View Full Version : Concern for elbow rubbing

05-16-2014, 11:23 PM
Just curious if any of you with finished Auroras have had any problems or concerns for your elbows rubbing on the rear wheels? I am broader shouldered than Brad, and looking at the pics of the finished aurora from the plans I am a bit concerned. I am at the stage of welding up all my back frame and I am stuck with the width decision.

I widened my warrior by a couple inches and it was fine.....different issue with the delta config and elbows.

I know that River widened his Aurora a bit and I was just wanting some feedback or comments from on your experiences.

RV3maker :wings:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107830944100278065441/WarriorTrikePictures02?authkey=Gv1sRgCIyHyKmR3ryTD Q

Tricruiser prone (progressive build)
Aurora build in progress

05-16-2014, 11:35 PM
Don't have the Aurora plans, but this covered in either Streetfox or Deltawolf (or both) . May even get a mention in Timberwolf.
Will have a look when I find the external hard drive the plans are on! Its somewhere in the caravan, and things get moved by someone else (?)
Steve G

05-16-2014, 11:57 PM
I would appreciate any experiences. I did a quick search on "elbow rub" and nothing specifically titled came up. I did see a motorized streetfighter that had some shoulder /elbow gaurds installed and it also has 20" rear wheels.

Rob R., aka

05-17-2014, 12:02 AM
You may have just corrected me--it may be on Streetfighter that I saw the answer to you problem.. Still can't find that HD. Its been hidden by an expert considering its in a 20 foot caravan.
When I find it, she won't remember moving it, and it will be my fault for not looking properly!
Steve G

05-17-2014, 12:54 AM
There is an old thread that addressed the issue on a DeltaWolf. It was a simple guard that Brad welded on to keep your elbow away from the tire. The first version of the DeltaWolf had me sitting between the wheels and was a real problem. A mud tire will take off a lot of skin from your arm at 20 mph. I'll see if I can find the thread.

EDIT: Maybe this will help. If you don't have the DeltaWolf plans. Look at the AtomicZombie splash page. Select Plans and look at the DeltaWolf "details". Scroll down a bit and look at the large picture of the yellow DeltaWolf. You can clearly see the arm guard in front of the left rear wheel.


05-17-2014, 02:05 AM

If you look at my Python :- http://forum.atomiczombie.com/showthread.php/8210-Building-a-python-trike?p=88620#post88620 post 115

The wheels look a lot closer than the pictures of the Aurora in the build manual , do I have problems ?

They are 33" apart and I have wide shoulders and do catch the wheels either when putting my arm out to indicate a turn or trying to get into pockets for stuff whilst riding ?

However it is not that bad I would alter the rear end to stop it.

if you ride with other people as a courtesy it is expect [ in the UK ] to have mudguards so as not to spray other riders with water and they would provide protection against your arms brushing the tyre ?

05-17-2014, 02:26 AM
I built a DeltaWolf a while back and initially I did get a few surprise contacts with the tires on either side without the slightest injury. Each time (less than 5 overall) it came as such a surprise and shock that I QUICKLY learned to keep my elbows in. The riding position actually favors the position so that after my second ride it became subconsciously natural to keep my arms in and after more than 4500 miles I have yet to make contact ever again. And I never put guards on. It is no big deal and I am not a small guy...

05-17-2014, 10:41 AM
Brad is a little narrower than a lot of us...

The plans are not a required width, but adjustable with statements similar to the following which I copied from the Aurora plan but edited the specific dimension so as not to be seen as giving anything away... "You can make the track wider if you want to by altering the XX inch dimension, but take note that the XX inch dimension will also have to change".

There are references like this in pretty much all the plans because they are meant to be a guide versus an assembly manual.


05-17-2014, 12:45 PM
In my collection of photos I have this one:


It's not mine so perhaps the owner can add some comments? so that we can correctly attribute it?
It addresses the issue of elbow rubbing very well!

05-17-2014, 01:58 PM
That is just stunning!!
I wish I had the skills to make something so beautiful the space to store such a lovely bike.


05-18-2014, 12:13 PM
Thanks for the replies and the great pic. I am going to do some measurements tonight and see if I believe there is an actual problem or not. I will most likely be putting fenders on any ways, so likely not going to be a huge deal! Perhaps handle bar position alone might me enoug to mitigate the potential issue of rubbing?

Rob R.

07-05-2014, 10:14 AM
When I built my DeltaWolf, the plans said, "This part of the frame (rear unit) will determine the overall width of the final trike, and it can be widened for larger riders if necessary. As you can see, the overall width of the rear frame is XX inches, and this is based on a typical adult shoulder width between 16 and 19 inches. If you are a large rider with a shoulder width larger than 19 inches across, then add 1 inch to the overall width of the frame for every inch wider than 19 inches your shoulders are."

After building and testing his DeltaWolf, Brad added an "elbow guard" on each side, to keep his elbows and arms out of the spokes and off the tires.

07-05-2014, 12:24 PM
Roger that! I added an inch to the rear axle width. Whether it is enough, we'll see. I plan on managing the elbow run through seat height (going with a mesh seat this time, as this one will likely end up being my wife's ride), through handle bar position and lastly with a good set of rear fenders. The combination of these will likely result in a non-issue when finished.


John Lewis
07-07-2014, 03:25 AM
In my collection of photos I have this one:


It's not mine so perhaps the owner can add some comments? so that we can correctly attribute it?
It addresses the issue of elbow rubbing very well!

The builder of this Wolf sent me a drawing of his fender design some years ago.

I'm sure he won't mind me posting it here for future reference.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh98/lew2au/fender1_zps93e71b5b.jpg (http://s254.photobucket.com/user/lew2au/media/fender1_zps93e71b5b.jpg.html)


09-10-2014, 12:24 AM
It would seem to me that you could mock this up with a couple of 26 inch wheels and a seat of some kind. If you place them so they match the positions of the finished trike it would allow you to see whether the stock measurement was wide enough before committing yourself. Just a thought.

09-10-2014, 11:26 PM
I haven't shortened the axles to final length, but I think by going with a slung mesh seat that it will eliminate most of my concerns. The mesh seat will raise the seat slightly and move the arms forward just enough that I believe it will be manageable without creating guards.

I will eventually put some fenders on after the build is done and before I paint.

Here is a shot of the proposed seat frame. You can see that the mesh seat helps the issue a bit.


09-11-2014, 07:09 AM
In your case it looks like you have smaller wheels? and the seat seems to be not only higher but also further forward?
The seat looks great!

04-12-2015, 11:33 PM
Just wanted to post an update to this thread. I now have the seat finished and the steering in place with the handle bars. With my mesh seat mounting I have checked the steering throw of the elbows and there is no possible way that my elbows will ever touch the back wheels. The mesh seat sits about4-6" higher than the plans seat and that seems to eliminate the concern.

See my post under Air Capital Aurora for pics and link to build photos if interested in details.