View Full Version : Iowa Newbie....

05-31-2013, 08:22 AM
Hi! 53 yr old living slightly north of the Iowa Quad cities... I missed the opportunity to pick up a Rans Recumbent at a garage sale for $100... what a bone-head!

Yet, with my back/balance issues, I probably need to stick with a trike. Problem is, I am too cheap to drop over $400 on a trike... and I am mechanically challenged.

Nevertheless, I do have several mechanically gifted family members, including a brother who customizes antique Ford panel trucks and can weld/paint any creation I come up with.

I'm leaning towards building something along the lines of the Sun Trike... I definitely need to be sitting up higher than most of the plans I see on this site show...

I'm cautiously optimistic that this forum will help me figure out how to do what I hope to do... and avoid the major pitfalls that newbies are all to prone to fall into.

My wife and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary this summer... we have 2 daughters, a lhasa-poodle mix and a yorkie. And I am a complete Kansas Jayhawk Basketball Lunatic...

05-31-2013, 08:41 AM
Welcome to the krew. I live north of Cedar Rapids and am currently building my version of a Keoto Cruiser for my brother who is handicapped. Please let me know if I can help. There is tons of Knowledge here, great place.


05-31-2013, 09:01 AM
First, a welcome from China--just to prove we are everywhere!
Why do you need to be sitting "high" ? In traffic, a seat height around 15 -16 inches is about ideal --you can see them, and they can see you (I ride in Beijing traffic everyday)
Any lower may pose a problem getting off the trike for some , but that's not normally a problem until you get down below 13 inches. (I'm converting from my more familiar Metric numbers)
Is not a problem if you pick the right AZ plan--just build the seat at the height you want it to be. If you are uncertain about what might go wrong, just post the question on this forum, and some bright spark will come up with an answer! I think between us, we could answer just about anything that could get asked.
Delta runner, Timberwolf, Load runner are the first that come to mind , as the seat height dose rule out all the tadpole trikes.
Best advice I could give you is to take up the offer a six pack of plans, picking what interests you , and then read though them all TWICE , and you will get a better idea whats involved in building, what may work for you and what won't work.
Then pick the features you like, and build them into one bike. Nothing says you have to stick to the plans--you are free to mix and match, and throw in your ideas. But with the knowledge from a few plans, you have a better idea on what can be done.

You have taken the first step in posting here--all then other steps are fun, even if you do proceed with caution.
Steve G,

Radical Brad
05-31-2013, 09:32 AM
Welcome to the fun!


05-31-2013, 09:42 AM
From SC, welcome to the Krew!
Looking forward to your first dive into the "unknown"... ;)

**** The Truth Is Out There! ****
(Geezer & Bent Enthusiast At Large)

05-31-2013, 09:47 AM
Hi, I too am building a trike, and I decided to go with USS ( under Seat Steering ) because I am not able to hold my arms out in front for extended periods without experiencing much pain in my shoulders and across the back of my neck.

Hopefully you do not have this same problem with your arms, but it is something to think about.


05-31-2013, 10:07 AM
Getting "down" into and out of the seat at that height with my back is a chore... I look like a turtle on its shell

05-31-2013, 10:11 AM
I like the idea about the 6-pack... and was thinking that I could cobble the best of all the plans into whatever creation I come up with. Thanks

05-31-2013, 10:19 AM
Hello, and welcome to the family.
Brad's plans are complete but they all assume you are putting parts from different bikes you "dug up" and make a zombie. Because of this all the PLANS become more like well written guides and much can be changed. If you don't like the seat height you can simply have another 1.5 inch of square tube attached under the seat to make it higher. Some people use mesh seats that are laced to a frame which is suspended above the main tube of the trike. You can definitely make changes. Jump in, ask questions, have fun.


05-31-2013, 10:23 AM
Getting "down" into and out of the seat at that height with my back is a chore... I look like a turtle on its shell

The Deltarunner with 26 inch wheels seating is roughly dinning room chair height and has the added benefit of handle bars on top to give you a place to haul your self up of sit down into it. As to the cost runs into the question of what tools do you have or have access to. Your going to need a welder to weld with and a 4 1/2 inch grinder for cutting and grinding. Plus a few misc hand tools to tighten and loosen bolts. The Timberwolf is roughly the same height but has underseat steering. Of course you can build it with the over seat steering to have that handle bar to haul yourself up and down. The Timberwolf has an added benefit to having suspension to smooth out the bumps and a bit of storage built into it. If you have really weak legs as well the Loderunner again is at Dining room chair height even though it has 20 inch wheels. The trick is in the support frame beneath it raises the seating height. And it has the over seat steering to assist with the getting up and down. Additonal benefit of the 20 inch wheels is they won't be as hard to pedal.
And then all three can incorperate a mid-drive which can be used to lower the gearing even further. Hope that helps for review of the plans a bit.