There are many reasons to convert a bicycle into a tricycle ,including making a bike for the disabled, and storage; tricycles can easily be outfitted with a basket over the rear axle, making toting your groceries or schoolbooks a breeze. There are two ways to convert a bike into a trike: taking it to a bicycle mechanic who specialises in construction, or a conversion kit. A conversion kit is by far the cheaper alternative because it doesn't call for a professional. With some DIY spirit, you can make a trike for the whole family to enjoy.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Conversion kit
- Blocks (bricks or breeze blocks)
- Spare fender (optional)
- Basket (optional)
- Aluminium clips (optional)
Unlock the seat stabiliser and remove the bicycle seat and post. With a screwdriver, disassemble the rear handbrake assembly and clip the brake lines to the handlebars, where they will be out of your way. Stabilise the bicycle upside down and remove the brake clip that holds the braking arm to the bicycle's frame.
Using a wrench, remove the nuts that hold the rear wheel in place. Moving it forward slightly, ease up the chain until it is slack, so it will be easy to remove. Set it aside. Remove the rear wheel completely and set it aside. Remove the nuts that hold on the rear fender.
Take your dual-wheel conversion assembly and place it so that the extension arm is opposite the bike and resting on the floor. Wedge the bike's new wheels with blocks so that it will not roll while you are attaching the assembly. Now you can simply turn the bicycle frame right-side up and slide it onto the axle of the conversion kit.
Place the conversion kit's nuts on either side of the new mount and tighten them by hand. Grab the extension arm and rotate this toward the bike, aligning the port on the end with the bicycle seat mount. Replace the seat into its post and secure it.
Reattach the chain between the original petal sprocket and the new conversion sprocket. Tighten until it has a give of about a quarter inch. Tighten the nuts on the conversion kit with a wrench.
Take the arm of the petal brake and align it to the underside of the bike's frame. Attach the retainer clip back into place on the arm and then attach the end of the slip to the frame. Make sure the keeper nut is tightened with a wrench.
Purchase a basket for your trike. These can be obtained rather cheaply at a used bicycle store and can be attached quite easily with aluminium clamps from the hardware store. Also consider ordering a duplicate fender for a matching set so you are not sprayed with water during wet conditions. These can be mounted on fender bars quite easily.
Tips and warnings
- Trikes have a high resale value. A conversion kit will usually pay for itself when and if you choose to sell your trike.
- A tricycle conversion kit can give the bike the stability to support up to 136kg of weight.
- Do not use a tricycle that does not have a petal brake. Hand brakes alone will not stop a trike from stopping, especially in wet conditions.
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