Overview of a Rhoades car drive axle setup (Positraction rear drive axle)

Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
41
Ok, so I was asked to make a post about the rear axle setup on my Rhoades quadrcycle as it drives both rear wheels. This bike uses pass thru hubs on all four wheels with bolt on adapters for the rear wheels to bolt on the drums for the band brakes and tabs to slide over a freewheel single speed on each side to power both wheels and let them freewheel for turns or to coast. It does have two 5 speed freewheel cartridges due to having two cranks, one for each person (two seater), but has a solid axle all the way across. I will try to post pictures, if anybody needs anything explained, I'll do my best, and if anyone wants a more detail picture of any of it, I'll try to get as soon as possible.

And on with the picture show.........















 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
1,107
Location
Netherlands
Wasn't it easier to use one derailleur on the other axle?
Or do you have on the other axle the pedals mounted?

I was thinking why double, but you have a quad and probably a 2 seater where both can pedal.
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
1,107
Location
Netherlands
That makes more sense now to me. I thought that they where in the front also connected, but that isn't.
I was thinking why 2 sets of gears in the back and why not combine them to 1. But you have indipendent pedals.

Looks good.
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
41
So so, if adjusted correctly and the drums aren't warped it will stop okay, honestly there is enough rolling resistance for right now I don't have to use the brakes much, but I haven't really cranked it up to speed and tried to stop either. If they are adjusted too tight, it will stop like crazy, but makes it hard to pedal, too loose and yeah, might as well Fred Flintstone the brakes, my drums are warped a little, but when adjusted close enough, it stops, just not fast even when going slow. I had a adult trike recently with the same type of brakes while I was having trouble with my eyes, my friend was helping me as I couldn't see enough to adjust the brakes, took him three tries and I don't know how many videos to figure out how to get them adjusted correctly, they worked, mostly kind of sorta. I hate the band brakes personally as it takes too much to get them adjusted to work good enough to be usable, but just my two cents worth.

Rhoades had disk brakes as an option, but I can't find any pictures of the setup with them, I have my own idea how to make it work, but it won't be easy, I can't just put a rotor on the axle as both wheels freewheel, so I need a brake at each wheel, bonus side, if I have four adapters made for rotors, I just need modified front spindles and I could have four wheel disk brakes
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
41
Also if you look at the strange brackets under the seats, another option was another 5 speed freewheel cluster with a gear to go back to the axle cluster, so a 25 speed with two sets of chains on either side, been trying to find out the info on that setup too. I may just need to go crazy and find a shop for machining parts for the rotors and caliper spacers, make a couple front derailer tubes to bolt on, swap to three piece 3 ring cranks and get the 9 speed threaded freewheel cluster I found on Amazon, but still trying to decide if I would be adding to or destroying the value of the bike, but it might make it a lot more usable, other than it's size.

If someone used this type of setup on a single/dual seat delta or quad, I bet it would make it more fun, makes it sort of easy to change tires and if you have spare wheels, it can go on either end, front or back, might also make some good size front axles for a tadpole/quad (would need rotor adapters for brakes or rim brakes)
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
41
I'll try to fix it. So I tried Flickr, not working to share the pictures, any suggestions for a free site to put the pictures on, to put them back in the post since FB decided to apparently change the url.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
41
Just a test to see if I can add pictures, if not I added an album with the pictures of the Rhoades under quadrcycles, sorry for the wait.













 
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
28
Location
Great Mills, MD
I can see the pictures too and they are much appreciated.
Now I'm trying to understand how the single speed freewheels drive the rear wheels. From looking at the third and fourth pictures the wheel hubs have two"bolts"; do these mesh with the freewheel teeth to transfer power to the wheels?
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
41
The single speed freewheels are on adapters keyed to the axle, and the adapter bolted on the hub has two "prongs?" that stick out to engage the gear on the frewheel, not sure why just two, I would think four or more would be better, but eh, not my design. A;so both of the hubs are on bearings so they can freewheel for corners and off power I guess, does work good. The original option also had a disk brake version, but I have yet to find a working close up picture or video of it to see what difference there is in the adapters and/or the rotors as I would love to upgrade to disk brakes as the drums warp on the band brakes making them a little funny to stop
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
28
Location
Great Mills, MD
So from the pictures and your description the rear axle goes through the hubs on the rear wheels and the end of axle is threaded to accept a fastener (nut?).

