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MoeMac
03-16-2009, 08:15 PM
Hi all...

My question is:

All those who hava a StreetFox,

How hard is it to peddle your Fox?
Is it harder than your 2 wheeler bikes?

I took my StreetCruiser out yesterday and today and it is harder to peddle than my 2 wheelers. Yet when I standup next to it and push it it glides.

There appears to be no strain on the chain when I peddle backwards. If I peddle on a level ground it is comfortable but the minute there is a little inclination on the road there is resistance to the point that after about 5 minutes my legs felt I have been peddling up hill for quite a while.

Here is an outside pic of my StreetFox:

http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww38/moe_mac/Out090316_1.jpg



http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww38/moe_mac/Out090316_2.jpg

I was told that the problem may lie with the strain on the chain from the pulleys because of the angle between them... could this be true? and if so... how can I improve this so that I am able to ride this puppy because I LOVE IT! but if it is going to kill me I will have to scap it....

Any suggestions?

Thanks Guys!
MadMOE!

trikeman
03-16-2009, 09:28 PM
Pulleys always rob some power, but I suspect its because you have what appears to be one big sprocket on the front and a tiny one on the back. Basically you are always in high gear. Trying to ride up a hill in high gear on a recumbent would bring most of us to our knees. If you didn't have such a tiny rear wheel, you probably could not even get the bike going without pushing it off first. You just don't have enough mechanical leverage with that gearing set up. If you think about riding a single-speed upright bike with high gearing, you pretty much have to stand on the pedals to get it going, and there is no way you are going to ride it up a hill without standing up.

The tiny rear tire does at least gear it down some. Put a larger sprocket on the rear and a smaller one (or better yet a triple) on the front and it will be much easier to peddle, but it won't set any speed records. If you do a search, you will hear some of us puny guys talking about putting Mega-Range sprockets on the rear wheel. That gives us a giant pulley on the rear and a "Granny" gear for hill climbing. The Mega-Range also has a smaller sprocket on the back for speed. Often they range from 34 teeth (low gear) to 11 teeth (high gear), thus the name Mega-Range.

Do you really even need that front pulley? It looks like you might be able to do away with it if the chain will clear the seat bottom.

By the way the thing that robs energy from your chain is when it has to turn a corner. Turning the corner makes the chain plates rub against the pins and that creates friction. This of course is only noticeable when the chain in under tension, as it is on the top. When you peddle backwards on the bottom of the chain is under any serious tension and the freewheel lets it turn freely. The sharper the angle the chain turns through - the more the energy loss. That is why large pulleys are better than small ones. Your bike doesn't look to be making the chain turn through much of an angle, even though you used small pulleys, but you do have two of them. I doubt you are losing more than 5%-10% of your energy there. I say that because I have read several studies indicating that is about all a moderate direction change pulley loses on a bicycle.

Great looking bike.

MoeMac
03-16-2009, 10:53 PM
Thanks Trikeman...

The reason for the pulley under the seat is to clear the seat... I understand what you are saying with the small sproket and large on in the front... I have the same set up on three other 2 wheel choppers and I have no problems even up hill as I have strong legs...

I built this trike for cruising and not speed I also did not wanted to get too much complications with gears because I designed it to be taken apart in three pieces so that I can bring it in the Dungeon (it is the only place for storage that I have)...

I am going to try to rig up a way to do without that under the seat pulley to see if that will improve it.

Thank You so much for your input... as always I sure do appreciate it.

Thank You for the compliment for the trike, I want to get this fix before I paint it.

TheKid
03-16-2009, 11:17 PM
Trikeman is right about the gearing. Also the front pulley. With a chain tube and two pulley's your adding quite a bit of friction to the chain. If after making the changes you still have trouble pedalling, check the wheel alignment, including the rear wheel. You should still be able to take the trike apart in 3 pieces with a double or triple crankset. I can't tell if that's a freewheel on the rear, or a coaster brake hub. If it's a coaster brake hub, you'll need a spring loaded chain tensioner on the rear if you go that route. You can use a reverse derailler if you can't find the proper tensioner.

John Lewis
03-17-2009, 12:13 AM
Neat machine moemac.

Trikes are a little harder than a twowheeler as you have an extra wheel on the ground. If your toe in is out that can really hold you back. You need to check it with a load on the trike. Ie sitting on board. You need just a little toe in. perhaps 1/8" max. Definitely no toe out.

