Warrior Trike Build Thread

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I started building a warrior on Nov. 24th 2020. My first test ride was on March 1st, no paint, no gears and only 1 rear brake. After I verified it worked, I took it back apart, painted it reassembled and went on it's first ride of 10 miles on June 4. I had hoped to be done by the end of March, but life got in the way. I went for a week vacation, remodeled a kitchen, got CoVID, had to learn to weld, etc.

Now that it's done I'm going to post the progress shots and information, I waited until it was completed so I didn't create a thread that never ended. I won't post every picture I took and step, as that would be just a recap of the manual. I'll hit the things I did different or go in depth on how I completed something in the manual that made it easier, quicker or more accurate.

If you have any questions please reach out, I do have more pictures and information than what I'm posting.
 
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This is the completed shot and where all the next posts led up to. I used the steel recommendations in the book and weigh about 150lbs, I did the added reinforcement just to be safe. I also added peddle straps for my heels. The rear brake is a rim brake, not disc, and I later added a small rear fender.
 
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I didn't tack weld like it said to, at the time I didn't know how to weld, so I was cutting everything and prepping as much as I could to get things ready. I used blocks of wood and clamps to hold the spaces while I tacked them.


Anytime I had to make a tab with a rounded end, I clamped a washer to it and used it as a guide so they would be more consistent than if I tried it freehand. Any hole I drilled I also used a step bit to counter sink the edges and get rid of any sharp edges or burrs.
 
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I used carriage bolts to hold the peddles, I figured that way I it would be easier to tighten as it would require one bolt to be turned and not two, so the hole is square for it to fit into and hold. Also the manual doesn't mention it, but the pictures show it, I cute the head tube down later.
 
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Jon's post on here was an awesome help. I copied the wood jigs to hold everything straight from him, I highly advise it to avoid trying to hold and prop up and find random objects the right height. As I started to get things where I wanted, I cut more wood scraps to hold things and screwed them into place.

Again, more clamps everywhere. I'm a huge fan of harbor freight and have awesome luck with their stuff, I have a ton of clamps and used them every way I could while building to hold everything in place so I wouldn't screw anything up, or have it wrong or move while I try to tack it, etc. Clamps are cheaper than mistakes.

Note in the second pic, the "axle" between the front wheels (okay it's conduit, but still). If you can't run an axle through your wheels and under your frame, your control rod will hit the frame later in your build, so check that it is high enough now or you'll do more work later.
 
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Busy photo, but worth the look. This was an idea I found on the old forum from Spinner, it's to set the castor and camphor for the front wheels and get the centerpoint right.
Basically you make a jig with a 2x4 that will be to the same measurements your front tires are, you can see the axle through the 2x4 and the center line down the middle of it. The steel rod that sets the angle is tacked to a bolt on the bottom (not visible) where the center point is, the the head tube it lined up and tacked into place. The 2x4 is clamped in my vise, this made it so much easier than trying to hold and line up and guess, when i was ready to tack, everything was in the right place and steady
 
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Next jigs and more clamps. After the headtubes were lined up and welded, I used the jigs that held the wheels to help line up the next angles, I did this for both sides and you can see how I used two smaller clamps and scrap wood to get the angle correct. It held it strong enough so I could go to the next steps and start to work on the front arms and not worry about anything moving and if I screwed up the cuts that join to the frame, I didn't commit it to the head tube yet and I can get another piece of metal and try again.


To be continued....(after some sleep)
 
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This is the completed shot and where all the next posts led up to. I used the steel recommendations in the book and weigh about 150lbs,
Nice looking trike.

I did the added reinforcement just to be safe.
Are you talking about the front reinforcements ? it would be better if some were added between the rear drop outs and the main spine under the seat ?

Like this Warrior Rear frame broke

regards Paul
 
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Hi Thom G. Thx for this nice jigs. Perfect timing for me as I’m just starting cutting all the various bits for my Viking tandem build. Looking forward to the rest of your post regards Neil
 
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Looks good.
You made nice work out of it and the way you did it, can help others with how to do it.

I like the collor combo.
The grean ads something extra to the black and white.
 
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Nice looking trike.


Are you talking about the front reinforcements ? it would be better if some were added between the rear drop outs and the main spine under the seat ?

Like this Warrior Rear frame broke

regards Paul
I'll add the pictures/posts showing where i added. They were on the rear wheel supports to behind the seat and the front wheel arms to the main body.
 
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After setting up the correct angles on the head tubes and clamping them into place I started on the steering boom tubes. My first attempt following the instructions was a total failure (you can see how far off it was in the bottom picture). Guess-timation never works for me, so while looking for a better way to do this step, I realized that there was a big difference between the first boom cut in the PDF and the second. The first boom looked more like it was guess work and the second boom was precise and clean, so my goal was to make my 2nd boom 1st, so I figured out how to take the measurements I needed and cut a template out of the scrap from the first failed attempt.

