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Fixed gear Trike fantasy(16 posts)

Fixed gear Trike fantasyfixedgearhead
Dec 11, 2002 9:40 AM
I have finally gone over the edge.
I have arranged with the guy who does my bike work, to convert a Cinelli Super Corsa frame that I had and was going to do something else with, into a Fixed Gear Tricycle ala; the kind that they used to race in England before WW2. I checked on having one built over there and what with the cost of shipping it over here it would have put it out of reach.
Jack at Franklin Frames is a super builder and should do a great job. He has done all of my conversion and paint work. He told me he has done 5-6 of them over the years. This will have a single sided drive on the right side so that it tends to head up into the road crown as you are traveling along the road. Front brake only and single sided fixed gearing. The bike itself should be only a couple of pounds heavier than it is now.The English put the drive wheel on the left wheel as they ride on the other side. The other way to do it is to have a live axle with both sides driven but that creates problems when you corner with the inside wheel not being able to turn at a different rate than the outside wheel, unless you use a costly differential. It should add a new dimention, or should I say dementia, to the whole fixed gear thing. My wife says I have way to much time on my hands, but what does she know. You never can have to many fixed gear bikes. This one should be the last new bike for awhile as the budget is finally busted. I, of course, will post pictures when it is completed. Probably not till after January or early Feb. Hopefully.

Dec 11, 2002 11:10 AM
Sounds interesting from a tinkering point of view, but I have to question why?

With a fixed drivetrain attached only to the right rear, what happens when you try to slow quickly with the pedals? Will it jerk to the right?

Also, I think you'll add quite a bit more than 2 pounds. A light (3rd) wheel alone is around 2 pounds (900 grams).

Sure, I'd like to see it...

Dec 11, 2002 12:16 PM
You are right. It will tend to pull slightly to the right, sometimes. Not enough to throw you off, though. On crowned roads there is no noticable difference in handling. You need to add a touch of countersteer at times. It corners flat and needs to be steered instead of leaned. It takes a completely different riding style and you have to like it to get good at it. It is not as fast as a standard fixedgear bike.
I guess I am just a guy who likes to have one of everything. I used to ride motorcycles and had three different sidecar rigs at various times along with regular motorcycles. The sidecars steered around corners like the trike will. It is a different feeling and unique to that dicipline. They were a blast. you could actually float the sidecar rig around the corner with a three wheel drift at speed. I doubt I will be able to do that with the trike. Who knows?
Tricycles were developed along with safety bicycles at the same time in the late 1890's and as they were more expensive to aquire and harder to deal with, in terms of storage and such, they were reserved for a smaller clientele base. There is a long history and traditon in England for trikes and an active touring and racing scene. Just one of the many pockets of bicycle wierdness that you can get into. People question why we ride fixed gear when bikes have all those gears available. Now I can say that it is for the same reason that I ride tricycles.
The weight issue as yet has not been finalized. The only thing that is added over the existing frame is the axle and extra wheel. I plan on using Mavic open pro wheels and Phil Wood wheelchair racing wheels which are lighter than their Track hubs. I am thinking of adding S&S couplings to the frame to make transportation easier. That will make it heavier somewhat but should be an advantage.I can't wait till I get it. I Hope it turns out to be as much fun as the other fixed gear bikes I own.

This tricycle thing sounds crazyLC
Dec 11, 2002 9:22 PM
OK your nuts...but in a good way :)

Are you related to Dr. Demento?
This tricycle thing sounds crazyfixedgearhead
Dec 12, 2002 5:30 AM
No, but people have wondered about a family resemblance.
I am as nuts as people who ride geared bikes accuse fixed riders of being.

Something like this?tronracer
Dec 12, 2002 9:50 PM
Except yours would have a horizontal top tube?
Or this?tronracer
Dec 12, 2002 9:53 PM
BTW, how can I post multiple pics in one post? I tried using a space, an &, a comma, semicolon, parenthesis..etc...

How can I accomplish this?
Or this?fixedgearhead
Dec 13, 2002 5:19 AM
That is for a multi gear and is a bolt on unit. That allows you to have it both ways. You get to keep your road bike and still use it as a trike after bolting it up to the frame. There is even a fork arrangement available that replaces your front fork and makes a tricycle with two front wheels that are rack and pinion steering opperated and a single wheel at the rear.I think it is known as a Welsh conversion for some reason. Not to clear on that. My only problem with both of these arrangements is that, with most dual purpose approches, I have found that they don't do either as well as one dedicated unit. If you only have one bike and that is all you use then it might be a good way to go for you. I opperate under the theory that you can never have to many fixed gear bikes. Or to put it another way, He who dies with the most fixed gear bikes wins. I think that currently, Sheldon Brown is going strait to fixed gear heaven but I am trying to catch up. He had a head start though.

posting multiple picturesTig
Dec 13, 2002 6:37 AM
Below is what you need to use. Replace the "[" with "<" and the "]" with ">". If I used them, the content would have disappeared. Where the word name is, paste the entire URL (including the "http" part) to where the picture is located at. You do all of this in the message body, not in the "Post an image" field.

[img src="name"]


[img src=""]

-just replace the "[" and "]".
Something like this?fixedgearhead
Dec 13, 2002 5:08 AM
Bob Jackson does a road cycle but it is heavier than what I am doing. It also is multigear. What I am talking about is a track frame with a widely spaced set of wheels and a single sided fixed gear cog that drives one wheel. His and, most of the current builders in England, make a bike with differential drive at the rear which allows for both wheels to be driven but one wheel to turn at a lesser rate during turns as an automobile does. They are also much heavier. I don't have a scanner or I could load up some pics of what I am talking about. I will try to take some pics w/ a camera and then digitally enlarge them and post.

Will you wear out tires?bigrider
Dec 13, 2002 5:31 AM
Will the lack of a differential cause your tires to wear faster due to turns?
Will you wear out tires?fixedgearhead
Dec 13, 2002 5:34 AM
Probably some greater tire wear will result. I don't think it will be a great amount. I will probably use a cheaper tire as this is not intended to be a "racing use" as there are no races currently up and running in America.

Picture of Claud Butler trikefixedgearhead
Dec 13, 2002 5:57 AM
With appologies for the poor pic. 1930's Claud Butler racing trike. This is what I am trying to recreate.
Picture of Claud Butler trikefixedgearhead
Dec 13, 2002 6:08 AM
As you can see, the frame is minimalist in nature, not like the pictures that were submitted above. Weight would probably be 5-7 lbs less and with much different geometry. England still has an active racing scene for these type of bikes here is a great link to one of their orgs. These folks ride primarily modern trikes but look like they have a lot of fun.


correct url:fixedgearhead
Dec 13, 2002 6:14 AM
It should be:

sorry for the brain laps.

re: Fantasy shatteredfixedgearhead
Dec 16, 2002 1:01 PM
I just got back from my Frame builder and he told me he thought that the Cinelli would be to flexy for building up to a trike. The Frame material is Columbus Neuron and the fork crown is rather lightly cast with socket lugs. He said he would build it if I wanted to but he could not guarantee it woud not flex to much. With that in mind I pulled the plug on the project until I can get ahold of a heavier tube and cast lug frame. Sigh! On the good news side, I am having the Cinelli converted to a track drop out fixed gear frame and repainted to my color specs. He even has some original Cinelli decals to add before the final clear coat .All the fittings have been ground off and it is ready to go. It will just have a front brake and should build up very light weight.Probably 17 lbs or so. The search continues for another frame. Probably Reynolds 531 db with a flat fork crown. Any suggestions? Raleigh?