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Tradetek
07-18-2012, 10:12 AM
So as some of you know I'm looking to build something to help my son with autism ride. He has been Brad's Youtube videos with me and likes the tadpole designs. I'm sure it's because of the two wheels out front.

As I start nearing the time to start construction (actually targeting September to begin build) I am reviewing the plans I have purchased and acquiring donor bikes (up to 7 now) and trying to make design decisions as well as get as many first hand looks at production models as I can to think of all the safety issues that I can come up with for him.

The main issue that I have is that he is going to want to touch the wheels, so I have to isolate him from them. And recently I have started contemplating the idea of using a design that would be similar to a hybrid between the Streetfighter and Streetfox, using the Streetfighter frontend and steering and the streetfox rear end.

What design, handling, and safety issues do you guys think that this is going to present?

What kinds of adjustments do you guys think that I'm going to need to make to the front end design to accomodate the fact that there is only 1 wheel in the rear versus the 2 that the Streetfighter is designed for?

Do you think that this is really a feasible idea at all?

Thanks!

darnthedog
07-18-2012, 11:05 AM
An alternative suggestion here. Instead of hybriding- How about Velomobiling. Cover the Wheels with fenders and enclose the frame where the steering is inside with him and the wheels are on the outside. He will love it as it will seem like a rocket ship to him and it will protect him from the wheels as well. However the Tricruiser is built similar to your what your looking to build except it uses 26 inch wheels all the way around. So I don't think there will be an issue sizing down the wheels. Hope that helps you figure things out. The Streetfox is a short wheel based trike where as the Tricruiser is a long wheel based trike. It will handle a little differently but then your not looking for a sport bike. So from looking at trikes for myself the Tricruiser may be the answer your looking for.

HPVTraveler
07-18-2012, 11:07 AM
As to the touching of the wheels in motion, might I suggest fenders and you may want to lace into the spokes wheel disks made out of coroplast. Coroplast is what election signs along the road are printed on. After the elections this November those signs have to be removed. Instead of distroying them why not use them for some good cause like child safety barriers for your son on his ride?

Update ... Oops! darnthedog beat me to the punch by 2 minutes it looks like.

Tradetek
07-18-2012, 01:45 PM
@darnthedog - looking at the tricruiser again, I think I had just ignored it because of the uss and use of traditional forks making the wheel position so high, but as a foundation concept, I guess it is proof that the geometry is sound. If anything moving the front end CG down should make it more stable, not less.

After doing some test rides on Sun delta trikes and Terratrike tadpoles, I'm not sure that he is going to be able to get the concept of uss which is why I'm thinking of going with the Streetfighter's steering control.

However, while I like the four wheel stability, I'm not sure I like the idea of all that drive train fabrication for my first build which is why I was hoping to stay away from a delta rear end in addition to keeping the wheels out of reach.

@HPVTraveler - Fenders are definitely on my mind along with mylar disc wheel covers. From my old biking days I'm familiar with a method to make a disc wheel cover using a wire frame covered by mylar that is heat shrunk tight and attached to the spokes. Makes a nice slick look. However your idea of election signs is a great cheap eco minded way to do the same thing.

I have been thinking about going with 26" wheels just because it is easier to actually buy them already made with 15mm or 20mm thru axle hubs instead of going the custom 20" route though, and you are correct speed is very far from my mind... if anything I'm anti-speed, and much more focused on stability and safety!