First ride on a trike

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Well I finally got to the point where my trike was able to ride-ish. Nowhere near finished but as most on here will have discovered there is a point when it just has to be tried.
The trike is still a mess at the moment. Gears are not working properly, only one front brake which is none too effective, seat which is only just worthy of the name etc etc. However I managed to finish the drive train and bolt it up tight at last so I decided I had to go for a quick pedal just a few hundred yards up and down the lane.
I've never ridden a recumbent before and it felt really odd. Steering especially took some getting used to but in a good way! And it is just so darned comfortable and relaxed to ride after a bike. I'm about as unfit as I've ever been after several months of being trussed up in compression bandages and hobbling everywhere but straight away it felt like I could poodle along all day on the trike. You may have guessed but I love this messy half-built machine.

I managed to convince my wife that she should try it as I intend to build another 'bent for her when this one's finished. She had even more problems with the steering than me and managed to mount the verges on both sides of the road within a hundred yards. She is a stubborn gal though and within ten minutes she was off and disappeared from sight. She returned with a smile on her face and said it was 'OK'. Praise indeed.

I've still got a lot of work to do before it will be fit for any sort of serious use but at least I know it works.

This is basically a Deltarunner and dimensions and angles are pretty much as Brad's plans but I did use a simpler rear end for standard MTB wheels and incorporated a rear suspension which is slightly more robust than the usual idea of using a salvaged bike unit as this seems to me to be pushing it's capability on a heavily side-loaded delta back end- I'm a worrier and I'm heavy (aka fat). The jackshaft takes the chain drive to the nearside rear wheel via a 3/4" shaft running in two bearings as used in Brad's designs. Once all is nicely sorted I may swap out the offside wheel for my spare hub motor wheel for power assist. I'm also very taken with Hugh's corolplast body and may try similar if time permits.

All in all I am really chuffed with my trike and am looking forward to getting it finished and starting the second build. I'm not sure what number 2 will be as yet and may find I change my mind a few times over the coming months but we'll see.
John
 
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Congratulations. :)
It looks like something you can both enjoy.
Well done indeed. :D
 
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Thanks Danny. Not going to win any concourse awards but it should end up looking quite presentable maybe with a velo type body or maybe just a cargo or dog transporter on the rear but whatever- I'm pleased.
John
 
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It moves , another milestone well done.

This is basically a Deltarunner and dimensions and angles are pretty much as Brad's plans but I did use a simpler rear end for standard MTB wheels and incorporated a rear suspension which is slightly more robust than the usual idea of using a salvaged bike unit as this seems to me to be pushing it's capability on a heavily side-loaded delta back end
any pictures of this bit ?

looks like you are still fighting the position and shape of the handle bars , USS steering could resolve some of those problems for you , may make mounting/dismounting easier as well ?

Paul
 
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Hi Paul. I'll get a pic of the rear as best I can and post here.
The handlebars are actually quite comfortable and getting on and off just involves turning them away from the side you're using and sliding in so no real problem. My thinking re. the USS or OSS was firstly that we both are used to having handlebars/steering wheel in front of us so this feels natural and also this trike's seating is fairly high and high set bars may give a more secure feeling when cornering??? I may be guilty of underestimating Joan's (my wife) abilities but I have a feeling she may have ended up some distance into the crops beside the lane during her first ride and that could have ended her willingness to give recumbents a fair trial. Later builds perhaps?

I still have this nagging feeling about needing to be high enough to be clearly visible from a car's/van's side window and if it weren't for this I would certainly lower the seat for stability. On the other hand we are both really slow riders so I don't think there will be problems! The rear wheel track is about 28" which was set so the overall trike width was a smidge less than the door opening from my new workshop. It's a compromise which I hope will be OK.

On a different note has anybody seen this vid? A very simple design rear wheel steer delta which looks to be pretty stable?? despite apparently not having centre point steering or trail/lead as far as I can see. As usual there are no high speed sections but she does seem to be getting along quite well.
John
 
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Thanks Thom_G and thank you Brad for the excellent plans and instructions for your range of DIY machines. I've got 8 of your plans now and with the mix-and-match you're happy to encourage it offers endless possibilities to build the trike that suits you best.
John
 
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Well some pics of the suspension setup but not too brilliant I'm afraid. It's hard to get a good angle from underneath.
Basically there's a thick tube about 6" long which I turned internally each end to accept a 1/2" ID shouldered bearing. These are pressed into the tube with a small bore compression tube between. This part is welded to the front tube of the rear frame. A 1/2" bolt passes through this unit via the plates welded to the flat plate which in turn is welded to the main frame tube. It all makes a nice free moving connection with no slop.

As you might see the seat frame is welded to the main frame tube and overhangs the rear wheel frame (not by design I have to confess but because I wasn't thinking or planning far enough ahead). The suspension unit mounts to an added crosspiece on the frame and to the back seat upright. More by luck than judgement it has worked out quite well as far as seat position goes and the suspension seems to absorb bumps really well. The front forks supension on the other hand is pretty awful- a lot of 'stiction' and although I've oiled everywhere I can see it has made no difference.

