View Full Version : How about a quad sociable?

03-29-2009, 06:25 PM
Hey all, Great forum, I just discovered AZ. I've been dreaming of a 4-wheel sociable for years, and I'd buy one but I just don't see what I'm looking for anywhere. So I'm planning to build one this spring/summer.
Designed for comfort cruising on-road or path. Something more like a carriage than a surrey or cart that most of the quads are modeled after. I'm thinking of something like 20"F/26"R wheels, USS, dual fairings, suspensions, and disk brakes, for starters. A gear hub would be nice too for shifting at stops.
I thought about merging some parts of the Kyoto and the Streetfighter, with additional modifications. Surely Brad must have worked on something like this in the past... Any suggestions?
Thanks - Dan

03-29-2009, 11:26 PM
you might want to look at some of the long wheel base recombants and mod them with cross links to join them Ive soon a company on the web selling a cross brase for the sun brand recombants

03-30-2009, 07:49 AM
I was thinking of seats inboard of the wheels, more like the Kyoto. I'm buying the Kyoto plans and see where that leads.

03-31-2009, 12:55 AM
you might also look at joey and richs quad mod threds.

04-01-2009, 07:43 AM
Wow, that's great - thanks. I hadn't stumbled across quad mods yet. Great real-time tutorials.

Richie Rich
04-01-2009, 11:46 PM
Hi, Danner......Welcome to the group...!!

Last year, I converted Brad's Delta Wolf trike into a Quad. Perhaps you can get some ideas for your project from it.

Here are links to my build and also a video showing how it all works.

Questions? Just ask.

....Richie Rich....

http://welcometotrikes.blogspot.com/ This is the Quad build blog.

http://picasaweb.google.com/bitbum/RockNRollFrontEnd#slideshow This shows how my "Rock 'n' Roll" front end goes together.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgCaZ4-hcJ4&fmt=18 Video of how it all works.


04-03-2009, 04:43 PM
Thanks for the links RR, I see you're a seasoned pro at this! I've downloaded the Kyoto Cruiser plans, and will see if I can work with that as a base for my project. Have you built one of those?

Radical Brad
04-03-2009, 06:10 PM
It should be a perfect union... Kyoto with quadmod. You will not need the pivoting front end either since the Kyoto frame will have enough flex due to the width and construction.


04-03-2009, 07:22 PM
i agree with brad, i think the Kyto, and the Quad mod might just be a marage made in heaven.

I will love seeing this build

Richie Rich
04-03-2009, 08:07 PM
Thanks for the links RR,You're welcome, Danner. Helping each other is what it's all about here.

I see you're a seasoned pro at this!Thanks for the praise, but I'm just a retired Grampa with lots of spare time. I started out with a small wire-feed welder and some "Road Kill" bikes from the trash. Once I got started, I discovered that I can't stop...!!

I've downloaded the Kyoto Cruiser plans, and will see if I can work with that as a base for my project. Have you built one of those?No, not yet. I try to do at least one project each year to get me through the nasty New England Winters, so the Kyoto may be my next Winter build.

But I just took a peek at the April Newsletter and Brad keeps coming up with more great ideas, so it's getting hard to choose what to build next...!!


04-03-2009, 11:43 PM
But I just took a peek at the April Newsletter and Brad keeps coming up with more great ideas, so it's getting hard to choose what to build next...!!


Wow ain't that the truth have not even finished my streetfox yet and I am planning what to build next LOL.

Think I am going to have to build something from scratch though.
Not enough money for any new plans, and not enough money for enough materials to build the kyoto or streetfighter which I already have plans for.

Maybe a quad mod for my delta, scratch that no wheels.

Hmm think I can make a lowracer from parts I have, have to be my own creation.

But It may be a blast coming up with something on my own.


04-04-2009, 07:06 PM
It should be a perfect union... Kyoto with quadmod. You will not need the pivoting front end either since the Kyoto frame will have enough flex due to the width and construction.

In that case, I guess I'm committed!

I see the Delta Wolf trike has 26" rear wheels - I'd love to put 26's on the rear of Kyoto - any concerns structurally? I also plan to use the under-seat steering mod, so I may need to include elbow guards.

