HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

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HackD   10 W

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HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Nov 10 2021 5:24pm

Bear with me.. this is a long introductory post to a new build project, explaining some of my rational for a new project, and explaining the direction i am going in, in terms of design/setup choices and options to be explored. This will be a Project log, in Real Time. How long that project timeline is, is still up in the air. I have an even more involved Restoration project ahead, in the living room Project queue for this winter that will get my primary attention.

Never the less, my mind is already digesting the possibilities of the next Project.

After 4+ months of beating up the trails and roads on my first Project - a Terra Trike Tour 2 conversion - while it's outcome as a project was more than satisfactory, it's got limitations to the basic design. It's primarily a smooth surface, maintained pathway Recumbent Trike with a fundamental limitation of lack of suspension to handle anything off-road with confidence. It does Ok, but the way that i am going, i have reached it's limitations to the point that i may well hurt myself in a spectacular manner. I may retain it for on-road, downhill use only, which it excels at. Gravity-slopes are a thing here.

Initially, i had thoughts of quick and dirty pulling out the die grinder and doing major surgery to the existing Terra Trike frame, to graft on a suspension system. I also considered just utilizing the Terra Trike Tour 2 for the parts, for a new build - which would save money - but either option, that would still be a compromise build. It's too clean, and as of yet unbroken, to be disassembled or Cannibalized. Too much of it, wouldn't be used, or reusable.
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I have spent MANY hours so far, poring through Image galleries of various Factory, and Homebuilt design Tadpoles in recent months, noting design and fabrication techniques. As such, any single design that i've looked at, still isn't a 100% match to personal needs or Goals.

As such, my own design process will be fluid and changing, and a bit unconventional. I am choosing to pick up parts that i wish to incorporate into my own setup, and designing around those, once in hand.

I have my own existing Trike for Ergonomic Reference points. I've also picked up a few KMX trike design plans, for very general pointers. I am drawing inspiration from wide and varied sources, like Stein trikes, Veloks Mk3, Adaptive Trike DIY setups, etc.

My Project Goals (to be added to!):
  • Front and rear Suspension design. Required to be relatively 'bomb proof' in setup. Mechanical failure away from home is not an option, for that build aspect.
  • Centre motor drive setup - 3kw Class. ~200km Battery Range. Batteries integrated into build.
  • 20" wheel based.
As indicated above, i'm building around Components being obtained - my first being the front wheelset. These will be good for 2.15" tires, maximal. If i choose to run larger, i'll get wider rims, and re-spoke... but it's a start.
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WIP - Full Suspension Tadpole Recumbent Trike, 1800w/52v hub-drive base.

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by ccihon » Nov 11 2021 9:09am

I will be following your build closely. My rigid-framed trike can be a challenge on les-than-smooth surfaces, so variations on suspension will be interesting. Ready-made trikes with suspensions are a bit out of my price range for now.

The Center drive makes a lot of sense - I went from rear DD hub motor like your current trike to "front mid drive" late this summer and have been happy with that change, though on a trike, a center-mounted motor seems the perfect solution for weight distribution as well as simplicity - there is already going to be an idler there, so makes sense to drive a chin to the motor then a chain to the rear hub. I've seen a few setups like this, but not sure what is available off the shelf or what types of motors etc can be easily adapted to this purpose. Integrated batteries sound cool too.

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Nov 11 2021 2:05pm

ccihon wrote:
Nov 11 2021 9:09am
I will be following your build closely. My rigid-framed trike can be a challenge on les-than-smooth surfaces, so variations on suspension will be interesting. Ready-made trikes with suspensions are a bit out of my price range for now.

The Center drive makes a lot of sense - I went from rear DD hub motor like your current trike to "front mid drive" late this summer and have been happy with that change, though on a trike, a center-mounted motor seems the perfect solution for weight distribution as well as simplicity - there is already going to be an idler there, so makes sense to drive a chin to the motor then a chain to the rear hub. I've seen a few setups like this, but not sure what is available off the shelf or what types of motors etc can be easily adapted to this purpose. Integrated batteries sound cool too.
It will be an evolving design exercise, i am sure.

