EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike build

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EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike build

Post by Frakentrike » May 22, 2015 7:37 pm

In case anyone is interested, here's EATSRHPV (Electric Assist Tilting Suspension Recumbent Human Powered Vehicle) a tadpole trike that I've been building for the last six months or so:
Trike at Work front.jpg
EATSRHPV at work
And here's a video of the trike highlighting the e-assist key-start, lighting controls, lights and electric horn followed by a 26 minute video of my commute to work from the perspective of a GoPro under the front boom highlighting how the front suspension and tilting mechanism works (I believe it is called SlowTV:



(Hmm, any idea why my embedded YouTube clip is not embedding?) EDIT: Thanks bowlofsalad!

Apologies for the squeaks - I'll be dismantling the beast shortly for painting so will grease up all the bearings. :)

My build blog is here: http://www.bentrideronline.com/messageb ... ?p=1273032
Last edited by Frakentrike on Feb 26, 2016 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
e-assist FrankenTrike homebuilt 1984
Current build: EATSRHPV E-Assist Tilting Full-Suspension Recumbent Trike
Build Blog: http://www.bentrideronline.com/messageb ... p?t=113645
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy5hIJ ... b3XYsXMlAw

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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by bowlofsalad » May 23, 2015 11:39 am

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.

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?

Are you satisfied with the level of softness of the ride?

How did you decide on the seat angle?

Which filler material did you use when MIG welding chromoly tubing?

Did you decide to heat treat the frame?

What wall thickness and diameter tubing did you use?

What is your body weight?

Are you using any sort of torque arm?

Why did you use 18" wheels up front?

What is the gross weight of the trike (excluding yourself).

How did you make the telescoping round tube boom?

What is your plan for fenders?

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. 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.

How much time have you spent practicing various joints(welding)?

Did you use any sort of jigging when fabricating any of the parts on your trike?

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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by Frakentrike » May 24, 2015 6:06 am

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.
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: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?
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.

It is similar on my trike. I don’t have to stand up (not that I could) as the full suspension and shock-cord mesh seat takes the worst of the jolts for a comfy ride for my body and legs, but I let my arms go “loose” so they can absorb the sideways (lateral) jolts of the tilting handlebars as one or other of the front wheels drops down or bounces up a kerb or pothole. It only took a couple of kerbs to get used to this, but I find I can maintain total control of steering and balance because of the inertia of the trike and rider while instantly reacting to obstructions or drops of up to about 25cm (10 inches) of either front wheel while keeping the trike nice and level. I can see this tilting mechanism has huge potential for an off-road biased recumbent trike that on wider trails could much more readily hold it’s own against it’s two-wheeled brethren.
bowlofsalad wrote:Are you satisfied with the level of softness of the ride?
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.

Being able to lean into the turns also increases comfort reducing the lateral forces on your body and allowing the suspension to cushion your body even in tighter fast turns is wonderful. The closest analog is sitting on a comfy motorbike as you do leaning turns.
bowlofsalad wrote:How did you decide on the seat angle?
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:Which filler material did you use when MIG welding chromoly tubing?
I was recommended to just use standard mild steel filler rod, so hope all my joints will hold!
bowlofsalad wrote:Did you decide to heat treat the frame?
I’ve considered it, but neither Greenspeed nor Logo Trikes do so decided I should be pretty safe. Fingers crossed.
bowlofsalad wrote:What wall thickness and diameter tubing did you use?


