX area wishes to build their own recumbent trike, they can do so in my shop absolutely free, provided that they supply the materials and use my new T'bolt Mk II plans.  Contact me, Rickey at  


Wheel Sale is Officially Over

For the last three weeks I offered trike wheels for only $85.00 ea.   The deal was $5.00 over dealers cost.  However, none were sold.  Consequently, these wheels are now offered at the regular retail price.


Hell-bent Cycle Works is a Company for Profit

The 'Free' Drawing Board is no more.....

For the last five years I have enjoyed donating my valuable time and expertise helping everyone in this small community build their own recumbent trike.   However, the rewards of 'thank you' does not pay for my company overhead.   Sadly to say, the free lunch is over.  As of today, the "FREE" Thunderbolt recumbent trike plans have been removed from my website.  In the meantime, I am modifying these plans and drawings for a Thunderbolt Mk II.  The Mk II has many of the features as the Spitfire and is much easier to build.  These drawings will be placed into a PDF file and will be sold for $14.95.  I understand this is a drastic change in character, but I require revenue to finance the operational cost of my business.   In the meantime, if you still wish to build a trike with free plans, I do have an older revision of the T'bolt plans on the IHPVA website at


Diablo Configurations Defined

As mentioned, I am defining the product lines of the Diablo as manufacturing continues.  I encourage all to check out the updated Diablo Preview page for more information on this trike. 


Spitfire Configurations Defined

As I am taking a break from welding and machining, I have finally had the time to specify the models for the release of the production Spitfires.   I hope to do the same for the Diablo before February.  


The Workshop Is Updated For Two New Projects!

I have included two small projects in the Workshop.  The first is a project that allows you to modify standard 16 wheels for stub axle operation (for a trike stupid!).  The second project instructs how to create a collector for a hydraulic disc brake system for single handle operation.  Check them both out.


Hell-bent to Sell Complete Wheels

Yes! Initially we will carry complete front wheels including disc hubs and axles.  Check it out.


Delivery Schedules

The release of both Spitfire and Diablo remains on schedule for late January/early February.   The lack of venture funding has limited production down to 10 trikes as follows:

4 ea. Diablo

3 ea. S model Spitfire (non-segmented frame, narrow track)

3 ea. T model Spitfire (non-segmented frame normal track)

If anyone has questions regarding this build can contact me at:


Spitfire Designations

The production version of the Spitfire is expected to be available in three basic frames configurations.  The configurations are based on wheel track width and the segmentation of the frame.   The wider wheel track configuration (31" verses 28.5") allows easy USS steering adaptation.  The non segmented frames will be lighter and less expensive as compared to the segmented variety.  However, these frames do not break-down for convenient  storage.


Diablo Is Go!!!

Jumping ahead of schedule the Diablo production will now coincide with the Spitfire.   We expect the frames to be completed in late January of 2003.   If you are interested, contact Rickey at 


Happy Halloween!

I purchased 3 lbs of Snicker bars.  They were so tasty, that I ate them all.  Heck, Halloween is pagan anyways right?

The Diablo Final Preview is Released

After two years of redesign, I am back building the last of the Diablo prototypes.  The last changes I made was the incorporation of a mid drive system.   This is proven to be lighter, more efficient, more practical than a SRAM 3x9 or Rollhoff.  Anyway check it out here.   

Hell-bent will now accept credit cards

On 11-1-02 Hell-bent will be officially open for business.  We have set up accounts for accepting credit cards via fax orders.   Boy, we're growing-up fast here!


Rickey Goes Hell-Bent

Well it's official, Rickey Horwitz has submitted a  DBA for "Hell-Bent Cycle Works".  The paperwork was submitted into the Williamson County Court House on 10/16/02.  A resale license and Tax ID were also issued on this date by the State of Texas Comptrollers office In Austin Texas.    Isn't it  ironic how people get fully motivated when they loose their job?  

This development is three months ahead of the scheduled release of the Spitfire.  In the meantime, Hell-bent will initially offer parts and accessories for recumbent tricycles, chiefly for home builders pursuing the Thunderbolt project.  

Sales will be by Web or Phone orders only.  We do not, and will not have a store front.