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Old 12-05-08, 03:23 AM   #1
johanna_von
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building a tandem trike-need advice

so i am still in the design phase of this project. my basic idea is to get two vintage ladies' frames and weld them together side-by-side, keeping the rear wheels as is, and putting a fork between them for the single front wheel. i figure that besides the two whole frames, i'll need a couple of others to cut up and get the tubes for connecting the frames. my question is, what kind of bikes would be best suited for this project? i'd like them to be commonly found so that i can get them easily, and for cheap. also, i need to consider the frame material so that the pieces will be easily welded together. and as i said, i want the whole frames to be womens' frames. any help/advice would be appreciated. i'm really excited about this idea and have had tons of fun already just with drawing design pictures.
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Old 12-05-08, 10:57 AM   #2
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This may help http://sheldonbrown.com/tandem-build.html
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Old 12-05-08, 01:41 PM   #3
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Unless you have done some investigatin...i think you will want to keep the 2 front wheels...only one in frnt may be a little tippy on the corners, just my 2cents. to answer your question about what kind of bike, I'd look for mountain bikes...more weight maybe but stronger?
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Old 12-06-08, 08:05 AM   #4
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Sounds like a worthy project. Just keep in mind that triangles are much stronger than squares. So you want to be sure to triangulate that front wheel into place. If you had a third bike, you could use it for the front, the other two for the side by side riders then gotta come up with a tie rod to connect one riders handle bars to the front bike. OR you could the sidecar version with one fairly normal bike with another attached to the side with no steering. Great fun!
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Old 12-06-08, 11:57 AM   #5
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Worksman makes a tandem trike with single front wheel. If you look at it, you'll notice that the riders sit over the rear axle, with the rear wheels outside the riders, and then the single front wheel is quite a bit in front. I'm sure this would contribute to the stability quite a bit.

I'd say in your case, the challenge would be to find two old-but-identical bikes. I'd suggest to try to get some old 3-speeds which don't seem too uncommon or two pricey. Possibly also Schwinn Varsities, which are similarly common and cheap.
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Old 12-06-08, 01:48 PM   #6
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Maybe Jimbooth has a good idea in the "sidecar" idea in that it would not matter so much if the bikes were the same kind unless you are looking for symmetry... ?Are you looking to do more of a recumbent position or DF frame?
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Old 12-06-08, 02:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Worksman makes a tandem trike with single front wheel. If you look at it, you'll notice that the riders sit over the rear axle, with the rear wheels outside the riders, and then the single front wheel is quite a bit in front. I'm sure this would contribute to the stability quite a bit.

I'd say in your case, the challenge would be to find two old-but-identical bikes. I'd suggest to try to get some old 3-speeds which don't seem too uncommon or two pricey. Possibly also Schwinn Varsities, which are similarly common and cheap.
I'd be happy with the idea of a trike IF the power were actually sent to BOTH wheels. A shaft drive with a limited slip differential would be excellent. Practical? Don't know enough to tell you anything other than the gear ratio would likely resemble a '72 Plymouth Road Runner.

Then some durned fools would want to take them in the boonies

Oh, well...search for 'picnic bike' or someting like that on You Tube. They did something like this and made some videos.
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Old 12-07-08, 02:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Floyd View Post
Unless you have done some investigatin...i think you will want to keep the 2 front wheels...only one in frnt may be a little tippy on the corners, just my 2cents. to answer your question about what kind of bike, I'd look for mountain bikes...more weight maybe but stronger?
yes, i have thought about this problem. i may indeed go with the four wheels. i was contemplating whether or not i could offset the balance problem by using banana seats and backrests to put the riders' center of gravity closer to the rear. not sure if this would work or not.....
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Old 12-07-08, 02:11 AM   #9
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Are you looking to do more of a recumbent position or DF frame?
i was thinking of using banana seats and backrests. i want it to retain the feel of a bike, but still be relaxing and easy-going.
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Old 12-07-08, 02:23 AM   #10
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search for 'picnic bike' or someting like that on You Tube. They did something like this and made some videos.
i did look up the picnic bike and it is the most brilliant, amazing, hilarious thing i've every seen!
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