Category Archives: videos
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.
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 The original axle and bearings have been replaced by high rpm bearings to fit on the ATV stub axle.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.
This is a reposting of an article from my original tadpole rider blog which was closed by me some time ago.
Currently a friend of mine who has two tadpole trikes has one of them loaned to a mutual friend so that this person can ride it and know what it is like. I talked to this mutual friend this evening and they reported the exact thing we had expected to hear … that they have now a different perspective … they know what it is like to ride a tadpole trike. They are an avid diamond frame bike rider which, of course, means that they didn’t have a clue what it is like riding a tadpole trike until now. One thing that I heard is that they didn’t feel nearly as comfortable as far as being around motor vehicles. They said that being so low they can’t see nearly as well as they can from a regular bike. They are used to making “eye contact” with drivers, but can’t from a trike. I don’t understand that as I make eye contact all the time as long as the driver is looking. Another comment I heard was when riding between a narrow pathway with a concrete wall of a bridge on one side and a metal railing on the other side it was quite uncomfortable and unnerving for them. They said that all they could see is concrete on one side and metal railing on the other side … rushing by them. Here is a picture of the exact place they were talking about.
Again, this is something I can’t identify with. Of course, I have been riding a tadpole trike for over 5 1/2 years now and have some 22,000 miles of experience riding them. But I don’t ever remember going thru what this person described to me. I guess we are all different. Anyway, most definitely we will experience differences between riding a diamond frame bike and a tadpole trike. Yes, we sit much lower which is good as we don’t have nearly as far to fall. 🙂 Another thing that was mentioned was that it was so easy to reach down and pick up a small tree branch or such off of the surface of the trail while riding a tadpole trike. Most definitely I agree with that. I do it daily and a lot of it. This isn’t something that a diamond frame biker can not do. I am sure that some folks just don’t care to ride anything other than a diamond frame bike and that’s that. That’s fine by me as if everyone made the move to a tadpole trike then they would no longer be unique. I don’t know about you, but I kind of like riding something which is unique. I would love to see several more tadpole trikes out there, but I do hope they don’t become all too common. Now if you really want to try riding something which is truly unique build one of these … except make it a tadpole trike and not a bike:
And if you get it mastered let me know as I would like to come see you ride it. No, second thought just video it and put it on YouTube. I guarantee you would really have a different perspective riding this.
So whether you ride right side up or upside down … do your best to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
This is a reposting of an article from my original tadpole rider blog which was closed by me some time ago.
“MAN, I WISH I WAS YOU!”
Those of us who are old enough might recognize this picture as well as remember the words spoken by the driver of the station wagon to the motorcyclist. … “MAN, I WISH I WAS YOU!” This was from the TV series “Then Came Bronson”.
The series only aired for one year (Sept. 1969-Sept. 1970). The listing and description of episodes can be found here:
I watched it faithfully and always enjoyed it. I was an avid motorcyclist starting from my childhood as were all of my family so I had a keen interest in this program. Why am I talking about motorcycles here on a blog about tadpole trikes you ask? Well, I am not … not really. I am just leading into to my subject which is quite similar to this picture and those words. Rarely is there a day go by when I am out riding on my tadpole trike that at least one person and sometimes several will give me a thumbs up and/or say something about how much they like my trike and would like to have one and be out riding it like I am. I am sure most of you have experienced this same thing. I hear words like: that is really neat … that is cool, man … I love it … where do/can I get one … and on and on the comments go. I have been riding my tadpole trikes long enough and all over a wide area that I am known on sight by many folks all over. They see me and say “I just saw you way over on the other side of town a little earlier today”. They even know my dog and ask where he is at if they don’t see him with me. Being retired my riding has become my daily job I go out and do. I am not travelling all over the U.S. like Bronson did, but hey, I have drivers pull up alongside of me and moreless say those same words … “MAN, I WISH I WAS YOU!” And it’s cool, man, cool! Well, I have riding to do so I am out of here. Hope you can …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
Cateye (not to be confused with Catrike) has out a new product some may be interested in … lights that mount on the safety flag poles. The cost is about $40 and they are 50 lumens. They are available in red and white (clear lens).
- COB LED (50 lm)
- Mounts securely to seatpost or seatstay with the rubber band (Ø12-32mm)
- Lithium-ion polymer rechargeable battery
- USB rechargeable (Micro USB cable included)
- Low battery indicator
- 6 modes * Charging time: 2h
- Mode memory function
- Battery Auto Save (The mode automatically changes to flashing when the battery power gets low.)
- Attaches to the existing CatEye bracket by using the optional Spacer X
The USB Rechargeable Rapid X provides a bright powerful glow with incredible side visibility. When the battery runs low the low battery Auto Save function automatically changes the light pattern from the current mode to flashing providing an additional hour of riding safety. 6 modes. 2 Hour charge time.
