Introduction: Sociable Recumbent Trike
The Two’Strike is a cool project I built a while back. This instructible is not really so much an instructible as it is a “feeler’ to see if there is enough interest to go to the considerable effort required to product a quality set of plans and instructions for producing your own version. If I get enough interest, I will gather the remaining construction pics, dimensions, parts list, etc and put together a how-to manual that will let you build Two’Strike with only basic shop tools and a small welder. If you are interested, leave me a comment or message me with your contact info so that I can let you know when the plans are done!
Step 1: The Design Criteria and Final Result
The project started when my wife complained that it was hard to talk while riding our upright tandem. I had built several recumbents and wanted to build a recumbent tandem, so I decided to build a sociable trike (side-by-sides are actually called “sociables”).
I had some design criteria when I started. It needed to be less than 48” wide at its widest point so I could ride on wide sidewalks and bike trails in addition to the road. Because we pedal at different cadences, I wanted both sides to have independent gears and be completely independent of each other (i.e. either side could pedal, or not, and change gears without affecting the other rider). I thought it would be nice if either side could ‘captain,’ and ideally, the captain change could be made ‘on the fly’. The design had to be comfortable for long rides, stable in all conditions, and rideable with only one rider when needed. I also had thoughts of adding a tiny gas motor, or electrical drive at a later date. I wanted he design to be light and cool looking, not like a “old folks ride”. I wanted suspension on at least the front axle to save our backs on rough roads. It needed to be aerodynamic, but still high enough to be seen by cars and easy to get in/on. I think we accomplished all of the goals. The bike is fast and fun. It draws a crowd everywhere it goes. It is comfortable tooling along with walkers and flying down hills. It is adjustable for a wide range of rider sizes. The suspension on the front wheels makes the ride smooth and easy. Each rider has control of his own front and intermediate gears and can select his range from 21 ratios. The final drive is selected from the center handlebar and controls an additional 36 ratios. Of course, there are many duplicate or near duplicate ratios, but in theory, there are 756 ratios for each rider! This allows a wide ratio with gears low enough to climb the side of a mountain, if needed, or tall enough that your muscles are the only limit to the top speed! The comfortable riding position lets you see all the sights without straining you neck and the cockpit layout give you options of cup holders, phone mounts, or a place for your wife’s book! If this sounds like a project you would like, let me know. I have developed simple ways to guarantee that the front end geometry is correct and very easy to build. I make final frame alignment a snap (and that is really hard to do otherwise!). It is a big project to develop plans and instructions on this type of project, but I am willing if you are!