Tim in North Carolina

January 17th, 2007

This is a Triclops recumbent trike that I got a couple of years ago from Organic Engines in Tallahassee, FL. It’s a fantastic machine, but I’d never really biked before, and soon found that one of my knees bothered me whenever I rode. That’s when I discovered Golden Eagle. Unfortunately, you guys don’t make a drive ring for my 20-inch wheels.

Well, I’m pretty mechanically inclined and not easily discouraged, so I bought the 35 CC Robin Subaru kit anyway and figured I’d make it work one way or another. I was planning on custom making sprockets and using a chain drive, but I lucked up and spotted another option first. I made my own drive ring out of the top couple of inches of a plastic 5-gallon bucket, and attached it to the spokes with pieces of wire I cut from a coat hanger. Seriously!

It worked out perfectly, because the diameter was as large as it could possibly be – within a quarter inch of rubbing the rear brakes! The wire from the coat hanger also became the “teeth” for the belt to grip. The smaller drive ring was offset by the smaller wheel, so I still have a top speed of just under 30 MPH on level ground (the legal limit for a “moped” in NC). Because of the smaller ring, the belt was too long. It turns out that the next shorter length for that belt is only 10 inches, so I cut the engine bracket and extended it with some threaded rod, which made it highly adjustable. At first, I attached the bracket at a 45 degree angle instead of vertically, because I didn’t want the engine right behind my head. I quickly found that having the weight of the engine that high increased the trike’s tendency to tip over in tight curves, so I added some extra braces and mounted it horizontally behind the wheel. It works great now.

The single speed drive isn’t as much of a disadvantage as I thought it might be. Changing gears on hills would be nice, since I live in the mountains, but then I would be required to get tags, insurance, etc., so it’s really not worth it.

I haven’t actually checked the fuel mileage yet, but judging from how far I can go on a tank of gas, it seems comparable to what might be expected with a standard bike.

Anyway, thanks for a great product!

Black Mountain NC

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