Sociable Recumbent Trike





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!



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    20 Discussions

    I'd be interested in seeing more photos and details of how you built it. Can I also suggest adding support on the outside of each front wheel. I've read quite a few posts and most recommend both sides of an axle having support. Up to you, I'd be interested to know how the two front wheels have held up only supported on one side. This looks interesting to build

    1 reply

    The single sided axles have not been any issue at all. They are 36 spoke BMX rims with 14 MM axles. They have lasted for years and years with no ill effects.

    Hi! I AM part of an organization that promotes sustainable transport. We are developing a solar tricycle for two people and we will compete in a race through the Chilean desert.
    I would love to discuss our design with you. I would appreciate if I could call you.

    My email is

    Thank you very much

    im going to build a travel camper my gf and i can live in. I have many ideas but i cant draw for the life of me. Not sure if you can help but i like your Sociable trike, i want something similar to pull the camper, but at the same time disconnect so we can ride and have some space to ourselves. At the moment we are more or less homeless staying in our friends garage, i was wondering if you knew what material would be the lightest but durable for the pavement and dirt roads, and affortable. I have access to bikes and parts due to my best friends bike shop. If you can help me out id appreciate it more than you know, if you email me will you make the subject urgent. Thanx, Eddie

    1 reply

    I'm wondering if a modification of this and would work for you. Bamboo being light weight and this design here being great for 2 people.

    Count me in! I too know time is often precious. And although it would be difficult to put together a plan/project like this however...if you could even put together a basic set with some really great pictures.-We'll do the rest! Thank you so very much a-head-of-time! :{)


    2 years ago

    At this point I don't feel it'll happen but I support at least some basic info being released how you made it.

    I'd love to see some plans. Let me know if I can help in any way.

    I would love to have all the info needed to build and ride this sociable.

    You've peeked my interest and quite a few other. So please turn the feeler in to an ible. Thank you

    seriously would love to get hold of the plans for the entire build

    Can I also beg for some more detailed pics of the individual parts? I'm really curious about the front end suspension that you mentioned.

    Want to add another voice into the, "would love to see this whole process" pile.

    I'd love to see detailed plans! Let my vote be x1,000 and you're likely to be featured for the design efforts. Sounds like a very valuable product as well!

    Would love to see more especialy the chain transfer system!!

    looks good to me!