My Homebuilt Recumbant Tadpole Trike Project

11 Jun

About 30years ago I began tinkering with Bicycles as a hobby.My hobby was then developed into a passion for things obscure.Bicycles that went faster than others by differing designs.One of those designs allowed the rider to lay prone on the redesigned seat with body and legs outstretched.This cut/ minimized wind resistance.Pedals were placed to the rear of the rebuilt frame.sunglasses with prisms glued to them provided forward viewing for the rider.I was entranced by the huge amount of created imagination that people put into the human powered machines.For a long time I was a member of the Human Powered Vehicle League.A bunch of genius thinkers that put together pedal powered creations that did everything from roll,walk,swim,float,and even fly.

My favorite creations were(and still are)the 3 wheeled tadpole trikes that are built all over the world.They usually have 1 drive wheel behind a reclined rider.The steer wheels are on either side of the pedaling rider with the pedals out in front of the riders seat.The ride is extremely comfortable and stable.These units are very fast.Mine has been clocked by a very surprised lady at 30mph.I had a slight downhill grade and was keeping up with traffic.The gearing is as varied as imagination ca provide.My trike is currently a 63speed.

The chain setup is usually the greatest problem on these trikes in my humble opinion.I had 14feet/loop of moving chain under my made for lots of slack chain movement and often left the sprockets.I had to place Homemade chain idlers in several places to solve my problem.A few short tripsI newI had  to find a better setup.

This better setup was an idea taken from a bicycle built for two.I reversed the front pedals so the sprockets were opposite of normal bikes.I then run a shorter chain to a set of sprockets just before the rear wheel.This is an ez thing to do because I cut 2 perfectly good Mt.Bikes up to build my creation.I then placed a sprocket/pedal setup on the other side[normal pedal side]at this make do jack shaft.I then a short chain back to the rear wheel as on any conventional bike.Presto Change-o.Problem not solved yet.Oh rats and shibazz!

I now have solved my chain problem.No more slop.No more slippage of sprockets.increased Power you say.That is till I began to figure out the gear changers on this new group of gear changes.2 sprockets now in front(@ the pedals).3 sprockets next inline at problem,new challenge.Lets think of this as lubrication for the brains gear-train.You got to love it.Bring it on.(sorry,guess that’s some elses cliche).

The two bikes I chopped in half had many very useful parts left over after their Mt.Bike demise.I used the !rst derailuer at the rear Wheel.this gave me 7sprockets on the wheel and 3 sprockets on the right side of the jack-shaft.A 21 speed combination.Nothing unusual at this point in time.Now I had to really get creative.The next step is mind territory.This is where you must ask yourself  if you really want more gears or just leave it with the great 21gears.Its already something unique from the bikes you easily past.Read on and fear not.Use the brain young Luke,Use the BRAIN.

The deraileur that was originally on the front spockets of the Mt.Bikes is not able to be used to change the front sprockets at the pedals.Its reverse of what would work .if your following along to this point in my progress,then maybe you can foresee the next round of mechanical tasks.The trike has many possible gears that will theoretically give a whopping fast speed of be able to climb buildings vertically in lowest gear.till your chain once again falls off.leave the chain between these two sprockets for problem….

The slop in the chain between the front pedal sprocket and the jack-shaft Is the easiest fix yet.I had two Mt.Bikes.Right?The second deraileur is mounted behind the sprocket on the left side(Jack-shaft)sprocket.I had to place a hanging bracket from the frame to use this deraileur in this manner.It wasnt designed for this type of sprocket change.time consuming tinkering will reward you though.The HI and LO adjustments will be just about set as narrow as they will every be set.Now a seat would be real nice.standing up to pedal on a conventional bike would be ez.Try It on a recumbant where no one will see you put yourself in a hurt locker.Oh I digress.The seat..

Wood,fibre glass,metal,and old motorcycle seat.this one is for YOUR imagination.Next blog Maybe if Your Interested,Maybe I,ll explain how I built the trike without welding its frame.comments are welcome.This project is ongoing and will often be updated as I make progress on it.hope to tour with other recumbantors in the future.after I iron out the little bugs in the design.let me hear from you if you have ideas.we are all Technomads at heart(google it,)I admire the original Technomad.would love to tour nationwide on a tadpole with a whole bunch of internet recumbant techies. Talk to you later folks.thanks for dropping in 4 mind coffe.


Posted by on June 11, 2012 in Uncategorized


4 responses to “My Homebuilt Recumbant Tadpole Trike Project

  1. Leonard Marks

    July 3, 2012 at 10:21 am

    great post

    • rjpickering/teliquan

      July 5, 2012 at 5:00 am

      Glad You liked my article Leonard.I hope to have a few detailed pictures soon and many more articles onRecumbants.Bent is the Zen Way of Bicycling.
      EZ going and relaxed:) I have another blog :wordpress.teliquan/ RJPickering


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