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Motorized Tandems, Trikes and Recumbent Bicycles Trikes (tricycle) and recumbent bicycles can give the ultimate in comfort for cruising on long trips or just around town. Ad an engine and they will really turn some heads.

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  #1  
Old 10-17-2013, 03:49 AM
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Intrepid Wheelwoman Intrepid Wheelwoman is offline
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Default Hercules Trike rebuild

With me having been unwell for most of our Winter my Hercules tricycle has just sat ignored gathering spider webs and praying mantis egg clusters. Originally a 1990s Indian made Hercules Ladies heavyweight bicycle, I purchased it from an Indian family who had brought it with them from India. I own a completely original condition 1950 English built Ladies Hercules as well and parked side by side it was plain that the two bicycles shared the same design and overall dimensions. The main difference between them, apart from the 1950 model's patina earned through a long and distinguished life well served, was that the quality of all the nuts bolts and general fittings on the Indian bicycle were of a much lower standard.

Purchased with the intention of converting it to a tricycle the Indian Hercules was swiftly taken into the 'works' on its arrival and a tricycle axle intended for custom lowrider bicycles was fitted. A generic Chinese 24volt 250watt hub motor wheel was a major part of the conversion and the other wheel varied between a Sturmey Archer 3 speed coaster hub and a Sachs kickback two speed coaster hub, until I finally decided to go with the Sachs hub. With the addition of a pair of Raleigh mudguards painted green, a modified canework picnic basket, a totally out of date 1930s licence plate and the installation of an aged prewar Bosch bicycle headlamp my Hercules was good to go and quite looked the part.
Unfortunately I didn't have a spare period tail lamp so I had to use a 'make do' lamp from the 1970s.

Since it was put together over three years ago this tricycle has done some very real work and has aquired its own distinguished patina. I made a basic goods tray from a pile of old refrigerator racks and some heavy duty zip ties which I could swap over for the canework basket. In this form the Hercules hauled bags of coal and potting mix, lengths of timber, fencing materials and a good deal of old bicycle parts from the council tip.
The Chinese hub motor has been totally reliable despite some very heavy loads and the two speed Sachs hub has also been a faultless performer; - not too bad for a hub that itself came from the council tip

The one problem with the trike axle I used was that it's not particularly strong and tends to bend. In one of the photos you can see the additional braces I added to it before my Hercules entered service which have proved to be very effective. The other thing is that the drive is taken on a single rolled steel pin and these tend to deform and ultimately break. Checking this pin often is a must-do maintainence item if you don't want to be stranded far from home.

First item on the agenda was replacing the worn out tyre on the motor wheel. The original tyre that came with the motor wheel has done stirling service, but now being bald it has to be retired. I rarely buy tyres, I'm amazed how often bicycles are dumped at the council tip with perfectly good tyres on them. The motorwheel now has a larger profile 'Velociraptor' tyre from a MTB which will work out fine on the varied road surfaces around here.

The original rim fitted to the Sachs hub is an old Raleigh rim for 26 x 1 3/8 tyres which was never really suitable, only I never got around to changing the rim for something better. So if I'm having to strip down the wheel I might as well take the Sachs hub apart and service it too. I have never taken a Sachs hub apart before, - Sturmey Archer yes, - Sachs no, - so this should be interesting.

I also want replace the wooden bracket for the canework basket with something better made from steel. and generally brighten my Hercules up with a new lick of green paint here and there. That awful tail lamp is going too now that I've got something better looking in the 'stores'.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Hercules2013.jpg (272.6 KB, 314 views)
File Type: jpg Hercules2013c.jpg (253.8 KB, 251 views)
File Type: jpg Hercules2013b.jpg (489.5 KB, 238 views)
File Type: jpg Hercules2013d.jpg (330.0 KB, 256 views)
File Type: jpg TwoSpeedKickBackHubWheel.jpg (489.2 KB, 216 views)
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2013, 04:02 AM
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Intrepid Wheelwoman Intrepid Wheelwoman is offline
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Default Re: Hercules Trike rebuild

The other elderly bicycles appearing around the edges of the photos are my English Hercules and a prewar Phillips Gentleman's roadster. The Phillips is lovely, but is actually wearing a set of Raleigh heavyweight mudguards until I can find something better. I found a brand new English 'Middlemore' seat for it (interesting fact, not all English bicycle seats were made by Brooks) and the carbide lamp is a 'Pearson'.
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File Type: jpg MyBikes1.jpg (350.9 KB, 127 views)
File Type: jpg MyBikes2.jpg (414.4 KB, 143 views)
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:39 AM
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Default Re: Hercules Trike rebuild

In her glory days........