I am not sure if i need overly significant Suspension Travel on either front or rear. Given the Terrain demands of it.. i am just asking for an ability to better deal with off road double-track conditions like Pine Tree roots, mud ruts, Random small Rocks/small boulders starting to wash out of the soil, and dealing with significant elevation changes on uneven surfaces going up and down, or where being planted and in contact on a varied or corrugated surfaces is most desired for traction or braking control. as such, ~2.5" suspension travel on the front, is probably good enough. There is an aftermarket add-on for the KMX Trikes out of Quebec, for a parallelogram based suspension setup - for both the KMX trikes, and a CA Trikes setup. I'm heavily eyeballing that arrangement, at the moment for inspiration.
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As it appears here, this in my mind is a mismatch in components - a compromise adaption - i am sure it could be integrated better, if designed from the start. This mod as is on the Trikes intended, would increase width to ~36" on the average trike - too wide to access trails, that i access going through vehicle barriers.. It's a Rubik's cube of geometry, to make right. but has potential to consider. Also requires ambition..

I am leaning towards a more traditional, but shortened A-Arm setup. It would work better, given the wheelset and axle/pivot components already picked up. It would also work better, with the narrow rectangular boxed in Centre section of the frame, that i am thinking of going to (see battery storage) in my design process.

Much to absorb in terms of design theory.

As far as the mid-drive potential is concerned, i'm potentially focusing in on a QS138 motor (ex. http://www.cnqsmotor.com/en/article_rea ... n/873.html) that is certainly a heavy investment (.. and a 72v battery pack even more so..) but down the road, once i've got a known good design chassis sorted and actually half or more built by that point..
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WIP - Full Suspension Tadpole Recumbent Trike, 1800w/52v hub-drive base.

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by ccihon » Nov 11 2021 7:38pm

For some inspiration, have you seen the Outrider trikes?
https://electricbikereview.com/outrider/alpha-4-series/

Kinda hard to analyze the front suspension design, but has most of the features you are planning. I understand earlier trikes from these guys were based on kmx - I also understand you can buy a nice used car for the price of this thing.

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HackD   10 W

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Nov 12 2021 3:26pm

ccihon wrote:
Nov 11 2021 7:38pm
For some inspiration, have you seen the Outrider trikes?
https://electricbikereview.com/outrider/alpha-4-series/

Kinda hard to analyze the front suspension design, but has most of the features you are planning. I understand earlier trikes from these guys were based on kmx - I also understand you can buy a nice used car for the price of this thing.
I've noted them also .. that's next level Stupid, in terms of Pricing. As much as i love my Pedal toys, i'd go to a 1-2 year old Can-Am Spyder for a Trike, over that.

I do like the concept - as you said, it does appear KMX inspired - which in my books - say's they are padding Profit with marketing a low volume Product that requires high prices to make an income for even a small company of a few people.. I am not one that can afford to contribute to their wages, either. I can only do it on my own efforts and labor with time, on the personal Wages installment plan.

Mine will be definitely a mix of influences, leaning more towards Trails Billy-Goat than top-end Performance street... To be honest, 40 km/h is fast enough on Pavement on the straight and level - that's local Traffic speed. I can do that now, with a fully charged up battery on the Terratrike. Where it suffers, vs my demands of it, is off of the Street.
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WIP - Full Suspension Tadpole Recumbent Trike, 1800w/52v hub-drive base.

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by goatman » Nov 12 2021 7:48pm

you can buy a brand new Solo trike in Delta for less, i pass them quite often down here :D

https://www.electrameccanica.com/solo/

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Nov 20 2021 3:06pm

One engineering path decided on, in part. A 'Cain Hashimoto Starter's Kit' was ordered off of Aliexpress this past week.

If anyone isn't familiar with Cain's work - he's building up Adaptive Trike designs - rigid, suspended and leaning/suspended, using largely repurposed Steering Stems in combination with aluminum tubing. I will be incorporating elements of this, into my own build.
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Update November 30th, 2021:

My first task, clearly, is to get a set of Front Wheelsets that will work for my goals - everything else goes from there. I had ordered a set of Recumbent Trike front Wheelsets as indicated above. They will work, but need upgrading with wider rims to take 2.3-2.4 width tire carcasses. From there, i will fabricate the desired methodology of mounting to a set of a-arms. I have ideas.

