Three-wheel recumbents

Discussion in 'Motorized Trikes' started by mark2yahu, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. mark2yahu

    mark2yahu Member

    Who sells a good recumbent trike? The ones at the local bike shops go for no less than $1700.

  2. Hi,

    I am not too knowledgeable about recumbents but if you can get Alaskavan (on this site) he probably has a wealth of knowledge....He has a "tadpole" trike I think FWIW

    good luck in your search!

  3. trikes

    Catrike and Terratrike are US Made. Greenspeed is Aussy made.HP Velotechnik, Trice and Hase Kettwiesel are all from Europe. Sun makes the cheapest trikes. You did not specify if you wanted a Delta recumbent trike[Two wheels in back ,one in front] or a tad pole[two wheels in front and one in the back] has all of the above trikes minus the Sun trikes If I were going to motorize a recumbent trike I would do a tad pole. Either a terratrike or a Sun tad pole. The deltas can flip when making a high speed turn
  4. DougC

    DougC Guest

    Terratrike and Wizwheels make some of the lower-priced tadpole trikes (recumbent trikes with two wheels in the front).

    Sun makes the lowest-priced recumbent delta trikes in the US, at $800-$900 or so for the lower-end ones. Sun has phased in some newer bike and trike models this year, so the older ones may get blown out at lower prices; if you are willing to pay new prices, it is worth checking into at least. The Sun old-style delta trikes seem to have frequent problems with the rear-axle cartridge bearings being ****. A few people I have heard of (online) have spent their own money to put in better bearings than what Sun uses.

    The next delta trikes I know of above the Sun cost at least 2X more.

    KMX makes some cheaper models. These don't have full-range gearing but with an engine doing most of the work that may not matter much-
    -out of stock until September.
    KMX trikes are built heavier and don't seem to perform as well as other recumbent trikes, in pedaling use. KMX tends to stress the ruggedness of what they sell.


    There are a few companies that make upright delta trikes (granny-style trikes) but the recumbents are generally way, way more comfortable to ride.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2008
  5. mark2yahu

    mark2yahu Member

    Delta or other

    Hey, thanks Andrew! I was eyeing the tadpole design, but i could also go for the one wheel up front. I'm gonna research it even more. Hopefully get one for under a thousand.

    Sounds like the Sun trikes are more my price range, DougC. I think I've seen the KMX trikes before in some catalog that was sent had one gear. With the Sun trike, I can upgrade the rear axle bearings myself. Thanks for the info ;)

    Hi RecumbentBill...either the tadpole or the long as it's recumbent. I didn't take into consideration the flippability of a delta design. The tadpole design has the one rear wheel...perfect for motorizing :cool: Thanks sir!
  6. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Whizwheelz Path - $999. (Very similar to my Zoomer. Very good platform for motorizing.)
    Utah Trikes is a good source.
  7. Wheel size

    One thing to corn-sidder:smile: is wheel size when thinking about motorizing a recumbent trike. The sun delta trikes mainly have 20" rear wheels with [depending on model] a 16 or a 20" front wheel. The 20" rear will eliminate a GEBE kit while the stanton can be fitted. Most of the tad pole trikes use ihe 20" wheel for front and rear. There are also some tad poles that use a 26 or 700cc rear wheel and some use 16" fronts too. A friend of mine had a whiz wheel trike. On some of our recumbent club rides I would notice while riding in behind his trike that the rear wheel would flex/lean in the frame to the left. With a loaded rear rack it leaned more. I can not imagine how a rack mount would do. I do know that motorizing a recumbent rocks. When I put a GEBE Tanaka 40 on my Long wheel base RANS V2 with a Mueller fairing I could easily reach a top speed of 45 in a comfortable but scary way[1" tires and motors = danger]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2008
  8. mark2yahu

    mark2yahu Member

    So with the 20" wheel, it's either a chaindrive Staton kit, or some friction-drive kit. With the wheel flexing the way it does, I agree it might be risky.
  9. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Somewhere around here there's a picture of a trike where a piece of a 5 gallon bucket was used in place of the Gebe sheave. The owner said he had a lot of trouble free miles on it. As for wheel flexing, I have almost 2,000 miles on my trike and have had no problem.
  10. mark2yahu

    mark2yahu Member

    A 5 gallon bucket? His ride must look real stealthy, Alaskavan :) As for the wheel flexing, could it be that the designers took it into consideration?
  11. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    I would think the flex would be negligable. The frame is 2" tubing (on my Zoomer) , and the rear stays are an oval tubing that is 1" on the thin axis. I would guess that any motion of the back wheel is due more to the front tires compressing with the shifting weight, and some involuntary movement of the steering while pedaling hard. I would highly recomend the tadpole configuration for a motoredbike.
  12. mark2yahu

    mark2yahu Member

    If it's still going strong after 2000 miles without any problems, I'm convinced it is no problem at all then. I will be looking around for the tadpole type.
  13. do your research

    I suggest you take a closer look at Alaska's tadpole[look in picture gallery]. While his trike is totally cool it is anything but stock and IMHO not a true rack mounted Motorized bike/trike[more like a frame mount]. The frame has been extended and beefed up with [If I read correctly] extra metal. The lifan engine is not over the rear wheel but is in front of it. The rear wheel is a 10g custom job buy Wheelsmith. With all of these mods the bike shouldn't flex . Not disrespecting anyones ride here. Just trying to point out that there is a lot to consider when mounting a rack mount on a trike . research before you buy:smile:
  14. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    the guy had cut the top of the five gallon bucket and used it like the nylon wheel gebe sends with its kits, it had the same sort of gap pattern imposed on body of the 5 gallon pale, so he was able to attach the top inch or so to his 20inch wheel and hang the engine of the rear. the trike was a tadpole and worked out really well.

    i have ridden both styles tadpole and delta, the tadpole is for sure the more stable on the road lower center of gravity easier to corner etc but i love the delta as well, although not as stable its a lot more fun to cruise on, very relaxed sitting position and you higher up from the road.

    However the tadpole trike will be the easier to motorize and you will have more options because you only have the one rear wheel, you can motorize the deltas its just harder because of the rear wheel config, chain drive kits available from staton, would a gebe style work, not sure, powering just one wheel could be sort of tricky, good for tight circles!!!!!

    anyhow just my 2 cents hope it helps, my wifes ez3ax delta trike is electrified and alot of fun too ride, and lying in a box somewhere i have a kit too turn any bike into a delta trike, i see a crazy build in the future.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
  15. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    RBill is entirely correct in his discription of my trike. However, I am still unable to figure out how a motor would contribute to the frame flexing. I remain convinced that a tadpole is a great platform for motorization, frame mount, rack mount, or electric.
  16. bgoates

    bgoates New Member

    TerraTrike motor ?

    I'm seriously considering a TerraTrike Path and mounting a motor. It seems any of the rear-mount chain drive kits will probably work....except I may need a larger sprocket for the wheel. Has anyone had experience with chain drive 20" wheels ? What size of sprocket works best ?
  17. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Chain drive: Smaller wheel means you need a smaller sprocket on the back. I'm running a 28t (I think). And a 17t for the Lifan drive sprocket.
  18. rearengine

    rearengine New Member


    What page in the pix gallery is your trike on ? Bill
  19. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

  20. jawnn

    jawnn Member