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Old 10-17-2013, 07:29 AM
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silverbear silverbear is offline
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Default Re: Hercules Trike rebuild

Intrepid,
Isn't it amazing what daily use over the period of years will do to a bike? The changes come slowly until they reach a point when you look with cleared vision and see just how bad some things have gotten. My American Flyer is like that, mostly the victim of road salt which when combined with moisture eats right in to steel, chrome, aluminum, whatever. Paint can become rust in one year, especially when it is your own paint job from spray cans instead of the more durable factory paint.

That's just one reason builds are never really finished unless we park them as furniture to just look at. Besides, we find a neater light, horn, seat, get a better idea for storage. Your old friend who has served you well will appreciate the attention of a going over and will reward you with more good service yet. Good luck with that Sachs hub... carefully, carefully...
SB
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: Hercules Trike rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by Intrepid Wheelwoman View Post
The other elderly bicycles appearing around the edges of the photos are my English Hercules and a prewar Phillips Gentleman's roadster. The Phillips is lovely, but is actually wearing a set of Raleigh heavyweight mudguards until I can find something better. I found a brand new English 'Middlemore' seat for it (interesting fact, not all English bicycle seats were made by Brooks) and the carbide lamp is a 'Pearson'.
Nice Looking Trike and love the carbide lamp! Here's hoping you're doing better.

Woody
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:23 AM
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Intrepid Wheelwoman Intrepid Wheelwoman is offline
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Default Re: Hercules Trike rebuild

Thanks caduceus

SB, I got a real shock when I dug out that old photo of my Hercules. Looking at her now it's hard to believe that she was ever that clean and flawlessly shiny. Paint is a difficult one, because while the hardware store green enamel I used on the rear mudguards has faded badly, the original Indian factory dark green is still as good as ever it was and all it needs is a clean and a polish. The Indian chrome plating is terrible however and rusted pretty darn fast despite scrubbing it over with brass wire wool to take off the rust and using a silicon polish on it constantly in an effort to keep it preserved.
On the other hand my English Hercules has nickle plating and once it was cleaned up it stayed clean and rust free. At 60 plus years of age its plating will be never shiny again, but at least it's still there!

At the moment I'm waiting for parts so to avoid my trike having to be up on blocks I slipped a spare wheel I had into place so at least I could move it around my work area. The wheel has a six speed cluster and a China Girl sprocket fitted on it and was borrowed from a moribund project. Anyone looking at would think I was trying for something seriously clever in the way of motive power
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File Type: jpg HerculesBorrowedWheel.JPG (83.1 KB, 118 views)
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  #7  
Old 10-18-2013, 09:20 PM
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Intrepid Wheelwoman Intrepid Wheelwoman is offline
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Default Re: Hercules Trike rebuild

In case anybody is wondering the added panel on the rear lefthand mudguard is a skirt guard. I wear long ankle length skirts and I found that while wheeling my tricycle around the tyre would catch the hem of my skirt and draw it up into the gap between the tyre and the mudguard. Not the cleanest place for a long skirt hem to be

I was very pleased with my bit of tinsmithing in making this skirt guard. The material is galvanised steel and I must say proved to be a little difficult to work, but I got there in the end with all edges properly folded and the curved edge of the panel nicely matched to the curve of the rear mudguard.
Since I'm going to repaint the mudguards I'll paint this panel as well and place a nice Hercules transfer/decal in the centre of the panel.

A spot of luck, - I found a supplier who has NOS Hercules transfer/decal sets and I've ordered a set.
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File Type: jpeg SkirtguardDetail.jpeg (42.5 KB, 126 views)
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:39 PM
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silverbear silverbear is offline
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Default Re: Hercules Trike rebuild

I figured that is what you were up to as I have the original "skirt guards" on my 1934 Elgin. Back when some gentlemen preferred step through frames for the ease in mounting the bicycle, especially while wearing a long coat. For this reason the guards were sometimes referred to as "coat guards". Yours will look factory once they are painted the color of the frame and have spiffy Hercules decals.
SB
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:46 PM
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Ludwig II Ludwig II is offline
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Default Re: Hercules Trike rebuild

This galvanised painting, I presume that you already know you require the correct primer for it?
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  #10  
Old 10-19-2013, 10:37 PM
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Intrepid Wheelwoman Intrepid Wheelwoman is offline
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Default Re: Hercules Trike rebuild

Your 1934 Elgin is a good looking bike SB

Thanks for reminding me about the primer Ludwig. We have a really good old fashioned type hardware store in the township so I'll ask them about the correct primer paint for the job.
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