Kids Tadpole Trike - Page 1 of 10
This easy to build mini tadpole trike is a nice weekend project that does not require any machined parts or wheel building, just a pair of kid's bikes and a few extra bits and pieces from your scrap pile. The Kid's Tadpole Trike has two front wheels, but uses the standard front forks and head tubes so you do not have to worry about axle strength or custom brake parts. You can build this little trike using any size wheels you like, although I am not sure it would be well suited for an adult, so wheels of 20 inches in diameter or less would be most appropriate.
Let's start with what you will need in order to build the Kid's Tadpole Trike: two identically sized front wheels, forks, head tubes, and a similar sized frame for the rear that includes a crank set and rear wheel. You do not have to match the front wheels and rear wheel, but it does make for a better looking final product. the photo above shows the three identical 14 inch kids bike frames I found at the city dump scrap pile. These department store starter bikes are so common at the dump and garage sales that I probably have at least 10 more like them in my huge scrap pile. Again, only the fronts of the bikes need to match, as the trike is basically a bicycle with "two heads" as you will soon see.
Remove the front fork hardware from the two matched frames so you can ensure that all parts are in good working order, and that the forks are very close to the same size and shape. If they are identical, then great, but you could probably improvise if one of the fork stems is a bit longer than the other. The goal is to have the front of the trike balanced and symmetrical, so hunt around for the best matching set of forks and front wheels that you can scrounge. This photo shows my two front forks, which just happen to be identical minus the color difference.
You will also need a crank set, bottom bracket and all the included hardware as shown here. Clean all old grease and rust from the bearings to ensure that there is no damage, and replace any excessively worn parts.
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You can build it yourself from our easy to follow DIY plans!