The pulleys will only make a minor difference I think unless you are bending the chain pretty sharply.

You need to get your "bent legs". Different muscles are used and you have to build them up.

Gearing: You need multiple gears. You should be pedalling around 80 rpm at all times. Much less can cause you to put excess force on the pedals and can lead to knee damage. The gear range on my trike is about 13 to 120 gear inches. The 120 is too high practically. 13 to 90 would be adequate. I have 72 gears on my trike. A triple on the front, an 8 speed cluster and aan SRAM dual drive 3 speed hub.

A strong rider can manage 20mph or more on my trike. I'm not so strong and I manage about 15 to 18 mph.

My recommendation is that you check your toe in first then look at gears. The Sheldon Brown site gear calculator is very helpful in this.

I've been riding trikes for quite a few years now.

John Lewis

MoeMac
03-17-2009, 12:24 AM
Neat machine moemac.

My recommendation is that you check your toe in first then look at gears. The Sheldon Brown site gear calculator is very helpful in this.

I've been riding trikes for quite a few years now.

John Lewis

Thanks John for the compliment....

John, when you talk about toe in are you refering to the front wheels top part being in towards? If so then the answer it is in perfect angle, camber and caster....

This week I am going to try using only one pulley and find a better one...

To TheKid:
The rear is Free wheel and not caster.... not to sure about putting a 3 sproket on the front chainring... it means a lot more work... ARGH.... do not want to go that route so I am stuck trying to release tention the on the chain...

TheKid
03-17-2009, 12:51 AM
It's just a matter of changing the crankset, bolting on a tensioner, (My mistake - you need it even with a freewheel. But since it's a freewheel, you can change it to a cluster and derailler.) and adding some chain. You'll probably need something to keep the chain up on the return side, but a simple tube will do the trick.
It's a lot less work than when you changed your front end, which BTW you did with lightning speed. Toe-in refers to the position of the wheels front to rear. The front of the wheels measured from the center of the tires should be no more than 1/8" less than the same measurement of the rear of the tires. Measurements are taken at the height of the center of the hub. If the measurement of the rear of the tires is less than the front, then you have toe-out, which as John says, is a no-no. If the measurments are identical, then you have neutral, or no toe-in. I keep mine with just a tad of toe-in. Again, as John says, it's best adjusted with someone sitting on the trike.

savarin
03-17-2009, 02:26 AM
There is another problem with too high a gear and that is bending the cranks.
You can put so much power into the pedals from your thigh and back muscles that its easy to bend the pedal axles.
Been there done that.

trikeman
03-17-2009, 03:45 AM
On my DW, I actually sheared two chain links in half trying to pedal it up my moderately steep driveway before I had the derailer hooked up. I was just testing it in a fairly high gear when the chain snapped.

MoeMac
03-17-2009, 07:47 AM
The Rear wheel is a freewheel but it cannot be changed.... It is not the type like the multi grears. It was designed as a single speed. The shaft is equal on both sides making the spokes the same on both sides.

To be able to have multy speed one side has to have spokes more inward and also mywheel has a some sort of screw on sproket that is way different than your normal standard smaller screw in.

I had already inquired about this long before I built the StreetCruiser from a local professional bike shop. It is not possible to do.

I am still confused with the Toe-In... If you all remember from my previous post I am more visual in order for me to understand.

I have the same wheel on 2 other choppers and it is not hard to peddle even on some steep hills.... I am trying to reduce the tention a little more on my trke...

Thanks Guys....

savarin
03-17-2009, 10:09 AM
I am still confused with the Toe-In... If you all remember from my previous post I am more visual in order for me to understand.



OK Moe,
Imagine looking down on the trike from above

b ______ a
____________________c
b ______ a

c is the back wheel, b-a are the front wheels.
Measure the distance between b-b
then measure the distance between a-a
They should be the same or better still b-b should be 1/8th of an inch less than a-a. This will then give you the 1/8th inch toe in.
You take the measurements exactly horizontal to the road at the height of the wheel axles

Greenhorn
03-17-2009, 10:14 AM
[QUOTE=MoeMac;21047]The Rear wheel is a freewheel but it cannot be changed.... It is not the type like the multi grears. It was designed as a single speed. The shaft is equal on both sides making the spokes the same on both sides.