- 32 pieces WAKE Steerer Stems – Alibaba
- 24 pieces flanged 1 1/8" OD x 1/2" ID Bearings - Amazon - Ordered December 12th, 2021
- 20 pieces 1 1/8" OD x 1/2" ID Bearings - Amazon - Ordered December 12th, 2021
- 30 pieces 28.6-25.4mm shims - Alibaba
- 20 pieces Aluminum Alloy Bike Stem MTB Road Bicycle Stem 25.4 mm/60mm
- 3 pieces Aluminum Alloy Bike Stem MTB Road Bicycle Stem 31.8 mm/70mm
- 32mm wide replacement rims, to run 2.3-2.4 series tires - Ebay - Ordered December 2nd, 2021.
- Odyssey Aitken P-Lyte Wire Bead Tire - 20x2.45 - Ordered December 5th, 2021.
- Steerer Tubes – 34mm headsets x 90mm straight – Ordered November 30th, 2021.
http://solidbikes.bigcartel.com/product ... y-relieved
- 8 Steering Damper clamps, no-weld mount adaptable to mount Steerer Tubes to suspension a-arms via 4-point tube subframe.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WM ... UTF8&psc=1

- 32 stem caps - Alibaba – Received December 5th, 2021
- 40 star nuts – Received November 26th, 2021.
- 32 pieces 31.8 – 28.6mm shims - Alibaba – Received December 5th, 2021
- Recumbent Wheelsets, 20” – Received November 5th, 2021.

I'm electing to use NOS steerer tubes, rather than chopping bicycles apart for those two items. I might have a no-weld adaptive bracket solution for this in terms of connection of the suspension a-arms in mind, but will need for these steerer tubes to arrive, so that i can take the micrometer calipers to them to confirm. Parts are cheap enough to order, anyway.

This will also limit the need for Donor bicycles to just one that is ideal for the componentry needed, chop out a bottom bracket, and possibly a rear suspension setup if i can find an MTB version on a bicycle that is adaptable to my needs and design goals, vs fabricating that aspect. definitely looking for a beefier component there, if i go that rear suspension setup route.

I'm eyeballing ordering a QS138 motor now to work with, and get a battery later.
Last edited by HackD on Dec 12 2021 6:11am, edited 1 time in total.
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WIP - Full Suspension Tadpole Recumbent Trike, 1800w/52v hub-drive base.

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HackD   10 W

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Dec 11 2021 7:16pm

It's been a few weeks since last formal update. I've added my Progress to the above post of my parts ordering, so far.

I've been spending a fair amount of time just staring at other's designs, ordering up additional parts, narrowing down what i want in a design.

The beauty of the Cain Hashimoto methodology, is that it's entirely customizable to needs. Thus far, the designs have leaned towards Adaptive Trike setups for disabled Individuals. As such, the designs thus far have been heavy on the front end, disruptive to any recumbent trike setup. That is going to be my Challenge, to 'flatten' the bulk of his front end suspension design using his componentry, so that legs can still be comfortable and unencumbered in a recumbent pedaling position with a dropped seating position into the frame, while still using much of his inspiration for fabrication methodology. As such, my setup is likely going to be a Perimeter frame setup, vs centralized as with the Cain Hashimoto design, with shortened suspension arms as in the KMX trike above, utilizing a decked platform for internal electrics stowage.

This would also make the overall setup runnable, without the HPV setup in the form of the pedal boom - making it modular and removable - in effect, to 'scooter' mode.

I am expecting boxes of parts to start showing up next week, in order to start 'playing with Adult Meccano'. I am already having some creative ideas, related to stuff conveniently laying about the garage.

I'm already going to be upgrading the wheelsets that i'm utilizing with wider BMX rims to accommodate 2.45 rubber, and relace using thicker gauge spokes.