Includes Rapid X attachment base, one large and one small attachment band, and a micro USB charging cable.
Matt Galat offers this video among his many he posts on his JaYoe YouTube channel …
Flies, mosquitoes, gnats, mice, rats, potato bugs, bed bugs, fleas, cockroaches, lice, mites … the list could go on and on. All these belong to the animal kingdom and they are all considered pests of various sorts and degree. Even animals we consider beneficial and good that they exist sometimes do things which we don’t appreciate and bother us. But I am not writing about these sorts of pests today. Rather I am adding a few other words to that list of pests. These are words that are not of the animal kingdom although certainly sometimes an animal can cause one or more of these words to materalize. If it sounds like I am talking in riddles perhaps I have been so I will get to the point. I live in a northern city in the United States. And like most northern cities we have a serious problem with potholes. Like the list of animals which plague man I add potholes to the list. They are one nasty threat which are out to mess up our day and bring destruction upon our “cycles” regardless of what kind we ride or how careful we try to be to avoid these threats.
Even our paved trails are not exempt from these nasty holes. Holes of any type regardless of the cause can do some very serious damage to our trikes … most particularly tires, inner tubes, spokes and rims. Even our frames can crack or bend from the harsh impact. Sometimes we don’t see the holes in time to avoid them. And I find that even more often I see them, but circumstances don’t permit me to avoid hitting them. I have objects on both sides of me which have me “penned in” … unable to steer to one side or the other to avoid them. Sadly most cities do a very poor job “fixing” potholes. Where I live is no exception. Both of my front rims are in bad shape due to hitting so many potholes. And some of those potholes were really bad ones.
Hitting pot holes on a bicycle is more dangerous than it is on a trike, but that doesn’t mean that a trike can’t wreck also. Here are a couple of bikes that encountered a pothole while riding along on a road. I sure don’t miss riding bicycles. I feel so much safer on a trike not to mention so much more comfortable.
Definitely holes are worse than bumps, but I would have to add bumps to the list of pests too. Probably the most common and worst of the bumps I encounter are the result of tree roots raising the asphalt or concrete.
These shown above are minor compared to the ones we have on some of our local trails.
And, of course, raised concrete is the worst as it usually means we are hitting sharp raised harsh edges. They too can do some serious damage to our wheels (tires, inner tubes, spokes and rims) and more.
In dealing with such threats certainly suspension would be of some help with the emphasis being on “some” as it can’t totally prevent damage from occurring. However, many of us lack suspension so we must deal with this issue the best we can. Balloon type tires can also be helpful as they offer some cushioning effect. Of course, there are trade-offs in any of the choices we have.
The amount of air pressure we run our tires at also comes into play. The higher the pressure the less forgiving the tires are when we hit holes and bumps. Of course, running too low of pressure on a given tire is also a problem as then we lack sufficient protection having air pressure inside offers. Every tire has a range in which they should be maintained … not under inflated and not over inflated. Certainly FAT tires offer a lot of protection as they are the ultimate balloon tire. I have been running balloon tires on my trike now for several months, but I will soon be switching back to Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. I like the ride and handling of the balloon tires just fine, but in order to obtain good handling and reasonable speed I have been running them over inflated by 5 to 10 psi and that has no doubt shortened their life. In the past I have always ran the 1.75 width Marathon Plus tires, but this time I ordered the 1.35 width. I have never had that narrow of a tire mounted on my trike so it will be an experience for me. I have seen them installed on other trikes and they look so tiny compared to what I am used to seeing. And going from my 2.15 balloon tires to the 1.35 will really be drastic. And I will be going from a maximum inflation pressure of 50 psi to 100 psi with the Marathon Plus tires. There goes my only form of suspension. But I bet I will be able to ride a little faster. I don’t know though. These Big Ben balloon tires roll really good with the psi I am running in them. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.
Be careful out there. Some of those potholes are deep and it is not likely you have a snorkel or scuba diving gear with you much less a ladder. 🙂
We live in an imperfect world and dealing with these pests are a part of it. That is why I titled this TEARING IT UP HERE, BOSS! We need to stay alert and do our best to avoid these “nasties”. Hey, regardless of these hazards I plan on doing what I can to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
P.S. – I didn’t care for the 1.35 Marathon Plus tires at all so I switched back to the 1.75s.
HUB MOTOR VS MID DRIVE MOTOR … yes, the argument goes on. Some say Mid Drive is the only way to go while others say Hub Motors are the only way to go. Hey, they both go and like with most everything there is good and bad & pros and cons concerning each. HERE is a well written and informative article about the subject. I think I made the right decision. I like hub motors. Mid Drive just doesn’t appeal to me. They are hard on the drive train and if the drive trail fails while you are out riding you are done for as the motor can’t help you. With a hub motor you can still go on down the road/trail since it doesn’t rely on the drive train. My thinking and position lines up with the conclusion of this article and this company has worked with them both and speak from experience and hands on knowledge.
