Views and advice sought

Joined
Feb 10, 2022
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Norfolk UK
Just a few jottings and looking for any views from more experienced AZ members.

My aim:- I'm overweight and unfit right now and have been going down hill since retiring 3 years ago. I would like to do some gentle cycling around the local lanes here in Norfolk UK with my wife and two dogs. Maybe taking a packed lunch and giving ourselves and dogs a walk and a picnic in the fresh air along by the river- that sort of thing.

My wants:- Wife and I have bikes and have enjoyed short rides together but both end up with 'numb bums'. Have tried several different saddles but none have been much help. We must have odd shaped rear ends! So the idea of a recumbent with a small but way more comfortable seat sounds attractive.
I also like the idea that you can poodle along looking at the countryside at a slow walking pace if you want to without putting feet down or wobbling all over the road.

My don't wants:- I really am not keen on the idea of being as low as many bents seating seem to put you. I don't want to be laid back with feet in the air either. The idea of being at the height of the average car doorhandle or having a tractor looming over me as it passes is scarey. I'd like a riding position closer to that of a standard bike. Not upright with all weight on the posterior but higher and more upright than many recumbents.

My likes so far:- I have bought lots of Brads plans and read thousands of posts on this site but can't quite make up my mind how to go. My first thoughts are either the Tri-cruiser or DeltaRunner which both seem to be pretty close to my ideal. I have a pile of mountain bikes and have bought some 1.5" steel box section. I have lots of steel bits as my hobby has been metalwork and welding for years and I'm a bit of a hoarder! I think I can happily make either of these two designs. Ultimately likely two of them for self and wife. The dogs have a doggy trailer :)

I have a small problem right now in that I was re-roofing an extension recently and fell off the roof into a wheelbarrow. Only a cracked rib but some severe lacerations which are causing problems and a sprained wrist and shoulder. All this should heal up soon so I'm hoping to start this summer.

Delta or tadpole that is the question. Or maybe something else that you guys feel would be better suited.

Would love to hear your thoughts
Thanks
John
 
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I have no direct experience of either but from first principals it's most stable to have the rider between the paired wheels. For that reason I'd opt for the Deltarunner. The delta has the big advantage of being easy to join to another delta to make a tandem. Remove the front wheel from the rear trike and put the forks into receivers on the front trike. That may be a useful feature if owning two of them. If adding a trailer for the dogs that could get very long though. I'd also give thought to the Kyotocruiser. A side by side tandem is much more social than a fore and aft.
 
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Thank you both. I hadn't considered tha Kyoto Cruiser simply because of the width. My immediate area is mainly lanes which are quite narrow. It is also a heavily farmed area so has tractors and large farm machinery traveling the lanes all the time. The width of the KC would likely be a real problem just as cars are. Often it's necessary to pull the car onto the verge to allow farm machinery to pass and trying to pull a KC onto the bumpy verge could be problematic. Obviously a standard bike for this reason would be best but just too damned wobbly and uncomfortable.
My immediate area is between the sea and busy main road to east and west. North is a river crossed by a very busy swing bridge and south is the Kings Lynn town and it's network of busy, confusing roundabouts and traffic lights. Traveling further afield means getting onto the A17 main road for at least a short distance. This is a heavily used route north and south and is very busy as it's the main artery in the area. Constant heavy traffic all traveling fast on a single carriage road and nobody these days seems to have the patience to poodle along behind a slow moving vehicle of any kind. I've seen a learner moped rider almost pushed off the road by impatient cars and vans. Having said that my little area does have many miles of lanes and a nice ride to the river and a small car park ideal for a stop and letting the dogs stretch their legs. There will no doubt be lots of other nice rides once we start to explore the lanes.

Not a perfect area for cycling I know but it's where I am. I haven't considered a tandem because I want to be able to also ride the couple of miles to my local shop or visit my sister a similar distance away on my own. The idea of 'tandeming' two deltas is nice and may be worth figuring into the builds but if taking the dogs it would certainly make a lengthy train of a bike.

