My life with Python trikes Mk1 , Mk1.5 , Mk2 ?

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Well done Paul!
Nice of you to "take one for the team" in this fashion. :D
This is on the adapted "Mule" I assume?
Dan

Yes the mule.

However plans are already in motion for a replacement ?

So my plan will be to send you the middle part of the mule .
That consists of lower frame which just needs a rear end of any width and wheel size that can bolt on.
It also has a upper frame mounted on the lower frame on 2 elastomers currently with a M12 rod end pivot [ that may change ]
The upper will need a Python style front end that can use 2 x M12 bolts to fix to it.
2 types of handle bars supplied for non-tilt or tilted part ....
Then you add your seat and good to go !

So you can join me in this adventure :whistle:

Watch this space ....

Paul
 
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Dan

Yes the mule.

However plans are already in motion for a replacement ?

So my plan will be to send you the middle part of the mule .
That consists of lower frame which just needs a rear end of any width and wheel size that can bolt on.
It also has a upper frame mounted on the lower frame on 2 elastomers currently with a M12 rod end pivot [ that may change ]
The upper will need a Python style front end that can use 2 x M12 bolts to fix to it.
2 types of handle bars supplied for non-tilt or tilted part ....
Then you add your seat and good to go !

So you can join me in this adventure :whistle:

Watch this space ....

Paul
No, it's OK, I will watch developments from here ;)
 
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No, it's OK, I will watch developments from here ;)
??? we need a balanced view on this titling folly :whistle::D [ did you see what I did there ? ]
 
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??? we need a balanced view on this titling folly :whistle::D [ did you see what I did there ? ]
But we both know I am totally unbalanced. o_O
 
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But we both know I am totally unbalanced. o_O
Ah so you realise you are the answer ?

If you can ride it .....

.... then it can't be hard to ride can it ?

Paul
 
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Well you know when you have that gut feeling ? what you are looking for is on the net somewhere .........



Over 25 years ago someone built them selves a FlevoTrike with 2 sets of handle bars !



It looks like he has a small set with no controls under the seat , maybe to help with take off and a set with all controls on the moving part :) Might help me ?

Very clean looking build and just in the colour I fancied mine in.

Paul
 
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Well you know when you have that gut feeling ? what you are looking for is on the net somewhere .........



Over 25 years ago someone built them selves a FlevoTrike with 2 sets of handle bars !



It looks like he has a small set with no controls under the seat , maybe to help with take off and a set with all controls on the moving part :) Might help me ?

Very clean looking build and just in the colour I fancied mine in.

Paul
I reckon that small set can be used like running boards on a 1930's car as a step to climb up into the seat. ;)
 
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So damper fitted , however a bit of a disappointment really ?



Yes it is providing a small amount of damping , however not enough to hold the front up in most situations.



However it is heavy and costly and bulky and probably not needed ?



The Finnish Flevo builders reckon with a steering limit of between 30' & 40' a steering damper is not needed as really the only think it was doing was controlling the amount of front end lock and did no damping at all [ not strong enough ]
I think they are right , it is much more civilised whilst handling it when the pedals cannot slam into the floor.
So limited needed and damper can be consigned to the scrap bin :whistle:

Paul
 
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Ok more work on prototype 2 ?



This is the mock up wood is @ 45' to blue horizontal member and threaded rod is @ 90' to the wood and meets the ground at <> 0"/cm trail so where it needs to be.
I salvaged a BB and short length of seat tube and with and insert and outer sleeve I can weld it to the end of the chromed tube and that will be the front part done.

Next problem , how to utilise the BB as a steering pivot....

Paul
 
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You got the virus of building, if I was you, I would let myself check. 😉

I'm interested in how it will work as it is ready.
 
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Rainy day so a garage day 👍:LOL:



Got front end fully welded , not cleaned welds yet [ may not ]

So sat horizontal , almost hit 45' with tube down to pivot.



So rod projecting pivot to wheel contact patch.



Where I almost nailed 0 inch/cm trail.......



So said this was to be quick and very dirty !

Rescued a defunct MBB trike rear end from garage loft , disc brake rear wheels will stay.

For my inside leg front of seat ends up to the rear of block sat on frame.

Rear needs flipping over and shortening to about 26" track and front needs chopping off.

Then a pivot for tilting wants adding to the rear frame front and a piece making to mount the seat and joint the 2 pivots together .....

Not much if you say it fast Paul
 
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Will the nuts hold the front wheel in those dropouts with them facing largely uphill?
I am sure some ' lawyer washers ' will keep them in their place ?

Paul
 
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It will stay in. No problem as long as it isn't loose.
I thought that when I put my bafang on my tadpole, but the gearing was so bad the wheel was constantly dragged out of the dropouts on the drive side until I put a keeper plat in place. :)
 
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Ok more cutting .....

So we have this so far , still needs loads of welding



Planned seat height will be about 19" [482mm] pedal height 25" [635mm] I am happy with that.

Front of seat frame will obviously be pivoted on pink BB.

Rear frame spar [ currently to long ] is about 5" [127mm] from ground , tilt pivot mounted somewhere on that spar with pivot axis pointing to front wheel contact patch.

Rear of seat frame fastened to other side of tilt pivot.

No suspension planned , this is a very quick prototype.

So w/b is mocked up @ 40"



Track is a mere 23" giving about 18" of luggage width...



Here it is next to prototype No1



A little bit shorter and will be ton's higher !
Paul
 
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Well got the rear welded , that was a unexpected bonus.,
I welded it as clamped as it gave a simple 4 sided 1.5" per side welds to join the chopped off wheel mounts.
Then 2 x 6" long welds to attach wheel mounts to main frame , ugly as sin and a really Bodgem & Scarper job however it will do...

Now need to plan alterations to frame.



