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Alt Bike Culture Chopped, dropped, stretched, lifted, and otherwise cut up and put back together. The art and science of choppers, cruisers, lowriders and the vast world of mutant bicycles.

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Old 05-29-08, 10:24 PM   #1
e-Man
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Alt Trikes?

Looking around this forum I don't see too many custom trikes. Anyone on this board ever chopped/hacked/cut up a trike to make an alt bike? I wanted one a few years ago, but finding one in decent shape was hard, and even then too much money was asked for it. I am jonesin' again for a trike, looking every possible place I can to score one for as cheap as possible. Looking around for some examples to see what is possible with these bikes.
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Old 05-29-08, 11:36 PM   #2
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alt trikes

we have made an alt trike with two wheels in front and one in back, took a fork and welded a fork onto each end of the original fork, you can find a pic of it on our site boneshakersbc.com
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Old 05-30-08, 10:59 AM   #3
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Looking around this forum I don't see too many custom trikes. Anyone on this board ever chopped/hacked/cut up a trike to make an alt bike? I wanted one a few years ago, but finding one in decent shape was hard, and even then too much money was asked for it. I am jonesin' again for a trike, looking every possible place I can to score one for as cheap as possible. Looking around for some examples to see what is possible with these bikes.
Sorry e-man, people never do that sort of thing......

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Old 05-30-08, 12:50 PM   #4
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Thanks for the laugh at my expense countersTrike. I have seen a few of your creations, very nice, but those are recumbents. I was wondering if anyone has done something with a normal trike, or planning on it in the near future.
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Old 05-30-08, 03:06 PM   #5
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If you're looking at upright adult trikes, I think the problem is that people don't use them enough to wear them out, so you don't see them cheap that often. And in AZ, they don't rust, either.

You didn't specify non-recumbents, and most of the cool home-made trikes I've seen online were recumbent, even the one made out of a shopping cart. Look back through the recumbent forum and you should run across a few.

Check in the Utility Forum also. I think you'll find an old post about the Danger Trike there (reverse tricycle that proved too tippy). I've got The Thing, but it's not homemade, it's just a Worksman reverse cargo trike. (I took it on a charity ride, and two different people asked if I had made it, for what that's worth).

I've seen some Lowrider trikes as well, made from adult trikes. You might try a search for them.
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Old 05-30-08, 05:34 PM   #6
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If you're looking at upright adult trikes, I think the problem is that people don't use them enough to wear them out, so you don't see them cheap that often. And in AZ, they don't rust, either.

You didn't specify non-recumbents, and most of the cool home-made trikes I've seen online were recumbent, even the one made out of a shopping cart. Look back through the recumbent forum and you should run across a few.

Check in the Utility Forum also. I think you'll find an old post about the Danger Trike there (reverse tricycle that proved too tippy). I've got The Thing, but it's not homemade, it's just a Worksman reverse cargo trike. (I took it on a charity ride, and two different people asked if I had made it, for what that's worth).

I've seen some Lowrider trikes as well, made from adult trikes. You might try a search for them.
Wot? Mine gets ridden lots and lots and does a lot of miles over the course of a year. The thing is adult tricycles get purchased (as a rule) by folk who really do need them and they get ridden until their owners go to the big Bike Shop In The Sky. Tricycles don't have the production volume that bicycles do either. All of which means that 2nd hand tricycles are as rare as rocking horse poo.
Tricycle axles can be purchased as a kit and this is the way that I went when I built up my trike. I found a bicycle frame that suited me perfectly and was the right fit for me and I then converted it to a tricycle using the axle I'd purchased. Best way to go in my opinion and waaaaaaay cheaper than buying a whole off-the-shelf tricycle and trying to get the thing how you want it.

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Old 05-30-08, 06:57 PM   #7
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Thanks for the laugh at my expense countersTrike.

Sorry, couldn't resist! In 1976 I had an upright Huffy trike, with an old camshaft in a pipe (2 chains) ending up turning an old Sturmey-Archer 3 speed. High handlebars, a 4 foot tall sissy bar (to lean on) backing a banana seat. That lasted until 1980. I have a photo of is in an old photo album. Who knows where!

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Old 05-30-08, 07:32 PM   #8
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Sianelle: Very nice ride!

countersTrike: If you ever come across that photo, scan it and post it, sounds like it was a fun ride.

StephenH: I think the myth about AZ and rust is kinda true, but kinda not. Some people swear nothing ever rusts out here, but looking out the window to my dad's old truck, or a quick trip to the junkyard, and I kinda think otherwise.

I once tried to buy an adult trike off an uncle of mine. I wanted some of the parts, but he wanted about $150 for something that look like it was beaten and left to die rotting out in the sun. Wouldn't budge on the price, that's family for ya, lol.

I love the talent I see on this board, I was just interested to see if that talent had been applied to an upright trike.
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Old 05-30-08, 09:27 PM   #9
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I built mine from semi-scratch, with a 4048 chrysalite hub, good for groceries, but heavy.

I'd post a picture, but I'm to &$#!* stupid to figure out how to resize my photo's so BF can take them.
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Old 05-30-08, 10:43 PM   #10
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Let me tell you about an Alt Trike, though perhaps not what you had in mind.