From what you both say I'm thinking now that the Delta Runner may be the best choice........I think!

Thanks both
John
 
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Joined
Mar 2, 2022
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Location
Nottinghamshire. UK
Hi John, I'm the same as you in many respect. Numb-bum syndrome, retired, engineer. Prefer something for the wife and myself, not a two seater as I would end up doing all the peddling and be knackered at the end of a trike trek. Two trikes means if I want to trike on my own I can without carrying an empty seat. I also fear low seaters but I will tilt the seat to a happier position and ride off road until my confidence improves, or just stay off roads! There are enough tracks such as the Monsal trail, Derbyshire to enjoy, nice and flat, with tunnels, well lit!! (Was there last Sunday, Easter). I'm building both delta and tadpole to see what I prefer. I don't think I will build one trike, then stop. This will be a creative outlet for me to while my time until 'I can crank no more'. Hope there is enough cranking in me. Good luck John, enjoy.
 
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So, trikes (forgot to mention), Delta: Delta Wolf/Aurora Delta, with slight mods to the axle, possible first build, (with or without suspension). Then and also, Tadpole: Warrior / Streetfox. So, choice of four as I will keep my options open. Most likely, 'easy option' without suspension as I may not need it. Don't need it for my bikes I use, so I will see how they go and tweak accordingly..
 
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Hi DR and thanks for your input. Been to Derbyshire a few times- lovely area. Norfolk as most will know is pretty flat which for my tired old legs seems ideal. Not too picturesque as land is mostly cultivated (bread basket of England) but still plenty of nice places to visit.
I'd almost decided on a tadpole as all on here seem to agree they are inherently more stable but thinking about it I really don't think ultimate stability matters with my approach to cycling. I've got nowhere I need to be in a hurry and we will cycle for the relaxation and enjoyment only. I imagine my OT will insist on a 'burn up' along some of the straights to prove how fit she is compared to me:) but we'll be taking corners pretty sedately I know.

I did decide a while back that I wanted to build a motorbike powered trike for use on the road and bought a thing called a Church Pod in kit form (body and pile of steel tube). Unfortunately I hadn't looked into the procedure for getting it actually road legal which in this country is as near impossible as it can be these days. So the idea of the freedom and excercise of a pedal trike was born and I've been preparing for a build ever since. I did contemplate using the Pod mouldings for a Velo but since I will not want to cycle in bad weather I dropped the idea.

Tried to load a pic of the Pod but no joy so will have to go back and read how to upload pics again.

John
 
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I nearly bought a church pod body to build into a tadpole with a linear pedal system. In the end I chose not to as the door looked to require much contortion to enter or exit and thought it'd need to be hinged up for access.
 
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I did decide a while back that I wanted to build a motorbike powered trike for use on the road and bought a thing called a Church Pod in kit form (body and pile of steel tube). Unfortunately I hadn't looked into the procedure for getting it actually road legal which in this country is as near impossible as it can be these days. So the idea of the freedom and excercise of a pedal trike was born and I've been preparing for a build ever since. I did contemplate using the Pod mouldings for a Velo but since I will not want to cycle in bad weather I dropped the idea.

Tried to load a pic of the Pod but no joy so will have to go back and read how to upload pics again.

John


there you go

Paul
 
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John

Stability is a mute point at lower speeds i.e less than 10 mph, both designs can roll over if you push them to far.
Look at the Hase Kettweisel probably the worlds most popular trike , IIRC seat height of 19" and rear track around 30"
Rear wheels are canted to make the trike as narrow as possible not for better cornering !
Delta drive train is harder - however not impossible
Tadpole steering is MUCH harder ! - some do find it impossible to make work properly.
Tandem delta's are great as they have a very small turning circle , some tadpoles have the turning circle of a car frustrating and limiting in urban environments.
Unless all rides are to be on very quite roads Kyoto Cruiser is not really suitable for the UK , even IF we had some cycling infrastructure it is to wide to NOT be an inconvenience to other users.
Good luck Paul
 
