View Full Version : DR Back To Original Plan

05-06-2009, 07:46 PM
When the plans for th KC came out, I had no need for a tandem. But the KC looked like a good trike to make as a single, so I started building it. I got most of the frame done, then proceeded to continue with the tadpole. I forgot I even had the frame when Brad announced the plans for the DR. The single KC frame was almost exactly like the trike Brad was building. So I proceeded to use 26" wheels instead of the 20" I was going to use, and finished the DR before Brad finished his. Unfortunately, with my weight and the high CoG, the trike felt a bit tippy. I should have made it wider, but I did get used to it the way it was. Now that I'm adding a motor, I figure it may be safer to lower the trike. So I took the 26" wheels off and installed 20" 68 spokers. The problem was the front. I already made the front tube longer to accomdate the 26" wheels, and I didn't want to alter it again. Besides, if I decide to go with 26" wheels again, I won't have to do any mods. The solution was to get rid of the V brakes and install a disc. Now I can put any size wheel on the front without modding anything. I still have to do quite a bit of touch-up work, add a return pulley and install the front brake cable, but I have a working trike. It's amazing how lowering the trike only 3" makes such a difference.



05-07-2009, 11:09 AM
Kid - the one picture was a little fuzzy so I'm not sure - Are those spinners on the rear wheels?:jester:

I like the look of the wheels. Could some of the 'tippiness' that you were experiencing have come from the angle of your head tube? I looks pretty steep but that might be an illusion from the camera angle.


05-07-2009, 02:08 PM
Yes, there are spinners on the rear wheels. When I had the head tube at a more relaxed angle, it was not only tippy, there was so much wheel flop, the front end dipped downward on turns. After changing the head tube angle, there was still a bit of flop, so I diched the suspension fork for the curved one, which reduced the trail to about an inch. The handling improved quite a bit after this, but it was still top heavy.
The hubs for the rear wheels are very simply designed to slide on a keyed axle. The bearings and cups are removed, then using a 1 3/8" hole saw, discs are cut from 3/16" flat bar and welded into the hubs. The center holes are drilled out to the size of the axle, and the hubs slide on so you could mark where to cut the keyway with a jigsaw. The spinners are made using BB shells. Cut it in half and cap the end of the right threaded half. You could either cut the blades individually from 1 1/2" wide flat bar and weld them on, or, if you can get a piece of flat bat 6" or wider, draw the blades onto the bar as one piece, drill the center out with a 1 1/2" hole saw, then cut it out as a unit and weld it onto the BB shell. The spinner then gets screwed onto the freewheel threads on the hub.
I had caps on the 26" wheels instead of spinners, because I had only one spinner made at the time and was too lazy to make the whole thing. Here are some pics. The first one is the wheel and spinner on the DR, in the original form. I decided later to paint the spinner a different color, but haven't decided whether to go with all chrome or all black.


Here's the cap without the spinner:



05-07-2009, 03:22 PM
Yes, there are spinners on the rear wheels. I decided later to paint the spinner a different color, but haven't decided whether to go with all chrome or all black.

I think the black looks good with the chrome spokes. Maybe paint just the center red to match the rim?:jester:


05-07-2009, 11:07 PM
That was another option I considered. The cap I painted with chrome paint has dulled to plain silver, even with 3 clearcoats. The same happened earlier without clearcoating, so I'm assuming you really have to maintain this stuff to keep it shiny. So the chrome is out, black is in.
I managed to get the front brake hooked up, but there's too much drag, so I'll have to adjust it during daylight. I didn't have much time today, and spent most of the day truing the rear wheels. With the spoke so close together, it's a different process than with 36 spokes. The radial lacing may have something to do with it as well. There's so much touch up work needed, plus the new fiberglass box has to be painted, I'm thinking maybe I should take the whole thing apart and repaint. It would probably take less time than using a brush for the small stuff and the rims, and taping other areas.

05-30-2009, 04:47 PM
Can you explain more on the keyed wheels? It looks like it might be easier than making the hubs, welding them on, then re-stringing the wheels.


05-30-2009, 09:09 PM
This method only works with steel hubs, unless you know how to weld aluminum. What you are saving is making the flanges and drilling 72 or 98 spoke holes, and welding the flanges to the axle. You still have to disassemble the wheel and hub, then respoke the wheels. If you're using steel hubs, you can also use Brad's alternate method for making the hubs, which he describes in his plans. You'll need a 1 1/4" hole saw to make plugs to fit the hubs, weld them in place, then drill out the center hole the same size as the axle.


Then you mark the hubs for the keyway:


Next find a tube that fits inside the hubs like th original one did, slide one flange on the axle, then the tube, then the second flange. Weld the tube to the flanges, making sure you have 3 1/2" between the flanges, and making sure everything is straight and even. You can either thread the end of the axle and use nylock nuts, or use shaft collars to hold the wheel in place. If you use shaft collars, scew the set screw real tight to make a mark in the axle, remove the collar, and drill into the mark about 1/8" so the screw really holds when you reinstall the collar.

05-30-2009, 10:49 PM
Thanks for the quick reply! I guess in the long run I might as well stick with the original plan and make the hubs. I was hoping (hey, I'm lazy! ) for an easier way, but I guess in the long run it's a wash.

My progress is extremely slow, due to finances and health. I did get a total of 4 donor bikes for a grand total of $15. I got 2 of them at a police auction for total of $6 - on of which I hated to start tearing apart because it's a nice bike, but it's the first one I started tearing apart. I had an extremely cheap angle grinder but it only had plastic bearings, etc., and I ruined it on the attempt at a first cut with a cut off wheel. A friend has one he says I can borrow so I hope that holds up. I cut one of the tubes with a pipe cutter, but the rest of them are just a little too large for it to go around. All things considered, I probably won't have anything done until next year, but at least it's a start!

Thanks again!
Dave :)

05-31-2009, 02:25 AM
The reason I went with the keyed hubs was to be able to easily change the size of the wheels. There's actually more work and expense involved than using Brad's original method. But his alternative method saves the time and work of making of searching for washers to make the flanges for 36 spoke wheels. (I don't recall ever seeing 48 hole steel hubs).
With the keyed method, you either have to buy an axle with a keyway which is more expensive than a plain steel rod, or cut the keyway into the axle yourself. If you want to make things real easy, you could buy Miami Sun 24" wheels (Either mags or spoked) for their trikes and 2 of their 15mm axle and 15mm delrin bushings for the drive side. If you're lucky, you may still be able to find the old 5/8" components. You need 2 axles unless you want a very narrow trike. (24" overall width)