When I was a kid (ie, 40 years ago), we lived in a rent house. The landlord was Mr. Crum. Mr. Crum had a nice house an hour's drive away. He also owned this rent house. Out behind the rent house, there was a tin shed, a tin storage building and an old old travel trailer which obviously hadn't been moved in years. Mr. Crum would come by periodically to do stuff on the house and stayed in the travel trailer when he did. He gradually got to where he pretty much lived in that travel trailer.

Now, when I first knew Mr. Crum, he was maybe 70. One of his distinguishing characteristics was that he had a wooden leg. This was the result of being sideswiped by a car while riding his motorscooter when he was around 65, and that leg was missing below the hip. He had a proper prostetic-type wooden leg. But, for whatever reason, he also made his own wooden leg and liked it better. It was made out of 2" stock (2x6 tapered down) with a door hinge and a spring at the knee. Pretty much what you or I would come up with if we went out to the garage and made a wooden leg. It didn't look bad because he wore long pants. But this will tell you what kind of guy he was.

I never thought about it, but I don't guess he drove anymore after that accident- at least I don't recall him ever driving a car. But, he had an adult tricycle that was his main transportation. A one-legged man is at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to bicycling. Mr. Crum's solution was to remove one pedal, attach a long piece of wood in its place, and this was attached to another link of wood on the frame. Mr. Crum would steer with one arm, use one arm on the top of this piece of wood, and was able to get around okay. This was in Clute, Texas, which is just as flat as a pancake, down on the coast, and that surely helped. And as I recall, he didn't go much over a walking pace with that. He probably still got most of his power off that good leg, and perhaps the main accomplishment of the hand-rig was so he didn't get stuck on the upstroke on his good leg.

The picture here might make it a bit more clear how this rig worked:
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Old 06-01-08, 10:39 PM   #11
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Alt Trikes

I recently built a very alternative Steampunk themed trike. I'll be posting a thread specifically for the trike, the Brass Lion. You can also check out my blog in my signature to follow the build from beginning to end and see some videos and photos and such when I post them. I'll have more ride videos soon.

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Old 06-02-08, 05:37 AM   #12
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Very nice I like that alot


The genuine article
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Last edited by Sianelle; 06-02-08 at 06:02 AM. Reason: Remembered something else
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Old 06-02-08, 11:36 AM   #13
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countersTrike: If you ever come across that photo, scan it and post it, sounds like it was a fun ride.
I found the pictured blue Huffy next to a blue truck and an old Schwinn trike (with a scoop dining chair instead of the basket). Both of these were in a 1977 album- one with sticky pages. I copied that album page then tried to take a picture of that. Didn't work- my computer rejected them. What a mess- blobs of blue! I will try to use a razor blade to remove them next, send them out snail-mail (re-sized or shadowed); then get them sent back to me on-line. There must be a trick; but don't hold your breath!

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Old 06-02-08, 05:14 PM   #14
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i got this one
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Old 06-02-08, 05:26 PM   #15
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Wow Steuben! Just beeaauuuti-ful!
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Old 06-02-08, 06:39 PM   #16
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i got this one
Cool What does it ride like?
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Old 06-02-08, 11:15 PM   #17
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i got this one
I love that thing!
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Old 06-03-08, 09:40 AM   #18
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it rides fine unless you lean out of the turn, then it flips but ive refined that malefunction into riding a wheelie! i can ride on two wheels for as far as there arent too many bumps

it was made out of the AtomicZombie spintricycle with two halves of bikes attached to the back
it now has a paintjob and a padded seat with blue vinyl
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Old 06-03-08, 09:16 PM   #19
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I spotted this homebrew cargo trike at an antique show in Brimfield Massachusetts a few weeks ago, it had a leaf spring suspension on the front axle!

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Old 06-03-08, 10:23 PM   #20
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That looks an awful lot like one of these, which is a production cargo trike:


I suppose it could be homemade, but that looks like the standard Worksman front hubs there.
And technically, it's not "alt" because it's a factory product.

(Actually, looking at it, it's a different model if it's a Worksman. They make one with wide platform above the wheels, and one with narrower platform between the wheels- go to www.worksmancycles.com, click on "industrial" then "tricycles" to find these.)
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Old 06-04-08, 02:10 PM   #21
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It does look very similar to the Worksman. I didn't get a very close look, but the welds on the sloping "top" tube looked pretty homemade (it could have been an ugly repair...)
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Old 06-04-08, 03:06 PM   #22
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If you're going home-made, it's actually easier to do the Nacho-Libre-type trike, as the front wheels use a conventional bicycle axle with supports on both ends. On the Worksman, the front wheels are supported only from the inside, which means the axles and bearings are different from that normally used on bicycles, so you can't make 'em out of junk parts.
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Old 06-06-08, 04:56 PM   #23
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Now if you can find a junk wheelchair, then you're in business.
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Old 06-19-08, 11:48 AM   #24
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where the heck can you get an axle and tire assemblies strong enough to handle 500 lbs or more ?
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Old 06-19-08, 11:59 AM   #25
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A regular bicycle axle can probably do that IF it's supported at both ends- see the Husky/Mercurio trikes.
The Worksman can support something like that, but it's their own axle, I think. It's not rocket science, but not something you'd normally find elsewhere.

You oould buy large commerical casters and what not that would work as well.
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