Of all things that have sparked inspiration, was a cast-off bicycle carrier sitting curbside a few months back, that i disassembled for hardware. Relative to tubing scale, a Perimeter frame setup would take care of both the decking and internal storage requirements for battery and electrics, that i have on my wants list. This will also allow me to build in a modular fashion the suspension setup, with built in flexibility for the overall setup by adjusting either perimeter frame, or suspension geometry.. I think the bicycle carrier being of mild thin wall steel is too light, but it does provide some inspiration. I don't need to go much heavier with a perimeter frame, with reinforced mounting points for sub assemblies.

I've got, or will get the materials within the next week to 'start playing' with some ideas. and this parts box will be joined by many others.

I'm sure that i'll need to do another Alibaba/Ebay/Amazon/whatever order or two, as with customization/deviation from plan.. means deviations in parts list. Hopefully i won't have too many parts of those incoming, left over once i'm done. There's a lot, incoming.
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nicobie   1.21 GW

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by nicobie » Dec 11 2021 9:38pm

I'm curious on what you'll come up with.

Building stuff is fun.
Ask for it by name.

my eTownie build thread: http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=23701
Magazine article https://www.electricbike.com/nicks-etownie/

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by Triketech » Dec 12 2021 9:50am

Looks like a fun project. I'll be watching.

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HackD   10 W

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Dec 17 2021 6:11pm

It's definitely going to be a battle of limited space, ambition, reality vs fantasy design. I rather suspect that i will dead-end on several aspects of my goals, or will need different approaches. I don't think i'll be using near as much bicycle components in fabrication, as i initially thought - but i will be using a lot.. i've also got that eMTB to play with to use up parts, in terms of the original Cain Hashimoto design being based on an eMTB, if i choose to go there after.

I will have some creative design input.. component matching, for no-weld solutions for example. There will also be plenty of time for hand fabrication of various aluminum plates to make things fit. This is above all, a creative design exercise to me.

I'm stuck behind several key orders not shown up yet. I've picked up a sample section of tubing i need to start experimenting with (1" and 1.25" by 3/32") but can't do much without proper tubing shims, or one of the key steering stem types needed.

That said, i've had enough show up, that i can start assembling computer desk Eye-Candy. Components potentially intended to use in rough configuration.

Plan here, is to use 90mm Steering head tube sets, with 45/45 BMX Bearing sets (inbound), mounted within 45mm billet aluminum clamps, originally intended for steering stabilizers. I would need to do additional machining work/tapping to nut-stop the clamp assembly fasteners, and an addition of a sub-bracket on top of these clamps to connect to the Helm joints i will be using. This will make for a 4 point extended steering bracket knuckle assembly.
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I'm already having some regrets in some components being used - i realize now, this method of spindle and pivot is ideal for rigid trikes - not what i am working towards. I'll make it work with additional work/aggravation since i have got that much cost into it already, but i really should have looked at 20mm MTB wheel spindle based options using a billet fabricated knuckle, instead. That's the fault of my impatience to get things going, as well as general aversion to the garage in the winter months.

Parts have come in for the wheelset upgrade - i just need to order spokes at this point - i should have just bought hubs and gone from there, at this rate.. live and learn at some expense. I will be running 'Odyssey Aitken' semi-block BMX 20"x2.45 tires on them.
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When i am speaking of 'perimeter frame', i am speaking of this general plan-form of a Modified KMX setup - perhaps - minus the center section deleted entirely. Depends on how rigid that i can make things, in terms of frame setup. My boxed in section would be structural, rather than secondary storage in nature, as in the KMX. Again, comes down to space being worked with.. i'll know where i'm going when pipe and components start hitting the carpet. I've got a hard-shell seat inbound, to work with in terms of overall dimensions, in experimenting with all this. I guess in some ways, i'm trying to combine 'kart' with 'Recumbent' in terms of design.
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HackD   10 W

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Jan 11 2022 10:22pm

Well, plans are definitely fluid, in terms of shifting goals. I've got lots of Pie in the Sky ideas - but the more i look at things, i am fighting multiple issues - complexity, dimensional vs material limitations, and my own over-ambition. I need to look a this in terms of a modular approach. I'm working with materials that can be reconfigured to a certain extent (no weld principle) so i can experiment with setup whenever i bloody well want to, once i get an actual base-goal of a fully suspended eTrike actualized. Everything else is secondary.. including keeping to a simplified, low-cost drive train for now.. rather than stepping up to a QS motor and 72 Volts right away.

