Ray Allison's Trike


Denis trying out Ray's trike
Ray Allison showed a tadpole trike that is somewhat higher and wider than the norm, with fairly fat knobbies for all-round use. It was built from Mother Earth News plans (xeroxed from an old library copy?) and several junked donor bikes.

He used regular front forks with the tops cut off, and tabs added on one side to connect to a head tube on each side of the chassis. This permits the use of regular caliper brakes and does not require special axles like a one sided wheel mounting does. It handles and steers very nicely, with proper Ackerman steering geometry as spelled out in the plans. Ray can ride it no hands except on steeply crowned roads.

It does however exhibit considerable brake steering, as the steering axes intersect the ground well inside the contact patches. Tweaking of the original kingpin inclination, to get the axes to go through the contact patches, would cure this problem.


He uses an intermediate drive with 2 x 4 x 5 = 40 gears.
Trike weighs about 45 pounds (less than it looks).
The seat uses ½ inch conduit tubing and trampoline fabric from Harris, with lacing holes made using a Weller wood burning tip on an electric soldering gun that worked pretty slick. Total cost so far is about $100, and much of that was for extra length brake and shifting cables.


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