Rontor

Hi all,

 My name is Ron. I started this is all. ITS MY FAULT!

I live in Woensdrecht in the Netherlands close to the Belgian border and Antwerp. I have cycled whole my life and always took my road or mountain bike on holidays. The first real tour was in 1981 from Brittany in France back home.

 I had seen a Windcheetah hanging in a shop in Utrecht and ever since wanted to own one. It would take another 20 years before I bought my first trike. Someones homebuilt. A wobbly piece of junk actually. Paid way too much and took whole day to pick it up.
But in brought my into trikes so I don't regret buying it back then.







The next trike was this one built by someone from the USA. It was sent to his former boss and ended up here. I paid 700 for it.
Not a bad trike. I changed the steering setup and tie-rods and added bars and grips pointing upwards.

One day after I came back from a 5day trip to Germany the arm for the tie-rod broke off. Luckily it didn't happen downhill in the Ardennes. I had it fixed and sold it for 500 euro to finance the next purchase.



In 2008 I finally had the money for the real thing: A 2007 ICE QNT. Picked it up in Amsterdam and ride it since. The British pound was low and it was an older model, so 2500 Euro was a great deal. Trikes don't come much better then ICE. A picture of ugly me on the return trip from Lake Garda Italy.



A couple of years ago I decided to make a copy of Rich Richardson's Raptor25. After trying to convert a kids KMX to an adult trike, it seemed easier to me to start from scratch. I had only pictures of the Raptor to work with. Rich did not answer my request to have the permission to make a copy until some time later. He told me he had sold his business and the new owner has not done anything with the Raptor since. I called the trike the Rontor. It took me about two months to figure out dimensions.
The first test ride was not perfect, but more then I had hoped for. It proved someone like me with no technical background at all can bolt together a functional trike. The only tools I had were a drill, a hacksaw, some files, and vice.
The finished trike handled pretty good. But there was tremendous brake-steer. So I had several tries to make a steering knuckle to achieve centerpoint steering. The problem was that filing the right angle in solid blocks of aluminum was impossible by hand. After seeing another homebuilt with the rod-end bearings pointing forward I knew this could be the solution to my problem. The steering knuckles I designed are the easiest method to get rid of almost all brake steer.
There are more things I changed in the original Raptor design. Like the bottom bracket and adjustable seat angle. But these features are not as important as the steering geometry. I did not built dozens of trikes. Only three till now. But I did try different steering setups, frame sizes, seats amongst other things.
So you probably want my advice if you think you can improve certain design features. It may be that I already had a go at it.

The Tribolt is not the best trike in the world. But good enough to share with you. With your help the trike will evolve and get better every time.

4 comments:

  1. Ron, I've been working on a trike that we can use in NY. We have small apartments here and I'm trying to have the velomobile hang from the closet door. I'm starting first with a workable trike version that's narrow. Your trike gave me hope as I knew it was possible to make a no weld trike!

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  2. How to fabricate a steering which provides a turning radius of 4 meteres ? which all parameters should be considered ?

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    Replies
    1. Turning radius depends on a couple of things. How wide is the track? What angle can the wheels turn without hitting the seat? What angle is possible with the rod-ends or other bearing? What system tie-rods are used? Is it direct or indirect steer? And and and.....
      It is not easy for me to explain what limits the turning radius. Too many factors. But not so difficult to find out yourself with a simple prototype. In theory: the narrower the track and longer the wheelbase, the larger the turning radius will be.
      All I can say is that the Tribolt can turn very sharply if you want it to be that way.

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