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  1. #1
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    Adding Gears to Trike, Using IGH + tomicog?

    I'm using a Schwinn Meridian as my cargo bike for groceries. However it is singlespeed, I find the gearing on it is too low for most things, yet on hills it seems approximately right. I think with gears I could significantly increase my shopping range by not having to pedal like a monkey.

    The main problem is the weird double chain setup on the bike. I'm not sure what the best way to tame it is.

    For details:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r0NrMEqTC4
    http://photos-b.ak.facebook.com/phot...61297_9479.jpg

    So for gears I have a few options(i think)
    a) FD
    It seems that due to the weird tubing on the front doing another other than an eccentric front duralleur would be trouble. I'd also lose the nice chain cover, i'd like to avoid doing that. However if I were to drop the chain cover and swap crankset + add excentric bb, do you think it would work ok? Would chainline be an issue? Have to mount a tensioner somehow then too.

    b) tomicog + disc hub + cassette. This seems unlikely as the rear is spaced at 130mm, and it's next to impossible to find a disc hub in that size

    c) Sturmey Archer 8sp 6bolt hub to get speeds..and a tomicog instead of the disc brake to drive the second chain. Shimano IGH stuff won't do since it's centerlock so cog would unscrew itself over time.

    tomicog: http://tomicog.blogspot.com/

    Any opinions on my options? Are there other ways to add gears that I missed?

  2. #2
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    The other option is to go to your lbs and see about getting a sun bicycles trike 3 speed conversion hub as it will work with what you have. The only problem is that J&B importers that is the one they would get it from is out for alittle bit. Waiting on 3 of them for a few trikes we have sold. They said late May so they should have them soon.

  3. #3
    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    You mean an E-type front derailer? You'd also need some way to put a rear derailer or two-wheel chain tensioner on the bottom.

    A bottom bracket gearbox, if you can find one, would be more elegant, though it only gives you two speeds.

    Come to think of it, how are those chains tensioned right now?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker4791 View Post
    The other option is to go to your lbs and see about getting a sun bicycles trike 3 speed conversion hub as it will work with what you have. The only problem is that J&B importers that is the one they would get it from is out for alittle bit. Waiting on 3 of them for a few trikes we have sold. They said late May so they should have them soon.
    Interesting. I have since found out that Schwinn used to(or still does) sell a model of this trike with a 3speed hub.I wonder if that's the same one. That trike also sold for $200 more. Do you have a link to a webpage describing the hub?

    I also found a trike very similar to mine on the sun bikes website, interesting!

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCool View Post
    You mean an E-type front derailer? You'd also need some way to put a rear derailer or two-wheel chain tensioner on the bottom.

    A bottom bracket gearbox, if you can find one, would be more elegant, though it only gives you two speeds.

    Two speeds is a little limiting. I also have a walmart bike with horizontal dropouts which has a weird oldschool 7speed duralleur which mounts in the horizontal dropout, I'm guessing that sort of ugly hack might work here if I can score the right deralleur adapter. But then we come back to the road bike spacing problem and not being able to use disc hubs .

    Come to think of it, how are those chains tensioned right now?
    There are two sets of horizontal drop outs..one for front chain and one for second. I know it's crazy, but seems to work.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by toolong View Post
    ...
    b) tomicog + disc hub + cassette. This seems unlikely as the rear is spaced at 130mm, and it's next to impossible to find a disc hub in that size
    It might be hard to find, but it would be really easy to create. There are usually spacers on both ends of the axle, with the biggest ones on the NDS side.
    As long as you keep enough to clear the seals and dustcaps anything that protrudes beyond that is wide open for adjustment. With a bit of luck all you need to do is to remove a spacer or two to get the desired results. If that doesn't work there' always the grinder.

    Last time I did something like this I discovered that the spacer was hardened, so having a go at it with an ordinary hacksaw simply won't get the job done.

    Adding spacers would carry some risk, as that would increase the unsupported span of the axle.
    But removing spacers is "safe", the only thing you're risking is that you might disturb how sprocket(s) and brake disc mount are aligned with the dropouts. But something like that would be easy enough to spot during assembly, so not really something that would affect riding.

  6. #6
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    I love the Tomicog idea. Please report back with your successes or failures on this.
    Cross Check Nexus7, IRO Mark V, Trek 620 Nexus7, Karate Monkey half fat, IRO Model 19 fixed, Amp Research B3, Surly 1x1 half fat fixed, and more...
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  7. #7
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    Heres a pic of the coaster brake conversion, I can not find a pic of the nexus 3 spd conversion but its a simular set up.

