Tricycles are more stable and safe to ride as compared to bicycles. Children and adults are more comfortable riding a tricycle because of its low center of gravity and stability. A tricycle also offers plenty of cargo space, and hence it is a perfect companion for grocery, picnics, and other trips in the neighborhood.
Very few people know that a bicycle can be converted into a tricycle by using a tricycle conversion kit that is available online or you may be able to find it cycle stores in your vicinity. You need some technical skills for a DIY conversion, or you can take your bicycle and conversion kit to a cycle mechanic. He will charge you some bucks and carry out the conversion for you. It’s better to save some money and do it yourself in some free time. We will walk you through the process in this guide.
For conversion, you do not need any special tools. Your bicycle tool kit or car tool kit will be enough for this purpose. You will need a bicycle chain tool to manage the chain.
You need some space to work around your bicycle. Make sure you arrange your tools and cycle at a place where you can move freely around the rear wheel. Mount the bicycle on some wooden blocks for easy working.
Guide to Convert a Bicycle into Tricycle
The following steps will help you convert your bicycle into a tricycle.
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Step 1: Removing the Rear-wheel and Chain
The first step is to remove the rear wheel and chain. Lose the nuts around the rear wheel of the tricycle and push the axle rod in between the axle hub. You can do it by pushing the axle rod from one side with the help of a hammer. A soft push will do the needful. Once the rod is out, you can easily remove the wheel.
Step 2: Removing the Gear Equipment
If you have a multispeed bike, you need to remove the rear derailleur. Remove the rear brakes and brake cable and the brake levers. These are time taking tasks and require patience. You need to check all the nuts and bolts and remove them with appropriate tools. All the bicycles have different construction designs, so all the models need different sized-tools for working. If your bike is a single speed, you can skip this step.
Step 3: Removing the rear Support Rods
Remove all the support rods at the backside of the bicycle one by one.
Step 4: Assemble the Conversion Kit
A conversion kit will come with all the instructions needed to assemble it. Take some time and go through the guidelines explained for conversion. Once you are up to par with the process, get to work. We recommend that before starting assembling the kit, arrange all the tools, nuts and bolts in an orderly fashion. If you are unable to assemble the kit yourself, you can take all the stuff to a cycle mechanic and get it assembled.
Step 5: Mounting the Kit
All the kits come with a detailed guide for mounting the conversion on your bicycle. Mount the axle at the same place from where you removed the rear wheel from the bike. Make sure that you put in place all the brackets, lock washers, spacers, nuts, rods, and bolts in the way described in the instruction manual. Secure the nuts and bolts with the appropriate tools.
Step 6: Putting in the Brakes and Gears
Now put in the brakes and gears if you had a multispeed bike. Most kits come with already installed brake bushes, so you need to attach the brake cables and fix the levers. If you do not get brakes with your kit, you can buy them separately as well.
Step 7: Setting up the Chain
Open up your chain by removing the master link. Now mount the chain on the main axle of the conversion kit and the sub-axle for the other wheel. Test the working of the chain by giving some turns of pedals. If both the chains are working all right, both of the rear wheels will start moving. Remember to check your brakes a couple of times at this moment. If everything is okay, oil up your chain and give your pedals 5-10 complete swings.
Step 8: Checking the Setup
Once you are done with all the steps mentioned above, it is time to check your work. First of all, just sit idle on your newly converted tricycle for a couple of minutes to check if it can tolerate your weight, now just hit the pedals a couple of times and check the result, apply brakes a couple of times. If everything is working properly, you have successfully converted your bicycle into a tricycle and saved yourself a couple of hundred dollars.
Step 9: Visit a Cycle Mechanic
Take your new ride to a nearby cycle mechanic and get everything tested and checked. If there are any shortcomings, the mechanic will adjust them with a nominal fee. Come back home and enjoy your achievement.
Converting a bike into a tricycle is a bit of technical and time-taking work. We have walked you through the process; the rest is up to you now.