Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

[trike] Two wheel-drive = more effort?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

[trike] Two wheel-drive = more effort?

Old 02-20-21, 07:56 AM
  #1  
Winfried
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Winfried's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 2,092
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 383 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 49 Posts
[trike] Two wheel-drive = more effort?

Hello,

Denmark's BellaBike trikes are unusual with their two front wheel-drive, and the rear wheel that steers.

Empty, the bike weighs about 40 kg/80 lbs. It comes with a Nexus 7 gear hub.

Out of curiosity, do you think it takes more effort to move that bike compared to regular trikes because of the two wheel-drives in the front instead of one in the rear as usual?

Thank you.

Winfried is offline  
Old 02-20-21, 08:03 AM
  #2  
thumpism 
Bikes are okay, I guess.
 
thumpism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 6,495

Bikes: Waterford Paramount Touring, Trek 510 city build, Giant CFM-2, Raleigh Sports 3-speeds in M23 & L23, Schwinn Cimarron oddball build, Marin Palisades Trail dropbar conversion, Nishiki Cresta GT

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1901 Post(s)
Liked 639 Times in 455 Posts
Interesting configuration. I suspect turning both those drive wheels isn't significantly more difficult than turning one of them and there might be benefits to the setup.

Last edited by thumpism; 02-20-21 at 08:09 AM.
thumpism is offline  
Old 02-20-21, 08:18 AM
  #3  
Winfried
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Winfried's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 2,092
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 383 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 49 Posts
Rather than steering, I'm concerned about the effort required to spin the two front wheels (instead of just one).

Or maybe with "turning", you meant what I just wrote :-p
Winfried is offline  
Old 02-20-21, 09:12 AM
  #4  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 2,025

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 409 Post(s)
Liked 146 Times in 113 Posts
The added weight and extra work on turns is probably negligible. I wonder what the added cost is, how reliable the differential is, and if there are any servicing issues.
andrewclaus is offline  
Likes For andrewclaus:
Old 02-20-21, 09:24 AM
  #5  
dsbrantjr
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 7,950

Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1297 Post(s)
Liked 758 Times in 532 Posts
I would think that the 2 front wheel "tadpole" design would be safer against overturning when braking during turns than the 1 front wheel "delta" design.
dsbrantjr is offline  
Old 02-20-21, 09:29 AM
  #6  
dsbrantjr
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 7,950

Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1297 Post(s)
Liked 758 Times in 532 Posts
Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
The added weight and extra work on turns is probably negligible. I wonder what the added cost is, how reliable the differential is, and if there are any servicing issues.
I do not see a differential in the photo, I wonder if both wheels are driven or just one. That silver cylinder is the multispeed hub.
dsbrantjr is offline  
Old 02-20-21, 09:41 AM
  #7  
HillRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 32,717

Bikes: '96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '20 Surly Midnight Special, All are 3x10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1609 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 451 Times in 348 Posts
Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
I do not see a differential in the photo, I wonder if both wheels are driven or just one. That silver cylinder is the multispeed hub.
I didn't see one either and, yes, that is the Nexus hub. It does seem to be an awkward and excessively complex design. Front steering, even if it has two front wheels and requires Ackerman linkage, and rear drive makes more sense.
HillRider is offline  
Old 02-20-21, 09:51 AM
  #8  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 22,321

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2487 Post(s)
Liked 1,016 Times in 657 Posts
Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
I do not see a differential in the photo, I wonder if both wheels are driven or just one. That silver cylinder is the multispeed hub.
I don't see one, either. Without a differential, one of the driven wheels must lose traction in corners. A differential will prevent that, but at the cost of additional weight and mechanical friction.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 02-20-21, 10:11 AM
  #9  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 2,025

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 409 Post(s)
Liked 146 Times in 113 Posts
Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
I do not see a differential in the photo, I wonder if both wheels are driven or just one. That silver cylinder is the multispeed hub.
The differential is shown farther down the technical specs in the website: Differentialen er vigtigt for en stabil kÝrsel, standard hos os
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 02-20-21, 10:19 AM
  #10  
70sSanO
Senior Member
 
70sSanO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 3,045

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR400 (Flat bar commuter), 1988 Cannondale Criterium XTR, 1992 Serotta T-Max, 1995 Trek 970

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 824 Post(s)
Liked 580 Times in 391 Posts
The steering (turning) aspect aside, the pedaling effort of two wheels vs. one can probably be realized by comparing a bicycle to a rear drive tricycle.