I already cut the fish mouth cut in the failed steering boom, so I cut it off and used a tube clamp to hold the piece so I could get the alignment right. I needed a way to point it to directly to the spot on the frame where it will be welded to, which there was a measurement in the book, so i marked the frame with a sharpie and that was my alingment or reference point. (FYI, this step took a lot of clamps)


While I was checking out at Menards they had yard sticks in the impulse buy second. I grabbed one and it happened to be almost 1.5 in wide, which made it perfect to use as a support base. I clamped the yard stick under the fishmouth cut square tube clamped to the head tube (the pic above) and lined it up to the reference point line on the frame and clamped it to the frame. I was then able to set the scrap steel on the yard stick and make sure it lined up with the head tube (hence the stir stick to get the angle)

In the pic above, there is a white line about the middle of the boom. That was my starting point for all four measurements. You don't need to measure the whole length from the frame to the head tube, multiple times to get the correct cuts, you just need to measure from the same spot every time and connect the dots. On a normal cut, you measure, for instance 2.5", make a dot and cut. If you want to make an odd angle, you could make two dots, one at 2.5", then another 2.25", draw your line, connecting the dots and cut. That is how he made the second boom so clean, he used the first, marked where each cut ended, connected the dots and cut.

That's what I did here as well. Since this is just scrap it doesn't matter the length of the boom, fishmouth cut, etc. just the dots in references to each other is all that's important. I measured from the white line on each corner of the tube, down to the frame this gave me a number, we'll say the first was 4.5" and the second was 4.25". I picked a number and subtracted it from all four measurements I took, we'll use 2" for this example. I measured down from the white line 2.5" made a dot and 2.25", made a dot and connected them with a line, that's the black sharpie line on the tube. Do the same thing two more times for the corners on the bottom of the steering boom and you will have enough dots to connect and cut all four edges of the tube.

Once cut, slide it against the frame and make sure it lines up to the head tube piece still clamped and if so you're all set, if not you can tweak it as needed. Then the repeat for the other side, if the scrap template lines up correctly, then it's just replicating like in the PDF.

Use lots and lots of clamps, the more locked into position everything is as you're making it the easier it is to keep everything consistent and tack it into place. It sucks to measure, cut then find out something moved or you can't line it back up to work with that measurement again.
 
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after I cut and marked both booms, I clamped a piece of wood under the frame for support and made sure they both lined up, after that I tacked them into place. I started to have to tack some pieces together as I was running out of clamps. You can also see in this pic ,the main center frame boom support piece of wood, it's clamped with a C clamp to get the height correct, then I used screwed it into place to the jig.
 
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I would prefer to overbuild than under. Not having the most (any) confidence in my welding yet, I decided to add some extra bracing. Instead of using the tabs recommended to support the seat, I cut two 1.5" pieces of tube and then used them to support the seat and as a point to brace the rear wheel frame onto. I used 1" square tube for the bracing, because I had it and didn't want the added weight or think it was necessary after I looked at most bikes the rear supports tend to be fairly small diameter tubing.



Here is the "bat wing" bracing I did for the front steering booms. The shape was because I could fit both on the piece of steel I had to use, it's 1/4" in steel. I cut a paper template and once it fit correctly, I flipped it to make sure it fit both sides and cut it out of the flat steel with an angle grinder. I lined it up to the middle of both tubes, it's not as symmetrical as I would have liked but I'll take it for my first trike.
 
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For the front boom I cut it to more of an airplane nose look rather than the half circle in the plans.

 
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I liked the simplicity of the garden hose for a chain guide, but I didn't like the look, nor did I want to spend the money on a fancy carbon fiber real one. When I was reading about the real ones they said the fluted ends were to help with the noise, that most of the chain noise was generated when the chain with hit the end of the return tube, fluting it out made it more quiet. While I was building the trike, I was working on plumbing in the kitchen, and while I was picking up parts to fix the kitchen I walked past the Pex tubing at Menards and it clicked. This is a piece of black Pex tubing. If i recall it was like 5 bucks for 6 feet or so, it was super cheap. I used goof off to wipe off all the white numbers, then I used a funnel from from the kitchen and a heat gun to flute out the ends. I just kept heating the pex from the outside and inside then I would gently push the funnel into the tube further and wait for it to cool. This was in Jan. in Ohio, so I took it outside for a minute to help it cool quicker. Once it was fluted enough I did the other end.


You can see the finished pex chain guide here. It works really well and I don't really hear any noise from it. The clamp that is holding it was also from menards, it's a cable guide I think it was called. I couldn't find a V pulley like the PDF said, so these were from amazon, for fitness machines and are 3.5" in.


