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New Trike Need Advice!

Old 10-01-22, 12:48 PM
  #1  
JadeVamp1986
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New Trike Need Advice!

Hello everyone! I'm not sure where this would be appropriate to post so I hope general is ok, If not please move me to wherever fits and thank you for your time. I joined this group in hopes to find fellow trike enthusiasts for advice. I wanted to find a forum full of trike experts to help me build my dream trike. I know nothing about trikes so this is all new to me.

My plans are not like the average tricycle by any means. Essentially when all is said and done my trike will basically be a car with 3 wheels lol. I canít afford a car, and honestly I have a pretty intense fear of cars thanks to an accident when I was a teen (I was a passenger). Originally I was going to purchase a gas scooter but my husband suggested a trike due to my anxiety, said it would be safer and said that itís one wheel off from a car so should help me work my way to getting over my fears. So I bought a Viribus trike off Amazon.

I want to install an engine on my trike so I can drive to work (Iím a model and need to be able travel a lot) long distances. Originally I was thinking electric but recharging time wouldnít work, and limits my distance. Iím now thinking a 4-stroke engine since you can just drive to a gas station and fill up when low so distance is no issue. I donít want to go on highways (too scared) but need it to be fast enough to go on roads and powerful enough to pull me up hills, and haul cargo. I want a key/button start, no pull start and kill switch. I want it to be a quiet motor so I donít disturb those around me and loud noises freak me out. How many CCs do I need? I need to be able to use my basket; can I mount the engine to the front wheel? I heard that the brakes on the trike usually are not good enough once you add a motor is that true? Do I need a new brake system to accommodate safe immediate stopping? What do I need?

Speaking of wheels, Iíve seen fat tires and heard theyíre safer, add stability, can handle heavier weight, and are great for snow/ice. Is that true? Can I upgrade my trike to fat tires? What do I need to do that? What kind of seat should I get for comfort on long distance riding? I want to make sure I have everything required for safety. I need break lights, turn signals, hazards, headlight, horn and alarm. I would like them to be wired into the trike, not wireless. I donít want to have to worry about recharging everything. What do I need to do that? I need to be able to haul heavy cargo (delivery service, my suitcases, etc.), can my trike already do that or do I need something to do that? I see that some trailers can carry loads up to 100lbs. Iím not sure how to word this but does the trailer weight capacity affect my trike weight capacity or is it separate? The reason I ask is my trike says it can handle up to 400lbs, and the trailer Iím looking at can handle 100lbs, and Iím already 100lbs myself. Iím thinking of starting door dashing or delivering packages for supplementary income between gigs.

And finally I want to make my trike all weather friendly. I want to hire someone to build an enclosure so the rain/snow and cold wonít bother me (Iím very sensitive to cold and donít want to get sick or freeze). I also want to install a heater in there to keep me warm in winter and air conditioner to keep me cool in the summer. Where do I start? Who would I go to for that? How much do you think it would cost (rough estimate is fine)?

Is there anything Iím forgetting? Any suggestions? Iím all ears. Iím very serious about this vehicle and need to build something thatís safe, will last me a couple years, will get me around where I need to go in state and possibly out as well.



Thank you
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Old 10-01-22, 12:57 PM
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Old 10-01-22, 03:15 PM
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Trikes with a single front wheel are insanely un-stable. AFAIC anything over 10mph is un-safe. Look up the Feds banning 3 wheel off roaders, look up Top Gear Reliant Robin. Again, not safe.
ETA: I'll help...it's the very first video that pops up on YT when you start searching 'Top Gear'
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Old 10-01-22, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JadeVamp1986 View Post

I want to install an engine on my trike so I can drive to work (Iím a model and need to be able travel a lot) long distances.
You lost me right there.
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Old 10-01-22, 04:29 PM
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There is one class of enclosed bicycle (and often as a tricycle) called a velomobile.



There are some commercial versions available. But they aren't cheap.

The problem is that everything in your description seems to indicate that you want a car and not a bicycle. And, the thing that all cyclists are acutely aware of is that accidents between bicycles and cars... and the cyclist is always worse off. And, I doubt the velomobiles offer much more protection. Nor are they highly regulated by the government for safety features.

Last edited by CliffordK; 10-01-22 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 10-01-22, 04:48 PM
  #6  
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I'd encourage you to use your bicycle or tricycle for pedal powered recreation in safe settings (neighborhood roads, parks, off street bike paths, etc).

