Instructables
This trike is a long wheelbase, semi-recumbent, rear steering delta. I have built five delta trikes so far. This one was number three and it is still my favorite one to ride.

There are three main parts to the trike: the front power wheel (Steps 1-4), the main frame with seat (Steps 5-6), the rear steering wheels (Steps 7-11), rigging (12) and the optional cargo rack (13). The trike is built from parts from three donor bikes I got at a bike coop as I described in this "Ible": http://www.instructables.com/id/How-I-Get-Free-Bike-Parts-Legally/ A parts list is on its way (14).

Welding is required and the cost for purchased parts was roughly $100.

Some specs:

Front wheel 24"
Rear wheels 20"
Width of track 31"
Wheelbase 54"
Length overall 78"
Weight 56#
 
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Step 1: Front Wheel Drive

Picture of Front Wheel Drive

Front wheel drive has some advantages and some disadvantages. I like it because it is simpler than a rear wheel drive delta trike (no differential is required) and there is not a long chain run.

The two main disadvantages are that it loses traction going up hills because most of your weight is to the rear of the trike and that you probably will want to steer with the rear wheels.

Step 2: Harvest a Rear Fork with Pedals

Picture of Harvest a Rear Fork with Pedals
Choose a rear fork that has a derailleur that can be remounted upside down.

Start thinking of the old right side of the rear-facing fork as the new left side of the front-facing fork.

Cut off the top tube and bottom tube right next to the bottom bracket shell.

Step 3: Invert the Derailleur

Picture of Invert the Derailleur
DSC04557.JPG
This takes some getting used to. Your new trike will have a derailleur that faces upward rather than one that hangs down. The bottom loop of the chain is the power side and the top loop of chain (with the derailleur) is the slack side. Photo #2 shows a closeup of the inverted derailleur.
botronics3 days ago

I'm starting to collect bikes for a trike similar to this. I like the idea of front wheel drive, as this method is simpler to build. Losing traction on hills is one of my concerns too. If seat is more forward, making a longer bike, I suppose this would help. I'm doing a build for next years's Obtainium Cup Contraptor's Rally.

sftriker3 months ago

Very cool! Question: where did you get your seat? And do you like it? I need a comfortable seat for my trike but am not sure where to look.

Very nice vehicle, I like the steering.
Why do you mount the derailleur upside down? I my bicycle the chain jumps eventually away form the chainring when the front wheel hits an obstacle.
Is that the reason?
jweirs2 years ago
what if you cut the rear triangle above the bottom bracket and the axle, and just flip it over? then you wouldnt have to invert any small parts, and you could make it more streamlined.
sdunn43 years ago
This is a pretty clever cargo carrier you have devised here. I especially like how you have the one pipe feeding down into where the seat usually is. Have you made any improvements on your model since you posted this? Is there a Cargo Carrier 2.0?
mattbomb3 years ago
GREAT IDEA! i love this bike and i love the idea, your a good creator of new things, i was thinking about putting an engine on it, but thats just me i want to put an engine on every thing. A+ man
bikeframe (author)  mattbomb3 years ago
You might want some disk brakes if you motorize it! (smile)
ya that would be a good idea. would look cool to,
mattbomb3 years ago
i like how easy the stearing set up is with the tie-rods really simple, like it
bikeframe (author)  mattbomb3 years ago
I thought the bolts would let me try toe-in and toe-out.
those bolts would be able to tighten and loosen the stearing, so if the on tires is skidding around a corner it would be able to help it but, other than doing the math and stuff for the toe you wouldnt be able to completly stop the skidding.
mattbomb3 years ago
bolts to tighten/loosen the stearing, good idea its always nice be able to have that little bit of tweaking space.
kostya3 years ago
Looks awesome! I thought of building a trike, but I live in a hilly area and it deters me. What is your opinion about adding a hand rear-wheel drive to assist uphill ride?
bikeframe (author)  kostya3 years ago
Thanks for the feedback, kostya. Long wheelbase trikes with front wheel drive are not the best design for hilly areas in my opinion. Since most of the weight sits (literally) over the rear wheels there is not a lot of traction up front.

The reason I build front wheel drive delta (one wheel in front, two behind) trikes is that they are much less complicated than any sort of drive for the two rear wheels. There is not an extended chain run and no differential is needed at the rear. I don't even try to put brakes on the two rear wheels.

IMHO all mechanical things are compromises of some sort.

I don't know how a hand rear-wheel drive might work, but suppose that maybe adding electric drive(s) might be easier to build. You might want to check out the Ibles where Razor scooter motors are used as assist devices. I will keep my eyes open for other ideas, too.

Good luck...
davmaldo3 years ago
can you post a video of you riding it?
bikeframe (author)  davmaldo3 years ago
There are now two videos in the last two steps. You asked for it...
bikeframe (author) 3 years ago
Here is a new Ible featuring this trike. You might find it amusing!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Giant-Spider-for-Your-Recumbent-Trike/


DSC04655.JPG
Beautiful i love it ,but how is it using inverted steering?
The steering feels backward to start with. That quickly goes away and you don't even think about it after a short time.

Note that this trike does NOT have a center pivot rear axle. The two fixed head tubes and linkage between the forks makes for a much more controlled ride. It is well worth the trouble to build the rear steering this way.
ANDY!3 years ago
How's the steering? I was gonna make a recumbent and was figuring out steering methods. I heard that rear wheel steering is unstable at fast speeds, but you would know from experience. I want to make a bike like that if the steering is good.
bikeframe (author)  ANDY!3 years ago
Rear steering with a link between the two rear wheels is smooth and stable. I have only had this trike up to about 15 MPH but that is fast enough to bring out instability in other trikes I have built. This one is easy to steer and feels very much under control. I would recommend it.
omnibot3 years ago
That is one crazy looking trike! How's it to ride?
bikeframe (author)  omnibot3 years ago
This is an easy rider. Nice and smooth in the turns and easy to pedal. A steep hill s a challenge because the front power wheel only carries about 20% of the load and it slips. Overall it is my favorite trike so far.

Thanks for asking.