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DIY Front Cargo Tricycle (trike) / Bakfiets

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DIY Front Cargo Tricycle (trike) / Bakfiets

Old 09-07-09, 03:58 PM
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nelsnelson
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DIY Front Cargo Tricycle (trike) / Bakfiets



I have heaps of old bicycles and wheels of all varieties around and a place not so far away where I can partake in some welding. I am hoping that someone sees this post who has done a project like this and wants to share some practical tips on building a do-it-yourself diy front cargo tricycle / trike / bakfiets (Dutch for cargo bicycle).

So! The project will most likely begin this weekend regardless, so perhaps I will track my progress here on how things go as I try to build my own cargo bike from a converted old Dutch cruiser style bike.

~nels nelson
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Old 09-08-09, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by nelsnelson View Post


I have heaps of old bicycles and wheels of all varieties around and a place not so far away where I can partake in some welding. I am hoping that someone sees this post who has done a project like this and wants to share some practical tips on building a do-it-yourself diy front cargo tricycle / trike / bakfiets (Dutch for cargo bicycle).

So! The project will most likely begin this weekend regardless, so perhaps I will track my progress here on how things go as I try to build my own cargo bike from a converted old Dutch cruiser style bike.

~nels nelson
Worksman Cycle in NYC,NY is the only bike maker I know of in America that makes trikes like this yet today.
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 09-08-09, 12:04 PM
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ok

Ok, thats useful! But I am living in The Netherlands and want to build one myself out of salvaged parts! Anyone got some info?
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Old 09-09-09, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by nelsnelson View Post
Ok, thats useful! But I am living in The Netherlands and want to build one myself out of salvaged parts! Anyone got some info?
and we knew you lived in the Netherlands..how?
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 09-09-09, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by nelsnelson View Post
Ok, thats useful! But I am living in The Netherlands and want to build one myself out of salvaged parts! Anyone got some info?

Try to contact Stephen at www.haleytrikes.com. He may have some pointers foryou. He built the prototype for his Trike in our courtyard when he was helping us restore our old house.

When my wife and I were in Amsterdam a few years back, I loved seeing the variety of utility bikes there. I recognize the style of the the one you posted. Good luck with your build.
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Old 09-09-09, 02:54 PM
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I would start by thinkig about a) bike or trike and b) your steering.....ie front wheel not connected to the box that steers or box with wheels that steers (somewhat dictated by choice of bike or trike.

once these two design elements are settled.....look and see how other people have designed solutions for inspiration....get a piece of paper and draw some ideas.

key principles KISS (keep it simple silly) and form follows function....

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Old 09-09-09, 04:34 PM
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One consideration is the front axle construction. The one you've posted uses a solid front axle which has to be much larger than normal bicycle axles, as it is only supported on one side. The consequence is that you can't use standard bicycle hubs or wheels for the front wheels on it. However, if you look up the Husky/ Mercurio tricycles made in Mexico, they use a design where the front wheels can be standard bicycle wheels, as they are supported on either side.

On the Worksman models mentioned, they have a large knuckle/ swivel underneath that is not a normal bicycle part, and would also require some ingenuity.

The shaft coming back from the box to the bottom bracket needs to be very rigid, as this is what keeps the rider from tipping one way or the other- you will feel whatever flexibility is present in that piece.

Before you make one, make sure you have a good place to use it. Around here (Dallas area), it's no problem to use a bicycle on auto roads. But those tricycles force you to take a whole lane whether you want to or not, and wouldn't be too welcome on busier roads, although technically legal. I use mine on side roads and bike trails.
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Old 09-15-09, 03:52 AM
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I built this. It was an absolute failure as a ridable machine. It did weigh 70lbs though, that has to be some kind of record.







There is a youtube video of me riding it too but I'm too lazy to go find you a link. If you want to see it I think you can search for "danger cart".
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Old 09-15-09, 07:01 AM
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You should add an old push mower to the front of the "danger cart".
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Old 09-15-09, 08:00 AM
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Danger cart is really really cool, BUT I can see where your design went wrong. The front wheels are too far in front of the head tube. Move them back and you should find it a lot more rideable.
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Old 09-15-09, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
I built this. It was an absolute failure as a ridable machine. It did weigh 70lbs though, that has to be some kind of record.