I'm not sure of the intensity of your car phobia. Do you drive with other people?

If it is something that you might be able to get beyond, perhaps try some good driver's instruction and perhaps some counseling. There have to be people who have similar phobias.

Back to cars. There is what is called a "Neighborhood Electric Vehicle" NEV. Regulated to about 25 MPH. Kind of like a glorified golf cart. Good for perhaps trips to the neighborhood store. But, not something you really want to jump out on the highway on.



There are also a few cities around the USA that have developed around golf cart paths and access.

For example Peachtree Georgia which has developed golf cart infrastructure for the community. Perhaps other towns too. It might be worth looking at.

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Old 10-01-22, 05:21 PM
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Unfortunately if you haven’t ridden on busy roads before you should return the trike if you can.

The first thing to do is rent a tricycle and take it on the road. If you have a fear of riding in cars, I can’t imagine how you will feel when cars and trucks are zipping by you at 40+ mph with no regard for your well being.

And others have pointed out valid safety concerns. Just go to a park and watch kids on trikes cornering at high speeds.

I don’t want to discourage you from biking, but you need to understand the environment and issues with a trike.

John
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Old 10-01-22, 06:11 PM
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The most stable trikes are the recumbent "tadpole" trikes.



If you are young and flexible, that is a very good thing.

However, you are also mighty low. It gives you a different view looking up at cars. Some people like to have rear flags for visibility.

Anything can get an electric motor put on it. But, they aren't designed for speeding along at 50 MPH. Think 20 MPH.
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Old 10-01-22, 07:04 PM
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3 wheel scooter with 2 wheels in front........



https://www.gasscooters.net/mc-d150tka.html
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Old 10-01-22, 07:11 PM
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It's certainly possible to install a gas engine on a trike and there are kits available to do so. Front wheel drive would be a lot harder than rear, and rear would require some special engineering to make it work on your trike. Here is just one example.
A fabricator could probably mount a small motorcycle engine on there somehow if you wanted to go that route. 100cc would be more than enough. If you want electric start that's a whole new set of problems.

An upright trike is probably the most unstable, unforgiving vehicle made. You don't want to be going fast on one and you won't be able to go places a bicycle can go.
I don't think bigger tires would do much to enhance the safety. Snow tires might help in winter.

Forget air conditioning. You could build some kind of shell to protect you from the elements, and the engine, if it's in there with you, would provide some heat which would suck in warm weather.

I agree with others who have said what you want is a car. If you fear being on the road in a car it will be worse in a slow moving trike and your access to sidewalks will be illegal and limited.

Last edited by big john; 10-01-22 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 10-01-22, 07:27 PM
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People, people, people...before wasting any more time on responses, please read the entire opening post. You're being trolled.
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Old 10-01-22, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
People, people, people...before wasting any more time on responses, please read the entire opening post. You're being trolled.
If that's true it's very weird.
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Old 10-01-22, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
People, people, people...before wasting any more time on responses, please read the entire opening post. You're being trolled.
No idea. And it should take more posts to see what she has in mind.

Several "intro" posts by the OP. And this post in response to a thread about bike lanes.
Originally Posted by JadeVamp1986 View Post
I'm too scared of cars so will ride on sidewalk if I can.
There may well be a real phobia here. But, it is rather impractical to think that one can take an ordinary off the shelf trike and make it into some kind of stealth car. Then also to drive it on a sidewalk.

And as we all know, each road position has different issues and dangers, from riding in a traffic lane to riding on a shoulder or bike lane to riding on a sidewalk.

In particular sidewalks have issues with pedestrians, but also have issues that bicycles move faster than drivers tend to expect in that space creating dangers of vehicles pulling in front of, or hitting bikes on sidewalks, especially around driveways.

And of course, long distances on sidewalks get to be pretty miserable very quickly.
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Old 10-01-22, 09:33 PM
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I didn’t see sidewalls in the OP. No chance that she’ll be able to run a gas powered trike on a sidewalk.

John
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Old 10-02-22, 01:43 AM
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I'm sure you could create an enclosed, gas powered pedal tricycle with load capacity and long range, but it seems like a really odd way to go about it since it'll cost a fortune and be worse that off the shelf options in every way.

The frame and components won't be up to all of the additional weight, you 'd need to pretty re-build the whole thing.

If you're scared of traffic, then trying to ride in traffic in a top heavy, unstable trike is going to be terrifying.

