Lee’s Homebuilt Custom Trikes
side plan large view
This is my first version of what I call the ‘Comfort Cruiser Series’ and is the basic design I intend to keep using for all of the trikes that I build in the future.
The wheel base of the trike is 38 inches and the front width is 34 inches. The front and rear rim are standard large-mart parts. The wheels are 20 inch front with a 24 inch rear. All the tires are the knobby type.
The seat is currently from a standard plastic stack-type chair but is going to be switched over to the cloth type. It doesn’t provide enough back support for long rides. The plan pic shows the what how cloth seat looks (side view)
UPDATE 7-30-04 : The plastic seat has been removed and a cloth type seat (fabricated from flexible duct hanger – this stuff seems to stand up well to weather) seat has been installed. Also the trike now has a gloss black paint job.
The steering is directly connected to the kingpin setups and is a bit touchy untill you get used to it. The plan pic shows tank type steering but I was experimenting some here. The headtubes on this trike were mounted upside down due to the fact I mounted them onto the forks instead of the frames. All of the trikes I have built since have the headtubes mounted directly to the frames in a more normal manner.
Braking is supplied by dual calipers on the rear wheel and has been enough for just normal riding in this area.
The main frame is built from two 20 inch bike forks with the rear triangle from a 24 inch mountain bike. The main boom tubes are two inch steel muffler pipe and so far the frame has taken everything I have managed to throw at it and I weigh about 200 pounds.
The gear system was originally a 15 speed but I took off the small front gear and ground the teeth of the large one so it works like a chain guard. I use the middle gear for the chain and the 5 speed rear end seems to be plenty for cruising around the neighborhood so far. The gear inch range is 34-61 and uses a Shimino SIS rear derailer recycled from a throwaway bike.
The quality of some bikes people throw away is actually rather amazing to me at times because most of the ones I pick up out of the trash for parts need only a new rim or tire(s) to be perfectly functional.
My basic Comfort Cruiser trike’s will be setup as follows:
> Rear wheel = 24 or 26 inch steel rim and knobby tire My preference is the 24 inch size.
> Front wheels = 20 inch steel or plastic rims and knobby tires
> Handlbars will be either direct to wheel, tank type, or regular under seat depending on what a person wants. My preference is the tank type.
> dual rear caliper brakes– I’m trying to stay under $700 for a sell price if someone wants a trike and disks/drums are not cheap; at least I haven’t found any cheap ones. Our local area is pretty flat, so the dual calipers on the rear are enough.
> Nylon cloth hammock type seat with either bungie cord or nylon cord rear ties.
> Left side rider mirror and standard front and rear reflectors
> Gear inch ranges will probably be in 35-60 gear inch range with a multiple speed rear and a single front gear. My trikes are designed for getting around the town and cruising for fun or exercise not really for cross country touring or high speed racing.