Too much negative trail maybe? If you could get the steering pivot forward to the axle, I think it would be rideable.
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Old 09-15-09, 05:02 PM
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I built a nice big one. https://www.flickr.com/photos/71527680@N00/3852106469/

The whole bed pivots on a headset under the deck. The brakes are linear pull, set up on sawn off forks.
You may be able to see the linkage steering I added. it was necessary for this setup because the bed is fairly far from the saddle. With the old system, a turn at speed would rapidly spiral out of control because of the centrifugal force of the rider on the bars. This can be solved in a simpler manner with very wide handgrips and a short cockpit.

Doing it again, I would use conventional hubs and frame the wheels in, instead of using bolt on stroller hubs. I would bring the bed closer to the saddle and steer using handgrips at the corners of the bed for better leverage.

Tips for doing it the first time: make your keel tube (the one connecting the rear frame to the pivot) very stiff. It should be one very large tube or a truss, like mine. It needs to resist the twisting force of centrifugal force (your body will lean out, twisting the frame) and the flexural force of your load rocking for and aft over the wheels.

Another builder here in Seattle is Segue, at frankentrikes.com. She builds great electric assist trikes with very well thought out features. If I built another trike, it would look more like hers, but without the recycled rear triangles up front.
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Old 09-15-09, 11:13 PM
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Depending on the weight of the cargo, a solid axle may not be necessary. You could probably use the strong 14mm BMX hubs and axles and mount them single sided. The mounting flange probably needs to be at least 5/16" thick for this, but since you are saving the weight of either a solid axle or the framework for dual front hubs, then overall it's probably lighter.

:)ensen.
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Old 09-16-09, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Josef Taylor View Post
I built a nice big one. https://www.flickr.com/photos/71527680@N00/3852106469/

Another builder here in Seattle is Segue, at frankentrikes.com. She builds great electric assist trikes with very well thought out features. If I built another trike, it would look more like hers, but without the recycled rear triangles up front.
Those electric Franken Trikes are cool. 20-25 mph and it weighs 170 #s. Pretty cool engineering. Another cool trike company is Haley Trikes www.haleytrikes.com. Stephen is out of Philly now, but he built his prototype in our courtyard in Savannah while helping us restore our old house.
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Old 09-17-09, 09:09 PM
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Wow, those are sweet! and very affordable, unlike Segue's, and mine, if I made any to sell.

His wheel mounting is almost exactly what I'd like to do on my next trike. It fits a standard 26" wheel, with disc brakes protected on the inboard side. Even has good mounting positions for fenders.

But anyway, to the OP, if you run into any issues, or just need some inspiration, don't hesitate to PM me. I've spent alot of time thinking about the issues involved in building more of these things.
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Old 09-19-09, 12:53 AM
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cargo trike

want to build a cargo trike like yours/haley/seque/bakfiets. kudos to all for having made improvements on the basic bakfiets design.

myself i would like more suspension, instead of suspending it with a through axle and leaf springs how about suspending the box by pivoting the front wheels on the front of the cart end and suspending it with a spring shock absorber on the rear. i would have to build a subframe to mount the pivot (the front half could be off a rear suspended mountain bike.) this puts the suspension off the side of the cart, rather than under the cart. the nijland is a beautiful thing to behold but it is so heavy and the center of gravity is so high. i want to make mine for a coffee/food cart so lowering the cg is a very good thing.

another thought on the steering geometry. what if a person put the center of the steering slightly forward from center and adjusted the weight accordingly. i have an idea this might give the steering some leverage. only way to see if this would really work is to try it. could get expensive.

also i see another area that could possibly be improved it to center the driving load over the back axle.
it might look like a unicycle in the back but there whould not be a balance issue. it just seems that all the designs i have seen put a lot of weight on the front wheels since the seat is ahead of the driving axle and there is the weight of the main tube as well. this could also shorten the wheel base.

thanks for sharing your thoughts, i had not thought of what i would use for the steering bearings. how big is the main tube on your trike? do you have other pictures? what wheels are you running? gearing? Load?

phranque in eugene
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