It varies a bit throughout the different tubes used throughout the vehicle. I’ll have to go measure them and let you know. Stay tuned.
bowlofsalad wrote:What is your body weight?
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:Are you using any sort of torque arm?
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:Why did you use 18" wheels up front?
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:What is the gross weight of the trike (excluding yourself).
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:How did you make the telescoping round tube boom?
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:What is your plan for fenders?
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: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.
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: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.
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:How much time have you spent practicing various joints(welding)?
None! Well, maybe 10 minutes. (whistles!)
bowlofsalad wrote:Did you use any sort of jigging when fabricating any of the parts on your trike?
Only a simple jig for the front wishbone suspension to ensure they were as parallel and similar to each other as possible.
e-assist FrankenTrike homebuilt 1984
Current build: EATSRHPV E-Assist Tilting Full-Suspension Recumbent Trike
Build Blog: http://www.bentrideronline.com/messageb ... p?t=113645
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy5hIJ ... b3XYsXMlAw

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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by amberwolf » May 24, 2015 5:29 pm

Frakentrike wrote:I was recommended to just use standard mild steel filler rod, so hope all my joints will hold!
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! :lol:) 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.
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?
You could teflon coat teh inside of the outer boom tube.

Or use rings of ball bearings.

On one of my original plans for a "folding" trike that basically would have telescoped out the front from udner the seat, and the pedal boom from inside the main tube, I was going to use the old Ashtabula BB bearings and some regular BB bearings, trapped in a pair of their cups, on some pipes I happened to have that were exactly the rigth diameter to have no play, to let me slide them in and out. The bearings would have been rings around the tubes, inside the main tube and outside the inner tube, on each section. Teh largest tube woudl've been teh seat under tube and that would ahve had the Ashtabula bearings inside it, then the smaller one from there wtih the front wheels on it would have the regualr BB bearings between it and the pedals boom. if that makes any sense. I don't know if it would have actually worked as I never got to building that, and I don't have the right diameter pipes anymore, so I'd have to make up my own bearing rings/cups to keep them in place in there.






Only a simple jig for the front wishbone suspension to ensure they were as parallel and similar to each other as possible.
[/quote]

I might've missed it in the BOL thread, but do you happen to have any pics of the jig?

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.

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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by bowlofsalad » May 24, 2015 5:35 pm

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?
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.

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.
sand2.jpg
sand2.jpg (21.99 KiB) Viewed 7186 times
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.

I would have others at a welding forum give their opinion on your welds before you painted. 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.

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?

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.

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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by Frakentrike » May 25, 2015 4:31 am

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! :lol:) 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.
I'll let you know if my beastie unexpectedly folds up into a heap sometime. :-)
amberwolf wrote:You could teflon coat teh inside of the outer boom tube.
Or use rings of ball bearings.
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:
Only a simple jig for the front wishbone suspension to ensure they were as parallel and similar to each other as possible.
I might've missed it in the BOL thread, but do you happen to have any pics of the jig?
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. :-)
jigCloseup.jpg
suspension Jig close-up
jig with A-Arms.jpg
jig tilted left.jpg
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.
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!

The next time I do this, I’ll try and get dished wheels that would allow the kingpins to be close to vertical which would significantly reduce the tilting/Ackermann compensation clashes at extreme levels of tilt, while still eliminating brake steer and bump steer.
Last edited by Frakentrike on May 25, 2015 6:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
e-assist FrankenTrike homebuilt 1984
Current build: EATSRHPV E-Assist Tilting Full-Suspension Recumbent Trike
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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by Frakentrike » May 25, 2015 6:30 am

bowlofsalad wrote:
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?
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.

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.
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: 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.
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: I would have others at a welding forum give their opinion on your welds before you painted.
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. :roll:
bowlofsalad 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.
:oops: 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” now :-D
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?
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: 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.
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? :wink: 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!!!

I did however, start out measuring the wall thicknesses of the various tubes in mm and adjusting the amps appropriately and now just estimate what setting to use for each thickness automatically based on experience. Suffice it to say, that the thickest tube I use is about 3mm for handlebars etc while other tube sections are thinner. I’ll get back to you with more specifics later.
e-assist FrankenTrike homebuilt 1984
Current build: EATSRHPV E-Assist Tilting Full-Suspension Recumbent Trike
Build Blog: http://www.bentrideronline.com/messageb ... p?t=113645
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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by docnjoj » May 29, 2015 1:56 pm

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.
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Steintrike Mad Max full suspension trike rear Cute 100H going on: Whoops, Cute wheel broke but I fixed it.
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2x16000 Multisport from HK now gone as they died after 2 years
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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by bowlofsalad » May 29, 2015 2:18 pm

docnjoj wrote:Does the bike stay upright when you are riding or do you balance it like a 2 wheeler?


