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Old 03-12-11, 05:11 PM   #1
HPSFroadrunner
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advise on an adult trike build

I originally posted in the vintage thread, but could use some advise on an adult trike build...

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...an-adult-trike
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Old 03-12-11, 05:20 PM   #2
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You can't make a silk purse.....

I went back and read your post and the advice you got in response in classic and vintage. I know it wasn't what you wanted to hear, but it was sound advice. When trying to rebuild on the cheap, you don't want to be making lots of changes. Once you start needing to buy parts, and make modifications, you'll lose all control of the cost and ending up spending more money for an inferior product.

If you need a lightweight, quality trike for a trip, look at what's available new. If you want to rebuild an existing trike, focus on replacing as little as possible, repairing whatever you can rather than replacing. Often when extensive parts replacement is needed it's best to buy 2 cheap junk trikes and cannibalize them to make one that works.
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Old 03-12-11, 06:18 PM   #3
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Just curious, what kind?
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Old 03-12-11, 06:19 PM   #4
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Just curious, what kind?
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...an-adult-trike
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Old 03-12-11, 07:15 PM   #5
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It's believed to be a Huffy, from the small amount of research (google image searching) I've done.

I do appreciate the advise, even those telling me I must be mad. I HAVE been down this road before, so I know what I am getting into. The trike is complete, and functional, so parts aren't NEEDED to make it work. We are trying to make it work BETTER.

I have light-weight bikes. And bikes I can take on long trips. This is more of a cruiser, a work of art per-se. It is intended to cruise around the lakes (a MN thing) and to go too Hidden Beach (another MN thing) and turn some heads. We would like to mount some tunes to it, and use it to haul our beach paraphenalia, and perhaps my dog.

As I look at the galleries on this forum, I see many less-practical bikes. I was just hoping for someone that knows a little something about trikes, that may have some practical tips. There doesn't seem to be any 'trike only' forums out there. I do not know about differentials on bicycles, and if they are even necessary. Maybe we could do without it, for example. As of now, the whole thing is stripped down for painting, and to clean, and re-grease the parts. If we have to lace some newer rims, to the archaic steel pressed on hubs, then that's what we'll end up doing. Every gram counts, is what I was taught. We've already salvaged a larger front fork, that will accommadate a larger (more standard) front rim/tire. I am sure we can find some better, longer BMX cranks, but I would really like to try to use a BB adapter to use more standard parts. We have some lighter, longer aluminum cranks, and some bottom brackets, but nothing to fit the 2" shell. A donor front triangle would solve the BB problem, and also give us a more standard seat-tube, but will require welding. Can steal be welded to aluminum?

This forum seemed filled with people that build stuff, if for no other reason, than the helluvit. I thought I'd found a place that had people as willing to turn someone's trash into their treasure. There's tons of bikes/parts around here for the asking half the time. Most of which that will just end up taking up space in a landfill. Is it so wrong to want to stop that, and maybe have a little fun in the process?
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Old 03-12-11, 08:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by HPSFroadrunner View Post
I do appreciate the advise, even those telling me I must be mad. I HAVE been down this road before, so I know what I am getting into. The trike is complete, and functional, so parts aren't NEEDED to make it work. We are trying to make it work BETTER.....

This forum seemed filled with people that build stuff, if for no other reason, than the helluvit. I thought I'd found a place that had people as willing to turn someone's trash into their treasure. There's tons of bikes/parts around here for the asking half the time. Most of which that will just end up taking up space in a landfill. Is it so wrong to want to stop that, and maybe have a little fun in the process?
As long as you realize what you are in for and that the expense may be significant, go for it.

What you found here is that there are frequent threads along the lines of; "I've got a (name cheap, trashed, rusted, obsolete, rare, unusual, etc. bike make and model) that I want to modernize with (name expensive 10-speed group) but my budget is only (name absurdly low figure) and I have no experience with bike mechanics. What should I do?" So, we tend to discourage this kind of project.

If the poster really does know what they are trying to accomplish and has a realistic idea of the cost and difficulty (or doesn't care), we're glad to help if we can.