The jackshaft is 3/4" diameter. The outer freewheel screws onto a bottom bracket bearing end?? which is welded to the jackshaft and the inner freewheel has an adapter which I turned up and welded to another bottom bracket end which it screws to. This is held to the jackshaft with two 6mm bolts (will be replaced with grubscrews) through the adapter and located into two shallow blind holes in the jackshaft. The shaft is, therefore, able to be removed if necessary. The inner jackshaft freewheel is a small gear cluster and the chain is guided via a deraileur. The idea is that I can alter the overall gear ratios by choosing different sprockets on this cluster and use the stops on the deraileur to set the chain if necessary.

There are a lot of finishing jobs to do such as end caps for tubes, strengthening pieces and gussets in places plus sort some rear brakes.

Sorry for being longwinded!
John
 
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Very nice!! Reminds me a lot of my "Tri-meridian" build, which is found here on these forums as well:


Enjoy your new ride!
 
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Hi. Yes I read your build posts a while back along with dozens of others and used all the info to make my trike. Have to say yours looks way more tidy than mine but I'm pleased with my first build and it will improve as I get closer to finishing.

I like you cargo box- very handy. I can't decide yet what I want to do with my trike. I have two dogs (small) so could make a transporter for them for rides to a nearby river walk? We'll see.

Thanks for you comment and for putting your build on the site to give me ideas.
All the best
John
 
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On a different note has anybody seen this vid? A very simple design rear wheel steer delta which looks to be pretty stable?? despite apparently not having centre point steering or trail/lead as far as I can see. As usual there are no high speed sections but she does seem to be getting along quite well.
John
😂😂😂 That is Geert. We ride and build bikes together.
He lifs 5 minits from me.
He build that Trike for a company as I remember correctly. It wasn't for high speeds but for in a factory.
 
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Hi Emiel. That's really interesting. I love the simplicity of his trike. It looks as if it handles pretty well on the video and the girl has no problem at the speeds she is traveling at. I'm sure it takes a little getting used to but such a simple and compact build really appeals to me.
Am I right in thinking he has not used either centre point steering or castor in his setup? No castor seems sensible to me as rear wheel steer I would imagine would suffer from wild oversteer if castor is used but not using centre point setup must mean a lot of bump steer surely?

Have you ridden this trike or seen it up close?

John
 
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Hi Emiel. That's really interesting. I love the simplicity of his trike. It looks as if it handles pretty well on the video and the girl has no problem at the speeds she is traveling at. I'm sure it takes a little getting used to but such a simple and compact build really appeals to me.
Am I right in thinking he has not used either centre point steering or castor in his setup? No castor seems sensible to me as rear wheel steer I would imagine would suffer from wild oversteer if castor is used but not using centre point setup must mean a lot of bump steer surely?

Have you ridden this trike or seen it up close?

John
Hi John,

I was there today to work on a bike.
He made it for a company that uses it in a basement. It works better than walking and it is faster. You can't stand straight up in the basement. Even the fire department liked it.
They still use it.
It has rear wheel steering, so it is better in the small spaces.

I don't know how he did the steering, but I can ask.

No that was build before I met him.

I build my last Trike almost completely by him and got help from him and someone else.

There where no problems ad high speed in the corners.
 
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Thanks Emiel that's very helpful and explains why he called it the 'Cellar Crawler'. I looked at some other vids by him and he seems like a pretty clever guy.
If you do think to ask him about his steering 'kingpin' geometry I would be very interested to know how he set it up and did he think centre point steering would improve it or not for general 'road' use.

Thank you
John
 
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I see him Friday again. Then I will ask.
Centerpoint steering is less stable. This keeps the wheels ad the same location, so the Trike stays stable.
 
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OK so I've now done quite a few shortish rides on the trike and am very pleased with it. My fitness level is awful and about a mile has me panting hard but that will hopefully improve in time.

I can feel that it is a heavy machine but the worst effects are from the wind. It's fairly breezy here and we get a pretty constant blow from across the fields. It's generally from the west and my ride takes me in that direction for half mile or so. Really nice and gentle and quiet. Coming back is a different matter against that breeze. By this stage I'm starting to breath pretty heavily and it's like hitting a brick wall when I turn to head home. Legs burning and really noisy wind too but I convince myself 'this is good for me'.

So I'm now planning trike number two. Never one to make things easy for myself I've decided to build a similar machine to the one in the video earlier in this thread by Emiel's friend Geert. Yes a rear wheel steer delta????

My reasoning (probably flawed) is that I generally like the delta design but it does produce a pretty lengthy machine. The 'cellar crawler' gets over this drawback.
I/We tend to cycle slowly enjoying the ride rather than the arrival. Nowhere particular to go and lots of time to get there.
Our main roads are just too full of cars and lorries traveling fast so we avoid them- country lanes only so again, speed is not a problem.
Having backside 6" or 9" or so off the ground also doesn't appeal so this also dictates a slower speed/cornering than lower trikes and as a bonus getting on and off becomes easier.

