Thanks for the interest. I’ve been keen on recumbent trikes and wishing more people shared the interest for the last 30 years since I built my first recumbent trike (with a linear-pedalling mechanism) back in my final year at school. As such, I’m glad the net allows us to share our passions in this way.bowlofsalad wrote:I had never considered making a manually tilting trike. Yours is an interesting design for certain. Great project, thanks for sharing with such intense detail, it's truly inspiring to see others share their creations, I am often too shy to do so myself. I followed your project on and off on bentrider, I am very interested in tilting trikes myself and have plans to make my own.
The tilting handlebars are isolated from sharp bumps to some extent by the suspension spring shocks, but I was also originally worried it would be a problem. However, I’ve found that in practice, it is similar to when you’re going over rough ground on a traditional bike. On a bike, you stand up in the pedals and let your arms and legs go “loose” so they take up the shocks of hitting kerbs or potholes while the front shock forks (and rear shocks if fully suspended) on a mountain bike cushion the worst of the jolts.bowlofsalad wrote:Are you happy with how the tilting functions so far? Have you hit any serious knocks yet? A scenario I've imagined is hitting a deep pot hole or something large in the road and the handlebars flailing about, either injuring a hand or causing you to simply lose control rather than retain it, or both, is there any possibility for this to occur?
I am shocked at how comfortable it is. The combination of seat and spring shocks is amazing. I had planned to replace the cheap and nasty front spring shocks that I’d scavenged off some cheap bikes that I’d collected off the verge, with some nice light modern air shocks, but they are performing so well. I’m going to delay that for the time being.bowlofsalad wrote:Are you satisfied with the level of softness of the ride?
I made the seat on my first trike too upright, so I ensured much greater angle and adjustability on this trike. I have already moved the front of the seat up and further forward and leaned it further back once already whereas the seat on my old trike formed part of the space-frame so was completely non-adjustable.bowlofsalad wrote:How did you decide on the seat angle?
I was recommended to just use standard mild steel filler rod, so hope all my joints will hold!bowlofsalad wrote:Which filler material did you use when MIG welding chromoly tubing?
I’ve considered it, but neither Greenspeed nor Logo Trikes do so decided I should be pretty safe. Fingers crossed.bowlofsalad wrote:Did you decide to heat treat the frame?
bowlofsalad wrote:What wall thickness and diameter tubing did you use?
I’m 80kgs (176 pounds) and 177cm tall though will hopefully improve my BMI once I get my Schlumpf Speed Drive installed so I can pedal hard at a sensible cadence at top speed. I'm still awaiting new chain rings for that unit.bowlofsalad wrote:What is your body weight?
Only special thick washers on each side of the axle which have a tab that sticks down into the steel drop-out slot combined with the flattened sides of the axle that stop rotation. That setup has worked fine for the last 5 years I have had this rear wheel hub motor on my old trike so hopefully it’ll continue to do the job. I do have a nice long torque arm on my 250W hub motor-equipped aluminium alloy mountain bike though.bowlofsalad wrote:Are you using any sort of torque arm?
It was what I had, but I’m glad I went with it as the tilting geometry means larger wheels would have much greater clearance angle problems at full tilt and turning angles. I bought the wheels, hubs with disc brake mounts and king pin assembly all pre-assembled from Martin Arnold of Logo Trikes who happens to live only 15 minutes away from me here in Perth and he only had 18” wheels at the time. That helped significantly as I definitely would have struggled to achieve the accuracy and tolerances and strength needed for those critical components.bowlofsalad wrote:Why did you use 18" wheels up front?
Not sure, but I’ve stripped it down for painting so this is a good opportunity to weigh all the components. Thanks for the idea!bowlofsalad wrote:What is the gross weight of the trike (excluding yourself).
I found two tubes of exactly the right diameter! What I’m unsure of now though is how do you paint the inner boom without it getting scratched to billio when it slides in and out?bowlofsalad wrote:How did you make the telescoping round tube boom?
I have a 26” rear mudguard (fender) from a kit yet to fit, but haven’t yet managed to source 18” mudguards. I had previously acquired what I had been told were 18” mudguards, but they look closer to 20” and GreenSpeed tells me they have 16” mudguards that should fit, but I’m a bit leery of that as well. So not sure at this point.bowlofsalad wrote:What is your plan for fenders?
