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Old 12-21-07, 12:46 AM   #1
HandsomeRyan
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Reverse trike attempt...

Stage 1, Planning.

I'm wanting to build an upright reverse trike for the local critical mass ride because:

Reverse trike > tall bike > regular bike > no bike

My design so far is to start with an old steel department store mountain bike.

Chop the front end of it off, rotate it so the fork is vertical and weld it back together with some filler and possibly extra bracing because I'm not that good at welding.

Once the fork is vertical so the bike won't automatically lean into every turn I want to add some extensions to the forks allowing me to push the front wheels forward a few inches and creating a platform for cargo (such as a beer keg).

Finally, a pair of 16" poly wheels from Northern Tool as rollers for the front. http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...9574_200199574

If all goes well up to this point, I'll consider purchasing a disc brake for the rear because as you can see there was no brake system designed into the front.

I know that even if (and thats a big if) i can build this to look like my picture it will be unsafe to turn at any speed because it will be ridiculously top heavy and utterly unable to lean into turns. But... it will be awesome. And at the end of the day, doesn't that count for something?

Your comments, critiques, suggestions, words of warning, or other random nonsense are all welcome.

Artists Rendering:

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Old 12-21-07, 01:38 AM   #2
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We have several of these "reverse trikes" at my university. They use them for hauling the campus paper to all of boxes where they make the papers availible. The frame looks like an old beach cruiser, and all of the wheels are 26" or 27". They're single speed with coaster brakes. Not sure if they're conversions or if they were made that way.

I think the front tray is about 3.5' wide, if not 4'. I'd say a wide tray and big wheels are good for stability.
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Old 12-26-07, 12:55 PM   #3
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I began work on this monstrosity... It is now being refered to as "The Danger Cart" as it will be incredibly unsafe and I'm a huge A.T.H.F. fan.

I obtained an old Murray rigid framed woman's mountain bike that was made of steel. I stripped the front end of all the shifters/brakes leaving naked handlebars and a fork. I cut the frame but unlike the picture in my first post I did not just cut a "wedge". I'll try to get a picture to illustrate more clearly what I did but I shaved the top off the "front" of the old top tube and added a new "mens bike" top tube welded at the top of the seat post and to the old top tube. I ligned up the front end and I'm in the process of welding it back on. I am still working on making sure everything is braced well enought to support my clydesdale behind.

I got some rusty 3/4" square tubing for a song at the local scrap yard so I built the front platform out of that. 4 crossmembers make up the decking with 3 supports underneath. a piece of 1/2" steel rod acts as an axle for the 16" tires I got from Northern Tool.

Today on my lunch break I built a wooden jig to hold the front cargo deck in place so I can begin designing the supports that will keep the forks from buckling under the weight of me riding. I think I'm going to weld the forks to the platform then run some additional support bracing from the front corners of the platform to the edges of the handlebars. I know this probably is not the prefered way of bracing things but it will help pread the load from the forks to the handlebars/stem.

Once the fabrication is complete I'll need to test ride it and see if it is drivable. assuming it can be ridden I need a new rear tire as the one on there is so dry rotted I am afraid to put air in the tube.

Braking is a major concern. With the only brake being whatever Murray put on the back wheel their bicycles 15 years ago I have serious doubts about stopping power even on flat land much less going down hills with a load on the cargo area. Maybe if the brake is the only "real" problem that make the bike unridable I'll spring for a nicer one. (or weld on a suicide brake that just lowers an arm with a piece of old tire to create friction; hardcore)

<sarcasm> And to think that some people waste years in engineering school and doing welding apprenticeships... nothing a semi-intelegent person can't teach themselves to do in the garage over a long weekend I say. </sarcasm>

Last edited by HandsomeRyan; 12-26-07 at 12:59 PM. Reason: clarity... yes, really.
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Old 12-27-07, 06:21 AM   #4
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Pictures at last!

Preview pictures:




My welding ability: Unsafe at any speed!


New "mens" top tube


Keg Deck


Your 29's got nothing on my 32 total inches of front wheel!
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Old 12-27-07, 04:10 PM   #5
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Hey,that is kinda'cool. This is a bit late, but it might be easier to put 3 wheels in front rather than 2 wheels.
You could put the original wheels in the more or less normal position attached to the fork. You could then attach 2 other wheels-maybe 20"(the center could be 20" also of course) on either side.
The advantage of this would be that at least one of your wheels is likely to stay in place, if/when one of your welds breaks.I'm guessing that initially those brackets you will weld on to the fork(in the artist rendering) will break.It might be a bit "tricky" if this happens at speed/downhill.
Another advantage is that the original wheel and fork could bear all the load when you are going straight.The outboard wheels would ride just above the road(like training wheels) except when you lean or turn.You would have all the stability of the Trike,with much less danger than the current setup.
Heck,you might even weld them onto the frame instead of onto the fork.You could even have them sprung.
Another advantage is that you could use a sprung fork,since you won't be welding onto it.
I can see putting a huge paperboy/grocery delivery style basket in front.
If you weld a massive bracket on to the downtube with a 2 foot bar running across it,you could weld two more cheapo steel forks on either side.This way you won't have to worry about special axles/spindles.Just use the stock components.Same story on the brakes-stock fork=stock brakes-3 sts of stock brakes in the front-one in the rear.Granted,you'll just have the center wheel braking most of the time(depending on how much load you decide to put on the outboard wheels).If you think you welds are up to it you could make the load even over all three front wheels.
Granted-it is more fun to do it your own way.Keep us posted.Good luck,
Charlie
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Old 12-29-07, 04:33 PM   #6
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I completed it but it is so unstable and un-steerable that it is never being ridden outside of my driveway. all my welds held though! I'm Awesome!









I would NOT reccomend building one like this because it is entirely unridable and prone to cause injury or death; Danger Cart indeed.
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Old 12-29-07, 08:53 PM   #7
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Have you tried it with more weight on the front?
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Old 01-01-08, 02:04 PM   #8
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I was just in downtown Dallas and saw one of the Worksman-type trikes with some sort of vending stuff on it. One thing I noticed on it is that the handlebar is quite a ways behind the pivot point. So when you steer, you're not just rotating a bar, but swinging the whole thing from side to side. Don't know if this could be applied to yours or not.
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Old 01-01-08, 05:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
I completed it but it is so unstable and un-steerable that it is never being ridden outside of my driveway. all my welds held though! I'm Awesome!









I would NOT reccomend building one like this because it is entirely unridable and prone to cause injury or death; Danger Cart indeed.
If those handlebar end welds go, that could be somewhat painful

It also needs a keg!
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Old 01-01-08, 08:20 PM   #10
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Very cool. One way to improve handling could be to add suspension to each of the front wheels so thatit will lean into the turns more.
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Old 01-02-08, 10:38 AM   #11
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have you seen the ice cream carts or burger carts.

Im pretty sure they have the front wheel axle directly at the same line as the steering head.

yours is a foot or so in front. Think that would kick the bars about..especially on bumpy ground
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Old 01-05-08, 12:04 PM   #12
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You can improve the handling if you had a staight bladed fork.
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Old 01-06-08, 07:35 PM   #13
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Do some research on rake and trail, you maybe able to stabilise it with a bit of cutting and welding.
Oh and make sure the front wheels are either dead parallel or slightly toed in or else your wasting your time with the above.
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Old 01-07-08, 12:06 AM   #14
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I've ridden a vintage English racing trike with two full-sized front wheels used for time trial over there. Speedy thing. Look them up.
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