Several weeks ago I mentioned my intentions to build a recumbent trike.  It’s begun!!!!  And I’m making good progress.

As my welding skills are nearly nonexistent, I searched for plans that would allow me to build a trike without welding and found a great guy in the Netherlands who has been helping me with some great ideas.  What I liked most about his trike plans is that you really don’t need any special tools.  Hacksaw, drill, some wrenches and you are set.

That said, my bike build is going to be a little harder as I’m going to try something different and am about halfway there.   In retrospect, I should have built one just like the plans and then modified it to my needs.   And what are my needs, a lightweight, sturdy, comfortable trike that I can take on all day rides, like BRAN and RAGBRAI.

So what am I up to?  Well, when done it will more of a Frankentrike.  The rear of the bike is from an aluminum Schwinn mountain bike.  The middle has parts from two of my kids old scooters and the front is a do it yourself aluminum trike of tadpole design.

The above is what is left of the Schwinn mountain bike frame.  About any any type of mountain bike that has a pivot point like this one will do, but I liked this one as it had a really sturdy rear section for the rear tire.

The above is a picture of the front crossbeam of the trike showing the unique steering knuckles which imitate a kingpin.  The bolts are all temporary and I will put the correct sizes on later.  Everything now is just the creating and testing modes and I’ve changed my plans in my head a few dozen times since starting.  That’s not a bad thing, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the stimulating time I’ve had dreaming up how this bike will work, what I need to do to make it comfortable and  making it as light as possible. Not everything has gone perfect, but the beauty of a bolt together bike is you can take off any part and put on a new one.

Speaking of errors, the above shows how my tires are both leaning in.  That was not my intention, but the good news is they both lean in an equal amount on each side.  This is acceptable on a trike of this type and should not be a problem.  The tires on the above are actually from a Schwinn kids bike trailer that I had converted into a cargo trailer to tow behind my two wheel recumbent bike.  I’ve never used the trailer, but am thinking they will work nice for this trike.  The 9 mm axles, though, are too small and will not hold the load of the trike and user.

The picture above shows the Sturmey Archer drum brake hubs I bought special for this build and they come with a 14mm axle.  The mounting part extends past the brake cable and my diagram shows the bracket I plan to build to hold the hub in place correct.