I have opted to go on hiatus from my electric velomobile project till September. After finding no rest from continual labor on the project (it’s taken a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual toll on me), I have decided to leave it as a “drift trike” for the time being. I can only describe the feeling as exhilarating going downhills on the drift trike.
Now for the failures:
- I have tried to make the trike a friction based drive (from watching thestuffwebuild.com), which failed miserably.
- I have tried to make a chain based drive: the trike moved faster for my wife who weighs less than I do as well as for my 7 year old daughter. The problem with this trike is that the batteries (which equal close t0 20 lbs) and motor (about 5 lbs) were located towards the back of the trike, and seem to be putting an extra load on the motor. I weigh around 176 lbs and the trike was going about 3 miles per hour.
- I have wasted money on materials that I thought would work…
Now for the successes:
- I have found a way to use only hardware supplies to make a drift trike!
- I have discovered that 1/2 rod is better to use than 3/8 rod.
- I found a way to use a 3/8 drill bit to make a 1/2 inch hole!
- I have learned to appreciate manufacturing.
- I can make electric trikes for kids!
- I have found the ideal wheel sizes of a trike (16″ wheels in the front, and 20″ in the back).
- Got my wife on board the project (literally and figuratively)!
- I have found the ideal self tapping screw size for the project is #12 1 1/2inch screws.
- I have found a way to make 1″ square tubes super strong!
- Pictures of the trike below!
I made an update to the trike that seems to better distribute my weight. I put tubes running underneath the trike running from the front of the trike to underneath the seat. I believe the motor and batteries are contributing to the back weight of the trike, and that caused me to make the alteration. Pic is right below.
I have been looking for a way to attach a sprocket to the hub of the backwheel successfully. Previously, I was able to use self tapping screws to attach the sprocket to the hub. The backwheel has a hub with a lip. This forced the screws to be on a diagonal. The sprocket wasn’t aligned properly to the hub, and caused the bike chain to pop off. My last idea is to buy two washers and attach one to the hub, and the other washer will be used to attach the sprocket and the other washer. The two washers and sprocket would be held with a self tapping screw. There would be a small gap between the two washers. Pic is below:
If that works, then I have an electric trike. If not, I have to look for an alternative. I know the trike is able to hold my weight and steer. I tested it last night. Video is below:
In closing, I have two options ahead of me: either I change the place of the batteries to change the weight on the back of the trike (pending my idea above works), or I find another alternative to have the trike move with some other equipment. If I have to do the latter, I’m going to take a little hiatus (maybe one or two months).
I had to make a few updates on the trike to enable it to use the mounted motor. The motor was off by like 1 or 2 degrees and I made the necessary adjustments. I’ve been testing the trike with the motor to have it move at the same speed as a Razor scooter would. I had my daughter who I believe weighs around 50 lbs ride it and it moved quickly. I even had my wife (who I believe is around 150 lbs) ride it to see the difference. My wife had success as the trike started to move faster as she moved down the hallway of my apartment building. I believe I’m around 180 lbs. I did a test ride in the hallway, and the trike moves at a walking pace. Tonight I plan on seeing if an idea I have (putting support under the seat) would help. If not, then back to the drawing board….
P.S. Once this trike is complete, I plan on making a trike just using the back of another bike and attaching square tubes to make another (and quicker) version of the trike. The trike I’m putting together now would be called 12 2 5 (twelve to five), because “it’s a part time thing”. The trike with the back of a bike would be called 1 2 4 (one to four).