Yeah, I tend to be a student of the quick and dirty "she’ll be right school" so I haven’t had the patience to spend more time on my photos.bowlofsalad wrote:Some cameras have a macro mode, the cameras I use with this method also have a lens that adjusts for focus, this allows you to take very clear shots of things up close.
Heh, you have discovered my Achille’s heel! Not so difficult considering the evidence of my many poor welds. Another symptom of my lack of perfectionism - I’m afraid that with my full-time job and other interests, I haven’t had the time or patience to really hone my welding skills before attacking this project. The old trike managed to hold up for decades of use and abuse so hopefully this one will too as long as you don’t look too closely at the moonscape of beads, filler and grinding!bowlofsalad wrote:You might(I strongly recommend doing this) go to some welding forum(weldingweb.com is probably an excellent forum for this) with a bunch of macro shots of your various joints you welded and ask what they think about the weld bead appearances and maybe discuss your techniques(amps, wire speed, gas flow rate, pre-cleaning, material with it's thickness and so on). I am really curious about how you fit all the tubing together, the technique you used. There are a lot of different methods for fitting round tubing together and the ideal way for doing it. Obviously, the less gap there is in the joint the better.
None! Well, maybe 10 minutes. (whistles!)bowlofsalad wrote:How much time have you spent practicing various joints(welding)?
Only a simple jig for the front wishbone suspension to ensure they were as parallel and similar to each other as possible.bowlofsalad wrote:Did you use any sort of jigging when fabricating any of the parts on your trike?
Given that it's just mild steel in the fluxcore wire I use on all my stuff, and it sees some serious loading and abuse (and poor design! ) and even my sometimes poor welding holds up (breaking somewhere other than at welds usually), I don't think you have anything to worry about, especially since you have suspension, and my most-loaded areas don't.Frakentrike wrote:I was recommended to just use standard mild steel filler rod, so hope all my joints will hold!
You could teflon coat teh inside of the outer boom tube.I found two tubes of exactly the right diameter! What I’m unsure of now though is how do you paint the inner boom without it getting scratched to billio when it slides in and out?
[/quote]Only a simple jig for the front wishbone suspension to ensure they were as parallel and similar to each other as possible.
Well, that all depends, and really relates to my question on how you managed to make a telescoping boom. How tight is the fit when the bolts aren't on? If it slides in with relative ease, I'd lubricate the surfaces before trying to put it back in after it's been painted. Paint adds to the thickness, not much obviously, but if you needed to use a rubber mallet to get the tube in before painting, you might want to sand off a bit of material on the inner tubing to get an acceptable fit.What I’m unsure of now though is how do you paint the inner boom without it getting scratched to billio when it slides in and out?
I'll let you know if my beastie unexpectedly folds up into a heap sometime.amberwolf wrote:Given that it's just mild steel in the fluxcore wire I use on all my stuff, and it sees some serious loading and abuse (and poor design! ) and even my sometimes poor welding holds up (breaking somewhere other than at welds usually), I don't think you have anything to worry about, especially since you have suspension, and my most-loaded areas don't.
The tubes fit nice and snuggly, so I'll see how I go once I try fitting the painted section back in - may need to use the technique bowlofsalad mentions below.amberwolf wrote:You could teflon coat teh inside of the outer boom tube.
Or use rings of ball bearings.
My jig was simply two square section tubes with holes at the right heights and widths for the rod-end pivots joined by long bolts of the correct lengths. Pretty basic as I said.amberwolf wrote:I might've missed it in the BOL thread, but do you happen to have any pics of the jig?Only a simple jig for the front wishbone suspension to ensure they were as parallel and similar to each other as possible.
Sounds good, the A-Arms were a bit fiddly and the tilting geometry was hard to get right, but it should be easier the second time!amberwolf wrote: I ask because I am looking into building a locking-pivot tilting "trike" that will be much more like a bakfiet, called the BarkFiet (formerly Loooooooongbike) and of all the types of tilting I've looked at, I could probably actually build yours with stuff I already have here (assuming I can build the kingpins and such; I think I can come up with something for the linkage points).
I'd also love to build the tilting mechanism itself into the *rear* of the wider version of the SB Cruiser, whenever I get to building that, to take some strain off the wheels.
