Timber Leaning Trike.
Submitted by: STEPHEN NURSE
Contact the designer: email@example.com
The timber leaning trike is a recumbent cycle from Hoop Pine plywood. It has luggage space, is aerodynamic and could be made using DIY.
The Whole Story
The timber leaning trike is practical everyday transport, good for long distance cycling but also capable of commuting and shopping trips. It includes about 50 litres of storage space, is aerodynamic, and has a hollow plywood frame designed to be built using DIY.
The trike has front wheel drive and a simple, passive rear wheel leaning mechanism. This layout means an internally braced, rectangular monobeam can be used as the frame. The cycle’s DIY construction and the simple interchangeable panels on the cargo space make it interesting for the builder, who can continue to change, design and make new side panels for the cargo space even after the trike is finished.
The cycle is made from Australian native hoop pine marine plywood, grown to Forestry Stewardship Council Standards and processed in Australia. Other materials in the frame include Tasmanian oak in the steerer, standard and custom aluminium castings and steel plates. The timber seat is integral with the load carrying area and is tapered at the back to improve aerodynamics. It supports the rider’s back over a large area, and combines with the naturally springy timber frame to make for a comfortable ride. The design confines the area of the frame stressed by the wheels and chain to small areas at the ends which are made from ply laminated to form a solid. Most other areas of the frame are hollow and internally braced.
The cycle’s usefulness comes from its good aerodynamics and everyday load carrying capacity, and the pride of ownership and fulfilment that customisation can bring make it valued and desirable. Selling the trike as a DIY kit where assembling it is enjoyable is an alternative to conventional bicycle manufacturing practices, which are often dependent on mass production and low labour costs.
The seat is designed with ply grains carefully oriented to allow bending, provide strength and eliminate buckling. Soaking the seat panels lets them bend to match the shape of the seat frame, and the seat panels and seat frame end up joined together to make a combined seat and load carrying box. Removable sidepanels mean the load carrying space remains accessible for cleaning and maintenance, and the entire seat assembly can be removed to simplify transporting the trike.
This leaning trike is a Human Powered Vehicle designed to be useful and fun, and to provide exercise while replacing private car use and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Its integrated, secure load capacity means it is a transport option for shopping and other activities where some bicycles are not.
This cycle can include upcycled bike parts, office supplies, corflute, cloth material and plywood for panelling. Custom parts include NC routed timber and aluminium castings which are made in simple, single-step processes and allow reuse and recycling.
The trike weighs 18kg and is a refined version of a prototype which is still going strong after 3900km. For a description of the build process, check my blog entries starting with http://modularbikes.blogspot.com.au/2017/04/timber-leaning-trike-part-1.html