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 Trike time (see pg 5 for build 1)

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warren Posted - 11/03/2016 : 15:03:21
The gentle reader may ask, "Why don't you just pick a trike and ride it!". Oh, I have reasons gentle reader, reasons.

After riding and racing the Greenspeed Areo, I can say it handles corners well and is fast in a racing environment. I do not however fit in the seat as they are designed for "normal" height humans and major reconstructive surgery would need to be performed to make that happen.

After racing and riding the ICE Vortex (almost a VTX!) I can say that the seat fits me well and it is comfy, but due to a lack of triangulation it does not do well in a racing environment. The VTX is stiffer in the rear and has a seat which can be laid back more that the Vortex so it would be better, but is still has just a monotube and that will allow the rear wheel to deflect in the hard corners.

That leaves the Catrike 700 yet which I not raced or ridden in anger. It is however quite popular in the HPRA racing series. If I were to obtain one, it would need some modification including a hardshell seat to get me a bit lower, and probably a change to indirect steering. If my backside can fit between the seat rails they would make great side bolsters to prevent sliding off the seat in the hard corners.

The final option is of course, building one from scratch.

Here's my web page documenting my racing trike investigation and research.


So, What makes a recumbent trike fast? Build or buy?

25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
warren Posted - 04/18/2018 : 11:00:50
Ah, you meant a telescoping antenna. I was thinking just a stick antenna and was confused. Yes, the telescoping antenna is a good idea.
SpiderMonkey Posted - 04/18/2018 : 10:08:10
I made one similar, but broke it and ordered the radio antenna as the replacement.

warren Posted - 04/13/2018 : 12:01:41
A Callibro is a Catrike tool that allows you to accurately adjust the toe. You put it between the brake surfaces of the two wheels at the front and lock it, then use it to check the wheel distance at the back and adjust as needed. Much better than two boards lined up next to the tires. I made one using a 3/8" rod that slides inside a 1/2" tube. The Catrike one has a fancy lever to allow it to lock at the desired length. Mine just uses stiction for now...
SpiderMonkey Posted - 04/11/2018 : 19:39:10
I never figured out what caused that one shimmy I got. It was triggered by a bump in the pavement. I have since retensioned headsets many times as well as corrected toe-in. It scared the crap out of me though, because it was so unexpected. Rolling the (expedition) down hills at 45 mph fully loaded in the hills of Iowa, it was rock solid, thankfully. The only bike I trust more at high speed is the NoCom.

Catrike replaced the top headset bearings with teflon bushings to dampen road shocks, and this supposedly eliminated shimmy. I can't remember now if I have those or not. I also read that having the kingpin axis outside the tire contact point causes this, but I get confused quickly thinking about trike steering geometry.

I'm amazed you got one put together so quickly.

warren Posted - 04/11/2018 : 19:21:31
Apparently I need to make a Callibro.
warren Posted - 04/11/2018 : 19:13:11
Seth - I took the trike for a couple jaunts up and down the street tonight. It was the first time I had it out since I painted it. I checked the toe a couple times and adjusted it a bit. I still get a little shimmy occasionally. I'm not sure what triggers it. Also it requires what seems like a lot of force to make sharp turns. I'm not sure why, maybe the handlebars are too close to the kingpins?
SpiderMonkey Posted - 04/11/2018 : 12:19:21
I haven't checked in on this in a while. Nice looking trike. No more wobble? I got some once on my Catrike at about 25mph on a downhill and it scared the hell out of me. Never got it again.

You may know this, but a $3 radio antenna is a great toe-in tool.

warren Posted - 04/07/2018 : 19:03:30
It would fit rather nicely on the trike, but not in my car...
alevand Posted - 04/07/2018 : 08:53:13
Would the no-com tail box fit on it?