Personally, I'd either try and get over the car phobia (and logically it's safer being *in* one than on a bike *outside* one) or just spend the money on Uber or buses.
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Old 10-02-22, 05:50 AM
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What ever you do don’t put an engine on one of these. It almost killed me on a steep down hill.




.
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Old 10-02-22, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
If that's true it's very weird.
It is not, see:https://www.youtube.com/JadeVamp1986.
Post trauma anxiety is amedical condition and a normal reaction to an abnormal event, in Jade's case very difficult to control.
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Old 10-02-22, 02:08 PM
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Hi JadeVamp1986 what you're proposing is pretty ambitious; taking an inexpensive bicycle as a base and building something to perform the role of a small car or large motorcycle. There's not a "kit" for this, and even if you do all the design and fabrication yourself, I don't think it'll be inexpensive, either.

If we're just talking about neighborhood-level transport, especially if you're trying to make use of bike lanes / paths then an electric-assist "Velo-Car" like an ELF or PEBL would fit the sort of image you seem to have in mind. They're also low-speed vehicles; faster than a bicycle, but only by a little; ~25mph, max.

If you need to have enough speed to keep up with "street" traffic (say, 50mph) then at minimum you'd need something like that 150cc Sunny 3-wheel scooter that Murray Missile posted in #9. Something like that would be able to carry you and a small amount of cargo through typical day-to-day activities. Bonus is, it's already road legal.
Weather protection is pretty much the same as a motorcycle, though I have seen them fitted with a 'roof' canopy and side curtains to keep rain out, but not an enclosed "cabin"

Going this route though, would prohibit you from bike lanes / paths, and going the path of a 2- or 3-wheeled motorist comes with a whole set of risks and considerations, if you're going to do it full-time
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Old 10-02-22, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
There is one class of enclosed bicycle (and often as a tricycle) called a velomobile.

A coffin on wheels, that's what it is. It has no business riding on roads.
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Old 10-02-22, 03:34 PM
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From the OP:
"Is there anything I’m forgetting? Any suggestions? I’m all ears. I’m very serious about this vehicle and need to build something that’s safe, will last me a couple years, will get me around where I need to go in state and possibly out as well."

Please, if you want a vehicle that will allow you to travel from state to state on a regular basis in all weather with all the "mod cons" you want , your bargain tricycle will never be able to be modified to the level of road competence that you desire. Simply stated, you need a car
You will be far safer in a car than in the claptrap vehicle you propose to create

Last edited by alcjphil; 10-02-22 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 10-02-22, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
A coffin on wheels, that's what it is. It has no business riding on roads.
But what a great looking coffin. I want one. It looks like a giant blue you know what

Last edited by alcjphil; 10-02-22 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 10-02-22, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
It is not, see:https://www.youtube.com/JadeVamp1986.
Post trauma anxiety is amedical condition and a normal reaction to an abnormal event, in Jade's case very difficult to control.
Thank you for including that. It pretty much puts to rest the notion that the OP is a troll. Let's treat her with some dignity and give useful suggestions that will protect her from bad decisions
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Old 10-02-22, 04:27 PM
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If one is an avid bike commuter, then 10 miles by bike (nothing but the legs powering it) is just a hop skip and a jump.

20 miles is tough, but well within reason (even for a leg of a round trip commute).

From Ann Arbor, you should be able to get out of the country in a half a day's ride (50 miles to Windsor, Canada), of course depending on finding safe bike routes.

From Ann Arbor, to Toledo is also about 50 miles to get out of state. Still a good half day's ride.

A little more ambitious to get to other states.

But, if you had a bike-car regulated at 20 MPH.... then it would be a long drive to get 100 or 200 miles down the road.

Those of us that have done long distance bike commuting know that a 100 mile freeway drive could be a 150+ mile ride using various low traffic secondary roads (which you may choose for a bike-car).

Of course the other issue with a bike is that we're rapidly approaching fall. So, those in the northern climate may find winter riding more challenging.
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Old 10-02-22, 04:44 PM
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You need therapy, and then a car. If youíre never going to drive then you need a driver or a bus ticket.

I know that reads flippant, but all the stuff from your design brief is unreasonable
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Old 10-02-22, 08:11 PM
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What a weird coincidence JadeVamp1986 …a friend right here in Ann Arbor just contacted me asking for help to sell an electric recumbent trike. I know you have a trike already, but if it might make sense for you to consider, I can send you her info.


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