Monthly Archives: January 2019
We all know that SHIT HAPPENS. That includes disc brake rotors getting bent. If they are not bent too much they can usually be straightened and continue to be used. To do so requires the right tools and the knowledge of how to go about straightening them. Here is a tool you will need. It sells for about $18. Park Tools makes some good bicycle tools. This is a Rotor Truing Fork – DT-2C. There are a few other companies that sell their version of this tool. I personally like Park Tool’s and recommend it.
Here is another well made tool … Foundation Brake Rotor Truing Fork Tool
Park Tools not only make good tools, but they make good instructional videos. Here is their video on how to true a bicycle disc brake rotor.
Here is another video showing a different tool being used.
And here is yet another video …
If you choose to accept this assignment I assure you that it is not mission impossible. Just be careful and follow the instructions. You can do it! And then you can …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’ & ENJOY THE RIDE
BionX motors, batteries and parts are still available. This company bought out the remaining stock from BionX and is selling it online. Currently batteries are only being shipped to Canada and the United States. Everything else they will ship worldwide … https://www.bx-legacy.com/
Reaching back a ways here is a custom built pedal powered side by side quadcycle featured on a local TV station.
Unfortunately the video quality is not very good, but you can get the general idea of what this man made so many years ago. I have no idea if it was the first side by side quad ever made.
Here is the video description:
From the VHS video library of Steven K. Roberts comes this local news report of a mid 80s built side by side quadcycle. According to the piece this was designed and build by Norm Ogle with help from Peter Johnson.
If I were a younger man and not having the physical issues I have now in my elderly years I would be fabricating various tadpole trikes and quads. I made one tadpole trike back in 2007 and I was already challenged somewhat with vision problems then.
Lastly, my thanks to Gary Solomon of Laidback Bike Report for giving his permission to share this video from his YouTube channel.
No, a reverse trike is not a trike that goes in reverse backing up. Actually before the name tadpole trike came along the term reverse trike was used to describe what we now know as a tadpole trike. Some people refer to a tadpole trike as a recumbent trike and indeed a tadpole trike is a recumbent trike. However, a recumbent trike can also be a Delta trike so one needs to distinguish just what they are talking about. Very few people know the term reverse trike as it just isn’t used to describe human powered tadpole trikes. If you look up reverse trike you will most likely find references to motorcycles rather than human powered cycles as the term is used more in the motorcycle community to describe a motorcycle with two wheels in the front and one wheel in the back. It is interesting how things change thru the years. When I first started hearing about tadpole trikes they were sometimes referred to as reverse trikes.
I always thought that calling a tadpole trike by that name was interesting. To me the resemblence is very vague, but obviously the name caught on. And obviously the fact that a tadpole has a wider front end than it has a backend is why this name was thought up.
I made up this image years ago. I know that the color of the tadpole I am sitting on is not the usual color of a tadpole, but my Catrike Trail is green and most of the background is green so if I would have made the tadpole green it would have been much more difficult to see.
Still it seems funny to go around saying that we ride a tadpole trike. I guess no matter which we called it … tadpole or reverse trike … we would end up having to explain what we are talking about. I have no answer to it.
I reckon that is why I have a picture of my trike as “wallpaper” on my smartphone … so I can just show a picture of my trike making it easier for others to know and understand what I am talking about when I say that I ride a tadpole trike. (A picture is worth a thousand words.) Anyway, if you see me going in reverse just maybe I will be trying to explain to someone what I am riding.
ENJOY THE RIDE!
I received an email from Hector Alberto who is from Australia and is a reader of this blog. He sent links to some YouTube videos of the tadpole trike and quad he has built. I am sharing them here for the world to see.
trike & quad ride on trails:
quad ride to park:
I wrote back to Hector asking him if he would send some pictures and share anything about his homemade trike and quad he cared to. Here is his reply:
The trike frame Is made of aluminium and lots of bolts.
For the steering system I’ve used the cheap 17mm ATV stub axle found on eBay and its respective end rod bolts (I was trying to understand how steering works in real).
