View Full Version : Almost Done

04-24-2008, 04:19 PM
The light bars were added. They were originally intended to be bolted on, but I decided to weld them instead. The rear bar will hold a bolt-on rack, and the front bar will support the partial fairing, which I hope will be finished before winter. I'm trying different combinations with cardboard for mockups. I'll also need thinner front tires because the fenders don't quite cover the Hookworms. I ordered 2 Kenda Kwest, but only one was sent. As soon as I get the other one, I'll weld the fender mounts on the front wheel mounts. I also need better taillights, ones that match, and bar end lights. I also need to touch up the paint, which I think is possible without disassembly, and sand and paint the tie rods. Here's a peek:



04-24-2008, 07:07 PM
Nice work. Say, where did you find those 20 inch fenders? I can't find them at any bike shop around here.


04-24-2008, 07:53 PM
I found some online, but the ones in the pic are from Wizwheels. I found them on Craigslist, $20 for the 2 fronts and a 20" rear. I bought others online for the quad, which will have dynamo lights mounted to the tab that normally attaches to the fork tube. BTW, Wizwheels gets $100 American for the set. Here's a link for Planet Bike Freddy Fenders: (Is the guitar player into biking?)


04-24-2008, 08:12 PM
Here's better shots of the trike. BTW, the seat is crooked to conform to my back. It took over 2 hours to get the seat perfectly straight, and when I sat in it for the first time, it felt like I was leaning to the right. I had to dismantle the mesh, cut the frame, and reweld it. It took a few tries to get it to feel right, and when I installed it to see how it felt when riding, I noticed it wasn't straight. But it was so comfortable, I resigned myself to the fact that my back is way out of line.



04-24-2008, 08:16 PM

I see you have a cross-over drive system there. How do you shift the front chainrings? Modified deraillieur or toe of shoe?


04-24-2008, 08:33 PM
I don't change the front rings. There's three rings because I don't have the right bolts. It's 34 front to 34 mid left, and the right side is 24-34-44 to a nexus 8 speed, 19 tooth cog, with a derailler for a chain tensioner. I also have a derailler/tensioner on the left side, because the little derailer wheels by themselves didn't stop the chain from skipping when going over bumps due to the suspension. Eventually, I'll put a single front chainring on the right, and go to a 3 speed internal gear mid drive. I'll also install a normal, lighter weight tensioner between the front and the mid drive. The two mid drive cranksets, the left side chain, and the rear derailler weigh almost 3 lbs. more than the internal gear hub.
The nexus is super smooth, and a big help with all the traffic around here. With the derailler, I often found I couldn't downshift far enough when stopping. Now, I just downshift after a short stop with no problem. I can't go too fast around these streets, so I leave the chain on the middle ring. If I have to, I can downshift to the 24 tooth on hills. On level ground, I only need gears 3-8. So far, there's been only one hill where I needed the lowest gear.

04-25-2008, 09:36 AM
Man, that tadpole is really shaping up, Kid! I LOVE those fenders!

I'm glad I already own a tadpole, cuz I think building one is a little too advanced for me. I'll leave the compound angles, front-end geometry, center point steering, ackerman angles, & all that crap to the REAL builders, like you! :)

I'll stick to the (comparatively) simple stuff.

04-25-2008, 01:00 PM
There were no compound angles on this one. The crossmember was cut to my desired length, plus an estimated 1" to compensate for the forward angle. The ends were cut at 15 degrees for the kingpin angle, which according to what I've read, gives you center point steering for 20" wheels. I bent a piece of angle iron, (bed frame) at 15 degrees to use as a jig to tack the wheel mounts to the kingpin. A line was scribed in the center of the crossmember at 90 degrees all the way around. From there I just made a notch in the crossmember and bent it so it angles forward. After the crossmember was welded on, the steering tubes were firmly tacked to the crossmember, the rear was bolted to the main boom, the wheels were installed, and I used a stack of pieces of 2x6 to support the unit at the pivot point so that the main boom would rise at an angle to give an inherent 5-6 degree caster angle. I tapped the steering tubes to give me the remaining 6-7 degrees, for a total of 12 degrees of caster angle. Using the tubes as a guide, I marked the crossmmber to make the cutouts for the steering tubes. Before Brad discussed in the old forum how he was going to angle the crossmember forward, I made a crossmember with compound angles that didn't look so good. Using a modification of Brad's instructions, I got what I wanted without a lot of math.
An old carpenters tip passed onto me: take two lenghts of 1/4" plywood 1 1/4" wide, bolt them together to make one length, and use the bolt at the pivot to make a bevel square of any length you need. Trim the excess so when it's set at any angle, there are two perfectly straight sides. If you need to, you could use another strip to hold the angle in place. I used this method with two 2' long strips to get the final caster angle. After the tubes were welded into place, I made sure the wheels were perpendicular to the ground before pemanently welding the wheel mounts to the kingpin.

04-25-2008, 05:01 PM
WHEW! Still sounds a little tough to me... :)

04-25-2008, 09:25 PM
It can't be any harder than all that intricate work you did on Nexus 6. I just got back from my LBS a little while ago. I bought a bunch of stuff, like old school bullet headlights, spare tubes, big cruiser bars that will work perfectly on the DW, and look better than the bars I made, 2 discs, some cool hand grips for the tadpole, a BMX helmet, wider mirrors for the tadpole and 2 more bar end lights. He threw in 10' of cable housing, a dozen housing ends and a dozen cable crimp tips. He's going to save the old bikes his customers bring in, and will even chop them up for me. I told him I need as many 3 pc. cranks and BB's, and complete front ends, 20" or larger, that he could get. In the past, he's given me NOS parts, like shifters, freewheels, brake handles, cranks etc. It pays to have good relationship with these guys. I took the tadpole there. He was amazed at the disc brake setup. He had no idea it was possible to adapt a rear wheel to accept disc brakes. He was also impressed by the seat. He'd never seen a mesh seat without grommets. I even got the Elvis treatment. He locked the doors while I shopped.

04-26-2008, 09:13 PM
I wanted to try out the DW seat, so I installed it on the tadpole. It's more comfortable than the mesh seat, so it stays on the tadpole. The cushion attaches to the fiberglass frame with velcro, so all I have to do is cut a few more pieces of fiberglass and I'll be able to switch the cushion with ease. This seat is also lighter in weight than the 1" EMT framed mesh seat. There's a small space between the seat post and the back of the seat, which will be a perfect place to build a small box for tools and spare tubes.
As for the fairing, I decided to install a permanent partial fairing on the front, which will have a 1/8" steel rod frame. I started the fairing today. The nose will be fiberglass, and the rest will be spandex over the wire frame, layered with epoxy resin, and fiberglass reinforced sides. I made a mock-up of cardboard first, and installed the bullet headlights. It reminded me of the old VW dune buggy's of the late 60's - early 70's.

04-26-2008, 09:55 PM
...I even got the Elvis treatment. He locked the doors while I shopped.

That's SOOOO kool! I was living the adventure vicariously through you, as I read it! :D

04-26-2008, 10:13 PM
I'm going to have to go back on Monday. I wanted to get some plastic tire levers, which I knew he'd give me with a large order, but I completely forgot to ask for them. I also forgot hand grips for the DW and a few other small items. I'll probably find the need some other items after I work on the fairing tomorrow. I was going to let all this stuff go and finish the DW, but as long as I can ride this thing and finish it at the same time, I might as well do it. Besides, if I get sidetracked on another project, the winter may sneak up on us before I could finish the fairing.