Going for a trike conversion

Discussion in 'Motorized Trikes' started by SimpleSimon, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Much as I want to build my own bike designed to suit my needs, it has become clear to me that ongoing medical expenses are not going to let that happen.

    So, I am going to buy the package deal Alesterfiend is offering - complete, running bike with HT engine, plus a 2nd brand new HT engine and lots of other extras, for $300. I'll pick that up Saturday morning. It is my intention to put one of the trike conversion kits (similar to the one SpookyTooth offers) on that bike. I may well buy a kit from SpookyTooth - or might go with one of the others available on the market.

    I am seeking advice here - has anyone built one of these? If anyone has advice, suggestions, etc I'd greatly appreciate it. My local bike shop owner has one of the Aztlan conversion axle kits he ordered for a guy who never pcked it up - I think I can get that for $100, but I am unsure of how complete it is, or what wheel size it is set up for. I'll find that out next week.

    Input eagerly solicited.

  2. I'm just glad you're taking the steps SS. It's gonna rule I could see it ruling.
    Clutch and throttle is gonna have to go on your one hand which is very doable not hard to finagle and just a coaster will do as long as you're not going too fast. And keep a fender away from your front tire just in case you need to put your foot in there! :D
  3. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    roland at spooky has been motoring converted trikes for a few years...he gave me n vinnie a few good tips when we started building our trikes :)
    even if ya fab your own stuff, he could probably still give pointers on a few things

    the conversion kits with the little chain driving the wheel will not work for motoring without a jackshaft...it needs to be a kit with a solid axle, so you have somewhere to mount the engine driven sprocket

    me n vinnie have built 5 different trikes, both electric n gas, so if ya have any ??? I can probably help too....I just haven't seen as much as Roland :):):)
  4. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Thanks, guys. azbill, I was really hoping you'd chime in here - I've been admiring your work on the trikes for quite awhile now. The SpookyToooth kit with the gas engine conversion extras looks really good to me, but if I decide to go that route it will take another goodly while to save up the funds for the kit. I looked at alesterfiend's offer when he first made it last fall, and really wanted to go for it then, but hadn't the funds. It has taken this long to save the money for it - I'm just glad it is still available.

    The brake issues I figure I can deal with. The bike frame alesterfiend has is a standard diamond frame, which puts the seat pretty high. I was thinking that an offset seat post to move the seat back and down might be a good idea as well, to lower the CoG a bit. All of that is, of course, dependent on my funds and skills.

    I have the components for a front fork insert conversion to make a regular bike a tadpole trike - I may just get a wild hair and go ahead and do that as well, make a 4 wheel cycle-car out of it. That's a design Tefl and I worked up last year while he was living here - he's done one since returning home and said it worked fine, but he had poor quality materials and wasn't satisfied with the strength of the front axle. If I do that disc brakes on both front wheels would give me good braking power.

    I also have a Huffy 10 speed 24 inch ladies bike a guy gave me - it's complete and works well - I just can't balance it. It's a candidate for a trike conversion and that 2nd HT engine from alesterfiend. Given my short legs and poor balance, the step through on it may be much easier for me to deal with, but mounting the engine is a bit problematic. The design of the SpookyTooth kit might lend itself to mounting the HT engine behind the seat and above the trike frame for that one.

    Also acquired a 16 inch salvage bike that was buried in weeds with vines grown all through the wheels and frame where it was laying. The front wheel rim is so rusty that it is unsalvageable, but the hub is fine after disassembly and lubing it. The rest of the bike has minor rust blemishes, but no serious rust damage. I already have some plans for parts from that bike.
  5. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

  6. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Thanks, Dave. Both give me substantial encouragement about my intent. I'll know for sure when I get everything here, make a cardboard template of the rear triangle spaces on both the bike I'm buying and on the 24 incher to see it there's anyway to line the engine up and make it fit. On the bike from alesterfiend, the engine is already mounted - it's just a matter of getting the correct sprocket on a solid rear axle and lengthening/lining up the chain and tensioner. Those are all things I know I can do.