This is the chain guide holder...thing. I made two of these, the tab is just below the pulley to keep the chain from coming out. I didn't know if it was really going to or not, but I was bored that night and didn't want to start a complicated part, so I got fancy with these.
 
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This was adding the bottle holder, I drilled two holes and welded nuts on the frame. you can also see a different angle of the guide pulley and how it held the guide tube and the front supports as well.
 
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That's about all that I did that was different from the PDF. Some random thoughts about the process are below:

I wasn't able to use the angle grinder flapper to shape the seat. When I tried the flapper grabbed the foam and pulled the grinder out of one of my hands and it hit my other hand and took out a few chunks. I end up using a belt sander instead, so be careful with this step. I also added two strips of foam to the back of the seat, to create a valley, so it held my spine off the backing, it made for a more comfortable ride.

I didn't have scrap bikes laying around for parts, I spend more time than I should have sourcing them, and trying to find matching head tubes was nearly impossible. I realized I could have gone to a dept store and bought two bikes for about 200 bucks total and used them for parts. By the time I bought 3 chains, new peddles, a chain guard, new brake pads, handle bar grips ,bottle holder and cleaned all the rust off the derailures, wheel, gears, etc. It would have been more time and cost effective to use new bikes and have new parts. Also when I was done, I had a "new old" bike, some I can find parts for, some I can't because there are so many head tube sizes, and wheel sizes and ISO numbers and even the size of the threads on the peddles can vary.

Try not to commit to welds as long as possible. I had tons of clamps and wood jigs holding everything and it made it very easy to see issues ahead of time and correct without having to grind, weld and tack a million times. I went to harbor freight and picked up a clamp or two every visit, they're resuable and cheaper than screwing up steel and another trip to the supply house.

A tip from the bike shop in town, for setting up the gears. Since a normal bike stand won't work for trikes, he said for trikes, striders, quads, he uses jack stands. I took his advice and it made it so much easier to get the gears tuned up and they were very stable and I wasn't concerned with the weight of the trike.

Think about a rear fender if you ever ride over any water or anything you don't want flung all over the back of your head.

I used a mig welder and it used about 2lbs of weld through the whole process.

Snow works really well to cool off hot steel parts.

Menards had spacers for the axels, but lowes had better ones. Menards also had the tube/cable guides, and the spherical rod arms, but they were half price online at automotive shops.

I couldn't source v pulleys, so i ordered from amazon the kind used for cable weight machines.

I didn't do anything expensive for any of this. I used a harbor freight vulcan welder and 100% CO2 (I had co2 for airbrushing but not the argon mix) all my tools are ryobi or generics. When I could buy any consumables a harbor freight, I did.

All in all, the cost by the time I was done, if I included tools I bought to make it (chop saw, welder, welding PPE, etc) it was probably about the 1600.00 USD. The most expensive "bike part" was by far getting the front wheels laced up at a bike shop, but well worth it as it saved me a ton of time and frustration I'm sure. Not counting the cost of the tools, (because really i'll use them on other projects and it was an awesome excuse to buy more tools) this was far cheaper than buying a "real" trike. I also figured after I make one, I'll have others in my family that I ride with, want one as well and that will divide up cost of the tools over each bike making them all cheaper and cheaper to make. I'm glad I went this route instead of buying one and the only difference between the two that I don't like about it, is it's about 51lbs, which is heavier than the store bought, but not a deal breaker or anything that makes it unusable.
 
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Beautiful build. Thanks for sharing your insights.

I didn't have scrap bikes laying around for parts, I spend more time than I should have sourcing them, and trying to find matching head tubes was nearly impossible. I realized I could have gone to a dept store and bought two bikes for about 200 bucks total and used them for parts. By the time I bought 3 chains, new peddles, a chain guard, new brake pads, handle bar grips ,bottle holder and cleaned all the rust off the derailures, wheel, gears, etc. It would have been more time and cost effective to use new bikes and have new parts. Also when I was done, I had a "new old" bike, some I can find parts for, some I can't because there are so many head tube sizes, and wheel sizes and ISO numbers and even the size of the threads on the peddles can vary.
This 100%.


A tip from the bike shop in town, for setting up the gears. Since a normal bike stand won't work for trikes, he said for trikes, striders, quads, he uses jack stands. I took his advice and it made it so much easier to get the gears tuned up and they were very stable and I wasn't concerned with the weight of the trike.
Harbor freight here I come.


The most expensive "bike part" was by far getting the front wheels laced up at a bike shop, but well worth it as it saved me a ton of time and frustration I'm sure.
Honestly you'd be surprised. I'd never laced, trued or dished a wheel before.

Nailed the first front hub on the third try.
The rear took a second attempt... had switched up the spoke length on the first go.

The front hubs were super easy to dish. The rear took a few tries because the offset.

Main reason I trued and dished them was not wanting to wait 2 weeks to get them back. Guess my local bike shop is swamped with business.
 
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