48V 1000/1500w will do fine for now, so i ordered the simple, economical solution to my needs.
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I picked up a CSC 26" rear hub setup, with the upgraded 30mm rim. Went over the Spokes for tightness, and put a 26"x2.40 Maxxis Holy Roller tire on it. Should be good for Traction on the Trails.
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I received all of my first round of the major parts orders this past weekend .. and in very short order, built up the Wheel-sets to be used. T2 Halo 32mm BMX rims, mated to the original hubs. 180mm rotors. Front tires are Odyssey Aitkens at 20" x 2.45".

The observant can see my steering methodology has already changed - i am essentially 'blocking' the Steerer Tube into a clamp bracket - I will then devise a methodology of suspension mounting, involving a plate bracket onto this. These were originally Jeep YJ (i think) Steering arm damper mounts that i have reprofiled on the backside already, to clear the brake rotor behind it. Red Steerer stems are just placeholders at the moment, to keep things tight and together.
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I wanted to go the Cain Hashimoto way, with his methodology of 1" tubing and steering tube stems, but i simply will not have the room available in this design to implement.. i will need to be closer to the KMX suspension design, than the adaptive trike methodology he uses. His construction method will be used in other aspects of my build... but i will have left-over parts.

Basically, now that i got the three corners of the triangle realized, it's a matter of filling in the middle. Research on Suspension methodology and implementation, continues.
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HackD   10 W

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Jan 12 2022 9:11pm

Starting to play with the Chassis Ideas... strictly exploration to see fabrication potential.

Built in Roll-bar!

The bottom and top compound curve pieces are the main parts of a automotive bicycle rack, that i had found curb-side last summer.

Reduce, reuse, repurpose! I like the idea of protection, given environment expected to be used on. It's theoretical at this point in terms of implementation.. but has potential in terms of incorporation into the final project.
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WIP - Full Suspension Tadpole Recumbent Trike, 1800w/52v hub-drive base.

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by amberwolf » Jan 12 2022 10:30pm

FWIW, I used an old steel bedside toilet seat stand to build CrazyBike2's final seat. Paracord used to lace the covers I used on it to it; they make a suspended mesh that is a lot more comfortable and easier to fit to you than an padded seat, which absorbs small bumps and vibrations a lot better than the padded seats.

The frame around it saved my upper body from (potentially severe) injury each of the few times I have ended up sliding on my side on that bike, like at the Deathrace and the Undeadrace down in Tucson a decade or so ago. The handlebars and the seat frame acted like a cage. (top doesn't stick up above my head but it could be made to).

It also doesn't accumulate water (or sweat) in the padding and feel like a wet-sponge, or get moldy from not drying out fast enough. And it's cooler in hot weather than padded ones.

For SB Cruiser, which has a more upright seating position, I used a StadiumChair, which also provides a suspended mesh seat. some collected pics
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=105677&p=1554815&hi ... r#p1554645

I tried a lot of different ways of making padded seats, or premade ones, before settling on the "suspended mesh" type. :) Some of them are listed here
https://electricle.blogspot.com/search/label/seat
with pics, from before I started posting here on ES.

The only thing I have to do with the mesh seats is tighten the lacing periodically as things stretch, and replace the mesh itself eventually (it sunrots here in Phoenix, from whenever I have to park outside).

Other bleacher chairs might work too, like the below, but the StadiumChair was just a perfect simple bolt-on for the SB Cruiser trike. Four holes drilled into the chair frame, four matching ones in the seatbox top, four bolts, washers, nuts, and done. ;) (slotted holes in either or both would even allow simple repositioning if necessary).
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16920&p=311685#p311685
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HackD   10 W

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Jan 12 2022 11:22pm

This is actually a hard-shell recumbent seat that i'm utilizing.

I've already got one on my rigid Terra Trike - and it's mounting method was relatively involved, requiring significant metal fabrication of seat mounts to adapt to the Terra Trike method of seat mounting. Using this fabrication method of tubing, including integrated 'roll cage', i can be rid of the complexity of fabricating complicated mounts required on an adapted setup, relying on a few tabbed mounts (ie roll-bar clamps) to tubing, instead.