To be able to have multy speed one side has to have spokes more inward and also mywheel has a some sort of screw on sproket that is way different than your normal standard smaller screw in.

I had already inquired about this long before I built the StreetCruiser from a local professional bike shop. It is not possible to do.
QUOTE]

Is the hub threaded on both sides? My singlespeed has a flip flop hub, and I have one sprocket geared low for commuting, and a smaller sprocket on the other side for longer rides.

You could always just buy a new hub, have a bike shop relace and redish the wheel and get a cassette for the back.---although you might be approaching the point of a cheap new cassette wheel.

John Lewis
03-17-2009, 10:19 AM
Moemac,

I'll try to explain toe in. Imagine the bike is moving forward in a straight line. The wheels are parallel. If they are not the wheels will scrub on the road.

Imagine you shortened the tie rod about an inch. The tires would be a lot closer together at he back and the wheels would scrub as they tried to pull even further apart.

Now go the other way. The tires are closer at the front. They will again scrub and try to pull apart.

Now we adjust the tie rod so when you measure how far the front tires are apart at the front of the tire and at the back of the tire at axle height we adjust for a tiny bit of toe in. The natural tendency for the wheels to move apart will take up slop and the wheels will be close to parallel.

A wee bit of toe in is a good thing.

Another way to look at it. Imagine you are looking down on a plan view of the bike from above. The wheels will be drawn as long thin rectangles. The two front wheels (rectangles viewed from above) will be a bit closer together at the front than the back. This is toe in.

Hope that makes some sort of sense. If not I'll do a drawing and post it.

John Lewis

MoeMac
03-17-2009, 10:20 AM
Is the hub threaded on both sides? My singlespeed has a flip flop hub, and I have one sprocket geared low for commuting, and a smaller sprocket on the other side for longer rides.

You could always just buy a new hub, have a bike shop relace and redish the wheel and get a cassette for the back.---although you might be approaching the point of a cheap new cassette wheel.

Morning GReenhorn...

This wheel is not a normal wheel... It is a class of its own and cannot be modded or replaced... It house a tire that is 4 1/2" wide. I have tried in pro bike shops from the city and no go... So let us forget about the rear wheel ;)

This rear wheel has no problems peddling on my 2 other choppers... real easy... Like I said if I walk besides the trike and push on the back seat it glides effortless....

On a level ground it is comfortable to peddle.....

Ad some wind and an inclination and it becomes hard... my thighs are burning today....

MoeMac
03-17-2009, 10:21 AM
Hey Brad???

Any Ideas???

Thanks!
Moe

GregLWB
03-17-2009, 12:32 PM
OK Moe,
Imagine looking down on the trike from above

b ______ a
____________________c
b ______ a

c is the back wheel, b-a are the front wheels.
Measure the distance between b-b
then measure the distance between a-a
They should be the same or better still b-b should be 1/8th of an inch less than a-a. This will then give you the 1/8th inch toe in.
You take the measurements exactly horizontal to the road at the height of the wheel axles

Great description Savarin and a good visual too!:sunny:

Greenhorn - I had never heard of a flip flop hub. I seem to learn something new here everyday!:)

Moe - I wish I had some wisdom for your situation, but I do know that on my LWB commuter the pulley does add some drag. I hope you figure it out cause that trike is too good looking to not get ridden.

Greg

MoeMac
03-17-2009, 12:59 PM
OK Moe,
Imagine looking down on the trike from above

b ______ a
____________________c
b ______ a

c is the back wheel, b-a are the front wheels.
Measure the distance between b-b
then measure the distance between a-a
They should be the same or better still b-b should be 1/8th of an inch less than a-a. This will then give you the 1/8th inch toe in.
You take the measurements exactly horizontal to the road at the height of the wheel axles

Thanks Charles!!!

AWESOME Visual and I understood that 100%... Life is too short for complications.. ;)

Radical Brad
03-17-2009, 01:21 PM
Nice looking wheels!

I also suspect you are being robbed BIGTIME with your drive side pulleys. They are way too small. Replace the two small idlers with a large 3 inch or greater quality idler with a ball bearing and you are going to see a HUGE difference once you front wheel alignment is perfect.

