Front Wheel Drive build

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I've always been intrigued by front wheel drive. So I decided why not build one?

I started with a basic Mt. Bike frame (aluminium). I decided I wanted some sort of suspension, the Mt. Bike had a rear suspension system, so that would work for now.
Below you can see I started by attaching the rear triangle to the front. And attaching a seat post the suspension pivot (which would allow the angle to change if it was moved).



I have a mesh seat that was given to me, so I figured I would use that. And no matter what type of seat, I would have to create an attachment of some sort, for the seat. But, I can't weld aluminium, so I made a "bolt-on" attachment out of a partial frame from another bike, and 3/4 " conduit. So far it seems to be working fine!



Next I mounted the seat, using a handle bar in the rear seat post at the rear, and the bracket I made to bolt on the frame at the front. I also made an attachment to the steering goose neck, which I would later change.



At this point I sat on it, and it felt fine... So I started thinking about the under seat steering. I decided to bend some 3/4" conduit I had, and attach it to the top of the front fork. And I took the little handle bar ends (that I had cut off where the back of the seat is resting) and welded those on too.



I sat on it some more, and really liked the placement of the handle bars. But, I noticed that goose neck was too tall. I had to lower it to make it easier to get on and off the bike, because with the under seat steering, the only way to get on the bike is to step over the front wheel and back oneself onto the bike.

Everything seemed really comfortable. So I hooked up some brakes and installed the chain.



I pumped up the tires and went for a test ride. Now I've never ridden a FWD bike before, and two things hit me right off. One is I had to learn how to ride a bike all over again. I felt like I was steering with my feet! And two, my seat was too high. I was struggling with starting and stopping.



So I lowered the seat by about an inch (I don't have a photo of that sorry) which helped tremendously and added a bar end to hold accessories. And now I've ridden it about 32 miles on a bike path, and each time I ride it I feel like I'm learning how to ride all over again. Which I find exhilarating. I've ordered new tires (just riding what I had lying around, right now) and will probably make some tweaks here and there, but other than that it seems to be a success. And with each ride I get less and less wobbly.
I'm stoked, and thought I'd share my little build with you all.
 
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Hugh

Well done.

So I lowered the seat by about an inch (I don't have a photo of that sorry) which helped tremendously and added a bar end to hold accessories.
It may help the riding if you make the seat more upright ?
2 wheelers are a bit easier to control like that and it makes stop/starting & junctions etc easier/safer ?



And now I've ridden it about 32 miles on a bike path, and each time I ride it I feel like I'm learning how to ride all over again.
You may find that EVERY time you ride it :whistle: I though I had the hang of mine after about 11 miles , a moments distraction and I was having a close look at the scenery at the side of the bike path :ROFLMAO:

And with each ride I get less and less wobbly.
Hold that thought !

Also has it taken your shins off yet whilst manouvering it ?

Another interesting event is trying to change the front tyre , I will leave you to discover why that's not easy ;)

To reduce the height of the goose neck fastening you could always weld to your fork below the head tube and continue that to the pedals , it does make the whole front end easier to mount and unmount ?



all the best Paul
 
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Hugh

Well done.



It may help the riding if you make the seat more upright ?
2 wheelers are a bit easier to control like that and it makes stop/starting & junctions etc easier/safer ?
Thanks! I have been thinking of adjusting the seat. There are a number of "firsts" with this bike. One of them is how far laid back the seat is. My last ride (yesterday) I was getting much better at stopping and starting. But, I still might make the seat a bit more upright.





You may find that EVERY time you ride it :whistle: I though I had the hang of mine after about 11 miles , a moments distraction and I was having a close look at the scenery at the side of the bike path :ROFLMAO:
I have had that feeling as well. If I take my mind off of riding too long, I find myself getting wobbly. By the way is this your build? I'd love to see the final product. It looks great!




Hold that thought !

Also has it taken your shins off yet whilst manouvering it ?