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Can steal be welded to aluminum?
I assume you are asking about steel and the answer is no.
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Old 03-13-11, 12:49 AM   #7
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I don't have any great experience or knowledge to add here. Just commenting to say, as the others are mostly saying, that if you want to dink around and have fun, you can do almost anything. In Portland, Ore, near where I live there's people with a lot of interest in hobbling together all kinds of oddball, cast off junk to make functional, practical bikes. Art bikes I suppose you could call them. Amazing contraptions most people would never have thought of until these people did it.

No offense, but what you've described yourself as starting with...Huffy trike...sounds as though it's destined to be a dog, whatever you do to it.

You might consider starting with slightly better, but possibly still low cost or free, raw material. If you could find them, there has been here at bikeforums, discussions about people having created lightweight trikes out of road bike frames using the multi-gear drive trains. Those are actually kind of cool, though they've got a lot of weirdness about them. Even a cast off department store road bike or mountain bike frame is probably going to be lighter than that old huffy trike, even if you were to build it into a trike.

Last edited by wsbob; 03-13-11 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 03-13-11, 12:58 AM   #8
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No offense taken. It IS a Huffy after all. The rear axle set-up weighs more than the rest of the bike. One reason I question the need for a differential. I have read of single-drive wheel trikes having a tendency to pull to one side, and it sounded like the differential was a means to correct that.

We have considered a completely custom built trike as well, but that defeats the purpose of getting this back on the streets where it belongs.
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Old 03-13-11, 01:22 AM   #9
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HPSFroadrunner...hey, I guess I'm kind of lazy...should have done the simple search for 'vintage trikes' here on the forum before posting. Here's the link to the discussion I was referring to. Commenters discuss the one wheel pulling situation.:

Vintage Trike Pictures/bikeforums
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Old 03-13-11, 07:36 AM   #10
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FWIW, the first thing I did, was a search for "trike", but I came up with zero results. Must've done something wrong I guess.

Thanks for the link, advise, and the free bump!
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Old 03-13-11, 08:21 AM   #11
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You don't absolutely need a differential; trikes work OK with one wheel drive. The new Rans Trizard doesn't have one.

Folks have been building trikes for a while.
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Old 03-13-11, 08:25 AM   #12
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I am SOOOO in love with that second trike. The Ran's is sweet too, but that old one has a Steampunkt look to it.
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Old 03-13-11, 10:46 AM   #13
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I am SOOOO in love with that second trike....has a Steampunk look to it.
More on that 1884 Plectocycle.

Fun fact: from 1881 (when Queen Victory got a pair of trikes) until 1886 (when the safety bicycle began to dominate the market), there were more tricycles built in Great Britain than bicycles.
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Old 03-13-11, 10:57 AM   #14
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You might try posting in the Alt Bikes forum. Lots of folks there doing creative stuff with bike gear.
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Old 03-13-11, 11:06 AM   #15
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Fun fact: from 1881 (when Queen Victory got a pair of trikes) until 1886 (when the safety bicycle began to dominate the market), there were more tricycles built in Great Britain than bicycles.
David Herlihy's 2004 book "bicycle, the history" devotes a significant amount of space to the development of the tricycle in the 1870's through the 1880's when they were serious competitors to the bicycle. He also mention Queen Victoria's purchase of two Salvo trikes in 1881.

An interesting book for any cyclist and worth finding. Mine came from the local Half Price Books and, indeed it was "cheap at half the price"
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Old 03-13-11, 05:07 PM   #16
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FWIW, the first thing I did, was a search for "trike", but I came up with zero results. Must've done something wrong I guess.

Thanks for the link, advise, and the free bump!
Hey...no problem. Sometimes the search process can challenging.

I kind of hope you'll keep the thread alive with updates on what you decide to do, with more pics. Seems to me there's potential market for improved, lighter, more performance oriented versions of the utilitarian adult trikes, such as the Schwinn... I think it's called the Town and Country.

With two wheeled bikes, for various reasons, some people are concerned about falling over, which the trike configuration helps counter. Though they can be great pedal powered vehicles, some people are put off by recumbent trikes generally lower profile. For them, availability of upright position road bike style trikes might change their outlook on riding, if they'd had reservations for the aforementioned reasons, and more.

Hey...tcs...thanks for posting the link to the triporteurs website info on the '84 Plectocycle. It's really kind of amazing to think people were riding around rigs like that in that era. Interesting also to think of some of them cruising today's streets at 15mph-20mph.

The Trizards have me thinking about go-karts.

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