Ryan Fuchs' Tadpole Trike


Every once in a while, someone new shows up, with a truly impressive machine, built with no input from our active HPV community. Usually this is someone who has aquired skills, working at a job having no relation to cycling.

Ryan Fuchs is an engineer with access to a full machine shop with CNC capabilities. He used Finite Element Analysys and 3D modeling to design his trike. Rather ambitious for a first HPV project.



Lots of beautifully machined bits in the steering and brake mounts. He made custom hubs that use Shimano disk brakes and Phil Wood wheelchair axels. The axles have a button on the end that you can push to pop the wheels off. However, he'll need to make new brake caliper mounts that will allow the calipers to swing off the disks so the wheels can be removed.



He used an automotive type steering linkage, with one link between the bars and one kingpin, and another between the kingpins. This was to get more accurate Ackerman compensation than can be obtained with the linkage typically used on trikes, where each kinkpin is linked to the bars.



The Frame is TIG welded. Typical of people building their first bike, all of the tubes used are one gauge thicker (ie. 0.049" vs 0.035") than an experienced builder would have used. Interestingly his computer programs also calculated that 0.035" would be sufficient. He went with the heavier tubes for a wide safety margin. Nothing wrong with being conservative when on the steep part of the learning curve. TIG welding thin steel takes a bit of practice, but it's pretty hard to screw up 0.049" However, this resulted in a trike weighing about 45 lbs.


Return to August 2002 Meeting Report
Return to MnHPVA Club House