04-05-2009, 01:25 AM
What would you experts think of building two StreetFoxes and joining them side by side? I was thinking of replacing the front cross members with a sleeve going out at 90 degrees to the boom tube, and you could fit the tubes for the wheels in the sleeve, angled forward [per the plans] after an initial straight section. So you could put two side-by-side, remove the inner front wheels and replace with a straight tube. The steering tie rod would also be replaced with one wide enough to span both StreetFoxes. If you also had a sleeve under the seats for a rear cross-tube between the trikes, you'd be all set. Not sure if a third would be required at the top of the seat back to prevent both halves from rolling in, and I might need to adjust the Ackerman angle for the tie rod ends when two trikes are joined together.

So the layout wouldn't be much different from the "Couchbike" seen on the BikeForest.com site which AtomicZombie's Links page references.

Possible advantages: The wide front wheel track would make it stable with one rider, it's easily broken down for individual training or transport. No need to machine a solid rear axle and special hubs, and the double-tadpole configuration should be easy to streamline with one fiberglass body/fairing. Short wheelbase should make for a small turning radius and easy storage.

Possible disadvantages: If you need two 48-spoke wheels on the StreetFox to support one big rider, would two on the front of a quad hold two big riders? That's my main concern, as I need to build something for me (at 240 lbs) and my stepson (at around 210 lbs) to ride in July for a 740-mile ride across Iowa (RAGBRAI). Also the short wheelbase and wide track could cause a spin if you hit a pothole. Page 12 of the Couchbike adventure (http://www.bikeforest.com/cb/cb12.php) includes one such incident. That might be a bad thing on a street.

Have I missed any major downsides? At this point I'm just a dreamer (not a builder), but I bought both of Brad's bike-building books, and I'm starting to source parts. I need to figure out pretty soon what to build.

Elliott Whitticar in Iowa

Odd Man Out
04-05-2009, 02:10 AM
Have I missed any major downsides?
Elliott Whitticar in Iowa

A huge downside would be the width of the hpv -- as a novelty vehicle for parades and such I see no problem but you seem to intend this for a long distance trip... safety would be a big issue with bozo drivers. I personally would be frightened to ride it in the street (and I have a large daredevil streek).

04-05-2009, 04:59 PM
Odd Man, your point about the width is well taken. The roads on the RAGBRAI ride are not closed to traffic, but the route is pretty much dominated by 9,000 cyclists. Even there, taking up a whole lane might be an issue. Other than that, I suspect my riding will be limited to bike paths and country roads.
That might be another good argument for having a quad that can be broken down into two separate trikes.


04-05-2009, 05:07 PM
Hey Elliot,
Nice to hear someone mention RAGBRAI. I grew up in SW Iowa, and never did the trip, but my brother did. I often think about coming back and doing it some day. Part of my interest in building a side-by-side two-seater, to share the propulsion work and pass the time on those sometimes long hot stretches!

04-06-2009, 03:09 AM
Hi, Dan. This year RAGBRAI starts out in Council Bluffs, then goes through Red Oak and Greenfield. Is that near your old stomping grounds? This will be my first time. My last long tour was a quarter century ago, when I got out of college. I'm not in the same shape I was then, but on the upside, I've forgotten how it feels starting that second or third day, so I'm just crazy enough to try it again. Hopefully it will be more comfortable on a recumbent.

I'm still not sure whether having two heavy guys with most of their weight on 20 inch wheels will work. I may go with a longer wheelbase in the interest of risk-reduction. Think of two Marauders with cross-braces. The Marauder and StreeFox seem to have similar back-ends. If we widened the front track (something like the front of this quad [http://www.lightfootcycles.com/microcar.php], it would add some single-rider stability. And maybe using Richie Rich's Quad-Mod front-end would still allow for individual training with 2 long wheel base tadpoles. Good luck with your build, and keep us posted on your progress!

04-06-2009, 03:19 AM
Not a quad, but we discussed some tandem options in this other thread...


04-06-2009, 07:32 PM
A powered sidecar... brilliant!

05-03-2009, 10:06 PM
Hey gents,
I haven't been able to find any local source for 1.5" x 16 ga. (.065") square tubing. It seems 16 ga. is only available in 1.0" square around here, which I believe is too light-duty for a Kyoto Cruiser. Options:
- 1.5" x 14 ga. (.083"), looks like about 25% increase in weight, bad!
- 1.0" in 14 ga. (.083"), about 25% less weight and lower strength (bending stress).
My two-passenger weight is likely to be under 300 lbs. Any suggestions? Also, I will look into availability of rectangular tube, like 1.5h x 1.0w.