  8. #8
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    Ok, so this project was a failure. I got my IGH + tomicog, it fit perfectly into the dropouts, but turned out that the exposed part of the rear axle is not as wide as the hub spacing So the tomicog is too far out to get a straight chainline.
    I might attempt this again in the future by cutting off part of the frame covering the axle and/or slicing off some of the disc-mount on the hub.

    On the bright side, turned out that my soma double cross frame + 50t ring + 20t tomicog are the right distance apart for me to ride fixed without horizontal dropouts or a chain tensioner =D

  9. #9
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toolong View Post
    Any opinions on my options? Are there other ways to add gears that I missed?
    Long ago, when I was a Schwinn mechanic, the trikes were called "Town & Country" and they all came with three-speed Shimano hubs like the ones that J&B sells now. It would be a fairly straightforward conversion, I think, if you can find the parts. They're pretty rare.

    It would be possible to put a rear derailleur and freewheel setup on it, but I wouldn't do it without really understanding what everything did and a decent machine shop. The Tomicog is an interesting idea, but what were you going to do for brakes on the rear?
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  10. #10
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    For about $450 you can get the three speed Schwinn Town and Country Bicycle. Check the thread I started in the Utility Bicycle subforum : http://www.bikeforums.net//showthread.php?t=437364. There is a picture of a Schwinn Town and Country posted.


    BTW, do you notice any "pulling to the right side" when riding this bicycle? Others commented it could be due to uneven tire pressure, road slant or simply a design characteristic.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    Long ago, when I was a Schwinn mechanic, the trikes were called "Town & Country" and they all came with three-speed Shimano hubs like the ones that J&B sells now. It would be a fairly straightforward conversion, I think, if you can find the parts. They're pretty rare.

    It would be possible to put a rear derailleur and freewheel setup on it, but I wouldn't do it without really understanding what everything did and a decent machine shop. The Tomicog is an interesting idea, but what were you going to do for brakes on the rear?
    The current rear brake is almost useless. I was thinking of welding on a disc caliper mount onto the rear part of the bike and drill a 6bolt pattern into a cog so i could mount a disc rotor on it... Not the simplest project idea

    And yes, I emailed shwinn, you can't get the 3 speed hub for it from them.

    Quote Originally Posted by spikedog123 View Post
    For about $450 you can get the three speed Schwinn Town and Country Bicycle. Check the thread I started in the Utility Bicycle subforum : http://www.bikeforums.net//showthread.php?t=437364. There is a picture of a Schwinn Town and Country posted.


    BTW, do you notice any "pulling to the right side" when riding this bicycle? Others commented it could be due to uneven tire pressure, road slant or simply a design characteristic.
    Yes I've become aware of the $450 model after I bought mine. 8speed seemed like it'd be more awesome perhaps I'lfl find someone to sell current bike to so I can buy the $450 one.

    As to pulling to the right issue, it's a fact of life in having a trike without a suspension. to correct for road drainage. Roads are banked to the right so water runs off, this makes it weird to bike on them on the trike.

  12. #12
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    Did you document this project.

    You wouldn't happen to have any photos of your attempt to make this work, would you? If not, would you consider posting an annotated photo of the part of the trike frame/drivetrain you considered cutting. I would love to get my lady riding. She wants a trike, but we live in a hilly area. I would be interested in making this work. Thanks,

    Dave

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by davesspam View Post
    You wouldn't happen to have any photos of your attempt to make this work, would you? If not, would you consider posting an annotated photo of the part of the trike frame/drivetrain you considered cutting. I would love to get my lady riding. She wants a trike, but we live in a hilly area. I would be interested in making this work. Thanks,

    Dave
    I don't have any photos or concrete plans. I'd recommend that you get the 3speed variant for $450-500ish unless you love tricky projects. They are a bit hard to find but should work. Otherwise if you do want to play with customizing the single speed bike like I planned I'd love to hear the results.

    Also I'm not sure how much of a hilly area this is. Trouble with trikes is that they are very sensitive to the curvature of the road, so it might be interesting on hills that slope in more than one direction. Also the trike is never particularly fast, do don't expect her to be able to keep up with a bike.

    They are however unbeatable for grocery shopping. There is just no comparison between this and panniers on a bike.

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