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Old 05-13-10, 02:36 PM   #1
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Thinking about a passenger bike

Hi- Several years ago I bought an old adult-tricycle, ripped off the rusty rear basket, and constructed a seat in the space with high mesh on the sides & a foot rest with rollers on the bottom. It's worked great for carrying my daughter with me on rides (she has cerebral palsy) but now her weight is becoming a worry, since she's nearly an adult. Anyone know how much weight an adult trike can carry? And I'm really curious to see anyone else who has built something like this- I looked into commercially made pedicabs & rickshaws but yipe! They run as much as my son's old car! (ok, let's see if I can still do this image thing...) The footrest was added after this pic...
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Last edited by Dirty-Pedals; 05-13-10 at 02:37 PM. Reason: left something out
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Old 05-13-10, 07:52 PM   #2
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She sits facing backwards?
Looks like having a full sized person back there would lift the front wheel off the ground.
Maybe you could add on some kind of wheelie bar/caster to support her.

Another option (not cheap) would be a bakfiets.
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Old 05-13-10, 08:12 PM   #3
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Regular pedicabs are expensive.

They have had some cheapo pedicabs on Ebay that were fairly cheap. They're single speed, single passenger seat. From what I've read, they come VERY unassembled (as in, you may have to lace the wheels, I don't know).

Look at some of Worksman's trikes. They're not cheap, but still cheaper than regular pedicabs. In particular, the "Chariots".

I think there are one or two bike trailers that can be used for adult-sized people as well.

Occasionally, you'll see old asian pedicabs for sale. They normally are single speed, go for maybe $300-$600 depending on location. And there's no telling what kinds of parts you'd need to fix one.
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Old 05-14-10, 06:52 AM   #4
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I will guess that as long as the tires and wheels are okay with the load, that your current frame will take the weight. However, the seat is so far back that it looks like the trike could become rear-heavy and provide some danger that way.
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Old 05-15-10, 09:42 PM   #5
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yeah, I attached a footrest after this pic was taken, and put wheels on the bottom. It rides about an inch above the surface, and keeps the bike from tipping when she's getting in. I also lean on the handlebars to counter the weight. With the support I constructed underneath it's actually well balanced once she's sitting down. We've been using it for several years now & she really likes riding. Been trying to figure out another arrangement for her. Found some amazingly perfect rides at a company called "industrial bicycles" ( ), little too spendy but the configurations are intriguing to think about.
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Old 06-14-10, 10:13 AM   #6
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yeah, that's why I integrated a seatbelt into the one I built. It's a very-Mom-thing to visualize all the things that could go wrong! Well since I posted this, I got tired of beating my head against this particular wall. While I was looking into other possibilities, her physical therapist at school mentioned that she's been riding a bike there, sort of like an adult tricycle but more compact, with all sorts of trunk braces and velcro on the pedals to hold her feet and whatnot. Totally blew me away since the motion of pedaling has been right outside her range for so long. So we hope to have one of those by mid-summer & can work on her riding the paved-rail trails around here with us. Pricey little pup, but not as much as a car, which most teenagers her age are needing
oh, I just realized, I never mentioned her age in my original post. She's 17, which totally changes the parameters of my original question, oops! And by the way, thanks so much for your great replies!

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Old 06-14-10, 10:59 AM   #7
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that trike was not very well designed for hauling much more than your groceries. you need something more like this. my dad has one and you can sit on the back without the front leaving the ground and i weight 220 pounds. the only thing you need to do to these is weld on some handles for the passenger to hold onto. i am talking about the one with the wooden board on the back.
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Old 06-16-10, 05:11 PM   #8
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My '76 Huffy (plain old diamond frame with an axle bolted on to make it a trike- don't laugh ) lasted a few years- until I added a scrub motor to the front tire and two 12 volt car batteries in the rear basket. Frame did fine, but the spokes on the neutral wheel gave up and the rim buckled. 'In 79 it was useless. '80 was a whole new chapter for me- recumbent trikes; but tandem recumbents are very expensive.
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