    The 24 inch bike I'll just have to check the fit of things on.
  7. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    hi simple simon,

    if you are still looking for a trike conversion kit i have one sitting in the garage and will give you a real good deal on it, i was going to build one up myself but i have no more room for bikes in my 2 car garage, one dodge caravan + 6 bikes, 3 motorized and maybe a new 2 wheel project this fall.

    i will post a pic as soon as i find it, i wiped my hard-drive and forgot to save the bookmarks i had.......
  8. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    hi simon,

    found the link i knew i had some pics of the trike parts around here,

    scroll down to the middle of the page post #45 to see all the parts.


    "the conversion kits with the little chain driving the wheel will not work for motoring without a jackshaft...it needs to be a kit with a solid axle, so you have somewhere to mount the engine driven sprocket" as quoted by azbill

    yes this kit does have the smaller sprocket, but the rear axle is one solid peice so i think it would work for you, the front mount is holding the cassette which you can easily disguard and setup like this



    i am nearly sure the kit i have is pretty much the same as the one they used on azvinnes beauty.

    send me a PM and i will get back to you with a price, i will also have to look into shipping costs as i was getting ready to put this in the buy/sell/trade but you can have first dibs if you are interested.
  9. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    vegas' rear is the same
    it is a start :)

    thanks for the props, but I am still learnin :):):)

    that rear end is now 129 at choppersus
    the basket is 30$
    2 hollow hub wheels 35-50$ each (choppersus has a really nice set of trike mags for 120)

    roland's price is high but includes everything
    I have tried, but couldn't beat it in total
    but, if on a budget and buying piece by piece (my usual way:)), I can give some leads

    this is the type of rear that can't be easily motor driven

    hope that little bit helped you SS :):):) (I am still working on a design based on your sketch-up)
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2009
  10. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    vegaspaddy, I've PM'd you. Thanks a bunch for your offer and the links.

    azbill. the trike conversion kit my LBS guy has is the choppersUS chrome style - I looked at it, and while his price is very fair it just won't work without serious mods.

    So, based on measurements and modelling, I think I can fit the new HT engine kit into the 24" Huffy ladies frame bike I have, with modification/lengthening of the intake manifold. I can do that readily enough. I'll either take it to one side (left probably) or maybe just straight back. I have a 2/3 sized steel shopping cart a guy gave me that I plan to remove the wheel frame from and mount as a rear basket above the trike suspension, if I can make it fit.

    Tried using my Craftsman scroll saw with a metal cutting blade on some scrap aluminum the other day, and at the lowest speed it will run at it works just fine, even on one inch thick stock. Fabbing up anything that way will be slow, but it will get done, and I have plenty of experience with using double-sided tape to re-attach a cut off section to stabilize a piece for cutting on another axis. Scrap aluminum plate stock I can get for scrap metal spot price from a manufacturer here in town, in very small quantities (which is all I'll need).

    I'm not in a hurry - I'd love to have it finished and rideable by the end of May. If everything works out I'm gonna drive to northern Idaho to visit a friend and eat some buffalo in early July - I'd love to take the trike along. It'd be a great vehicle to cruise the Highway to the Sun in Glacier National Park with, and I can stay in National Parks and campgrounds for free. Heck, if finances allow, I'll cruise on over to augidogs motor bicycle hostel.

    My dream is to get it running well, get everything dialed in and worked out, and hit the road to various parks and scenic areas with trike along. Another friend lives in Asheville, NC, and she keeps demanding I come hang out for a few days - the Great Smoky Mountain Parkway would be a fantastic motor biking excursion.

    This is gonna be fun!
  11. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    Well another member should be soon be joining the merry band of three wheelers !!!!!!

    The kit is heading south to a new home and stopped gathering cobwebs in the garage

    GOODLUCK SIMPLESIMON, we will be watching closely......
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  12. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Many, many thanks to you, vegaspaddy.

    I'll post an update as soon as possible. May be a few days - I had surgery on my right eye today, and I can't see terribly well right now - no depth perception at all. Plus, I'm a two-fingered typist, and not used to having to twist my head back and forth to visually line up on keys - my typing speed has fallen through the floor.

    I'm getting things ready, though - I have the Huffy 24 inch bike down to basic frame now - I'll need to spread the rear dropouts a bit for the trike adaptor, plus I'm gonna fab up a pair of drive chain guides to lower the upper chain line and pass it under the HT engine I plan to shoehorn into the rear triangle.