Rear drive tricycles have been around for a long time and the additional dual wheel weight and if any more effort is needed can give that answer.

John
70sSanO is offline  
Old 02-20-21, 11:45 AM
  #11  
icemilkcoffee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 505
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 293 Post(s)
Liked 199 Times in 133 Posts
Why would they even need a differential? Bicycles have freewheels!
icemilkcoffee is offline  
Old 02-20-21, 12:13 PM
  #12  
HillRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 32,717

Bikes: '96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '20 Surly Midnight Special, All are 3x10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1609 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 451 Times in 348 Posts
Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Why would they even need a differential? Bicycles have freewheels!
If both wheels are driven, the freewheel only allows both to freewheel while coasting but, if it has a solid axle, that would not allow one wheel to rotate at a different speed than the other. Each wheel would require its own freewheel and a separate drive.

In this case the differential seems to be small mechanism just above the brake rotor and driven by the short chain.
HillRider is offline  
Likes For HillRider:
Old 02-20-21, 12:25 PM
  #13  
Winfried
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Winfried's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 2,092
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 383 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 49 Posts
How does the differential work? Is the magic all into that part?

Is a rear drive trike (delta) harder to move than a front drive (tadpole)?

Winfried is offline  
Likes For Winfried:
Old 02-20-21, 12:55 PM
  #14  
HillRider
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 32,717

Bikes: '96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '20 Surly Midnight Special, All are 3x10. It is hilly around here!

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1609 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 451 Times in 348 Posts
Why are you so fixated on which is harder to move? Given the weight and extra drag I have to think neither style would make any difference.

A differential allows one driven wheel to rotate at a different speed than the other. When going around a corner, the outside wheel has to travel further than the inside wheel so it has to rotate faster. A differential allows this to happen.
HillRider is offline  
Likes For HillRider:
Old 02-20-21, 03:06 PM
  #15  
Camilo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,928
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 379 Post(s)
Liked 172 Times in 116 Posts
Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
How does the differential work? Is the magic all into that part?

Is a rear drive trike (delta) harder to move than a front drive (tadpole)?
Tadpole recumbents are generally (single) rear wheel drive and (dual) front wheel steering and braking. The crank goes through a long chain w/ idler to the rear derailleur and cassette. On my tadpole, the drive train, with the exception of the incredibly long chain run, had a common triple crank with derailleur and 9 speed cassette on the rear hub with long cage derailleur.

Last edited by Camilo; 02-20-21 at 03:11 PM.
Camilo is offline  
Old 02-20-21, 05:26 PM
  #16  
AeroGut
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 508
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 187 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 115 Times in 90 Posts
To answer the original question, the effort required to pedal a bike is almost all due to the total weight and what gear you are in relative to how fast you are trying to go, with a little contribution from wind resistance and rolling resistance. So whether you are driving one or two wheels really doesnít matter. I presume a cargo trike like that is pretty heavy, though, so itíll be slow to get moving and tough to go uphill, but that has little to do with driving two wheels vs one.
AeroGut is offline  
Old 02-20-21, 07:34 PM
  #17  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 22,321

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2487 Post(s)
Liked 1,016 Times in 657 Posts
Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
Why would they even need a differential? Bicycles have freewheels!
Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
If both wheels are driven, the freewheel only allows both to freewheel while coasting but, if it has a solid axle, that would not allow one wheel to rotate at a different speed than the other. Each wheel would require its own freewheel and a separate drive.
When rounding a corner, the inner wheel travels a shorter path (smaller radius turn) than the outer wheel, so the outer wheel must be allowed to rotate faster than the inner wheel. A solid axle driving both wheels will not allow that, so the outer wheel will lose traction (skid) in corners. A differential prevents this by allowing the wheels to rotate at different speeds while still transmitting power to both wheels.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 02-20-21, 07:44 PM
  #18  
JohnDThompson 
Old fart
 
JohnDThompson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 22,321

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2487 Post(s)
Liked 1,016 Times in 657 Posts
Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
How does the differential work? Is the magic all into that part?
Here's a video on how a differential works. It's showing an automobile differential, but the principle is the same:

JohnDThompson is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.