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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 - 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!

Speedbiker Posted - 02/26/2018 : 20:22:35
warren Posted - 02/26/2018 : 16:26:16
Tightened up the headsets and took it out again. Much better! No more death wobble. It seems to steer easier but I need to take it on a longer ride to see if it feels "good".
warren Posted - 02/26/2018 : 14:13:24
2nd ride was a little longer. I noticed that i had to push the handlebars hard to get it to turn at times and that it was very sensitive to being pushed by the wind and road crowns. Checked the toe in when I got it back into the house. Yes, toe in was actually toe out as I had just eyeballed it before. After a short ride I find that I now get death wobble at high speeds. I did not know that was possible for a trike.
warren Posted - 02/23/2018 : 15:55:40
I took it for it's first outdoor ride up and down the sidewalks and driveways of my neighborhood a couple nights ago when the snow was melted and the pavement was finally dry. It seems to ride and handle well, and it was fun! Heels did scrape a bit going up the driveway. I was worried that the steering may not have enough leverage but it seems to be fine. I need to check the toe-in to see if it's set right. It's just set by eyeball right now.
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

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