Although this following video (and nearly all others I have seen on this subject) is about bicycles it does a good job of covering the topic.
There are several trike work stands available as well as lots of homemade DIY ones. I have written about them before. I recently came across one I haven’t seen before until now so I thought I would feature it here. It is the “TRIKETABLE REPAIR STAND” manufactured and sold by Carriage House. I like the looks of it … simple, practical, low to the ground so it is smaller in size than most others. It is designed to be used on the ground/floor or set up onto something to raise the trike up higher if desired.
Designed to fit every make and model of recumbent trike on the market. This bench mounted recumbent trike repair stand quickly adjusts to cradle your trike and hold it firmly in place. Rugged enough for shop use, simple and effective design for the casual or enthusiast rider.
It sells for $225 with free shipping to the continental U.S.
It is quick and easy to adjust to accommodate various trikes. I like the use of the V shaped rubber rollers to cradle the frame holding it securely without messing up the paint job of the frame.
Sooner or later all trikes require work to be done on them. Having a workstand makes the task far easier and pleasant than trying to work on them without one. If you have the “moola” (money) and don’t mind spending it you might want to consider this TrikeTable Repair Stand.
Keeping your trike properly maintained and repaired will enable you to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
This is an interesting trike. I have a hard time understanding some of this man’s English, but the trike is pretty neat. If nothing else, seeing how he has mounted the skis on the front wheels might give others an idea of how put skis on their trikes, myself included. I have thought about it.
If you can handle the weather this looks like it would be fun …
Utah Trikes is known for their customization services. Here is one of their projects. With 1600 watts there is plenty of power. Along with all that power is plenty of noise … something I find quite objectionable. I guess it doesn’t bother some people.
What will they think of next? We talk about the extreme comfort of a recumbent tadpole trike comparing it to a recliner chair and then somebody comes along and undoes all that has been accomplished in creating such a dream machine. I am talking about standing up while riding a tadpole trike. Yes, you heard (read) me right! Hard to believe, huh? The picture up above is just a drawing, but this thing really exists. Actually the inventor/builder has had several prototype models thus far … with the goal of improving it with each new design build. Obviously the appeal of this machine would probably be only those who are into skate boarding, snow boarding and surf boarding. That leaves me and a whole lot of other people out. I guess I am thankful I was born when (and where) I was as there are just many things younger people do that I am so glad were not around when (where) I grew up.
See? I told you so. It doesn’t appear to be human powered, only electric hub motor powered so there is no exercise involved in riding it. And that is one big hub motor so I assume it is fairly powerful. I found this video which explains several things about this machine.
It is a tadpole trike, but it certainly isn’t recumbent. It is just the opposite of recumbent as the word recumbent means “prone position” or “lying down” … no , it doesn’t mean “feet forward out in front”. There are a whole lot of tadpole trikes being sold labled as recumbent and they really are not recumbent at all. I read that there is a seat kit available for this trike so I reckon it may be able to transform (morph) into a recumbent trike of some sort. 🙂
I look at this and it just screams UNSAFE. But then that is what I think of skate boarding too … insane! It is like tempting fate. I can’t imagine trying to make a panic stop on/with this trike.
Riders of conventional tadpole trikes can ride on a 100 mile ride all day long in great comfort. One sure couldn’t do that on one of these. Oh well, different strokes for different folks. I don’t understand it, but that is okay I guess.
Here is a newer prototype …
Here the inventor/builder takes the trike for a ride around his city …
I wonder how many of these he will sell. Hey, in this crazy world we might be surprised. Hey, if they can ENJOY THE RIDE more power to them. Too bad they aren’t getting any exercise in the process.
This isn’t my mom, but it reminds me of my mom. If she were still alive at an age when she was still able like this mom, I am quite sure I could be making a video like this one of my mom riding my trike. She rode bicycleS and motorcycles for many years and really enjoyed it. i occasionaly rode with her many years ago. Lots of fond memories filled with fun are mine these many years later. I am pretty sure my mom would be a tadpole rider today if she lived her life in a different time span. And she too would be wearing the infamous “recumbent smile”.
For those on a tight budget here is an option available for a fairly reasonable price. One can also get the same trike without the FAT tires and wheels for a lesser amount. And, of course, one can also get the same trike without the electric motor system.
And Utah Trikes offers the same trike with a Bafang motor mounted on the end of the boom. This particular one is customized for the customer. It has dual cargo racks on the sides and dual batteries mounted undernearth the cargo racks.