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Yep that's the Pod I've got but mine's blue and not assembled at the moment. I did make a chassis for it and used the running gear from an old quad bike for front suspension and steering. I intended to start with a Peugeot 50cc auto engine from a moped. I guessed this would not be exactly explosive in the performance department but would try the concept. I also have a Honda 200cc engine and auto box but that would need more sorting out first to mount to the Pod. Anyway when I started the process of applying for a registration document it became clear that since having kitcars 30 or 40 years ago things have changed a lot. the Peugeot and quadbike paperwork would not satisfy the DVLC at all. The procedure wanted a whole wad of information almost including inside leg measurement :) and most of it I didn't have and couldn't get so at that point I gave up on the build.

Popshot the door entry as you say is hopeless for anyone of average build and not double jointed. I also had visions of making the whole top section and screen lift as many velo's have but the body is built quite thick and heavy and not really ideal for a velo.

Paul I've followed your adventures with your tilters and admire you determination to get one as you wanted. I think my needs are way less than yours as I really only want gentle transport round my immediate country lanes and am aware of the extra caution needed on corners.

I suspect many here will have read the immense blogs of 'amberwolf' over on ES. He is prolific in detailing his builds. I can't pretend to be a fan of his builds for various reasons but they do make for compelling reading. His cargo trike for hauling his two St. Bernard dogs is positively scary!! But... he has a vision which he makes work in the end and he really does make full use of what he builds.

I don't have his determination (or Paul's) but reading his blogs plus the stories by Paul, DannyC, Popshot, Emiel etc. gives me the confidence to build what I want. I will no doubt be back here with silly questions and pics if I can make ImgBB let me post a URL to my pics.

Thank you all and keep the info and help coming.
John
 
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John

Thanks for the kind words , I deliberately did not advocate a tilter of any flavour they are unsuitable for your needs IMHO.

Couple of points the seat back needs to be around 55' if you have it to steep/upright you will get recumbent butt ! the big muscles in the bum go numb , I was fiddling with the seat back on a Kett I owned and brought this on withing 1/2 mile of home so be warned ;)

The BB needs to be approx level with the front of the seat , many trikes/bikes have it lower for me that causes a loss of power , imaging the difference between being sat on a chair having you feet on the floor and pushing away from the floor not much strength ?
Now imagine the same chair however your legs are slight bent , level and your feet are flat against a wall , wow power !

The other think with pedals lower than the seat is that you can feel sat on top of the trike and not in it , i had this with one iteration of the tilting Python it was very unnerving to ride especially down hill , you had the impression you could be thrown forward out of the seat at any time and the legs [ as in the example above ] would just fold up and let you go ?

Paul
 
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Thanks for that advice Paul. I will take it and ensure my seat and BB positions start as you suggest. I think I will try to make the seat height and rake adjustable to start with so I can experiment with position to get what I feel comfortable with. It makes absolute sense to me that having a properly recumbent cycling position allows more power from the legs since you are pushing mainly against the seat back where a high position is more like a bicycle where you are pushing more against gravity (your weight).

Brads plans offer a good selection of riding psitions from something like the Delta wolf where you sit really low and have legs 'out in front' to maybe the Delta runner which seems to offer a more upright (comfy chair) position with the BB a tad lower. Not a great physical difference between the two but just looks to make a big difference to the riding position? I may well be wrong but if I make things adjustable to start with I would hope to find what feels most comfy for me to start with and I could alter things if having ridden a while I decide there is a better position.

If I find eventually that I prefer the laid back, legs up position I will need to ask Brad if he can design a small fold out hoist to get me out of the seat :)

PS Amberwolf seems to prefer a very upright seating position with a large and comfy chair and low BB but maybe his health problems make this necessary.