I've low-speed flipped my first e-trike already in the first season - it pissed me off to no end that i shredded the seat cover fabric up by the head, inside of a few weeks.. :(
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Above photo does not show the rigid trike in present form - it had a HD rack and top-box added onto it, some time later, as shown below. In effect, the top box works as an effective roll bar. The other aspect - rather than 'add-on', as with an analog Trike adaption to an e-Trike as with my first go at a conversion, i'd like such features as a rear rack integral in the build, formed out of similar tubing, as part of the overall structure, in effect, a mutually supporting and integrated structure.
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I found this hard-shell seat to be a literal all-day affair - i spent a whole day in it at a Music Festival, anyway.. makes for a heck of an outdoors rolling couch.

The previous post in no way is baked in, as final form.. just a generalized idea of where i might be going, with the potential of this fabrication method using the repurposed bicycle stem components and tubing, and it's potential for creative engineering.

FWIW, anyway..
amberwolf wrote:
Jan 12 2022 10:30pm
FWIW, I used an old steel bedside toilet seat stand to build CrazyBike2's final seat. Paracord used to lace the covers I used on it to it; they make a suspended mesh that is a lot more comfortable and easier to fit to you than an padded seat, which absorbs small bumps and vibrations a lot better than the padded seats.

The frame around it saved my upper body from (potentially severe) injury each of the few times I have ended up sliding on my side on that bike, like at the Deathrace and the Undeadrace down in Tucson a decade or so ago. The handlebars and the seat frame acted like a cage. (top doesn't stick up above my head but it could be made to).

It also doesn't accumulate water (or sweat) in the padding and feel like a wet-sponge, or get moldy from not drying out fast enough. And it's cooler in hot weather than padded ones.

For SB Cruiser, which has a more upright seating position, I used a StadiumChair, which also provides a suspended mesh seat. some collected pics
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=105677&p=1554815&hi ... r#p1554645

I tried a lot of different ways of making padded seats, or premade ones, before settling on the "suspended mesh" type. :) Some of them are listed here
https://electricle.blogspot.com/search/label/seat
with pics, from before I started posting here on ES.

The only thing I have to do with the mesh seats is tighten the lacing periodically as things stretch, and replace the mesh itself eventually (it sunrots here in Phoenix, from whenever I have to park outside).

Other bleacher chairs might work too, like the below, but the StadiumChair was just a perfect simple bolt-on for the SB Cruiser trike. Four holes drilled into the chair frame, four matching ones in the seatbox top, four bolts, washers, nuts, and done. ;) (slotted holes in either or both would even allow simple repositioning if necessary).
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16920&p=311685#p311685
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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Jan 26 2022 6:58pm

The 'Project', such as it is, graduated from being a trip-hazard between kitchen and stairs, to being an official "Coffee Table" Imagineering Project this past week. Keep in mind, it's roughed in dimensionally - I plan to narrow up the 'spine' a bit more, and everything else needs to be played with and dialed in, in terms of positioning, length and geometry. I simply ran out of the 'Reds' for the steering stems, along with the required 28.6 - 25.4mm shim reducers, and am needing a resupply to start on front suspension, and finish rear suspension.

Initially, i was just taking a laugh at suitability of the repurposed bicycle carrier.. now, i'm running with it.
It works so well to needs, structurally and dimensionally. I will be repeating the under seat dual-pack method of battery carriage, as i did with my original Terratrike setup, but with less fabrication necessary.

Additional items ordered this week include an adjustable steering stem for the rear seat mount, 2 x 52v19.2ah battery packs (interchangeable with what i got now), a 200mm air shock with remote lock-out to complete the rear setup, as well as aforementioned 'reds' steering stem and shims re-order.

With the Chinese New Year, i expect these orders will take me into March. Lots of fabrication to get a start on, in the interim.
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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Feb 27 2022 2:07pm

Hasn't been much in the way of updates as of late - very much a process of putting things together in certain configurations, taking things back apart, looking at it from a different angle or dimension, and refining. It's starting to get close in terms of general configuration. 48 'red' stems used thus far.

