Friday, May 28, 2010

Viking Recumbent Tandem Trike - test ride success!

Wednesday:  To test the ergonomics of the under seat steering system and styles for handlebars, I drop on my basic plywood base seat and try out different lengths and heights for the handle bars. The Viking handlebars will be typical as compared to most tandem trikes, with plenty of room for the levers and shifters. The stoker will also have under seat handlebars, although they will be in a fixed position.

Tomorrow (Thursday), I will try to get the transmission installed if I have the chance to spend another day in the AtomicZombie Garage. I am estimating that there are still three full days of work left in this project before I get to crack the top of the first can of bright red spray paint, and we are eager to hit the road and see how the Viking will handle.

Thursday:  Murphy decided to pay another visit today (you, know that dude who made that stupid law). I spent a few hours working on the cross-over system that will allow independent pedaling and managed to get it all together and welded to the bike.

But, I then realized that due to the support hardware, the hub would not be able to be removed from the bike because the chain rings hit the support tubing… doh! Although I cut up the faulty hardware, the photo (red dropouts) does show how things were going. Oh well, that is one of the reasons I usually work indoors when overly tired, but I really want to get this trike finished. Tomorrow will be better… I can feel it!

Friday:  It was a good day of hacking today! The independent transmission system went together in record time and worked perfectly on the first try. OK, I messed it up yesterday, but let’s not live in the past. I had to dig around in my junk pile for a while to find a matching set of cranks (need 3 right sides), but I found some that I liked. The goal is to tack everything together than give the Viking a test ride to see how the steering and transmission will work. It’s difficult to know how well steering is set up just by rolling the trike along the few feet of the garage floor that isn’t a mess with scrap tubing and bike frames.

Just before the initial test run, I noticed that one of the chain links was left open and that the entire cross-over unit only had two small tack welds holding it to the frame. I fixed the chain with a link tool and decided that those two tack welds would probably hold up to a few minutes of light pedaling. I said this once before when testing my StreetFighter Quadcycle and it was a short ride!

Hey, it works! I actually forgot about the tack welded transmission and was spinning up dirt with the rear wheel. Steering felt better than I thought it would, able to carve a pretty decent circle for such a long trike. Everything went smooth considering the rear chain tensioner is not even connected yet.

I am very happy with the way the Viking steers and rides so far, so tomorrow I will finish up and get the frame primed. What is left to do: back rest tubing, seat mounting tabs, rear chain tensioner, front chain guide hose, frame end caps, and the final welding inspection. After primer is curing, I will make two identical seats, then get to spray painting the Viking. It should be completely finished in a couple of days, then will write the plan while the paint cures. Stay tuned...