Skip to 1:08 for the tilting explanation.

Basically it's 100% manually controlled tilting through the handlebars.

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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by Frakentrike » May 30, 2015 1:34 pm

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.
otherDoc
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.

I also don't need springs to return the vehicle to an even keel as simply moving the steering levers side to side easily brings me back upright again as I've given the levers enough leverage to easily lift the vehicle and my bodyweight back upright from a full tilt angle. I would imagine that if you had springs that were strong enough to return the vehicle to an upright position, they'd also be too strong to allow it to tilt over in the first place?

Here's video of me using the levers to tilt the vehicle side to side while at rest. Note that I don't tilt all the way when I'm not moving as I would probably over-balance, but you can see how the leverage of the levers is more than enough for the purpose:

e-assist FrankenTrike homebuilt 1984
Current build: EATSRHPV E-Assist Tilting Full-Suspension Recumbent Trike
Build Blog: http://www.bentrideronline.com/messageb ... p?t=113645
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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by docnjoj » Jun 02, 2015 2:19 pm

That is simply wonderful. Great engineering!
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E-bike stable at our house

Steintrike Mad Max full suspension trike rear Cute 100H going on: Whoops, Cute wheel broke but I fixed it.
Sun USX delta trike EbikeKit small geared front wheel sort of front suspension for wife

Agniusm/A123 AMP 20 36 volts on the Steini has been taken off.
2x16000 Multisport from HK now gone as they died after 2 years
New Luna 10S bottle battery 13.6AH now on mine
Relatively New 10S4Px2 for wife's bike giving 20ah @ 40 volts home made Panasonic from Tumich. BMS's rule.

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Painted

Post by Frakentrike » Jun 03, 2015 12:20 am

I pulled the trike completely apart over the last week and painted everything and it's looking very nice now.
Primed main frame.jpg
Painted main frame.jpg
Partially re-assembled.jpg
three quarter view.jpg
closeup of front suspension.jpg
I've also re-built the central tilting axle out of nice thick 3mm cromoloy tube and improved the bearings to increase strength and eliminate slop which made the tilting/steering levers a bit sloppy side to side and reduced how far I could easily tilt the vehicle. The new design is also easier to dismantle/maintain.

Should be finished re-assembling in the next few days - more photos and video to come.

ps. thanks for the encouragement otherdoc!
e-assist FrankenTrike homebuilt 1984
Current build: EATSRHPV E-Assist Tilting Full-Suspension Recumbent Trike
Build Blog: http://www.bentrideronline.com/messageb ... p?t=113645
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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by amberwolf » Jun 03, 2015 2:05 am

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. :)

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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by Frakentrike » Jun 03, 2015 9:33 am

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. :)
Excellent, I'm keen to see what you come up with. :-)

I should mention some of the disadvantages of my design. The amount of cockpit space required for the steering/tilt levers to be able to angle out to the left and right away from your body in turns means that a wide cabin space is required pretty much precluding me from implementing a fully-enclosed low frontal area velomobile body, so I’m instead having to aim for an open-sided semi-enclosed body design. This should be good enough to keep the sun and the worst of the winter rain off me, but it obviously won’t be nearly as aerodynamically efficient or weather-proof as traditional fully enclosed velomobiles. (Actually, with our Australian sun, a fully enclosed velomobile has its own disadvantages!)

Also, the supporting post for the steering/tilt lever on the inside of the turn moves in towards your body the more you lean and makes for a less than comfortable experience at full tilt angles at the moment. I plan to curve these supporting posts outwards away from the driver in the near future to allow more clearance at full tilt and lessen that issue at least.