If I had Paul's or Popshot's adventurous spirit I may have considered a Flevo style tilter or some such but I haven't so I didn't.

It will be a fun project and if worst comes to worst it can be cannibalised for the next trike.

Early days but I have collected the BMX large diameter axle wheels and started on the 'kingpins' a la Brad's design. I'm going to set up centre point steering but think I will not have any trail/lead geometry since I can't see how a rear steer system could react other than badly to side forces if I used them. Not sure about ackerman either at the moment but will study Geert's trike video again give it more thought. I will miss having suspension as this really is nice on my first delta but can't work out how to include it in the RWS design and added complication is not wanted atm.

Feel free to laugh at a total novice and please comment.

John
 
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OK so I've now done quite a few shortish rides on the trike and am very pleased with it. My fitness level is awful and about a mile has me panting hard but that will hopefully improve in time.

I can feel that it is a heavy machine but the worst effects are from the wind. It's fairly breezy here and we get a pretty constant blow from across the fields. It's generally from the west and my ride takes me in that direction for half mile or so. Really nice and gentle and quiet. Coming back is a different matter against that breeze. By this stage I'm starting to breath pretty heavily and it's like hitting a brick wall when I turn to head home. Legs burning and really noisy wind too but I convince myself 'this is good for me'.

So I'm now planning trike number two. Never one to make things easy for myself I've decided to build a similar machine to the one in the video earlier in this thread by Emiel's friend Geert. Yes a rear wheel steer delta????

My reasoning (probably flawed) is that I generally like the delta design but it does produce a pretty lengthy machine. The 'cellar crawler' gets over this drawback.
I/We tend to cycle slowly enjoying the ride rather than the arrival. Nowhere particular to go and lots of time to get there.
Our main roads are just too full of cars and lorries traveling fast so we avoid them- country lanes only so again, speed is not a problem.
Having backside 6" or 9" or so off the ground also doesn't appeal so this also dictates a slower speed/cornering than lower trikes and as a bonus getting on and off becomes easier.

If I had Paul's or Popshot's adventurous spirit I may have considered a Flevo style tilter or some such but I haven't so I didn't.

It will be a fun project and if worst comes to worst it can be cannibalised for the next trike.

Early days but I have collected the BMX large diameter axle wheels and started on the 'kingpins' a la Brad's design. I'm going to set up centre point steering but think I will not have any trail/lead geometry since I can't see how a rear steer system could react other than badly to side forces if I used them. Not sure about ackerman either at the moment but will study Geert's trike video again give it more thought. I will miss having suspension as this really is nice on my first delta but can't work out how to include it in the RWS design and added complication is not wanted atm.

Feel free to laugh at a total novice and please comment.

John
Nope, no-one laughs at someone doing their very best. We all stand and applaud & salute instead. :D
 
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OK so I've now done quite a few shortish rides on the trike and am very pleased with it. My fitness level is awful and about a mile has me panting hard but that will hopefully improve in time.

I can feel that it is a heavy machine but the worst effects are from the wind. It's fairly breezy here and we get a pretty constant blow from across the fields. It's generally from the west and my ride takes me in that direction for half mile or so. Really nice and gentle and quiet. Coming back is a different matter against that breeze. By this stage I'm starting to breath pretty heavily and it's like hitting a brick wall when I turn to head home. Legs burning and really noisy wind too but I convince myself 'this is good for me'.

So I'm now planning trike number two. Never one to make things easy for myself I've decided to build a similar machine to the one in the video earlier in this thread by Emiel's friend Geert. Yes a rear wheel steer delta????

My reasoning (probably flawed) is that I generally like the delta design but it does produce a pretty lengthy machine. The 'cellar crawler' gets over this drawback.
I/We tend to cycle slowly enjoying the ride rather than the arrival. Nowhere particular to go and lots of time to get there.
My first Pythons did not tilt and were very short , I specifically needed tilting to build a very narrow trike with a high seat , narrow has not been mentioned as a criteria ?


If I had Paul's or Popshot's adventurous spirit I may have considered a Flevo style tilter or some such but I haven't so I didn't.
You misunderstand adventurous as defined by recumbent styles , neither Popshot or I would build a RWS trike like that ! it will not end well and it will probably be nothing to do with
your speed !

It will be a fun project and if worst comes to worst it can be cannibalised for the next trike.
Only if no blood is released !

Feel free to laugh at a total novice and please comment.
We don't as a rule do that.....

I think there is a danger of you hopping to one ' answer to your problems/needs ' to the next without analysing what is wrong with the current build and fixing those problems ?
That way you end up with another trike with a completely different set of problems ?

So what was the gearing like on this trike ? Legs burning I find I need a direct gear with a 20" wheel to tackle the hills where I live , that gearing is unnaturally low ?

Paul
 
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