Another interesting event is trying to change the front tyre , I will leave you to discover why that's not easy ;)

To reduce the height of the goose neck fastening you could always weld to your fork below the head tube and continue that to the pedals , it does make the whole front end easier to mount and unmount ?
I haven't had the shin issue yet. I have hit my heels on the chain stays, so I added extensions to the pedals to make them wider, and my last ride I didn't hit my heels.

I have thought about re-attaching to the fork below the head tube. I'm still testing to see if I need to or not. It would save another inch or so in height.


all the best Paul
Thank you!
 
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I read this on my phone and when I looked ad the first photo, I didn't know how you wanted to do that. But as I see the result, it looks great.
I never tried a 2 wheel recumbent. Maybe something to build after my current build.
 
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I read this on my phone and when I looked ad the first photo, I didn't know how you wanted to do that. But as I see the result, it looks great.
I never tried a 2 wheel recumbent. Maybe something to build after my current build.
It's definitely a challenge to ride, as in it takes some concentration.
 
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Hughes

My frustration with MBB shows in this thread :- Can I really live with MBB

I will relate trying to change the front wheel/tyre ?

So laying on it's side is hard as it rests on the pedals and they then won't turn so you can't feed the chain on and off ?

Easy I though upside down on the bars and seat back ?

Well no actually the weight on the pedals caused it to nose dive in-palling the chain rings in the grass.

Once the forward motion stopped the whole of the bike swung around the head tube , luckily away from me , and slammed into the lawn !

Spanners out and complete disassembly followed tout de suite :whistle:

YMMV Paul
 
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Hughes

My frustration with MBB shows in this thread :- Can I really live with MBB

I will relate trying to change the front wheel/tyre ?

So laying on it's side is hard as it rests on the pedals and they then won't turn so you can't feed the chain on and off ?

Easy I though upside down on the bars and seat back ?

Well no actually the weight on the pedals caused it to nose dive in-palling the chain rings in the grass.

Once the forward motion stopped the whole of the bike swung around the head tube , luckily away from me , and slammed into the lawn !

Spanners out and complete disassembly followed tout de suite :whistle:

YMMV Paul
I've been just unbolting it while still upright... then with one hand hold the bike, and the other pull the wheel out (after undoing the brakes).

The only difficulty I've had is getting it all back together, which has made me think about attaching the chain stays differently, so I don't have to try and bolt them in at the same time.

But, walking the bike (I have had to walk the bike up a hill that is on the path I ride), I learned I have to hold the front bar that connects to the head tube/fork assembly. I have been able to walk behind it and slowly control it, but that is difficult.

Storage. I just built a bike stand to hold the bike, both for storage, and to work on it.

But, so far, like I said, I'm enjoying the experience. It's like learning to ride all over again. The sensation of steering with my feet is interesting to my brain (as long as I don't eat dirt in the process!).

Thanks for the thread link, that was interesting.
 
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Hughes

I don't think the frame I gave away is actually being used and about once a year I think of getting it back ?

2 things I wanted do/try with it would be :-

  1. limit turning to about 25' either side of centre with some fork/head stops
  2. add some strong centering springs
like this :-



from here :- MBB/FWD off road

Paul
 
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Still working on my bike. I added a disc brake to the rear, and added some smoother rolling tires.
I'm struggling with how far the seat is leaned back. It seems to be too much, because my neck being bent like it is seems to restrict breathing. So I'm thinking of raising the seat angle up. And adding front suspension, because this trail (the Jordan River Trail) has some real hard bumps that rattle my bones...
Anyway, I took a little selfie video of it in action (because of course no one else is going to video me!)
This is on the Jordan River Trail in Utah, USA. It was about 40 degrees F.

 
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As you bent the top part of the seat up, tgan it will hive you mire support. That is how recumbent seats are designed and therefore can lean back more.
But putting it more straight will also solve that problem.