Brad

MoeMac
03-17-2009, 01:56 PM
Nice looking wheels!

I also suspect you are being robbed BIGTIME with your drive side pulleys. They are way too small. Replace the two small idlers with a large 3 inch or greater quality idler with a ball bearing and you are going to see a HUGE difference once you front wheel alignment is perfect.

Brad

Thanks BRAD!!!

Here in Moncton I cannot find anything like that... Can you help me out??? Please?

Thanks,
Moe

savarin
03-17-2009, 06:45 PM
this may help
http://www.mcmaster.com/#pulleys-for-wire-rope-and-fibrous-rope/=11nxag

Richie Rich
03-18-2009, 01:06 AM
Here's something else to add to the mix -----> Crank Length.

Since your donor bike is one of the 20-inch Schwinn Sting Rays that you have, the cranks may be shorter than on a larger adult bike. With less leverage, you'll require more force to move that much weight up hill.

Add crank length plus all of the other suggested factors together and there's your problem.

Just a thought....

.....Richie....
.

Radical Brad
03-18-2009, 02:34 PM
Yes, Mcmaster is the king of hardware, and you cal also score those pulleys at various exercise equipment places, as they are used for the cables. Another source is lawn and garden stores... ask for a 2.5 to 3 inch diameter idler pulley for a 1/2 inch v-belt.

Brad

MoeMac
03-18-2009, 03:03 PM
Yes, Mcmaster is the king of hardware, and you cal also score those pulleys at various exercise equipment places, as they are used for the cables. Another source is lawn and garden stores... ask for a 2.5 to 3 inch diameter idler pulley for a 1/2 inch v-belt.

Brad

Brad,

are these pulleys made of hard nylon or rubber? I have used on my choppers the small pulleys made of rubber that you get from the bicycle shops.. they work good for my choppers... I was thinking of tryiong that sometimes this week.

Went to Princess Auto last night but all their pulleys are metal OUCH!

trikeman
03-18-2009, 03:08 PM
Mo - the one I used on my DW, as Brad specified in the plans is a hard black nylon v-belt pulley. It came from McMaster and if I recall is a 4" pulle

MoeMac
03-18-2009, 04:52 PM
Mo - the one I used on my DW, as Brad specified in the plans is a hard black nylon v-belt pulley. It came from McMaster and if I recall is a 4" pulle

Thanks TrikMan.... Does it work good because I thought it being hard nylon would create the same tention as what I have now.. What I have now is hard nylon....

Moe.

gbbwolf
03-18-2009, 05:35 PM
I dont know but I used a wheel chair front caster on mine.
And a second nylon pulley from the lawnmower shop.
So mine has 2 pulleys.

Thing about riding a recumbent I have found is you need more gears than a normal bike.

Reason being you can't stand up and peddle like you do on an upwrong.

Leg burn will be normal because you are not using the same muscles as when you ride a regular bike.

Think about this im 6ft7 weigh in at 350 pounds+.
I am on my 4th day of riding this spring.
8 miles first day.
10 miles second day.
12 miles 3rd day.

And today even though i got rained out I hit 14 miles.

first day was stop and rest a lot second day not as much.
third day only 2 stops.
Today was no stop's and a fast peddle home in a thunderstorm.

Delta-wolf should of been named delta-flyer cause I was haulin balls in the rain LOL.

GregLWB
03-18-2009, 05:39 PM
I dont know but I used a wheel chair front caster on mine.
Think about this im 6ft7 weigh in at 350 pounds+.


I'm glad to see that there are others here who build these bikes because you just can't buy one that fits right.:) 6'8" and 300+ here.

Greg

gbbwolf
03-18-2009, 05:47 PM
I'm glad to see that there are others here who build these bikes because you just can't buy one that fits right.:) 6'8" and 300+ here.

Greg


Way back in a post in delta wolf section is a picture of me on my wolf while i was building it.

Yes big boys need big toys hoping to hit that 300 mark soon.
My veggie diet and bike riding should help.

Keep peddling.

Nelson

trikeman
03-18-2009, 07:00 PM
Thanks TrikMan.... Does it work good because I thought it being hard nylon would create the same tention as what I have now.. What I have now is hard nylon....

Moe.

