my trike and new HF engine

Discussion in 'Photos & Bicycle Builds' started by fleebell, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. fleebell

    fleebell Member

    I finally got to ride the thing around a bit yesterday. I need to put a bigger gas tank on it but it's running. I also still need to change the sprocket on the engine to a 12-13t from a 16t but that can wait a few days.

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  2. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

  3. fleebell

    fleebell Member

    I prefer the front wheels setup like that. It's stronger than a one sided axle and if you happen to mangle a wheel somehow a regular 20" rim is a lot easier and cheaper to get hold of than a single sided version wheel. (I'm disabled and on a tight budget - I have to keep my frame builds as inexpensive as possible)
    I don't have that problem anymore since I switched over to the plastic mag wheels but it does still give nice simple places to mount lights, speedometers, mirrors, etc..... over the wheels the front wheels.

    Yea, that's my website. I like to build all kinds of stuff.

  4. hammer5312

    hammer5312 Member

    I've been giving thought to doing a trike......but I was going to use go-kart spindles and axles with go-kart tires....
    I've seen some go-karts with front brakes and if I could find them I'd use them too....
    Gets the center of gravity a little lower...
  5. fleebell

    fleebell Member

    I built a 4 wheel bike a few years ago and used those for it. I used 26" heavy cart wheels and gokart stuff from It was a heavy 4-wheeler but it had a big cargo space and electric assist. The gokart stuff works fine if you want a single sided wheel mount. I had no trouble with either the wheels or the spindle setups and I had to sleeve the axles because the wheels had 3/4" bearings.
  6. rustycase

    rustycase New Member

    Very nice work, Fleebell!
    I like it!
  7. buzbikebklyn1

    buzbikebklyn1 New Member

    I LIKE IT! now that's using what you got!
    Very cool... I like the industrial look of it, I bet that puppy's fast.
    Great idea using the plastic 20"wheels, way cheaper than those single siders I'm sure
    What are you using for front brakes?
    I'm diggin the cup holder.
    I've been thinking of a sit up 26" wheeled "hammer head" trike and I like your front axle set up.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  8. fleebell

    fleebell Member

    I have the large size scooter type band brakes on the front wheels. I like the plastic wheels because they won't dish out and warp no matter what I do to them. I ended up dishing so many front wheels I almost gave up on the trike format. I ride all over the place including trails in the woods etc... Since I've started using the plastic ones I haven't had any trouble at all.

    I would think twice about using 26" wheels on the front dude, those don't take the side forces from a trike very well at all. The first trike I built used 26" all around and the front wheels were warped within a week.

    Actually, it's only geared for about 25 mph max. I wanted trailer pulling capability more than I wanted speed. I normally only ride about 12-15 mph.
  9. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    I agree.

    I am using 24" wheels on the front of my Hammerhead, but I try to make all my corners very slow & gentle.

    Do you have any close-up pics of your band brake set up?
  10. fleebell

    fleebell Member

    If you forget, you WILL remember quickly! Don't try to do a donut with it either. I learned the hard way, that dishes a spoked rim instantly.

    Here is a pic of one of the wheels.
    I used rear type wheels and just turned them around so the band brakes would screw on just like a free wheel. Nice and simple and they work better than any other brakes I have ever used on the trike. These things will stop it fine even with a heavy trailer load on the back.

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  11. buzbikebklyn1

    buzbikebklyn1 New Member

    BBB <has an in at Aerospoke...what side loads? lol
  12. fleebell

    fleebell Member

    The side loads from a trike are not at all like what a wheel gets on a 2 wheel bike. The wheels on a trike have to balance the bottom forces that try to bend the wheel inward under the frame when taking corners at a high speed. Spokes have a bit more trouble with that than the plastic mags do.
  13. buzbikebklyn1

    buzbikebklyn1 New Member

    OR one could tilt the wheels "in" at the top for some negative camber as done on the old school racing cars to negate some of those forces... I was being facetious with the "what side loads?" comment, and I was referring to the Areospoke wheels inherent strength.

    I only stopped using them because the bikes kept getting stolen!
    With the last one they cut the pole it was chained to...

