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Thread: Advice re parts

  1. #1
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    Default Advice re parts

    Hi, knowing nothing about pedicabs, I did this summer what one really shouldnīt do, I bought a Chinese-made pedicab on e-bay from e-bikes direct in the UK. I only use it to take the kids to school and back, about 4km per day, but the drive-unit on the rear axle that holds the chain-cog has basically disintegrated, losing bearings, springs, pall-pins etc. Itīs not a piece of rocket-science, but getting one re-built here in Ireland is proving to be impossible. Just looking for advice here....if this unit canīt be gotten, now that Iīve fallen in love with pedicabs and think Iīd get another 5-7 years out of taking the kids to school on one, whatīs a good make, available in the UK, with parts continuously available? Thanks in advance for any suggestions, Happy Christmas!

    (P.S: thatīs the current pedicab in the signature photo. I removed the canopy, you donīt want one of those in the Irish wind. It goes okay, but is a bit "clunky", and Iīve had continuous problems with the chain, etc. The derailleur is very low to the ground, only has about 3cm clearance, so it keeps on getting buckled on Speed Bumps, etc.)
    Last edited by Sancho; 22-12-2007 at 21:47. Reason: Want to attach photo

  2. #2
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    Lightbulb Most EU or US pedicabs OK

    Most of the EU pedicabs & US ones are ok, as most parts are straight from cycle shops (well, 90% of the moving bits) but some cycle nutter in irland should be able to fix you up some form of replacement part for the rear drive on your old china thing.

    If nothing to be done for the last beast, then try to get a nice second hand pedicab from the London - we got a few used cycle maximus, Mainstreets, Canterbury trikes and some older Velocabs up for sale. Bugbugs are selling some older pedicabs and I know of at least one pedicab for Ģ600 that just needs some sort of seating fitted. Just look around or ask for what your budget can hold.

    all the best with your search

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    Sincerest thanks for that, tdayuk! Iīll try to find a wacky scientist type bike mechanic who can have a go at re-modelling the rear drive, but I realy like the idea of buying a good 2nd-hand UK-made pedicab. Iīll have a look through the relevant section on the forum.

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    From Chinapedal vehicles. Sounds as if what has broken is the multiple gear freewheel. On most Chinese tricycles there are no gears, just a singlespeed freewheel. But they do normally use the standard thread, that used to be the standard in europe, until Shimano flooded the market with their infernal integral cassette thing, which is inseparable from a cycle hub and incompatible with chinese trikes. I fitted a three speed freewheel to a trike I bought in china, with no problem , you can get old 1/8 width chain frewheels quite readily. It cost me 20 rmb (2 euros) so if you want one no probs, or I can send you half a dozen to have some spares!
    Send me a pic to be sure that is the problem part. My trike has 26" wheels, so no ground clearance probs, yours looks to have 20" or thereabouts. You could try fitting a shorter derailleur and a separate chain tensioner (to compensate if the shorter derailleur arm will no longer maintain adequate tension).

    Kind regards, Chris Trees (alias chinapedalvehicles)
    PS my trike which is a heavy duty transport trike cost the princely sum of 60 euros)

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    Sincerest thanks for that, Chris, PM sent. The more I think about it, the more I'd like to keep the Chinese Pedicab on the road, because there's not much point in trying to combat the carbon emissions problem if I jettison a perfectly workable pedicab and buy an upgraded European made version....it would be pretty wasteful. Best Wishes and Happy Christmas!

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    Hi Chris (and everyone), here are some photos of the rickshaw, the rear axle, the cog unit etc. The axle is 2cm in diameter. Iīm sorry, I donīt know the correct terms for all these bits, but the cog unit thatīs broken is single speed, on the left of the rear axle (the derailleur being on the right). There are bits missing from the cog unit (bearings, cover, etc....long story). I decided against buying a new/secondhand rickshaw because after looking, I found theyīre all too wide. The beauty of this red Chinese one is that itīs only 32 inches wide, which is perfect. The cycle lanes and footpaths that I have to use on my route to the kids school wonīt take anything wider. (Ireland is very bicycle-unfriendly....and rickshaws are simply unheard-of, except for one or two small fleets in central Dublin, run as advertising outfits and giving free rides to passers-by! Donīt ask me how they make a living!). Anyway, any advice greatly appreciated.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    As best as I can tell from the photos you have provided the only replacement part you need is a dead simple and standard BMX style single speed freewheel.

    Any bicycle shop that sells kids bikes should have several in stock. Just take the bits that you have in your hand in the middle and right most photo to them and ask nicely if they can remove the old one and replace it with a new one. Take it home and tighten down the hex bolt that holds it all in place, mount the chain and will be back on the road. In the US, retail price for such a freewheel is usually less than 20 dollars.

    From what I can tell the drive train on this trike made with standard bike shop available parts. The only exception being the Jack-shaft assembly that has the multispeed freewheel on one side and the single speed freewheel on the other.

    If you want a higher or lower gear range on this bike you can get a single speed freewheel with more teeth or fewer. In the configuration of this trike, getting a single speed freewheel with more teeth will result in a higher top speed, but will also make climbing hills harder. Getting a single speed freewheel with a fewer teeth will result in lower top speed but will make climbing hills easier.
    Last edited by Ken Cameron; 02-01-2008 at 02:51.

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    Sincerest thanks for that advice, Ken, Iīll give it a try. I did try a few bike shops before Xmas, to no avail, but I think the guys I showed the part to simply didnīt know what they were looking at, and I didnīt quite know what to ask for. Now I do!!! Iīll let you know how it works out!

  9. #9
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    I took the part to another (the fourth!) bike shop today, and the Young Mechanic took one look at it, enunciated the problem, and sorted it, in about 45 seconds! He simply put it in a vice-grips (the black unit came apart in two), and stuck on a 16-tooth single speed freewheel, and all the bits were standard (as you wisely observed, Ken!). If I can be condemned as being a bit thick (given that the problem was so simple), I can at least be partly forgiven, given that the Bike Mechanics in three other stores (one a leading UK/Ireland High Street Car parts and Bike retailers beginning with "H") hadnīt a clue what they were looking at or how to fix it. Hereīs a few pics of the bits (The licence-plate is just a Smug Sneer at Motorists in Traffic! ) Sincerest thanks for all your advice here, everyone!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Sancho; 03-01-2008 at 18:15.

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    I am glad to see that it worked out. The old vice-grip and bench-vise combo can do wonders.

    -Ken

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