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  1. #1
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    Advice on used 20 inch wheel folding trike

    My neighbor is moving and thought I'd like to have this trike. Don't know the model but it reminds me of a Kent-Westport except the basket looks homemade.

    It's a 20 inch wheel folding trike (note lever on the frame). It's pretty sound except for the brake. Cable pretty shredded. Not sure what type it is. Is it a drum brake? I figure all it needs is a new brake cable for now. I'll probably get a new brake drum. Can you still get drum brakes?

    The fork is pretty long and something tells me I'm not going to be able to put a rim brake because of the distance from the brake attachment to the rim of the tire. Not sure about this though.

    Nevertheless, I was able to adjust the brake lever so I could put enough force to stop- relatively - until I can replace the cable.

    Therefore, I was able to ride it to see how it felt. It's kind of slow, slower than my 3 speed trike, definitely slower than my 3 speed Raleigh. I felt as if I was riding in
    2nd gear.

    However, since the trike was gratis and it's in good shape (wheels and frame are good, no need to buy a new saddle, etc.) I can actually spend some bucks to make some major upgrades to it.

    I'm hoping I can upgrade it to a multi speed (5 speed hub at least) but I'm not sure if I can.

    The back space where a hub would be is awfully short (see 2nd pic below).

    But it's a cute little trike that measures roughly 28 inches wide in the back. This is 2 inches less than my regular trike and it's lighter. Would like to use it to zip around the neighborhood doing light errands rather than drag my regular trike. Sybil (my snobby Raleigh) doesn't do groceries.

    The smaller width means I can use it on the bike lanes and have more elbow space between me and the cars.

    Any advice on this one?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Riding the road to PARADISE...RIP
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    It's definitely a drum brake. Whether you can still get parts depends on the model, but drum brakes last just about forever. There's no way you're going fit rim brakes without adding canti studs (it looks like they just stuck a 20" wheel in a normal road fork), but Sturmey-Archer still makes drum brakes, and their new ones are quite good. Their X-FDD hub also functions as a dynohub, and (IIRC) doesn't cost that much more than a plain drum hub.

    It doesn't look like there's any way to add gears, but I could very easily be wrong about that.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Additional from the Sturmey catalog is a 3 speed hub for Trikes..
    It uses a 2nd sprocket attached to the hubshell ,
    and so it drives a short chain to the rear wheel..

    a decent welding shop can modify the trike.

  4. #4
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    I think it would be easier to get a trike set up with gearing.
    Speed Uno
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  5. #5
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    It almost looks like an old version of my Worksman Port-O-Trike that I bought new this year. It also has a front drum brake and a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub in the rear.

  6. #6
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    Ian, fietsbob, Dyno & freighttraininguphill - Thanks for responding.

    My nephew came by to see the new addition to my small bike family. He pretty much thinks that someone just had some 20 inch wheels around and took all the 24 inch wheels off and put the 20 inch wheels in it's place, for whatevwer reason.

    He also thinks it just needs a new brake cable since the drum seems to be working.

    He didn't hold up much hope that a multi speed rear hub can be put in. This was confirmed later today by the first LBS when we showed them pics of the trike and provided them with rough measurements (inside measurement is 90-95 mm). There are no brackets I can see that you can attach a hub to either.

    The first LBS could possibly rig something up but between the cost of materials and labor, it would come close to the cost of a new trike (as Dyno pointed out before). For a three speed, probably yes, but anything beyond a three speed - well no. I've been pricing them. But it would come pretty close.

    The first LBS did mention another possibility involving a crank modifier but he couldn't say for certain that it would improve the ride. Is there a possibly that using a crank modifier would at least be better than nothing?

    There is another LBS though I'll be going to. He has more experience than the first one with older bikes and trikes. He's on holiday this weekend or I would have gone to him first.

    In the meantime, I'll get the brake in order so I can ride it harder to really judge the ride. Because the brake was barely working, I didn't want to go very fast.

    I'll do the brake thing this weekend so I can ride it to work during the work week. My ride to work is now 2 miles to the college. My office moved off campus.

    It's a nice short distance but more important I know how long it takes with the Raleigh and my regular trike.

    With a more secure brake and the seat at optimal pedaling efficiency, the new trike should get me there with the same time that my old trike does at least. I'd be even happier if I can make it, even a few seconds closer, to my Raleigh's time.

    Any other suggestions are welcomed.