Yes it works good on the DW, or at least as well as a drive on a 55 pound bike with a pulley can work. The problem with the ones you have now is not what they are made of, but the fact that they are so small. If you read back to my original post, you will see where I say that smaller pulleys rob more power because the chain has to turn sharper and it creates more friction.

A bigger pulley (or none at all) will help if you can get it on there, but I still think you might consider a smaller front sprocket so you won't be in high gear all the time.

By the way, I mispoke on the size of the pulley on my DW. It is actually 5" in diameter, not 4." The groove for the v-belt it was made for is about 10mm at the bottom and 15mm at the top.

comreich
03-19-2009, 05:53 PM
There's one problem with McMaster-Carr for us Canucks. It appears that they don't want to ship here anymore. I tried ordering a couple of pulleys from them in February and they canceled the order claiming that only established Canadian customers are allowed to order anymore -- whatever that means.

These are the pulleys I ordered -- 2 of the 4" and 2 of the 2.5" -- and I used one of each on my not-so-High Roller.

http://www.jwwinco.com/products/section13/vbip/index.html

The only issue is that they use 6203 bearings which have a 17mm bore. So I scored a couple set of reducer bushings from Princess Auto (love that store) to go from 17mm to 3/8". Once I get the wheels straightened out on my trike -- another story, but I sheared off a 3/8" chromoly axle -- I'll replace the skate wheel with one of these pulleys as well.

MoeMac
03-21-2009, 05:51 PM
Ok all...

First I want to thank you all for the outstanding support! This is by far the best place to be part of for building bends!

After doing the whole city of Moncton to try to find a pulley with nylon or rubber with a bearing as you all suggested.. 2" to 4"... It was no luck at all...

So the more that I thought about it the more I remembered how I did it with 2 of my choppers. I purchased 2 tension pulley with bearing in them from my local bike shop, they are made with rubber...

And it Fixed the problem! Believe it or not folks! I have been Cruising for the past two days without any strains on my legs like before. Before I was using those nylon electrical fence insulators with a 3/8" bolt for a shaft. They were hard to peddle when the tension was on them and they chewed up fast. Also they were noisy!

Well the new rubber tension pulley are super quiet and smooth!

http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww38/moe_mac/1_003.jpg

Went to Wal-Mart and purchased a very nice big old fashion ringer bell... Added a mirror and headlights...

http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww38/moe_mac/1_002.jpg


http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww38/moe_mac/1_001.jpg

Now all I need to do is strip it down, grind a few welds, sand it.. prime it... and paint it!

TaDa!

rickairmed
03-21-2009, 07:01 PM
Good deal Moe now go back through and read all your posts on this build and bask n the fact you beat it and didnt let it beat you . I had faith from the beginning you could do it . :D:D:D.

Rick

Radical Brad
03-21-2009, 08:07 PM
It almost seems that the front idler is not needed.

Brad

trikeman
03-21-2009, 08:18 PM
I'm glad it wasn't the gearing Moe. You must have some strong legs. Just don't blow out those knees pushing to hard. Nice work.

MoeMac
03-21-2009, 08:27 PM
Good deal Moe now go back through and read all your posts on this build and bask n the fact you beat it and didnt let it beat you . I had faith from the beginning you could do it . :D:D:D.

Rick

Thanks Rick!

I would not have been able to done it without your encouragement.. ;)

MoeMac
03-21-2009, 08:27 PM
It almost seems that the front idler is not needed.

Brad

Hi Brad...

Yep the front one is needed because of the seat, if I remove the front one the chain hits the underneath of the spring...

MoeMac
03-21-2009, 08:28 PM
I'm glad it wasn't the gearing Moe. You must have some strong legs. Just don't blow out those knees pushing to hard. Nice work.

Actually trikeman you would not beleive on how easy it is.... but when there is a steap hill I push the trike. I built it to cruise on those hot summer night hehe..

GregLWB
03-21-2009, 11:37 PM
Moe, you are definately one of a kind. I can't believe how unique each of your bikes are. I hope that one day my builds will have that much 'character'.:)

Greg

gbbwolf
03-22-2009, 04:15 AM
Nice ride hope mine turns out half as slick as that.


Nelson

John Lewis
03-22-2009, 07:49 AM
Hey moemac,

Thats a fantastic looking trike.

You are The Man. :scooter:

John Lewis