    I''m gonna get some batteries for my digital camera and get some pics of parts and such real soon.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  13. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Fedex delivered the trike conversion package today. I must say, it seems a very well built piece of equipment. Included in the package was a 7 speed gear cluster and disk brake on a mid-drive hub, with a manual disc caliper.

    vegaspaddy is a good man, and I am grateful for his generous spirit. Delta trike as soon as possible! After going through the new engine and replacing studs, upgrading bolts and nuts, etc, of course.
  14. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    yeap those axles are pretty solid, pretty easy conversion to turn any bike into an instant delta trike.

    i liked your drawing for a tadpole trike, they are alot more sensible than the delta style, reguards converting to motor power, lower center of gravity, better handling etc, but nothing beats the coolness of sitting up high and all the local kids (and maybe a few dads as well) drooling over your bike....

    Cruising around on ebay today i found one seller who has 2 bare bone conversion rear ends for a decent price around $70 + 15-20 for shipping, these are a easy way for anyone to make an instant trike, don't wait too long you might regret it....


    i can smell the scent of grease and sweat coming from simons workshop.....
  15. AussieJester

    AussieJester Member

    Best of luck with the impending build, hope your eye heals up quick too. If your going to chop the frame at all? i would recommend a little more rake in the front and lowering it to get the C.G down, i have found handling ALOT better after doing this to my own custom build. The rake as per used on two wheel bikes isnt well suited to a trike cornering at speed tis very dangerous...

    best of luck anywayz...


    EDIT: i just checked the link Vegasdaddy...i like the trike seat sold by the same seller **** i wish i had seen that before i bought the one i have that would fit SO well over my top tube on the frame.... spewa all my mounting is complete for the current seat...ah wellz.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  16. ocscully

    ocscully Member


    Has anyone had any sucess in determining who manufactured ths particular conversion? (the one vegaspaddy sold to simon) That rear hub is very interesting (the modification to it).

  17. AussieJester

    AussieJester Member

    Its definitely different to the 'trike conversions as per sold by ChoppersUS' but not alot...the hub with the dual freewheels is an "off the shelf" item...the only reall major difference i see with it is the extended strusses...that said it is a lovely trike conversion if i had known you had it earlier i would have offered you some $$$$ for it without hesitation....The MAJOR trouble with these conversions though is the braking. Puting a single disk on the axle only stops the one wheel, the non-drive wheel simply freewheels on sealed bearings and requires is own disk brake to be mounted to the trike hub, these aren't avaiable but there is a cheap way to convert one to take a rotor. I used a dual disk FRONT hub from ChoppersUS, cut it up and used the rotor mounts from it to mount on the trikes 'non-driven hub...

    coulple vids i took AFTER the conversions...

    non drive side hub

    Drive side hub

    for the drive side hub the rotor mount was welded directly onto the end plate of the axle..Some stills of the procedure-->

    http://members.ii.net/~aussiejester...ame_mark II_scustom_left_rear_rotor_mount.jpg

    hope this might be of some help, you DEFINITELY need some stopping power when these trikes get going tiz a bit of weight too stop ESPECIALLY with the motors in them....

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  18. ocscully

    ocscully Member

  19. AussieJester

    AussieJester Member

    Google 'flip flop hub' matey..not EXACTLY the same but does exactly the same thing, flip flpo freewheel hubs take a freewheel on both sides, designed to have two differing tooth count freewheels so swaping gearing (on single speed bicycle) is as easy as undoing the wheel and "flipping" it around... :) Used on BMX bikes mainly i think...Any good bicycle shop sells them or can order them in for you...Too use them in the trike application you require one reverse thread freewheel (left hand thread) which are also an off the shelf item :)

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  20. ocscully

    ocscully Member

    Yes every thing you have said about flip flop hubs is true, but they mount the freewheels on the outside of the spoke flanges and usually flip flop hubs are both right hand thread and I personally have never seen a flip flop hub with a disc brake mount. The hub shown as part of this kit appears to me to be threaded inside the left hand hub/spoke flange for the extra freewheel? Are you saying that it is threaded on the outside? You seem to be saying that this configuration is readily available, if it is I'd like to purchase one. The Two hubs I know of that are threaded with both left and right hand threads again place the left side freewheel outside the spoke flanges and again neither of them also have the option of mounting a disc brake rotor. I'm not trying to get into a ****ing contest with you about this, I just can't find anything even remotly close to the hub shown from any source I can find. If you could provide me with a source or link I would greatly appreciate it.