Recumbent Trike
Part 2: Aaaargh, the Front End


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I thought I had the major problems solved

Once I worked out how to create the rear end of the delta trike I am building, I was feeling pretty smug.  I solved the most difficult problem.  It's just a matter of building things.  Not So Fast.

Original Front End Design

The front end would consist of the following:

All of these must be very strong, especially the bottom bracket stuff, because that handles the forces from your pedaling. 

And they have to be attached to the wood 2x4 or (probably) 2 x 6 board that would form the center spine of the trike.

My plan was to mount the components as follows (I didn't like most of the component-to-wood techniques that I saw):

Always leave some of the original tubing attached to the components (bottom bracket tube, head tube for front fork, another head tube to mount the driver's handlebars.

The components will be mounted by sandwiching the tube between two sheets of plywood (I was going to use 3/4", because that's what I have).  The open area inside the sandwich would be 1 1/2 inches, which is the width of a 2x6.  The tubing in my bikes almost perfectly fits.  The whole sandwich would be 1 1/2 inches plus twice the thickness of the plywood on the outside of the sandwich ("the bread").

Cut the plywood to the desired shape (I hadn't done that yet), Place the components at the edges of the plywood where they are to be positioned, tubing on the plywood.  Put in some 1 1/2inch spacers (2x4 pieces) clamp it, and run bolts through the sandwich and tubes within.  Should be very solid.  I contemplated filling the spaces with PL Premium (construction adhesive), which I think may be the best man-made substance.

I would have arranged this sandwich so that it would slip over the 2x6 spine board, and be attached with bolts.  Nifty. 

For Some Reason I Freaked Out

A few nights ago, I couldn't get to sleep.  To occupy myself, I looked at the Delta Runner pictures in the pdf file I bought from them.  I got the feeling that everything might  not fit right, or be fun to build.

And the Only Solution

Buy another bike.  Back to Recyclore for another bike, this time a 24 inch wheel.  I wanted one of their unserviced bikes that had a 3 speed front crank, and multi-piece bottom bracket (as opposed to the Ashtabula brackets where the crank arms go right into -- not bolted to --  the bottom bracket).

It had to have a nice front end.

My plan was to use everything from the bottom bracket to the tip of the front wheel as the front end of the trike.  I'll worry about the driver's handlebars in a bit.  I was going to cut off the two rods that attach to the rear wheel.  Thus, I would keep everything from the seat tube forward, and attach that to my trike. 

Nope.  Keep all of the frame.  Just remove the rear wheel.  The front end would attach to the wood spine (if we have one, heh heh) in two places: (1) just behind the bottom bracket tube, where a kickstand would normally be attached, and (2) where the axle for the rear wheel would normally go.  I would have liked to bend these together, but that is unnecessary, if I eliminate the 2x6 wood spine.  Adios, 2x6 wood spine.

Here are two views of the layout (I haven't removed the front wheel, so unfortunately you have to imagine that the seat area and crank are all at the level of the axels of the front and rear wheels.

It's beginning to look a lot like a trike.  This layout approximately fits me.  I sat in it.

My plan is to use a piece of plywood to join things together.  The driver's handlebars will somehow be mounted on or near the seat tube.

Continue on to assembly