View Full Version : Deltarunner project to be made from what I have already

08-04-2012, 05:30 AM
Hi everyone I want to build a Kyoto, but I thought I'd build a Deltarunner based trike first from what I already have in the garage and under the house just to get my hand in with welding again. Over the years I've collected all manner of discarded steel from the local recycling centre; - parts of old exercise machines, trampoline frames, steel tube & etc. Rather than rush out and blow the housekeeping on a load of bright shiny new steel and make a mess of it because I'm not as good as welding as I used to be, I thought working on a practice piece first of all would be a good idea.

A Deltarunner would be a good replacement for my electric converted upright Hercules trike which could then go back to being a classic bicycle again after all the modern electric bits were taken off it. Rather than make a set of hubless 26 inch rear wheels with axles running in four self aligning bearings I thought I'd use two rear triangles from junk frames so I could mount the electric hub wheel from my Hercules trike as one of the rear wheels and a standard mountain bike wheel on the other side.
I don't like front mounting hub motor wheels ever since the day one tried to make a break for freedom from the Raleigh front forks I was using on the very first tricycle I ever built.

I'd need to use a countershaft to take the chain drive over to the side, but that's ok as I figured I would use bottom bracket bearings on the rear frame sections to carry the shaft. Liking vintage velocars as I do I'd like to put a bodyshell on this trike. I found a nice vintage design in the October 1924 issue of Modern Mechanix magazine that I think would suit very well :)

Radical Brad
08-04-2012, 08:56 AM
Looks like a practical design. Check out our gallery, there a some nice velos there as well.


08-04-2012, 09:58 AM
I like the basic ideas, and the vintage velo does not take too much change to become a faster shape.
I would be carefull with any attemot to use a standard 26" MTB rear wheel on a trike. It won't last long.
They are on a very narrow hub because of the need for a a 200 speed casstte! One side is nearly flat,
and they only survive because a normal bike does not put any side load on the the wheels.
Brads delta runner survives with 26 inch wheels because he uses his wide hubs! Without them wheel would colapse.
On a trike the best place for an electric assist is the front wheel, limited (as you seem to have discovered) by the strength of the front forks. Yours is the first failure of what I assume is a steel fork, that I have heard of!
Aluminium forks do (will) break). Steel do not usually break.
Because most front wheels are symetrical with regards to the spoke angles, they are stronger than the rear for the same bike.
As we are talking of a DElta trike, most of the weight is on the back, so a Standard front wheel survives OK.
So will a hub motor setup. Just becareful with the fork selection.
You will not notice any affect on steering by driving on one wheel, so that is not an issue here. Wheel strength is!
The hub motor on the back may be OK as it will be symetrical spoke angles . Here in China, sprocket one side, brake the other side) . But the MTB wheel is not in the race.
In the end, I think it will be easier and cheaper to make your own hubs and basically follow Brads ideas.
I spent a lot of time trying to improve on his ideas- and gave up! It is hard to beat the simplicity of what he has done if you are working at home. Sure, a big factory can build lighter (But not much) and simpler (but it will cost you heaps to copy)
and maybe faster (by 1 or 2 Kph) but you work at home, build one bike at a time , like all of us, and do it for fun.
But you don't want to colapse a rear wheel!!!!!
To give you an idea of the strenght of Brads hubs, I have had my trike on two wheels with the wife on the back, more than once, and done several hundred Ks of mad driving around Beijing, and have not broken a spoke yet--but I keep trying!
I will post when I manage to break one! But please , do not tell the wife we were on two wheels!!!
You do not need a lathe or fancy tools to make your own hubs, and they will outlast any attempt to bypass by using standard wheels. And the best part is, when the bike mechanic loooks at them, and says "where did you get these?"
Makes all the effort worthwhile--believe me.
Steve G,

08-04-2012, 10:02 AM
That would be a similar design to the VeloBug made of Coroplast.
That would be a very lightweight fairing design and easy to build.

