View Full Version : Newbie question

09-13-2012, 05:06 AM
Building a Kyoto and wonder the difference between using 20" and 24" rear wheels and what affect this would have on gearing.

Also, wondering if the rear wheel base can be shortened to a maximum of 47" so I can put the machine in my mini-van? Thanks for your comments
Frank in Bristol, RI, USA

Radical Brad
09-13-2012, 08:46 AM

Yes, you can shorten it up, but do so with you and your partner sitting in chairs so you can ensure you have enough elbow room. Moving the riders closer to the wheel sides will be ok, but if you move too far, you will have some instability around fast corners when riding solo.

24 inch rims could work, but you will need to choose a good double wall rim with 36 spokes and place your hub flanges about 1/2 inch wider than what they were on the original rim.
I would recommend staying with the 20's though, unless your combined rider weight will be under 320 pounds.


09-14-2012, 06:47 AM
Thanks, Brad, appreciate the comments. I plan to make a mockup of the frame/seating/wheel location out of 2x2 wood to make sure there is enough elbow room for both, and I will stick to the 20" wheels.
One more thing if you don't mind: I found a source for aluminum pillow blocks but they have a sintered bronze/silicone bushing instead of an actual ball bearing. Could these be used? Or, is it more important to have very free wheeling bearings?

09-14-2012, 09:37 AM
HI Frank,
Stick with the ball bearings--they will give less problems, last longer, and have less drag.
And if you did wear them out in your lifetime, you can replace them easily!
Steve G

Radical Brad
09-14-2012, 12:24 PM
Yes, bushings are not good for axle bearings. They would be fine for tadpole trike steering bits, but not for drive axles.


09-14-2012, 04:26 PM
Thanks guys. Anyone have a good source for the bearing type pillow blocks? I find they are about $40 each and weight two pounds!

09-14-2012, 04:32 PM
www.thebigbearingstore.com/pillowblockbearing.html is where I got mine th3ey alsi had rod ends and shaft collars.
www.surpluscenter.com has also been suggested