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10-Speed "Quadricycle" Great On County Roads
Retired farmer Rudy Neubauer, Chapman, Kansas, rides a bicycle for fun and exercise and also does some bike repair in his farm shop. So when he saw a three-wheeled bicycle in FARM SHOW awhile back, he pulled together the parts and built one like it.
"It worked great until I turned a sharp corner one day," he says. "If I hadn't been able to get my feet on the ground, it would have tipped over.
"I figured if I gave it a fourth wheel, it would be more stable," he says.
Neubauer used the frames from two bicycles and parts from the frame of a third to put together his four-wheel "quadricycle."
"I put one frame at the center, complete with the seat, pedals and fork with handlebars," he says. He cut off the lower arms of the front fork and added two more forks about 12 in. on each side of the center one to hold the cycle's two front wheels. The wheels are roughly 25 in., center to center. He devised an automotive-style steering linkage from the handlebars on the center fork to the outside forks in order to turn the front wheels.
At the rear of the bike, he left the center frame intact, complete with fork and gears for a 10-speed derailleur. He removed the axle from the center fork, though, and inserted a longer one through a tube to the left wheel. The right wheel is mounted in a fork, but there's no power to it. He says the rear assembly resembles the back end of a commercial 3-wheel bike.
He left the two shift levers for the derailleur in place on the handlebars.
"Getting the brakes on all four wheels to work evenly was the real problem," he says. He solved that dilemma, though, by running the cables from the side-pull calipers to eccentrics, one for the front and one for the rear, and then attached the cables from the brake handles on the handlebars to the corresponding eccentric. "With a little adjustment to get the cable lengths the same on both sides, it works fine," he says.
Neubauer says he made the bicycle "Just to see if I could. It's fun to ride and not a lot different from riding a two wheel bike," he says. "It would be a great bicycle for people with balance problems or older people who like to ride but don't ride because they're afraid of falling. It's a very stable bicycle.
"Most of what I used to build it I dug out of the junk, so the cost wasn't much. My biggest expense was paint. I used John Deere green and yellow on it."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Rudy Neubauer, 1937 2100 Ave., Chapman, Kan. 67431 (ph 785 922-6697).

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2001 - Volume #25, Issue #5