In a significant design break, and due to dimensional limitations presented by using further stem/tubing combinations to make up the front end - i am going to be modifying, and working with the kid's ATV A-Arm's that i picked up to experiment with. I believe i can work with the suspension geometry, with longer stems on the top a-arm pivot mounts which are incoming.

Pardon the crappy video - and pardon the environment it's shot in.. i'm a single guy gone to seed.. but it shows where i'm going with this. The Guest-Star of the video, observing from the day-bed, is Shadow.

https://youtu.be/bqQg-XA_t-A
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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Mar 04 2022 1:13pm

The parts continue to flow in, and the need for additional parts needing to be ordered continues... Fortunately, it's coming down to the cheaper parts and bits and pieces...

I received a Terratrike 18" crank boom today that I will work with into the setup.. there will be a bit of additional fabrication involved to make work, but will utilize 1.75" clamps as the basis to work with.

Chain path management is going to be a treat to work with... I have a bunch of chain idlers, snatch arms, and a chain gobbler coming in, to route the complex path taken by the chain.

Awaiting a bit more hardware for the front a-arms, and longer stems for the top a-arms to get correct geometry on the steering pivot points.

I've started to work on some of the minutiae of fabrication, putting together bearing spacer shims and fastener stacks as hardware comes in.
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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Mar 29 2022 1:17am

Closer, getting closer to final configuration - obviously, some of my plans are obsolete, some are being realized. It's an evolving design, definitely.

One thing is clear - it is going to be one heck of a chain-line involved, including the likely need for sprocket jack-shafts to abruptly change direction/distance from centerline and on back and up to the rear wheel.

The bottom seat support is the portion under the seat spanning side to side, with the black stem components. It will also integrate the battery supports (in part) for the dual battery packs. As such, both seat, and the support sliders i will continue fabricating, will allow for easy seat adjustment.
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One of my major stumbling blocks was figuring out how to get my four frame rails in parallel, yet keep the frame from hinging, with all steering stems in same axis/same dimensions... solution was to find longer alloy stems, and 'bridge the distance to get 4 front suspension frame tubes in boxed-parallel. This also allows the front end a-arms pitch angle to be brought in and out of centerline, adjusting Camber angle. Front end won't be truncated, squared and structurally braced, until the final steps of finalizing frame geometry. In eyeballing things further, i was also able to compact the height of the suspension mount stack to a much more reasonable height, which won't interfere with boom/pedal integration.
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Back portion of the frame is similarly close to final configuration - effectively i've fabricated a load bearing sub frame that is mutually supportive, and rigid/tied into the overall seat-forwards frame itself, related to the loading of suspension.

There will be plenty of stash room for electrics/electronics boxes necessary behind the seat, even with the battery packs in place - so in that sense, building into the frame as i desired, is definitely in play.
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Now, it's not so much about ordering parts, but turning attention to fabrication required to put it all together.
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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by nicobie » Mar 29 2022 5:40pm

Where do you buy your pipe clamps? They don't look cheap and you must be using 3 dozen of them. :shock:
Ask for it by name.

my eTownie build thread: http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=23701
Magazine article https://www.electricbike.com/nicks-etownie/

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by E-HP » Mar 29 2022 7:28pm

nicobie wrote:
Mar 29 2022 5:40pm
Where do you buy your pipe clamps? They don't look cheap and you must be using 3 dozen of them. :shock:
His parts list show 20 alloy bike stems, which I assume are something like these. Not cheap, but cheap for a stem.

https://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Handleb ... r=8-3&th=1

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Mar 30 2022 12:52pm

nicobie wrote:
Mar 29 2022 5:40pm
Where do you buy your pipe clamps? They don't look cheap and you must be using 3 dozen of them. :shock:
4 Dozen, even, of that type, actually.. most common used are the red shorts Alloy, which come out to about $5.00 per from the cheapest seller on Ali-express. There are 48 of those in the mix (to my count) .. the black stems are slightly cheaper, and i have 6 of those in play at the moment. The two red long alloys i had to get, to get my geometry correct, were most expensive at ~$22.00 each. The two Truativ direct stems used as axle plates on the rear swingarm was a bit spendy, at $40.00 each - but i got those relatively cheap as Blem's..