I know that feeling. I drove my trike in the beginning sitting on the wood alone. That wasn't a problem on Smooth roads, but on bumpy ones it was. I use now a seat kussion and as I know that I ride on bad roads, I will ride on a bit softer front tires. That helps a lot.
But front suspension works best on terrible roads. Our bad roads are in most cou tries a very good road.
 
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As you bent the top part of the seat up, tgan it will hive you mire support. That is how recumbent seats are designed and therefore can lean back more.
But putting it more straight will also solve that problem.
So you're saying if I "bend" the upper part of the seat up, more, that would be the same as raising the whole seat angle? That's interesting. I might have to think about that.


I know that feeling. I drove my trike in the beginning sitting on the wood alone. That wasn't a problem on Smooth roads, but on bumpy ones it was. I use now a seat kussion and as I know that I ride on bad roads, I will ride on a bit softer front tires. That helps a lot.
But front suspension works best on terrible roads. Our bad roads are in most cou tries a very good road.
Yeah, the older I get the more I desire soft suspension...
 
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Not the best image, but it shows how the top is bend.

You can then keep the same angle, but the top then supports the upper part of the back.
You can try it, with a pillow ad the upper part of the seat.
Puting the seat more straight will also solve your problem. You will sit more straight.

The same here. I prefer confort more and more. My new build gets rear suspension. I also don't use that high of a pressure in my tires any more.
You would love the roads out here. I can ride from out of my home, over cycle lanes trough the complete country. I don't have to go to a place to ride a cycle route. The cycle roads are also in most cases very smooth.
 
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Not the best image, but it shows how the top is bend.

You can then keep the same angle, but the top then supports the upper part of the back.
You can try it, with a pillow ad the upper part of the seat.
Puting the seat more straight will also solve your problem. You will sit more straight.

The same here. I prefer confort more and more. My new build gets rear suspension. I also don't use that high of a pressure in my tires any more.
You would love the roads out here. I can ride from out of my home, over cycle lanes trough the complete country. I don't have to go to a place to ride a cycle route. The cycle roads are also in most cases very smooth.
Thanks for the photos and advice!

My wife's family (3rd generation) is from your country, I'd love to visit, it sounds dreamy! Smooth pathways...
 
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Wow wow wow

No one has mentioned riding it one handed ? hats off to you a braver man than I (y):LOL:

Front suspension will be hard as you will need a pivot to take up the travel ? try looking at the Cruzbike kit that accommodated suspension.

Like this ? Brol thread

I would try a pillow maybe bent in half just behind you shoulders [ no lower than the pit's ] that will lift you more upright without any modifications to the bike ? quick and easy :D

all the best Paul
 
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Wow wow wow

No one has mentioned riding it one handed ? hats off to you a braver man than I (y):LOL:

Front suspension will be hard as you will need a pivot to take up the travel ? try looking at the Cruzbike kit that accommodated suspension.

Like this ? Brol thread

I would try a pillow maybe bent in half just behind you shoulders [ no lower than the pit's ] that will lift you more upright without any modifications to the bike ? quick and easy :D

all the best Paul
Thank you!

Funny you should mention that thread. I actually read the whole thing after I started my build, and it helped quite a bit. He ended up with similar difficulties that I've had (with seat height).

I have anticipated a front suspension from the beginning, which is why I used the rear suspension pivot in the front triangle. Also, I noticed that Cruzbike doesn't even sell their full suspension bikes anymore?

 
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The other problem you have is the actual angle of the seat and NOT it's position in relation to the frame ?

I have been caught out by this myself ?



It is pretty obvious these 2 recumbent s have different different seat geometries ?



and the low racer seat cannot be made to sit at the same angle as the yellow cruiser recumbent

Paul
 
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I have anticipated a front suspension from the beginning, which is why I used the rear suspension pivot in the front triangle. Also, I noticed that Cruzbike doesn't even sell their full suspension bikes anymore?

I suspect the front mech and chain rings will stop you using that pivot ? it need connecting to the moving part of a set of suspension forks ?

Paul
 
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