  7. #7
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    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    They also have different parts for a trike such as a canopy kit or build your Raleigh folder into a trike
    http://www.choppersus.com/store/cate...ke-Kits-Parts/
    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  9. #9
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    Thanks for the links Dyno. but I've researched the trikes you've mentioned and then some. All are 29.5 or 30 inches wide. It's the same width as my present 3 speed Sun Trike. The conversion kit is 30 inches wide when you include the tires.

    This little trike is 28 inches wide. Yes, two inches makes a difference on a narrow path that's bordered on either side by drainage ditches and on bike lanes.

    Just finished putting the new brake cable on the trike. Let's see how it runs tomorrow and during the work week.

  10. #10
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    I am really happy for you receiving such a wonderful find! I myself is now in the market for a folds-into-a-cube tricycle-a Burgundy Red 3 Speed Port-O-Trike-right now just as soon as finances permit. The width of this folding trike is supposed to be 30 inches-just 2 inches wider than yours. I figured that I can pass on a typical sidewalk around here loaded down with groceries. Whatever you decide to do with your "new" trike will be worth it I am sure.

  11. #11
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    One more suggestion if I may, how about adding alloy rims eventually if the bike has steel ones already on (check by testing with a magnet)? I did so with older bikes I upgraded in the past, my present Raleigh Twenty, and am planning to order them already installed as an additional 50 dollars upgrade on the trike that is coming (soon I hope!).

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Just finished putting one of these together for the sales floor:
    http://www.torkerusa.com/bikes/utility/2011-tristar

    same thing , substitute a motor in front wheel :
    http://www.torkerusa.com/bikes/elect...tristar-hybrid

    but the braking is, just 1 V brake on front wheel .
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-05-11 at 05:14 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    folderFfanatic and fietsbob - Thanks for the feedback.

    ff- Thanks for the tip re the alloy wheels. My wheels are steel. I'll probably make them all 24 inch alloy wheels. It would definitely make the bike lighter and solve the problem for front braking.

    The front fork on this trike seems top have been made for a larger wheel. Putting a front 24 inch wheel will mean I can reach the holder meant to hold a regular rim brakel. For now I'll do with the 20 inch wheel with front drum brake.

    fietsbob - Thanks for the pics. I noticed that the trike only has a front drum brake.

    Having just one brake (and no backup brake plan besides my feet) has made me switch focus on the trike.

    What's the best option of putting a back brake on the new trike? Is it possible to have a dual brake on the front brake?

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    FWIW, in England, they have racing trikes, light weight skinny tires,
    they still have just the front wheel rim brake ,
    but they have 2 brake calipers on the same rim.

    what you saw in the center of the front hub of the Hybrid
    I linked to, was the electric motor.. the V brake is still there.

    Now if you instead did have a front wheel with both a drum brake in the hub,
    [sturmey-archer makes nice ones],
    and a V brake type rim caliper at the top of the fork,
    that would be tidy, and work OK.

    likewise , there is the possibility of fitting a second front brake caliper onto the back side of the fork.

    using the center bolt hole in the fork crown and a side pull caliper, or

    there are adapter pieces for BMX bikes,.. you could use one of those,
    on the back of the fork .. as the adapter is a horseshoe like piece
    with the V brake bosses attached to it..
    then fit a V brake caliper..
    plus , perhaps a second horseshoe, a booster arch, under the Bolts .

    so you have options..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-06-11 at 10:45 AM.

  15. #15
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Just finished putting one of these together for the sales floor:
    http://www.torkerusa.com/bikes/utility/2011-tristar

    same thing , substitute a motor in front wheel :
    http://www.torkerusa.com/bikes/elect...tristar-hybrid

    but the braking is, just 1 V brake on front wheel .
    According to the specs in the links you posted, both bikes have a rear coaster brake as well. My 2009 Torker Tristar has a front V-brake and a rear coaster brake.

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Oh yea silly me.. , Im so used to hand brakes I forgot , it was a long day
    and i'm an old guy .
    that day a rental , they're coaster only braked cruisers pushed the bike to the crest of the hill,
    highest point in town.

    and fried the Coaster brake coming down, and these are not the Bendix quality parts that
    mr Fisher and Breeze rebuilt repeatedly after down hill runs off Mt Tam. in the 70's..

  17. #17
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    fietsbob & freightraining uphill - Thanks for the feedback and comments

    Fietsbob - Thanks for the many/options/ways I can go with this. I'm gonna have to use one of those options ASAP. Read below.

    freightraininguphill - Nicw to know I'm not the only one riding an upright trike.