Factor in shipping costs, no it isn't cheap overall.. but not near as expensive as one would think for prototype style building.
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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by nicobie » Mar 30 2022 3:15pm

HackD wrote:
Mar 30 2022 12:52pm
.. but not near as expensive as one would think for prototype style building.
That's what I was thinking. :idea:
Ask for it by name.

my eTownie build thread: http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=23701
Magazine article https://www.electricbike.com/nicks-etownie/

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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Apr 04 2022 4:31am

Getting down to the nitty gritty of fabrication - Old School hand-crafting style.

Drill press, hacksaw blade, 1/8" drill bit, break out the section that has been outline-drilled, then file, file, file.. 3/4"x1 1/2" rectangular tubing for maximum strength/rigidity.

Fitting into slots, 1" tubing clamps will be inserted to secure to the Trike's frame tubing, these are the basic structure of the underslung dual battery-pack mount setup. A couple more days work giving my shoulders a work-out with various files, and they should be good to go on.
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Edit: April 10th, 2022.

Rather than making a new post on my build thread and keep bumping it up too frequently, I will just put an iterative update photo here.

Basic battery structure, complete. Still need to drill out attachment points for 1" clamps securing to trike frame. The side-rails have been drilled and tapped in 3/8" increments, allowing mount arms to be in any position fore and aft. The battery shoes, mount on the side rails from above, through the same line of holes. 60 M5 holes drilled and tapped.. that took a while..

I must confess that after my first post above, i reordered up some Dremel grinding discs, in order to make my ordeal easier.
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Re: HackD's Tadpole Recumbent Trike build, Mk2

Post by HackD » Apr 30 2022 6:46am

Starting to plan out for the Electronics. I insist on having my stuff encased. Can't handle the idea of electronics being exposed to elements/possible soaking, so am following my previous successful test of an enclosed electronics case, as with my Terratrike project.

I found an electronics case that was of proper dimensions to take the Controller module, and all associated wiring. This will involve active through-and-through fan cooling, using high velocity 12v PC cooling fans ducting air through the assembly. Just a slight whirr to be heard, at the base of the seat. This will have an internal temperature gauge to keep an eye on ambient temperature in there.

Initially i was going to case both the Controller, and the 100-12v down-converter in it, but that might not be enough air space to effectively cool, or prevent localized hot-spots. Being smaller, i can locate the down-converter and fuse block elsewhere higher up on the rear seat frame, in a smaller case.
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Battery undertray is pretty much done in terms of configuration/finish. Just need to sort out at what adjustment point i set it at, along with a couple of other fitting factors in play, as its also the mount point for the seat base. Seat base mount dimensions and methodology of fixing to seat, will influence both. Ideally, i'd like to make it so i can hinge the front mount up, and forwards, out of the way, when needed to get under the seat for maintenance or whatnot. More fabrication to contemplate.
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Since last photo series, i tightened the frame up fore and aft, to shorten it. Reduced space between frame top riser, to conform closely to installed batteries, while still removable.

It's all about refining the design, on the fly.. stare at something hard enough, and long enough, and it will improve..
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Plenty of things going on in this photo - often waiting for small hardware bits to source, and proceed on with further fabrication. Always have the part in hand, before designing on the fly with it.. The start of steering knuckle adapter brackets awaiting bearings to size for, 1/4" plate cut out in rough dimensions, awaiting inspiration to proceed with hooking up the rear wheel with provision of a derailleur. "Steering knuckle" of the suspension setup, is a 1.75" Jeep TJ Steering Damper mount, cut down and adapted to clamp around the 1.75" OD steering tubes
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In the end, this will hopefully come up with a viable steering knuckle for my setup. The existing bracket shown, is a throw-away - it'll be replaced by the adaptive bracketry that approximates it in terms of dimensions, but not quite so crudely as junk Chinese atv methodology.. Bearings are important.
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I am now ordering stuff as i need it - as such, it slows me down between orders. It's coming down to the small bits that make the project progress ... can't really order the few remaining big bits (like front shocks) until other big bits are in place, or close to it.

No rush, the bicycle season has started anew.. and i'm already putting km's on the Terratrike.
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