Tony Levand
warren Posted - 04/06/2018 : 19:16:14
Rear disk installed.

warren Posted - 04/06/2018 : 13:09:07
JJ - No, I need to do that.
Harv - Good idea, maybe later...
harv Posted - 04/06/2018 : 12:32:46
IMNSHO, the wheel disks would look great, painted to match the frame, The black tires will separate them from the frame.
carolina Posted - 04/06/2018 : 11:49:14
1) triangle 3 hole plate by rear tire.
2) chain wheel system under seat and velo chain tubes.
3) the steer tied into rod-end bearings.
4) seat sure ain’t going anywhere too

jjackstone Posted - 04/06/2018 : 10:52:02
Did you check the toe while sitting on the trike?

warren Posted - 04/05/2018 : 19:56:11
After getting it put back together, I used a couple of boards to check the toe. Yes, too much toe-in! Because I used two right hand threaded rod end bearings I have to remove a bolt to adjust it. Note to self: If I ever abuse myself with a trike build again, get right and left threaded rod end bearings so all I need to do is loosen the bolts to adjust the toe.

Here's the left hand steering assembly. This is the one I had to unbraze and fix. After I had the bike all back together now I notice that the trail doesn't exactly match on both sides. A couple trips around the basement didn't show it to be a detriment. I still need to test it outside.

Here's the right hand steering assembly. It's hard to see but I used some handlebar tape to finish off the hand grip. I discovered the the brake cable could be wrapped under the tape. Nice!
Later I may drill some hole in the cruciform to route the derailleur cable through so it looks cleaner.

Here's the power side idler and the return side chain tube. The power idler is TerraCycle's "Sport" 23T .

Here's the rear end, with another chunk of chain tube to prevent rubbing on the frame in the upper gears.

The finished trike, complete with a flag that has been sitting in my garage for many years, just waiting for a trike to put it on.

I found some 20 year old fiberglass wheel disks that I made for the Barracuda lowracer that fit the rear wheel nicely. I'll shoot some black spray paint on them and they'll be ready to go!
warren Posted - 04/05/2018 : 09:45:10
Yep, I'll do that. It would certainly help if the weather would cooperate! Trike is almost back together.
Tom Schneider Posted - 04/04/2018 : 11:20:53
And now: photos, movie, ride report (speed, handling, etc).

warren Posted - 04/04/2018 : 08:14:13
I'm putting it all back together. For some reason I am always amazed how much easier it goes together the second time.

LunaticFringe Posted - 04/02/2018 : 20:58:12
The perfect color.
warren Posted - 04/02/2018 : 18:01:10
warren Posted - 03/30/2018 : 12:56:23
Yesterday I fixed the one front front wheel headtube that was in at the wrong angle, causing the wheel to be slightly canted. I had to unbraze it, grind it a bit to fix the angle, check the alignment, then tack weld it back together. Still wrong. Second time around it seems right. That plus removing/installing the headset cups about 20 times made for a long day. Today I am painting the frame yellow.
warren Posted - 03/27/2018 : 11:40:26
Work progresses slowly but it all seems to work. I have painted the boom tube yellow and now I'm disassembling the trike to do a couple tweaks and get some paint on it.

Soon I'll be distracted by a hopefully quick project to mod a mini-BMX with a 24V motor and big LiFePo4 battery.
warren Posted - 03/12/2018 : 15:36:21
I'm still (slowly) tweaking the trike. The compressor caps arrived and I also ordered a t-cycle.com 24T "sport" idler to replace the Fenner pulley.
warren Posted - 02/28/2018 : 12:26:46
Last night I took the trike out for a moonlit ride on the local short MUP. The handling feels pretty good now.

I did get some bump induced wobble and am not sure if the headset loosened up again or if the CF tie rod maybe had an oscillation. Testing in the daytime will probably help. The headset is only held together my the star nut and cap now, which may not be enough to keep it tight. Traditionally there would also be a clamp on top of the steerer tube, but I skipped that. I think I'm going to order compressor caps to ensure it stays tight.

I'll work on a video later this spring...
LunaticFringe Posted - 02/27/2018 : 12:39:35
Way coooool!


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