So from rear - new frame extends forward beyond rear wheel for 4" [ increasing w/b from 36" to 40" ]

Possible tilt pivot location sketched in , 0 inch/cm trail for tilt pivot.

Middle to attached one half of tilt pivot to steering pivot , also set for 0 inch/cm trail.

Seat will sit on middle bit , probable at a bit steeper angle and seat front to be 29" from centre of BB.

Still plenty to do Paul
 
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So the mad man does 12 miles on a titling Flevo/Python hybrid.....

It was a ride of drama - satisfaction - elation - buttock clenching.
In all honesty the proportions were all wrong :whistle:

I loaded the tools from the Python managed to get a flag mounted and had to use a pillow in lieu of a Ventist seat pad.
No mirrors , parking brake , horn/bell , front shifter [ so only 4 gears ! [ frame problems ]] etc etc

As they now say on TV coming up ...
A mechanical
A off-e
A tip over
A off-e
A stuck in the railings

So I left home on the prototype and soon reached the edge of Mansfield:-



The route to mothers [ first 8 miles ] is along side the MARR Way a ring road that follows the Mansfield/Ashfield border chosen although it is longer the hills are less steep than the shorter routes and no riding on the road [ although that proved to be untrue ]

So first up a mile or so further on I saw something whizz past on the left , I though the front wheel picked up a stone when the left pedal fell off !
I remember I had recently changed them when looking for why there was no gear change working and chain kept coming off after the repaint.
Luckily this had happened in Holland when on my own and after limping to a bike shop for it to be tightened I resolved to always carry a tool for that Halaluea
Found the errant nut and checked both for tightness.

Off we go.

About 1/4 mile further on I wanted to know the time so removed my hands from the bars as I would do on the Python , and just like a MBB bike it decided it wanted to swerve right [ lucky as the 50mph traffic was on the left ] and tried to ride up the grass verge. I regained my posture and carried on further experiments showed I could easily remove 1 hand but 2 where a problem.
Strange as the bars are not connect to the steering .

Off we go

Reached Mother's with no more drama :-



Cup of tea and a couple biscuits with Mum then off home , on the way taking a short cut for a visit to my friend for tea and cake !



All went well till I climbed a steep hill and met the main road , should have been able to ride along it however some one had left a wheelie bin blocking the path 3 choices none pleasant [ of course NON involved getting off and pulling it around the obstacle and remounting ]
Go to the left - steep grass slope and a hedge to run into
Go to the right - change of dropping the right wheel off the kerb and tipping over into the traffic
Go on the road for a few yards and rejoin the footpath - so I tried that.

Go off ok and past the bin I could hear traffic approaching however with no mirrors was unsure how far away it was so made to get back on the path asap.
I was alongside a dropped kerb running very close to the kerbstones that were about as high as the tyre , I turned the front wheel which mounted the kerb however the rear wheel at such a shallow angled decided it wouldn't and I went over the high side of the trike onto the footpath. The trike was on it's side in the gutter and I was sprawled on the footpath , a kind lady pulled up to see if I was ok [ we all look disabled to non recumbent riders ! ]
I wave and thanked her saying I was ok as I dragged the trike off the road.
Me and the trike seemed undamaged so I carried on to the food/watering stop , in all honesty I think my Python would have done the same as well the price we pay for running 20" wheels I suspect ?

Before I made my friends another off-e just cruising along a road when it suddenly swerved to the right , under normal circumstance I may have caught it however right is into oncoming traffic and so did an emergency stop.
Pulled the trike to the pavement and look it over , could not see anything wrong so gingerly rode down the pavement to my friends.

Tea and cake later I set off home.

Further problem emerged when I got stuck in one of those accursed railing chicanes my local council loves :



Like this however only 1 fence panel wide and sloping down hill.

I got in the top and did a sharp left turn only to find it was so short I was going to hit the post carrying the pedestrian buttons , tried to back up using Fred Flinstone method however than I have no steering because the bars don't and feet can't and it was 2 narrow to easily get off grrrrr!!!

Got out eventually and made it home safely.

So conclusions will be forth coming , however a few observations in no particular order.

I am not sure someone without Python experience could ride it straight off - I need to find someone willing to have a go - or post it to DannyC :LOL: to try
It is very strange to feel the rear/non tilting part moving up and down laterally through the bars without any perception of that happening through the seat.
It is best to heed advice from others and concentrate where you are going and not what the trike is doing.
I need to decouple tilting from steering ? tilting can be achieved through the handle bars AND through body english so I need to be able to turn very sharply at very low speeds without an element of tilt. I am sure that is achievable as I can tilt whilst traveling in a straight line without deviating from that course.
You need to anticipate the route ahead i.e if you cross a sloping drive make sure you are ready to hold the upper part upright [ bars and body english ] else steering occurs and you may follow the slope downwards.
The front end not being vertical when ridden had a embarrassing solution ? it turns out it was tilted over the the right because I was not sitting in the middle of the seat ! strewth ! If I made an effort to get the crown jewels over the pivot the front wheel rode perfectly vertically 👍

So would it replace my current Python ?
Unsure seat not much higher rear just as wide and it is currently harder work to ride , however that could change when I have more miles on it and learnt some new behavior ?

all for now Paul
 
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It looks good.
So you couldn't rude without both hands loose.
How was the road, flat or under a small angle?
As it is under an angle and lower ad the fight, than you would turn left as you try to stay in balance. That is the disadvantage of a trike vs a 2 wheeler.

I never go do far on my first test ride. I start in the street and make it a bit bigger, till I trust it. Then I go further.
Now I ride to every whi want, even with the trike still in test phase and not finished.

Those crossings are for predestianse out here. Whe have them also and it is mainly on bissy streets with lots off traffic and 4 lanes.
 
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