The tubes do indeed slide in nicely although there is an imperfection on the inside of the outer tube that scratches the inner tube which I’m going to have to try and reach in and file down. I’ll see how easily it goes in with the paint on now. I made need to use that sanding technique - thanks for the reference.bowlofsalad wrote:Well, that all depends, and really relates to my question on how you managed to make a telescoping boom. How tight is the fit when the bolts aren't on? If it slides in with relative ease, I'd lubricate the surfaces before trying to put it back in after it's been painted. Paint adds to the thickness, not much obviously, but if you needed to use a rubber mallet to get the tube in before painting, you might want to sand off a bit of material on the inner tubing to get an acceptable fit.What I’m unsure of now though is how do you paint the inner boom without it getting scratched to billio when it slides in and out?
I found a technique someone shared online where they put a roller skate wheel on a power drill to drive a belt sander belt to remove excess material from a tube they made smaller through cutting and welding. You might use a similar technique if the fit is too tight.
This is true. in addition, I am contemplating fixing the tube in at a permanent length to allow me to mount support struts for the lightweight roll-cage/windscreen/roof on the very end of the extended tube. I’ll then rely on adding more adjustment options to the seat to allow it to move forward and back more easily for different sized riders. This will be pretty easy as the rear support is already a pair of telescoping seat supports.bowlofsalad wrote: This whole paint scratching thing shouldn't be too dire of an issue as most of the scratches that might occur are likely to be pretty well secluded, paired with the lubrication and it's unlikely much rust will occur, but also how often do you imagine sliding this tube in and out? It's not exactly a piston in a combustion engine.
My brother-in-law is actually a professional welder having worked for mining and ship-building companies around the world. I should ask him for a bit more advice.bowlofsalad wrote: I would have others at a welding forum give their opinion on your welds before you painted.
I’ve actually ground a lot of my welds back down to the bare metal to test whether the weld has gone all the way through and in most instances that has been the case thank goodness. In stripping the trike down to its individual components, I’ve also been going back over many of my more dodgy/temporary welds and re-doing them or cleaning them up so hopefully most of them look less “unusual” nowbowlofsalad wrote: I am not trying to tell you I know something is going to fail or know the welds indicate anything, but the weld beads look very unusual to myself.
Heh, I actually sourced all of my cromoly steel from a local racing car supplies company (Go-Gear Racing) and thankfully they had exactly the right sizes of tubing that I needed.bowlofsalad wrote: How did you find tubes that fit together? I don't think I fully grasp what you mean, someone just handed you two tubes that nearly perfectly telescoped together? Where did you acquire your materials?
Unfortunately all the cromoly steel is only available in imperial measurements with crazy dimensions like 7/32 inches and 5/16” which I completely ignore (how do you guys who still use such an archaic measurement system survive? I guess you just have to put up with the odd Mars Orbiter that impacts the planet’s surface instead of going into orbit because the guys doing the calculations got mixed up between imperial and metric!!!bowlofsalad wrote: It sounds a little strange that you don't know the dimensions of the materials. Wall thickness is an excellent indicator for welding with enough heat, if you thought you were welding on really thick stuff and used 200 amps when you needed more like 90 or vice versa, I am sure the results would be pretty obvious, blown holes or cold welds.
docnjoj wrote:Does the bike stay upright when you are riding or do you balance it like a 2 wheeler?
The trike does stay upright when I'm riding as I'm holding the steering levers which as bowlofsalad mentions control the tilting. There is also just enough friction in the system to keep the trike upright at rest without holding the steering levers unless I lean my body over to the left or right. This means I don't really need a tilt-brake as at stops the vehicle just sits there nice and level even with my hands off the controls.docnjoj wrote:That is simply fine engineering. I have a full suspension trike but am looking into a tilt possibility. Does the bike stay upright when you are riding or do you balance it like a 2 wheeler? Some tilt trike have spring centering to keep them upright at stops.
Excellent, I'm keen to see what you come up with.amberwolf wrote:That looks Niiice.
Thank you for the good pics of parts and frame and stuff; it helps to see how it all works!