And thirdly, because of the angle of the steering kingpins, the outer wheel in a turn starts to turn at a tighter angle than it should when turning sharply at full tilt and can scrub a bit and turn a bit too abruptly as a result. A workaround I've implemented is end-stops to stop the outer wheel from over-rotating, but long term I plan to rectify this by acquiring dished 18" front wheels that would allow me to locate vertical king pins within the wheel directly over the tyre contact patch to ensure proper bump steer and brake steer correction are maintained. This would mean the king pins stay parallel to each other all the way from one tilt extreme to the other and should eliminate the issue.
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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by Frakentrike » Jun 03, 2015 7:38 pm

Got the wheels on and most of the steering linked up:
wheels on front.jpg
wheels on birds eye.jpg
Here's the rear pannier rack. I'll be making a padded seat to go on top of the rack to allow me to carry a second person (mostly my 6 yo daughter) in comfort. This is one of the other reasons why I have designed the trike to be longer than normal. Lots of cargo and passenger-carrying ability.
pannier rack dink seat.jpg
When I carried a person on the back rack of my old trike, the vehicle was very top heavy and unstable. With the tilting capability and the fact that the pannier seat has been dropped a bit lower (thanks to being more in front of the rear wheel rather than on top of), I'm hoping that carrying large loads will be much more viable on this trike.
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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by Harold in CR » Jun 04, 2015 7:54 am

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?

Can you say, roughly, what the measurement is Center/center of tire width ? 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.

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. :shock:

I have 2 sets of 74V 45Ahr Chevy Volt modules to put in the frame, and, place one of John in CR's hubmotor on or in the rear swingarm. Longer is better up to a point, so I can create storage for groceries, etc., and go to town, that's a 22 mile round trip in hilly terrain. My goal is similar to the Can Am Spyder, only a little shorter and lighter as much as possible.

Hoping you might be available for some technical advise. This is a VERY nice build. 8)

Thanks for posting this.

Harold in CR
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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by Frakentrike » Jun 04, 2015 8:22 pm

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?
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:Can you say, roughly, what the measurement is Center/center of tire width?
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: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.
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 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. :shock:
Yeow. You’ll definitely appreciate the 3 wheels and full suspension then!
Harold in CR wrote:Hoping you might be available for some technical advise. This is a VERY nice build. 8)
Thanks for posting this.
It’s a pleasure. It’s great to interact with others who share this passion.

-Mart
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Motor stuttering

Post by Frakentrike » Jun 07, 2015 10:55 pm

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. Drat. All those tiny fiddly wires from the motor are a pain. 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?

I had to make a new steering tie-rod as despite turning the workshop upside down, I couldn't find the original missing one. *sigh*

The trike is now road-worthy enough for me to go for a test pedal up and down the street and boy it is now beautifully silent and the tilt system is gloriously responsive and smooth.

I added chain tubes (homemade out of retic black plastic pipe with the ends flared using a heat gun and suitable cone-shaped object which nicely quieten the front drive chains and eliminate the grease-marked calf. :-)

The re-engineered tilting axis now has no side-to-side sloppiness apart from the natural slight give of the spring shocks. I'm dying to start commuting on the trike again, but apart from fixing the stuttering motor, I'd better finish off making a proper battery rack behind the seat and add on the rear mudguard (fender).
roadworthy.jpg
LWB Trike.jpg
LWB Trike.jpg (159.01 KiB) Viewed 386 times
Last edited by Frakentrike on Jul 03, 2015 7:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Motor stuttering

Post by amberwolf » Jun 07, 2015 11:17 pm

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.
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.
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?
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).

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Re: Motor stuttering

Post by Frakentrike » Jun 07, 2015 11:26 pm

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).
Yeah, I am pretty sure I know which plug is the culprit as the pin has fallen out the back of it before.

I'll post pics when I get home this afternoon. The motor came with a bit of a rat's nest of tiny wires and half a dozen different types of multi-plugs joining individual pairs, triples and 6-pin combinations. Quite messy compared to the simple setup of controller with one cable to motor, one cable to battery and one cable to throttle that I have on my 250w hub motor. Heck, even my dead Cyclone chain drive setup has much tidier wiring.

