Buggy Designs

Buggies take on one of two designs based on the wheel placement.

Standard Trike

Standard Trike (or Forward Trike) buggies have one front wheel and two rear wheels.

Renaissance, a standard trike buggy

Teams with Standard Trike Buggies

  • CIA
  • PiKA
  • SAE
  • SDC
  • Spirit


  • Simplicity: The single front wheel in a standard trike is the only steering wheel and so design and implementation of a steering control system are much simplified. The driver’s control is usually very direct and so there are limited failure points and the driver’s feel of the buggy’s handling is uninterrupted.
  • Alignment: A standard trike format allows for the rear wheels to be mounted in a fixed position and possibly to a single structural element making it easier to ensure they are parallel.
  • Stability in the push: Some believe that the dual real wheels offer increased stability during the push.


  • Ergonomics: Some feel that having a wheel in the driver compartment is not ideal. The wheel opening allows for the possibility dirt and debris to be pulled into the vehicle as it rolls. Depending on the size and placement of the front wheel and steering mechanism, the steering unit may also present visibility problems for the driver. Again, depending on the design details, the front wheel may have to be removed to allow the driver to load and unload from the buggy.
  • Stability: Some believe that standard trikes are more likely to spin in the chute.

Reverse Trike

Reverse Trike buggies have two front wheels and one rear wheel. The two most common steering systems used in a reverse trike are wagon steering and Ackermann steering.

Freyja, a reverse trike buggy

Teams with Reverse Trike Buggies

  • AEPi
  • CIA
  • Fringe
  • PiKA
  • Pioneers
  • SigEp
  • SigNu


  • Egonomics: Because the rear wheel is usually located behind the driver’s feet, and the front wheels outside the shell, the driver’s compartments is essentially sealed off from the wheels and the course. This can improve safety, visibility, and the ease of loading and unloading.


  • Complexity: Two front wheels generally means two steering wheels. Two wheel steering designs are fundamentally more complex and require more parts and a less direct connection between the driver’s inputs and the wheels.
  • Alignment: With two steering wheels, mechanics must ensure that in a neutral steering position all three wheels are parallel.