    No matter, its going to steer and tilt, I've been working on the frame geometry for a few weeks now, with the right wheelbase track (width and length) these forces are minimized.
    I was looking at some of the three piece plate wheels popular with the custom low rider crowd
    they look like they would be less susceptible to side loading.
    15 to 20... sounds like a nice leisurely pace......
    I usually cruise in the 25 to 35 range with a little juice left over to out run any trouble.
    Here in NYC we need to move a bit faster off the line.
    Its still a nice trike idea, but im a bit worried about its width in traffic.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  14. fleebell

    fleebell Member

    My wheels are tipped in at the top and slightly tilted in toward the back and use Ackerman steering geometry. This allow both easy riding when going straight and less stress on the wheels in turns. Spoked ones will still tend to dish though in a hard turn.

    15-20 is fine with me. When I hit 50 a few years ago I decided I wasn't going to get in a hurry to go or see anyone anymore. I like taking my time and watching the view go by! :grin5:
  15. fleebell

    fleebell Member

    I think I've finally got the carb problems with the little 2.5hp HF engine in my recumbent trike solved. I'm still not sure what the problem was but it's running fine now.

    Actually it's running faster than I expected it to. I've got it geared for a maximum of 23 miles per hour with a top engine speed of 3600 rpm. I finally got a speedometer hooked back up to the trike today and tested it out and it has a top speed of 27 mph. That puts the engine running about 4400 rpm. (11.59 gear ratio using a 24" wheel)

    It runs great about 20 mph so that's probably about the speed or less that I will be using it at. At the 20 mph the little engine isn't even working hard at all. It should have plenty of trailer pulling capabilities.

  16. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    fleebell, I REALLY like your work. I definitely agree as regards the issue of dish out with larger front wheels - I've actually been looking at using moped wheels and front forks for a similar design.

    Given that I only have a right hand, and lower legs that are numb from the knees down, I need a trike. Louisiana has a peculiar law that requires motorized three wheelers to have a "roll cage" as a direct result of some rather notorious accidents involving delta trikes years ago. That poises a bit of a problem, but a biggrt issue for me is steering and control inputs - I need a central tiller design. So, I've designed several different approaches to that.

    If my health ever improves enough to give my budget some relief, I'd love to build some of them.
  17. fleebell

    fleebell Member

    It shouldn't be that hard to build a single tiller control, both my throttle and brakes are on one handle. All it would have to have is a universal joint at the bottom end and a lock so when in position it would stay there while your riding. The roll cage would be a little more complicated but not much. If you built your seat like I do, you could simply extend the seat frame into a roll cage with a few added pieces.

    I hope your health improves so you can build you one!

    I live in NC and although this state seems to be rather backwards on a lot of stuff I'm so glad they haven't started all these weird laws around here about assist bikes yet. I have a friend up in PA that has problems with their strange laws on bikes. He's also disabled and can only ride one of the Palmer type scooters. They won't let him put a motor or engine on his delta trike there. I've come to believe politicians loose at least 60 IQ points as soon as they are elected.
  18. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Don't know if PA law will allow this gambit, but it has worked for me once. Under Louisiana law a doctor may prescribe any "handicapped assistance" device (or creature, I know a lady with s seeing-eye pig) that he determines to be of utility to the handicapped patient.

    I built a delta trike conversion with an HT 50 cc engine and just took my chances on the roll cage requirement. I rode it to my Dr's office, he came out and putted around the parking lot on it (he's 67 himself) and loved it. He wrote a prescription for its use, which I kept with it (put it in a ziplock bag, rolled it up tight, and slid it into the handlebar) Unfortunately, it was destroyed last year while parked by a guy who backed over it with a full size pickup, then drove away quickly. He really wrecked it - frame bent beyond repair, engine jug cracked, exhaust broken off, engine mounts broken loose.

    I've designed a rear suspension tadpole recumbent to be powered by an R/S 35 and GEBE rig, and have most of the parts fabricated (bed rail angle iron is great stuff) - now I need to get the ladder frame and drop axle welded up, start assembly. Unfortunately, medical costs are eating me alive (dialysis is expensive), so it is slow going just now.

    One of my dream trips would be to take that thing, once completed, to eastern Tennessee, and drive the Blue Ridge Parkway. My family originated in that area, and I have a huge number of cousins of various degrees all over that country. Maybe someday.
  19. fleebell

    fleebell Member

    Well, he is definitely handicapped. I'll let him know what you did. Maybe it will work for him too.
    I like using bed rail for stuff too. It's very strong angle iron for it's thickness. I just wish it was easier to drill through. I don't even try to do that anymore. I just cut a slot in it and braze a washer over it.
    I know the feeling on medical costs. My other half is having some problems.

    That sounds like a fun trip if you get a chance to do it. I have been wanting to try a short trip here in NC but the budget won't allow it at the moment or anytime in the near future the way it's been going.