I would definitely like to clean it all up and make it more reliable on this trike.
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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by Frakentrike » Jun 08, 2015 9:46 am

Here's the photo of my controller and all the plugs that go with it.
controller med.jpg
As you can see, there 6 different multi-pin plugs ranging from 2 pin up to 6 pin and 5 individual cables coming out of the controller (not including the Cycle Analyst shunt patched into the battery wires. Note the leftmost plug coming out of the controller with black, green and red wires is if I recall, the pedelec sensor which I don't use as it was far too inaccurate.

The 6-pin plug and 3 individual wires hanging from above go to the motor while the cable at the bottom left goes off to the throttle (and LED battery level lights and power button).

It's true that the motor only has a 6-pin connector (5 Hall sensors I presume?) plus 3 individual wires (power?) going to it, but the plethora of cables coming out of the controller and vulnerability of all the exposed very thin gauge wires is scary.

Although the pin I mentioned earlier had indeed fallen out of one of the small 2-pin plugs from the throttle again, pushing it back in didn't fix the problem. In fact the motor doesn't go at all with that pin out.

However, looking at the state of the wires coming out of the axle (once I took off the electrical tape), it looks like the problem is probably there (sigh, that's going to be a lot harder to fix):
axle wires.jpg
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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by Harold in CR » Jun 08, 2015 12:26 pm

With your mechanical ability, you can easily repair that axle /cables mess. Can you spare 2 or 3 threads being cut off the end of the axle? If so, cut that end off with a dremel, hacksaw, whatever tool you have, VERY carefully, split it and take the cut piece off. Smooth out the cut end. I use a hand de-burring tool, made especially for such jobs. A stout knife blade and scraping can do also.

If there are no broken strands, paint the bad areas with liquid tape. Extremely handy stuff, and let dry for a couple hours. Then, use vinyl electrical tape and do several rounds on EACH phase wire. Stretch the tape some, BUT, let the tail end relax where it was cut off the roll, so there is NO pressure to make the tape start to unwind, then, press the end down.

Take a large diameter piece of shrink wrap and split it. Wrap it around the bundle of wires, and shove it into the axle maybe 10mm or so, and swab the area with liquid tape. The shrink wrap should be long enough to cover all the repaired area and then some, and, finish up with a few wraps of vinyl electrical tape, doing the same relaxed end, and then, smear liquid tape over the whole repair. Now, it's water resistant and heavily insulated.

Thanks for your response to my questions. I'm shooting for 91,4 CM or so, wheel to wheel center. We WILL be communicating soon. Harold
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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by Frakentrike » Jun 13, 2015 4:51 pm

Thanks for the suggestions Harold - with the help of a friend, we've actually managed to pull the damaged portion of cable back down the axle and out the bottom where it enters the hub. We've cut it clean through to eliminate the frayed sections and repair the wires completely. Boy was that a two person-job!
We'll leave this extra length of cable in the hub secured with cable ties and then reinforce where it comes out the other end of the axel perhaps using some of your suggestions.
hub wiring.jpg
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One question for you guys - we dropped a bit of solder on the motor windings while repairing these wires in the hub as you can see in the pics below. I've scraped off most of it but there looks to be a little bit left on the windings. Will this be a problem? It won't short the motor out by any chance?
dropped solder.jpg
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solder closeup.jpg
(141.51 KiB) Downloaded 7 times
By the way - I notice the last bunch of photos I've attached to my messages are all not displaying inline but instead have a "not downloaded yet" message showing. Is there a limit to the number of attachments you can add to a thread or something?
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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by Harold in CR » Jun 13, 2015 5:45 pm

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.
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Re: EATSRHPV-Mart's E-Assist Tilting Full Suspension Trike b

Post by Frakentrike » Jun 13, 2015 8:51 pm

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.
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. :(
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