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Old 12-17-07, 07:43 AM   #1
HandsomeRyan
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Reverse Trike Questions

This seemed like the most logical forum to ask a few questions about designing/building a reverse trike type bicycle. I saw a contraption called the "Turf Trike" www.turftrike.com and decided that although I don't play golf, I love the upright reverse trike look. I want to design something similar to use for light cargo duty and just something different to ride around the local MUP's on. I have a few things I'm trying to work out:

Where does one find bicycle wheels that have drum brakes buit into them? The TT uses drum brakes and this seems easier than trying to use rim brakes and cheaper than trying to use discs. (on the front wheels) Size doesn't matter becasue I'm going to start with the wheels and design backwards toward a donor bikes back half/drivetrain.

I'm having trouble visualizing a simple but functional steering mechanism. I don't want to over engineer this but it seems most reverse trike and tadpole manufacterers don't like to post pictures of the steering mechanisms.

How wide would 2 wheels that do not lean need to be mounted to be stable?

If anyone has pictures or links to reverse trike's that might be helpful I'd appreciate it. I have done some searching and checked out some of the cargo reverse trikes but many of them are much larger than what I need.

Thanks!
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Old 12-17-07, 09:02 PM   #2
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" I'm having trouble visualizing a simple but functional steering mechanism."- If you'll notice on the cargo-type trikes, the "handlebar" just swivels the whole front end of the thing. The main issue is that you have to have the swivel vertical, rather than canted back like on a normal bike, or else things lean when you steer.

"How wide would 2 wheels that do not lean need to be mounted to be stable?" That depends on how fast you go and how high the load is- no good answer there.

One other item I've gleaned from reading about the cargo trikes is that they are not necessarily stable when empty. On a normal bike, you keep yourself upright by steering. On the reverse trikes, the steering response is much slower, but the load when empty (ie, yourself) is positioned over the rear wheel rather than the front. I noticed on the Husky web page, they don't even recommend riding them when completely empty.

Schwinn once upon a time made a reverse trike where both front wheels swiveled like on a car (and like on a turf trike). I saw one in Ebay a while back, think it went for $75 or something, with local pickup. But it would be cool to ride. It used handlebars and a tie-rod system.
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Old 12-18-07, 05:52 AM   #3
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Hope these pictures help. I'll have a deeper dig into my archives and see what else I can find.
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Old 12-18-07, 07:41 AM   #4
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I won't be much help here, but here's a link to the worksman:

http://www.worksman.com/frontload.html
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Old 12-18-07, 10:38 AM   #5
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Also take a look at the Nihola
http://nihola.info/en/nihola+bikes/cigar+family/

I've test-ridden one, and the handling was brilliant. Very stable cornering, and you could easily recover from too-sharp a turn.
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Old 12-18-07, 12:09 PM   #6
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Try to get the Ackerman right. It will prevent tire scrub, which will make your rig more efficient and pleasant to ride.

http://www.muller.net/mullermachine/docs/ackerman.html
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Old 12-18-07, 03:53 PM   #7
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Old 12-18-07, 05:35 PM   #8
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Wow!

Thanks for all the pictures and links. I'm in the process of looking for a donor bike for a back half and possibly some wheels to start off the front end design. That cigar family bike is very close to what I am hoping to build.

I know some ATV's use a disc brake on the axle rather than on each wheel, can that be applied to bicycles as well? I ride up a .25mi hill to get to the grocery store and then ride back down it to get home so slowing and stopping a loaded bike is priority 1 but I'm not sure i have the fabrication ability to do a custom disc brake setup for each wheel.
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Old 12-18-07, 11:55 PM   #9
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Someone I know has a two-in-front trike that has seating for two people behind the front wheels (with functional handlebars for both people) and one person with just a seat and cranks in front.
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Old 01-01-08, 04:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
This seemed like the most logical forum to ask a few questions about designing/building a reverse trike type bicycle. I saw a contraption called the "Turf Trike" www.turftrike.com and decided that although I don't play golf, I love the upright reverse trike look. I want to design something similar to use for light cargo duty and just something different to ride around the local MUP's on. I have a few things I'm trying to work out:

• Where does one find bicycle wheels that have drum brakes buit into them? The TT uses drum brakes and this seems easier than trying to use rim brakes and cheaper than trying to use discs. (on the front wheels) Size doesn't matter becasue I'm going to start with the wheels and design backwards toward a donor bikes back half/drivetrain.

• I'm having trouble visualizing a simple but functional steering mechanism. I don't want to over engineer this but it seems most reverse trike and tadpole manufacterers don't like to post pictures of the steering mechanisms.

• How wide would 2 wheels that do not lean need to be mounted to be stable?

• If anyone has pictures or links to reverse trike's that might be helpful I'd appreciate it. I have done some searching and checked out some of the cargo reverse trikes but many of them are much larger than what I need.

Thanks!
2 wheels in front on a trike is "tadpole" arrangment as opposed to "delta" which has 1 wheel in front and 2 in the rear and as opposed to travelling backwards.

Tadpoles are very common in the recumbent trike world:

http://home.mindspring.com/~kb7mxu/index.htm

http://www.bhsi.org/fourwhel.htm

http://www.recumbents.com/home.asp

http://www.autocanoe.com/

Upright tadpoles are often referred to as Welsh trikes:


http://www.roman-road.co.uk/conversions/index.htm


http://www.roman-road.co.uk/

Last edited by meb; 01-01-08 at 05:13 AM.
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