I've wanted to build a tadpole since I saw the Airtrike 101 or whatever it was called in the online articles from down-under; cant' remember the name of teh site. Auto-something. Must be 7 or 8 years now? Each time I think i'll start I find other things I'd like to do to it, and once I heard of leaning trikes I found that was what I really needed, but haven't run into one I might be able to build the bits for until now.
You can either lean your body or push/pull the steering/tilt levers to initiate a tilt. I find I just naturally do both. The levers help to easliy return you to an upright position if centrifugal force alone isn’t enough or when you are stationary. By locating the central pivot axle a few centimetres above the level of the spring/shock mount on the lower arms, the levers have additional leverage to easily lift your whole body weight and that of the trike without the need of hydraulics even when stationary. The down side is the levers need to tilt further in the opposite direction to the vehicle.Harold in CR wrote:This a very timely and excellent thread. Great job creating just what I want/need. (tilting front suspension.)
You mentioned steering lever leverage. Maybe I'm just being too technical, but, are you "pushing" the lean with the levers or are you actually leaning into the lean with your body. The 2 motorcycle leaners that I have been studying, both use hydraulics to help lean/center the frame upright, especially when stopped. How did you approach this?
The width from the very tip of each axle to the other is just on 80cm so the distance from the centre of each tyre to the other is probably about 70-75cm or so. I’ll measure it when I get home. It’s certainly narrow enough to fit through the bollards/loops of any cycleway I’ve encountered so far.Harold in CR wrote:Can you say, roughly, what the measurement is Center/center of tire width?
Sounds nice and sturdy for your higher-powered application. In my case, I’ve found 1/4” cromoly rod ends and narrow cromoly tube to be sufficiently strong for the suspension A-arms on my lighter, lower-powered e-assist HPV.Harold in CR wrote:I have my eye on a set of older 4 wheel ATV suspension A arms with hubs and all swiveling joints. I'm not able to create that stuff, here in the jungle, and, I want to keep that width right near 915 mm. I already have 2+ 14" strong moped wheels with hub brakes, and, I turned down Aluminum inserts to mount disc brakes, if I choose.
Yeow. You’ll definitely appreciate the 3 wheels and full suspension then!Harold in CR wrote:I have a single front wheel Ebike/moto that I built, and am trying to get steady on riding, but, here, the road out from my place to the blacktop, is full of loose and round-smooth river rocks, so, I nearly need a death grip to keep this thing upright.
It’s a pleasure. It’s great to interact with others who share this passion.Harold in CR wrote:Hoping you might be available for some technical advise. This is a VERY nice build.
Thanks for posting this.
Sounds like either a hall sensor connection issue, or a wrong phase/hall combination. If it worked before and no wires are in different order then it'd have to be a connection, which could be antyhing, from broken wire isnide theinsulation or at back of connector pin, to pushed-back pin, bent contact, etc.Frakentrike wrote:I've re-installed the hub motor and controller etc but it looks like I may have a dodgy connection in one of my plugs. The motor won't start unless the wheel is already moving and it then stutters badly and has no power.
4 plugs? at most there are normally two, for any hubmotor I have experience with (though many have multiple contacts), unless you are talking about 3 separate phase wire connectors, and a single hall connector. I think you'd have to post pics of the plugs and label what they are, including the currents that flow thru each one, for us to give you a good connector suggestion.Can anyone recommend a nice after-market multi-plug that would consolidate all the wires spread over about 4 different plugs from the motor into one plug instead of the rats-nest of dodgy plugs I have at the moment?
Yeah, I am pretty sure I know which plug is the culprit as the pin has fallen out the back of it before.amberwolf wrote:4 plugs? at most there are normally two, for any hubmotor I have experience with (though many have multiple contacts), unless you are talking about 3 separate phase wire connectors, and a single hall connector. I think you'd have to post pics of the plugs and label what they are, including the currents that flow thru each one, for us to give you a good connector suggestion.
But if you do have separate phase wires, you might want to be sure you have the right combination before doing anything else. (rarely does it go color-to-color).
Gulp! So the copper windings have varnish on them? It didn't look like normal insulation. Oh boy, hope we haven't gone and done some major damage while trying to fix the minor damage.Harold in CR wrote:I would use "Solder wick" and try to get all the solder off, so I could see if the varnish is melted, allowing the windings to short. Might be able to carefully separate the windings and insulate them somehow. Just be very careful.