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Old 06-08-10, 04:53 AM   #1
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Can't figure out how to build my weird trike thing...

Hey there. Sorry to show up here with my first post being a fairly challenging request for help- and possibly in the wrong section- but I've hit a wall in my project and I've already dumped enough money into materials to make giving up on this mess unthinkable.

Basically my project here is to mash an old Schwinn up with a 4'x9' platform to make a trike/mobile music venue type thing for Critical Mass. When not making a racket, I could probably use it in some sort of practical manner, too. I started out wanting to make this as a trailer, but decided I'd much rather make it a trike.

I already have the Schwinn and the platform, and my progress has stopped there. My main issue is the rear axle. As in...well...I'm pretty much stumped. I've been Googling my ass off, but I can't seem to find anything relevant as to how to build something that will work. I found a few trike conversion kits, but in addition to being too expensive, they are way too narrow for my application.

I plan on having a couple people, guitars and some speakers on this thing, so it needs to be pretty solid. I already have the drive system planned out in my mind, and I'd like to have my mess of gears and chains ultimately lead to a single sprocket in the middle of the axle. A disc brake on the axle would be nice too, but I'll worry about brakes last....

Any ideas or resources would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 06-08-10, 09:41 AM   #2
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So you're looking at putting around 500 lbs on this thing?

With that much size and weight, are you going to include a differential, or just a straight solid axle?

If I was building it I'd try to find a wrecked ATV in a junk yard and use the rear end out of it. Many of them have the kind of single sprocket/disc brake on the axle setup you're talking about.
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Old 06-08-10, 11:17 AM   #3
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I don't think my skill level is up to including a differential. Just a straight axle is all.

I actually have an old junked ATV I can get my hands on, but I wasn't sure how exactly I could stick bicycle wheels on the end of the axle. This same thought occurred when I considered a go kart axle (that and I only can find them up to 40")...
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Old 06-23-10, 10:36 PM   #4
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Consider working it like the Mexican reverse-tricycles. The front wheel arrangement specifically avoids having to use a single long axle.
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
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Old 06-24-10, 03:45 PM   #5
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Dual freewheels differential. Relatively common with DIY recumbents.

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Old 06-27-10, 10:46 PM   #6
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Go to Kmart and look at the Schwinn Meridian, as I have a friend that rides one daily. As far as I can tell it's a very good tricyle and also you are trying too hard when a old Pioneer boombox would do the trick (think SK-350, a common eBay model or one that uses 9-12V in batteries so you can use a small 12V lead acid battery and a small variable power supply. DC to DC would be great if the box takes an adapter. Chances are the Pioneer would last over 4 hours if conserved some and no power source needed other than a battery change...I have one).

Look at the Meridian and note it's center driven into both wheels, as far as I can tell, NOT like a Torker and many newer trikes. If that can help you design it, scrap it for now and buy a trike. This model isn't all that expensive and used ones might be MORE. Live and learn, especially if you have a real deadline approaching.
*I don't work here...and with every passing day I work less and worse.

Last edited by Rollfast; 06-27-10 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 07-12-10, 03:49 PM   #7
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