08-04-2012, 10:04 AM
Me again,
I keep thinking of the Velo idae for my trike (minus 14 C in winter here!) so keep the ideas coming in as quick as you can.
The one you posted last has got the brain working again.
Steve G,

08-04-2012, 10:08 AM
Thanks TexaTuff,
Another idea to work on--I should be making clocks, but I get mkore fun out of these things on wheels, rather than things with wheels .
Steve G

08-04-2012, 02:10 PM
Thanks very much for your comments and advice Steve :)

I must admit that I wasn't entirely happy with the MTB wheel as a first choice. I do have a good steel wheel with a Sturmey Archer 3 speed coaster brake hub that I've used before on my Hercules tricycle without any problems. My Hercules tricycle is setup with a divided drive on the rear axle, - motor hub one side and the pedalled wheel on the other, - and I've had no trouble with it at all so I know it's a good setup.
You bad man, - fancy getting up on two wheels with your wife on board. You sound almost as bad as me when I used to build and ride my own sidecar outfits back when I was a much younger woman. These days I'm no speedster though, my faithful Hercules gets used for hauling loads like a week's worth of groceries and bags of potting mix so load carrying is the important thing for me. After thinking about it I'm considering building the velocar bodyshell with a small truck type bed on it rather like the bodyshell that Mad7 built to carry his camera gear.

08-04-2012, 03:01 PM
That would be a similar design to the VeloBug made of Coroplast.
That would be a very lightweight fairing design and easy to build.

I very much like what Lightfoot are doing with their velocar prototypes. Coroplast is a building material I haven't tried as yet, - perhaps I'll wait until after the next elections when there will be lots of scrap election signage around.

Lightfoot's proposed velo pickup design is interesting.

08-05-2012, 12:44 AM
Living with a disability like I do I have sick-in-bed days from time to time which I use to research bike projects with my faithful IBM laptop. Today I've been reading over past AZ newsletters and I found Leo's delta build in the 3rd September 2011 newsletter.4871
This is very much the type of thing I'm aiming at with this first practice delta build, though I'm intending to use a section of scrap trampoline frame to make the central spine because it will be much stronger.

08-05-2012, 09:12 AM
Hi Annie,
I should be more accurate about the two wheeled tricycle bit ! It is based on assumption, as I did not SEE the wheel in the air.
But the left real wheel was turning very easily, with no resistance to peddling at all. So I assume, because everything came back to normal a few seconds later, that the wheel lost contact with the ground for a short time!
Can't imagine what would have caused this to happen on a quiet ride around the city.
These things are fun at times!
You will have no problems with driving one wheel with peddles and the other with a hub motor, and a brake on either one , or both.
It sounds crazy to a car mechanic, but it has almost zero effect on a trike. I often go hands free, just to see where it will go.
Its usually straight, whether I peddle or not. Braking , if hands free, it really does move right, but if the bars are held, it stops dead straight, and you don't feel any pull at all.
Seems we share a similar past, as I learnt the three wheel art with trials sidecars, and a few bigger versions on my 750s.
Steve G,

08-05-2012, 09:00 PM
Sidecars are so much fun, though my days of blating around on a motorcycle powered outfit are well behind me now. I own an old heavyweight bicycle that's setup with a sidecar frame that I might do something with one day, but that's something for later. I want to concentrate on building this trike first.

08-19-2012, 08:09 AM
Well things have got a bit closer, I went out in the car today and collected the arc welder I recently purchased second hand. It's a German made Zinser and it cost me the princely sum of $NZ120.00. The guy selling it brought it with him when he emmigrated from Germany and he is a master tradesman welder and highly skilled as you would imagine. He was a little amazed that a woman had purchased his arc welder, but was very interested when I explained about wanting to build a recumbent trike. After hearing that I was keen on bicycles and tricycles he showed me the three wheeled Dutch freight bike he had in a shed on his property. It was the kind with two wheels in front and a large box body mounted between the front wheels. He had restored it and it was in beautiful condition too.

Apparently he sold the Zinser welder because he had just purchased a very high tech TIG capable induction welder and the Zinser was surplus to requirements. It's an old welder, but in its day it was considered to be one of the best of its kind and most professional welders in Germany used Zinser welders. After loading up the welder in the boot of the car he said to me that if I ever got stuck with a welding problem I couldn't solve I only had to pick up the phone and he would do his best to help. I thought that was really nice of him :)

08-19-2012, 08:22 AM
Thyere are some good people left in nthis world--you only have to find them!