Cheers Paul
John
 
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If I find eventually that I prefer the laid back, legs up position I will need to ask Brad if he can design a small fold out hoist to get me out of the seat :)
One reason my Python has moved from a 8" from the floor seat height to a 16" seat height , a parking brake and somewhere to hold onto help me greatly.[ no spring chicken ! ]
PS Amberwolf seems to prefer a very upright seating position with a large and comfy chair and low BB but maybe his health problems make this necessary.

Cheers Paul
John
I assume for him it is not so important as he has electric assist ? [ not read all his thread yet ]

Paul
 
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Yes you're right AW doesn't use the pedals except for emergency when his electrics die so clearly best pedal position isn't his first concern. Where he lives means he can get away with massive amounts of assist but we are supposed to stick to 250w and 15mph. Unfortunately that isn't quick enough to make 'main' road travel safe for us.

I had been after powering a trike but the more I think about it the less sensible it seems. My intended use is for gentle ambling in this area of flat countryside to give me some excercise and assist would defeat the object.
Having said that I have a hub motor front wheel on a mountain bike and suspect I won't be able to resist fitting it to one of the trikes at some stage. I bought it before ever finding out what the regs were but it was the cheapest available and is 500w! Goes well with three little SLA motorbike batteries.

Lots of building and experimenting ahead which is what I want to keep body and brain active.

To save me searching back through the archives here is imgbb able to be used to show pics on this site as each time I try I just get a 'problem has arisen' type message?

John
 
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Yes you're right AW doesn't use the pedals except for emergency when his electrics die so clearly best pedal position isn't his first concern. Where he lives means he can get away with massive amounts of assist but we are supposed to stick to 250w and 15mph. Unfortunately that isn't quick enough to make 'main' road travel safe for us.

I had been after powering a trike but the more I think about it the less sensible it seems. My intended use is for gentle ambling in this area of flat countryside to give me some excercise and assist would defeat the object.
Having said that I have a hub motor front wheel on a mountain bike and suspect I won't be able to resist fitting it to one of the trikes at some stage. I bought it before ever finding out what the regs were but it was the cheapest available and is 500w! Goes well with three little SLA motorbike batteries.

Lots of building and experimenting ahead which is what I want to keep body and brain active.

To save me searching back through the archives here is imgbb able to be used to show pics on this site as each time I try I just get a 'problem has arisen' type message?

John
Reg's are max 250Watt and max speed 15MPH. But most people ignore the rules. Just don't have an accident (your fault or not) because if you have an illegal e-bike on the road they may throw the book at you. :D
 
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Danny- Yes I have been riding occasionally with the 500w hub wheel on the mountain bike but always worried a nice policeman might want to take a look. The more overpowered e-bikes on the road the more the authorities will be checking up I imagine. Shame they can't be a bit more sensible with power and speed limits but there again however high the limits there'll always be those that play silly buggers. Hurtling along at 40mph (the practical minimum capability for main road use I think) on a cheap bike, not designed for the speed or weight is going to be a major danger to all around them.

BTW I used to keep my boat at Dauntless yard which you pass regularly by the looks of your road trip video. Actually lived aboard it for a while in Maldon (Blackwater) Nice area at that time- 35 years ago.

John
 
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I see it. The church pod looks quite odd from that angle. I doubted there was enough room under the body for a regular pedal action so thought I'd have to go linear which is quie inefficient. To get in and out I was going to fix the rear panel to the chassis and tilt the rest at the front. The rear panel would never clear a seat if that tilted too and fixing it meant getting the side panels to slide against it with the resultant stiffness that would require. All in doable but difficult. The body I was looking at was on ebay for £200 for months. I don't know if it eventually sold or if they just gave up trying to sell it. As you say the iva test means massive work to make it a goer.
 
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yep loud and clear.

The problem with a trike that configuration is there is no commercial one you can easily buy and add the body to .....
Thus neatly sidestepping BIVA

Paul
 
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