site  contact  subhomenews

Graham's simple DIY trike build

November 04, 2023 — BarryK

Continuing the trike project, previous post:

This post is a digression, thinking about various other approaches...

There are lots of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) trike builds on YouTube; however, Graham's project is one of the simplest and most detailed. Graham has done it without any welding. Here are his YouTube videos, in chronological order:

diy trike build

steering geometry

part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4

part 5

part 6

Graham's trike only has rear suspension, nor is it leaning; however, it is an excellent base for implementing those features.

With the knowledge I have accumulated so far, I reckon if starting the project from scratch, an attractive proposition would be to buy a couple of cheap Kmart full-suspension 20" bicycles. They only cost AU$129:

...reckon that has everything needed for a trike project. Steel frame, which is very good, as it can be cut up and welded -- so, would need to be able to weld.

But, would prefer disk brakes. Maybe a couple of secondhand bikes could be located with disk brakes.

One thing I have learnt is the bicycles have different wheel spindle diameters (that is, the diameter of the central hole when the wheel is removed). Mountain bikes are 12mm, 15mm or 20mm spindle diameter. My Motrike/Trikexplor trike has 20mm front wheels.

Likely the Kmart bike has small diameter spindle, which might be considered inadequate for trike front wheels, due to the spindle only being supported on one side. A leaning trike would improve that situation; however, there will be forces trying to bend the spindle when hits bumps on the road.

Interesting thoughts anyway. This post is just contemplating possibilities, not what I will do, as already commited to a certain build. Continuing the contemplation, a trike could be built with both of those front forks as-is, providing front suspension and spindle support on both ends.

Fascinating! I can see why guys beaver away in their garage for years. I was recently reading a forum post, a guy said that he tinkered with trike DIY designs over 14 years, and it is still a work-in-progress.    

Tags: light