DIY Recumbent Feedback

Discussion in 'Motorized Recumbents' started by 2old2learn, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. 2old2learn

    2old2learn Member

    All of the incredible bikes I've seen you highly imaginative and dedicated builders doing has got me interested in at least considering a project myself. I already have a MB with a HT on it and it is an interesting toy that I enjoy playing on from time to time. I have several nice road bikes, non motorized, but I've always admired the comfort of the recumbents.

    I've recently run across a design that has caught my interest, but since I'm a complete neophyte at DIY I thought I'd solicit some experienced feedback. The design that has caught my eye is the Python, a two wheeled recumbent with front wheel drive and is a low racer layout with a hinged frame in front of the seat prior to the front wheel. Most of the riders don't have handlebars on them as they steer with feet and body language. I was imagining either an above the rear wheel motor mount or perhaps a pusher trailer option so that I could enjoy the bike as a pure road bike as well. I fear an above the wheel motor may shift the balance point too high and make it tipsy.

    Here is a link to the design:
    Be sure and scroll down to see the builds below.

    There are several different builds on the site and some would more easily accomodate a motor than others. Since I'd like to have dual use out of the bike I'd like to build it low and fast but still retain comfort. The motor would be just an additional element to expand the bikes functionality. My thoughts were to build it around racing components and wheels and try to keep the weight down. I've not yet decided whether to use small round steel tubing or square or rectangular aluminum tubing. Ultimately a composite frame would be ideal. I would scavage as much off the tradional frames that I could to reduce the amount of fabrication required. You can see from the website above that several builders did the same while others fabricated almost every part.

    Since I've started nothing yet but am still looking for seeds to plant in my DIY garden I'm still open for ideas and suggestions. I await your insights and advice.


  2. Turtle Tedd

    Turtle Tedd Member

    Check ouy Atomic
  3. 2old2learn

    2old2learn Member

    Thanks Tedd. I started with their site and after some additional searches came across the Python design. I've reviewed the high racer rear drive recumbents and I like the simplicity of the front wheel design and also believe that a lower drag ratio would be achieved by the low design which is one of my goals in building a recumbent. I suspect that over time I will add some fairings as you can see others have done on their designs. If I like my first one, I may then build a second one based around a MB design with heavier duty wheels, dual suspension and long distance X/C in mind. I suspect the second one will be the true motorized design and the first one will end up as a primary road bike hence the idea of a possible pusher cart for the first one. What I don't know is the stability of this type design with a hinged frame and a pusher design. I can foresee possible problems. With a heavier duty MB design I may be able to place the motor behind the seat down low and use traditional drives. Since the design will have 30 to 40% less drag than a traditional upright design then the power requirements at speed will be less so a small motor should suffice. These bikes are capable of up to 35 mph sustained cruising without a motor. The current speed record for pedaled low racer designs, measured across a 1 mile course, is over 80 MPH.

    Good feedback!
  4. Turtle Tedd

    Turtle Tedd Member

    I am designing a tadpole..probably powered by a Honda behind the seat..would like to have suspension on rear end..looking at everything and researching this every night..will use 1inch square tubing for frame..26inch rear wheel..try to keep weight down under 50lbs...get a cruising speed of that I can keep up with traffic in the slow height will not be as low as conventional tadpoles,but of course cannot raise center of gravity to high..will go for about 36inches width and a pretty long length...a lot to figure out
  5. 2old2learn

    2old2learn Member

    As you begin your project, try to remember to dig out your digital camera to take pictures of your progress to share with the group. Reading about these builds is one thing, but seeing the build sequence is highly informative. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. I'll do the same when and if I do my build.

    I followed Alaskans tadpole design build with great interest and wished I lived near him for his very capable and imaginative DIY skills. I can see myself building one of these designs some day too. I'd love to see one wherein a builder has fully enclosed it with a home built shell for weather protection and aerodynamic drag reduction.

    I wonder if anybody has tried a small pressurized air tank with a regulator to function as a supercharger on any of the small 4 strokes yet? This way you would have the equivalent of a nitro system but using regular air under pressure instead, which is basically all a supercharger is doing anyway. Set it up like the nitro injection with an injection button so you could use the extra power when needed.

  6. spad4me

    spad4me Member

    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  7. Elmo

    Elmo Member