You got me curious about the disc brake option. Did some searching and came across a few items of interest.

First is a website for Rhodes car auction that have disc brakes. There's a side shot and two rear shots that show the disc. Not the best but not bad.

Second is a website called Quadracycling in Ottawa by a Rhoades car 4W2PCP coupe owner. This website has a photo gallery and a blog which may yield some info.

Third and last is a Rhoades car review by SirJoey from 2007. SirJoey doesn't mention what type of brakes he had only that he paid to get a second brake. SirJoey did have the 36 speed drivetrain so he may be able to provide some practical experience on whether it's worth modifying your bike.
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
41
quixotic, thank you for the links, I knew about SirJoey and I believe he is still a member of this forum. I was hoping he might say something about his Rhoades car, but I'm guessing he is very busy with other important stuff. Some of the pictures answered my questions about the mid drive gears, should be easy to make

I will post the picture I saw that shows the mid drive if anyone wants to see an easy way for multipling gears (with the 9 speed freewheel cluster I found on Amazon, could be a 9x9=81 speed with a single gear crank, or 243 speed with a triple????), might even be a good way for making fully seperated tandem pedalling if done right, although that could also be done with a custom adapter for two freewheels on a bottom bracket to replace the left crank arm, but this way would be cheaper and more DIY.

I saved the pictures from the sites and emailed the gentleman in Ottawa, I will see if I can tell what is going on with the adapters, but just looking at it seems like some changes will have to be made or multi piece adapters which may not be as strong as I would like as I want one or two mid drive assist motors to help power this this some day. Does make me want to build a Kyoto Cruiser with this setup, as mine has the turning radius of a big rig, lol
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
28
Location
Great Mills, MD
Skull Bucket, you are most welcome.

From what I read the Rhoades mid drive, it functions basically the same as the mid drive Lightfoot used on their line of delta trikes (e.g., Ariel, Greenway, Transporter) back in the day. Lightfoot used a triple up front to an 8 speed freewheel on a jackshaft, with the output of the jackshaft being a 20T freewheel that drove another 8 speed freewheel on the rear 26" wheel. This gave Lightfoot 192 gears with a range of 9-150 gear inches. I've been looking at incorporating a similar setup on the delta trike I'm planning but also adding a motor input to the jackshaft as well. Here's a side shot of the Lightfoot Ariel to illustrate.




FYSA, I was originally considering leveraging the Loderunner 2 crossover to integrate a mid drive but opted for the jackshaft to have an easy way to add a motor input. The LR2 crossover is made from the threaded sides of two steel hubs connected by steel tubing, with a multispeed freewheel on one side and a BMX freewheel on the other. It re-uses the axle from one of the hubs so it can be hung from the frame by a recycled set of dropouts. Here's a picture of the crossover from the plans with partially finished dropouts. The square tubing in the picture is a stand in for the main boom to allow enough spacing when cutting the dropouts.



And here is a side shot as installed on the main boom. The front of the bike would be to the right.

 
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
41
I have already heard back from the gentleman in Ottawa, he still has his Rhoades and has sent me pictures of the mid drive gears and the rear disk brakes, going to post them, I hope this will give everyone a chance to make something similar, plus I can upgrade my own bike. I know it has given me ideas on mods to three different tandem trikes, the Viking, the Kyotocruiser, and the Loadrunner 2.

And now for what I have received....











I still haven quite figured out how the adapters connect to the axle and freewheel, but I'm guessing that the freewheel is inside the adapter and the bolts are being used to engage with the gear of the freewheel or the adapter is a differential and/or is part of the freewheel some how. And now the pictures of the mid drive, in these pictures, the chain ring for the crank is on the right side of the frame instead of the normal left side, but I have seen videos of the chain ring on the normal side as well, leaves so many possiblities, but basically seems to be a very short jack shaft.






 
Last edited:
Top