Lee’s Homebuilt Custom Trikes
This was my first recumbent tadpole type trike and has major modifications about 5 times so far. It is made of bed rails and laminating machine rollers. It weighs somewhere close to 75 pounds and is a pain to get going but after you do get it moving inertia seems to take over and it’s fairly easy to keep it moving. It really needs better brakes though.
The wheel base of the trike is currently about 40 inches and the width of the front wheels is about 38 inches. It is way too wide but it was my first attempt and all the latest trikes are only about 34 inches wide or less.
The front rims and wheels are 26 inch cart type with street type tires and the rims have very heavy spokes welded at the rim and hub. They are rated at 300 pounds apiece. The rear rim is a 26 inch large-mart steel multi-speed rim with a dirt tread style tire.
The gear inch range is 26-89 and uses a Shimino SIS rear derailer. I use the chain cover tube to switch the front gears as there is no front derailer installed
The seat is woven from about 350 feet of 1/4 inch nylon rope and will probably be around for the next 20 years. So far it has managed to support a 350 pound person on the trike no problem.
The steering is a tank type setup using 1/2 inch bolts and nuts as rod end bearings and this trike currently has the tightest turning radius of any I have built so far.
Originally this trike was about 2 feet longer in the length wheelbase and had an electric motor assist but it really looked like a “rube goldberg” contraption as it had three extra freewheels and two extra chains installed to handle the motor and the pedals at the same time. The motor was way too small though as it would only go about 6 mph maximum.
I do have to say though it was interesting to see ridden, there where things moving everywhere!
I am probably going to modify the rear end again as I want to use a cart wheel on the back also. I will have to add an intermediate gear setup back in though as the cart wheel will have to have the gear welded directly to the hub. I tend to use this trike as a test platform as I’m generally changing things around all the time.
The baskets are made from some old shopping carts the local grocery store was throwing away. This bike will carry alot of load and has been used for hauling “parts” bikes back to my house on a regular basis.
It was given to a neighbor to work with. I have no idea what has happened to it since they have moved away.