ELF style pedal car

Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
200
Location
Winnipeg, Manitoba
An enclosed pedal car in the style of the ELF would be nice. Where you sit upright on a bench style seat and the pedals are similar in position to a DF bike. By that I mean down and a bit in front of the seat. And made just long enough to have room for a passenger. The gearing would be low enough to make pedalling somehat easy and in my case a front drive electric assist motor would be added as well. A top speed of say 16 kph would be enough, It could be nice liesurely way to get around, pick up groceries, etc.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
5
i'd love to build one of these, but i feel like it ought to be a tandem! my partner and i live just far enough away from restaurants that it's inconvenient to bike there (and dangerous due to traffic) but silly to drive. when we do bike it's hard to have a nice conversation unless we're biking recklessly close to each other. i've been thinking about using plywood stitch-n-glue boatbuilding techniques to make an elf-style velomobile shell to put over a recumbent tandem trike.
any thoughts about whether tadpole- or delta-style would be better? i feel like both front and rear suspension are key, but i have no idea how to simply implement front suspension on a tadpole style. could it be done like the tricruiser, but using mountain bike suspension forks in front? or would the side-loading be too much?
 
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
200
Location
Winnipeg, Manitoba
I've now tried 2 different bodies on my tadpole trike, the Warrior from Brad's plans. Great trike but it does not lend itself very well to an enclosed body. So now I've built a variation of the lode runner delta trike using 4" wide tires. My opinion would be that the delta style lends itself way better to a elf style body.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
5
i made a digital mockup yesterday of what i'm thinking. i used the viking body as a starting point. not sure if it's possible to find a rear suspension triangle small enough, or if the front would buckle without a cross brace, or also again if mountain bike suspension forks/wheels can withstand the side loading, but ¯\(ツ)/¯ it's a start at least

 
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
5
i made a digital mockup yesterday of what i'm thinking. i used the viking body as a starting point. not sure if it's possible to find a rear suspension triangle small enough, or if the front would buckle without a cross brace, or also again if mountain bike suspension forks/wheels can withstand the side loading, but ¯\(ツ)/¯ it's a start at least
here's a pic without the shell. looking at it again i'm pretty sure there's knee-room for a cross brace/bar across the top, which would also give a good place to mount a steering column. i think it would be possible to do under-seat steering if you ran tubes down inside the vertical pieces (pictured as the stubs sticking out at the top and bottom), but that might be a unnecessary over-engineering of the system.
 
Joined
May 31, 2013
Messages
2,304
Location
South Benfleet, Essex, England, UK
Sorry, I don't understand the reason for the "U" frame for attaching standard MTB forks. IMHO that's just asking for trouble.
Put kingpins on the lower beam - much better.
Good luck with your build.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
5
Sorry, I don't understand the reason for the "U" frame for attaching standard MTB forks. IMHO that's just asking for trouble.
Put kingpins on the lower beam - much better.
Good luck with your build.
thanks! the goal is to add front suspension using off-the-shelf or easily scavenged parts, which as far as i know can't be accomplished with the traditional method of attaching kingpins to the lower beam. if there is a different way to simply add front suspension to a trike, i'd definitely be interested.
 
Joined
May 31, 2013
Messages
2,304
Location
South Benfleet, Essex, England, UK
thanks! the goal is to add front suspension using off-the-shelf or easily scavenged parts, which as far as i know can't be accomplished with the traditional method of attaching kingpins to the lower beam. if there is a different way to simply add front suspension to a trike, i'd definitely be interested.
Ahhhh, that's why. Nope, I don't know an easy way of adding front suspension. It is a tough job adding front suspension while keeping the steering true I think. Several of the commercial trikes have it. I am not a fan myself as I always feel the "brake-dive" is a bit unsettling; YMMV of course. Good Luck! I hope it turns out well for you.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
5
Ahhhh, that's why. Nope, I don't know an easy way of adding front suspension. It is a tough job adding front suspension while keeping the steering true I think. Several of the commercial trikes have it. I am not a fan myself as I always feel the "brake-dive" is a bit unsettling; YMMV of course. Good Luck! I hope it turns out well for you.
good to know! do you know if it's possible to use a suspension fork on a delta-style trike?
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
2,095
Location
Nottinghamshire England
Go for a delta and fat tires , the design shown will have the turning circle of a oil tanker not good when mixing with unsympathetic traffic.

Most delta trikes can turn in there own length definitely a bonus in an urban environment.

Go simple & light to start with ? a built and rid-able simple trike beats a over technological endowed half finished heavy monster ;)

Don't forget if you can't find any examples of what you are trying to build with Google it MAY be because it is a bad idea !
 
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