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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)
carolina Posted - 02/19/2018 : 17:47:26
Looking great!

warren Posted - 02/19/2018 : 17:33:33
That's true, if the above seat steering had worked my arms would have been straight. I think this will be close because my hands will be in the wind shadow of the kingpins, which is dirty anyway.
alevand Posted - 02/19/2018 : 17:26:01
If the handle bars were a little higher up, arms would be straighter into the airflow.

Tony Levand
warren Posted - 02/19/2018 : 17:20:27
Here's the steering assembly. It's a bit hard to see what's going on but I have enough clearance for my hand except in a really tight turn where the tire will rub my wrist. Time will tell if that's a problem.

Shortened the chain a bit.
Chain management is completed. I'm using a small Fenner pulley for the power side with a chain keeper. I wanted to use a 16T cog idler but the chain keeper would have been more difficult and more prone to chain loss. The return chainline is pretty straight so I'm just using a short section of chain tubing connected to the seat. This picture also shows the lower seat mount bracket.

Here's the front view before finishing the brakes. The handlebars are behind the kingpins.

Here's the riding position with my head against the headrest. This was before I shortened the boom. The steering position is reasonably aero...
I weighed the trike at 35 lbs

warren Posted - 02/13/2018 : 13:23:51
Completed the tubing clamp to hold the CF boom tube onto the BB assembly. I cut the boom tube an inch or two shorter than I should have but I think there is still enough 2" tube on the BB assembly to allow a good clamp area.
warren Posted - 02/05/2018 : 21:46:06
Tonight I added the brakes parts. Shortest brake cables ever! Shortened the chain a bit. Rode it around the basement and almost took out the furnace LOL! I need to finish the idler and return chain management but the garage is too cold!
Johnsfwdbent Posted - 02/01/2018 : 22:16:39
Looking good Warren!,
warren Posted - 02/01/2018 : 20:55:12
Clamped the boom in place and put the chain together, then rode it around the basement a bit. Fun!

Still no brakes, parts should arrive this weekend.
warren Posted - 02/01/2018 : 10:48:53
I'm still waiting on the brake parts.

There are so many little things to do still! Last night I laid up the CF tube clamp to attach the boom firmly to the steel frame stub. 10 layers of CF! Popped the aluminum spacer out this morning. I need to cut and shape the clamp so it's pretty and pick up a couple 8mm bolts to provide the clamping.
warren Posted - 01/29/2018 : 12:26:30
I added the brake levers, rear derailleur and some chain. Ordered some Sturmy-Archer parts to connect the brake cables, and a new pin for my chain tool from Niagara Cycles. Chain line looks very nice! One idler on the power side and probably a short chunk of tubing on the return side just to keep the chain from flopping around. It's amazing when all of a sudden it's almost rideable!
warren Posted - 01/28/2018 : 19:27:41
I would have used tank (side stick) steering if I could. Apparently my arms are too long.
carolina Posted - 01/28/2018 : 17:46:46
Can u explain why you wouldn’t use tank steering on race trike. I never built one and never will but like watching. Is this one like a catrike?

warren Posted - 01/28/2018 : 17:18:02
Later I did some experimentation rolling around on the trike in my basement with vise grips on the ends of the ackerman arms. It seemed like direct steering felt ok and it was a good reasonable position for aero as my hands are directly behind the kingpins. I then hacked up the side stick steering and brazed some of the tubes onto the ends of the ackerman arms. Rolled around some more in the basement. It seems good so I'm going with it! As a plus, it's so simple!

The only issue is that it won't keep me in my seat in the sharp corners, so some testing will need to be done there to see if body english will be enough.
warren Posted - 01/28/2018 : 14:39:41
Cut a bunch of tubes and brazed them together to make a side stick steering. Sat on the bike to check the position and clearances.

Nope Nope Nope Nope.

The position feels good and is pretty aero, but my hand would be hit by the tire in a tight turn. If I were to move the steering back far enough to not hit the tire, it wouldn't be aero at all.

Now I'm noticing that my arms are long enough to have a steering control just behind the cruciform, which would also be a pretty aero position. Back to the drawing board.
warren Posted - 01/24/2018 : 18:38:09
Trimmed the boom tube and added the crank assembly that I had previously cut off the donor bike.

Made the decision to use the side stick steering, which will clamp to the now unused head tube. I checked the position and it will keep my hands and arms close to the sides my body. Not great for frontal area but at least my arms aren't spread wide like on normal trikes. I can always add OSS later...

Something like this...

Added the power side idler and checked the chain line. Looks good!

Speedbiker Posted - 01/20/2018 : 11:02:57
Your original goal was to build a very fast trike. Abandoning OSS puts you back with the stock trikes. I'm sure you can do the surgery necessary to make OSS work.
Tom Schneider Posted - 01/20/2018 : 08:15:36
How about going back to your original setup, but with the steering tube moved forward and the pitman arm on the back side. More crotch clearance and correct steering geometry.

alevand Posted - 01/20/2018 : 07:12:19
Maybe USS?

Tony Levand
Jerry Posted - 01/18/2018 : 20:01:22
Sorry your steering didn't work out, but am wanting to see how you build the dual side stick steering. Side stick steering would solve a couple of my problems on my trike.
Speedbiker Posted - 01/18/2018 : 19:30:57
warren Posted - 01/18/2018 : 12:17:37
I sat on the trike for the first time last night. Yay! Apparently the handlebar headtube is not going to work in its current location due to nonexistent crotch clearance. Boo! Now I am considering the dual side stick steering again...
alevand Posted - 01/18/2018 : 05:39:25
A link that's bent on one end to clear the steering tube. I've cut the treads off the rod end and welded it to the tube end. 5/8 or 3/4 tube, it worked fine and was on the carp for along time. Adjustment is done on the other end in half turn increments.

Tony Levand
warren Posted - 01/17/2018 : 11:03:56
I was able to get the seat mounted over the past several days and I'm pretty happy that everything looks straight!

I'm not sure I have enough clearance with the seat mounted, but without the seat Tony's "135 degrees to the tangent" method works with my existing steering components to provide limited steering.

I'm still learning as I go and there are several things that need to be fixed.
* Steering linkages
* Slight tweak on left kingpin steering head tube that means I need to unbraze/rebraze it.
* Steerer tubes too short for clamps, just using top caps for bearing compression. Doh!
warren Posted - 01/15/2018 : 14:36:47
Great explanation guys, thank you!

I'm getting used to several rounds of rework at every step on this trike...
Tom Schneider Posted - 01/15/2018 : 11:39:08
Originally posted by warren

Thanks for the input guys, lots of good solutions. Whatever I do I think will require a lot of rework. I think I like the ICE solution the best. Here's a drawing of what I can glean of the ICE geometry.

The odd thing is that there is no traditional Ackerman. Is the Ackerman compensation handled by the wide set handlebar pivot? I can see how that would make the wheels turn at different rate. Hmm.

I think this would work:
As Tony said, keep all the knuckle arms and effective Pitman arm the same length. With the existing long tie-rod installed and and adjusted, measure and record the angle between the knuckle arm and the tie-rod. Free the tie-rod from the knuckles. Attach a new tie-rod to Pitman arm and one knuckle arm. Adjust to keep Pitman arm perpendicular to tie-rod and the knuckle arm at the recorded angle to the tie-rod.
Repeat for the opposite side.
The bad part is you then must move the axles to the correct location on the Knuckles, or you could remount the knuckle arms.

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