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A few questions for recumbent bicycle makers Answered

Okay, as the title says, i've got a few questions for anyone who's made a proper recumbent bicycle.

First: in the way of moving the handlebars back, how do you attach a bicycle chain sprocket to the top of a fork tube? is it welded? or is it a special type of sprocket with a sort of crankshaft keyway (like engine crankshafts have keyed sprockets for their timing chains) this is obviously to relocate the handlebars further back or under the rider so that you can lean back (as most recumbents allow)

Second: if you're to put a larger tire on the rear of your bike (for example, a small (50-500cc motorcycle) rear tire), how would you go about converting the chain link sizes. most motorcycle tires have a shorter link distance, and look like their links are sort of squashed together as opposed to bicycle chains. would you find a way to put a larger toothed sprocket on the rear tire or put a smaller toothed sprocket on one side of an intermediary and a larger toothed on the opposite side?

If I have any more i'll post them, these are my pretty basic "burning questions" of recumbent making.



6 years ago

I would agree with what PhilB says below except for trying just one recumbent. There are long, medium and short wheelbase two wheel recumbents. Then there are tadpole and delta style recumbent trikes. If possible, visit a dealer and try several. I found, after having many different bikes, the medium wheelbase is my favorite, These are also known as CLWB (compact long wheelbase)

I also recommend going to the AutomicZombie site as it will show you all of these along with plans and forums for questions.

modern man

7 years ago

First thing you should do is go to this web site, best on the web:


I am not associated with them other than being a member of their excellent builders forum, and have bought 2 sets of plans.

You'll find all the help you need for making your own recumbent, long or short wheelbase, 2,3 or 4 wheels. There is an excellent forum where members from around the world who have made/are making these bikes readily share their experiences. They also sell plans for many different models. All the bikes can be made with a minimum of tools and parts from scrap bikes! Lots of how to's & videos.

Phil B

7 years ago

I am not much help on your specific questions. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to build a recumbent. It includes many links and resource contacts for extra help. It also discusses the pros and cons of different choices that must be made along the way. 

I thought I wanted to build a recumbent, but then I had the opportunity to ride someone's recumbent and learned I really did not like them. I always figured it would be a good idea to rent one to see if it is really what a person wants. I hope all goes well for you.