    Thought I'd give you the latest update on the folding trike. Rode the little thing yesterday and was really testing out how fast I can go before coasting to a stop. Then SNAP the cable bolt broke. I had to go as slow as molasses and brake ala Flintstone all the way home. Not good. I ordered a cable bolt that day.

    This definitely tells me I need a second brake.

  18. #18
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Oh yea silly me.. , Im so used to hand brakes I forgot , it was a long day
    and i'm an old guy .
    that day a rental , they're coaster only braked cruisers pushed the bike to the crest of the hill,
    highest point in town.

    and fried the Coaster brake coming down, and these are not the Bendix quality parts that
    mr Fisher and Breeze rebuilt repeatedly after down hill runs off Mt Tam. in the 70's..
    No problem. Yeah, I don't trust coaster brakes that much, so I use the front brake more. Besides, years ago I read somewhere that 70% of your stopping power comes from the front brake.

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyFlorida View Post
    freightraininguphill - Nicw to know I'm not the only one riding an upright trike.

    Thought I'd give you the latest update on the folding trike. Rode the little thing yesterday and was really testing out how fast I can go before coasting to a stop. Then SNAP the cable bolt broke. I had to go as slow as molasses and brake ala Flintstone all the way home. Not good. I ordered a cable bolt that day.

    This definitely tells me I need a second brake.
    I love my upright trikes! They are so useful and maneuverable that I almost never ride my recumbent tadpole trike, which I should do at least once a week to keep the recumbent muscles in shape. Yesterday I used my heavy "Sherman Tank" Gomier trike with big front and rear baskets to haul a 32-gallon garbage can full of laundry to the laundromat, and later I used my Worksman Port-O-Trike to take an old manual typewriter to someone without a computer who wants to learn how to type. It sure felt good getting rid of stuff I don't need, getting exercise, and helping someone out in the process.

    I agree with you about wanting two brakes. I feel much safer with front and rear brakes. I don't know why there are so many "brakeless wonder" fixies rolling around here. Seems pretty unsafe to me.

  19. #19
    BrooklynRocks globalrider's Avatar
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    I have a Worksman "Trifecta" that came w/a drum brake and I added a side pull brake. I had complaints from my son about how it stopped so my solution is to udgrade the sidepull brake for a Pitbull roller brake. It mounts on the hole in the fork.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    freighttraininguphill & globalrider - Sorry for not thanking you sooner for commenting and offering suggestions. I wanted to wait until I got the verdict from the LBS I dragged this folding trike to.

    BTW, I got the new cable anchor bolt in the mail and put it on right a way. It didn't initially fit but I just enlarged the hole on the lever and made it fit. It now brakes okay, okay enough to ride it to the LBS.

    Yesterday I had a talk with them via the phone and in their opinion:

    1. No way can gears be put in the back - not big enough space in the back for a hub.
    2. No way to put a brake in the back without some metal work - which they don't do.
    3. The front drum brake is serviceable.
    4. Changing the front fork (which looked like it was meant for a 24 inch wheel) for a fork meant for the wheel it now has (20 inch) will bring the pedals too low to the ground.
    5. I can switch the 20 inch chrome wheels for 24 inch alloy wheels and that may solve my brake problem but it's not going to make it go any faster. Infact, it may prove even harder to pedal because of the low gear ratio.

    Before I left it with the LBS, I did get to ride it a few times more and found that it took the same time to get to work than on my regular trike. However, I had to keep pedaling much much longer. There's very little coasting.

    In the end, I can deal with the one speed, if need be, but not having one brake.

    But, I'm not giving up on this one yet. There's another LBS who has more experience with older bikes. I'll take it over to him next for a 2nd opinion.

    P.S. You know, before I said that this reminded me of a Kent-Westport (because of the 20 inch wheels). I was scratching my head trying to figure it out though, especially when I noticed that the front fork looked too long for a 20 inch wheel.

    Dumb me, all I had to do was look on the back of the saddle which said - as plain as day - WORMAN CYCLES - DUH!!!!

  21. #21
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    It might be possible to mount a caliper brake on the front fork, resulting in 2 brakes on the front wheel.

    Drum or coaster brake on the rear axel might be possible.

    It might be possible to mount an electric motor hub on the front wheel which would give you a power boost when needed, but will add considerable weight and expense.

    Post on the mechanics board for more advice
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
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    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  22. #22
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    Here is a Columbia 3 speed trike for sale in Florida http://www.ratrodbikes.com/forum/vie...hp?f=2&t=41904
    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

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