I want to mention that with those pieces it was easy to make adjustments about angles related with the Ackerman law.
I used 20” BMX front plastic wheels. The original axle and bearings have been replaced by high rpm bearings to fit on the ATV stub axle.
The handlebars were attached using a 90 degree metal bracket between the stub axle and the handlebars. In general the trike use to work fine, but eventually the brake system mounted on the aluminium frame just fell apart.
Front sprocket 42t, freewheel 3 speeds
This picture shows the quad frame standing up when I was painting it.
I decided to go with a quad in order to help my wife bring our son along with her. The Quad measurements are 185cm long X 85cm wide. Yes, it is really a compact size when one takes into consideration that there are two people travelling on it. It has a COASTER BRAKE in the left rear wheel and the right rear wheel has an electric hub motor and a 160mm disc brake system. The quad is single speed. It has no front wheel brakes.
The trike conversion kits are so expensive in Australia, so I’ve been hunting for a used one. I got one old tricycle for Au$40. It came with one wheel traction (left one). Once I cut off the back part of the tricycle I went to a friend who welded it as I required. It includes a bottom bracket shell (found it as well on eBay).
The quad frame is using the same steering system as the trike.
The electric hub motor wheel is a 250w 36v “front wheel” for bicycles. It is mounted in the rear right side of the quad. This configuration allows the use either of the rear wheel power drives individually. When the rear wheel with pedal power loses traction you can put extra power in the electric hub motor wheel just by using the manual throttle as needed.
The average travel speed 15-20km/hr. Max speed tested with 98kg aprox., 27km/hr. Realistically, this is not a fast machine but it works excellent for the purpose; plus, my wife and my son love it.
I hope this help others to improve their designs.
E-motor assist trikes are becoming more and more popular. I have one myself and love it. One thing I have noticed is that there seems to be a lot of confusion and differing thoughts, beliefs, uncertainties and opinions about the legal aspect of these machines. Obviously not everybody can be correct when so often these conflict. Here is help in sorting it all out. To summarize the subject matter … “it’s a mess” and that is fairly typical of most everything the government gets involved in.
HERE is a website which has information on e-bikes according to individual State laws. This applies to both pedal assist and motor assist.
HERE is another website which has information on the laws on e-bikes. I like this one as it seems a bit more “user-friendly” the way it is written.
HERE is a .pdf report on e-bike laws.
One thing I noticed is that some States require a helmet be worn when riding an e-bike. I am not a fan of the government forcing people to wear helmets. I think it should be a personal choice which the government should keep their nose out of. It is not a matter of whether or not I believe in helmets. It is solely a matter of too much government control in our lives.
Whether you ride with or without e-assist I hope you continue to …
ENJOY THE RIDE!
E-assist … becoming more and more popular is something which ideally should involve some research before making the plunge. HERE is a webpage which offers help.
It is a comparison of the different electric bike motor systems to help you determine which configuration is best for your riding needs.
In this article by Electric Bike Report.com there are the pros and cons of each system: the hub motors (front and rear), the mid drive motor, the friction drive motor, and the rocket drive! (I wonder why it is named that. Do you suppose it is super fast compared to the others? Just FYI, rocket drive has nothing to do with electric motor assist. It is as the name implies … a rocket engine mounted on a bike. I assumed that somebody has already made a rocket engine propelled recumbent trike, but when I searched online for such an animal I came up empty.)
So if you are considering motorizing your tadpole trike this may be of help to you in doing your homework. 🙂
I took the plunge about a year and a half ago and have no regrets. I really love having the e-assist even though I had some problems finding a system that worked out okay for me. I have a few different articles I wrote about all I went thru with the three different companies I have dealt with thus far. HERE is one of them. HERE is another. And HERE is another. And another. HERE is an article I wrote on hub motors vs mid drive motors. The hub motor I have now is serving me well and I am very pleased with it. Most definitely e-assist can help us …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’