Thursday, December 31, 2009
IN-LINE ARTICULATED TRIKES !!!!! FOR ONE RIDER OR TWO !!!!
Howzabout it folks ??!!! Are these babies freaky enough for ya ??!!!! This is an idea I had about 6 years ago,I had intended to build one but never really got serious about it 'til now. I saw a guy riding something similar,it used 2 short wheelbase 16" bikes. You sit on the seat of the rear frame while pedaling and steering the front frame.I liked the simplicity of it but there are some problems with the basic design.#1-Any time you build a bike with a recumbent or semi-recumbent seating position you HAVE TO have a solid back rest to push against. If you don't a good portion of your pedalin' power is wasted AND you will keep pushin' yer butt off the back of the seat !!!! NOT GOOD !!!!!!!! #2-If you DO have a backrest on this configuration,when you apply pressure to the pedals and the backrest ( when taking off or going up a hill) it causes the 2 frames to arch up in the middle and unloads the weight on the center (drive) wheel and causes it to spin !!!! AGAIN,NOT GOOD !!!!! #3- on a 16" frame w/ 16" wheels you have to use small cranks,4 1/2" or 5 1/2" at the most. Not very efficient,there's just not enough leverage there,PLUS you have to pedal like CRAZY ALL THE TIME to maintain any kind of speed. AGAIN,NOT GOOD !!!!! #4- When making tight radius turns the rear frame can actually fall over flat because the rear fork can pivot TOO far back.One more time !! NOT GOOD !!!! After working my poor little pea brain to it's limit,I came up with solutions for all 4 problems. I used a 20" frame on the front ( the tandem uses 2-20" frames ) .This allows you to put the seat on top of the fork of the rear frame so you have adequate leg extension AND your weight keeps the drive wheel planted solid to the pavement at all times. I used a 20" fork on the front frame along with a 20" wheel. This gives just enough clearance to use 6 1/2" cranks so you can get the thing MOVIN' a lot better !!!! To keep the rear frames fork from rotating too far,I added a bungey cord,it provides enough tension to keep things under control. I will be replacing the bungeys with the stronger,thicker black rubber cargo straps though,I think it will work better and not look so hokey.Okay so NOW you can put a backrest on the thing and it will IMPROVE the performance of the trike instead of causing problems. Oh yeah I also made some long handlebars so you don't have to lean forward so far to reach them. They look pretty wacky don't they ??!!!! They serve their purpose quite well though. The bars on the single seat cargo trike are inverted steel dropbars with a set of low rise MTB bars ( cut in half ) hammered on to the ends for extensions. They're bolted in place too so they can't pop off !! I used 3-speed roadster bars on the tandem with the same type of extensions. They work great and provide a very comfortable riding position. I LOVE these trikes !!!!! They are a lot of fun to build and ride,I will be building more of them in the future and selling them too. The ones you see here will be for sale after I finish them and paint them. I will also be experimenting with different sized wheels,multiple gear setups,and larger non-recumbent style tandems,so stay tuned and see what I come up with !!! ( The single seater is a 20"x16"x16",the Tandem is a 20"x16"x18" !!! It's also 2 wheel drive w/2 coaster brakes !!!!!)