Riding a tricycle on ice-covered roads is an exercise in the preservation of momentum. Because the rear axle was designed with English roads in mind–only the left rear wheel is powered–it’s easy to break traction on icy roads, especially here in the States. Same thing with hills. Make sure you build up speed before the climb. You’ll need it.
Welcome to the business end of the Paisley. I haven’t looked at the paperwork in a long time, but I believe this is a Ken Rogers axle set.
The two loops of frame around the freewheel connect the left and right axle housings. A third loop, in line with the chainstays, completes the axle housing assembly.
The Shimano Megarange freewheel is screwed down on an adapter that is bolted to the hexagonal end of the left axle. The right, unpowered, axle terminates in a blind end under the lockring to the right of the small cog in this picture. Note the Shimano derailleur–it bolts to an L-shaped bracket that, in turn, is bolted into a braze-on under the right inner bearing-cup assembly.
I used duplicates of this freewheel and rear derailleur on the Schwinn Sports Tourer rebuild. And, just as on that bicycle, both of the trike’s derailleurs are motivated by Sun Tour bar-end shifters.
One nut secures the alloy hubs to the ends of the axles. These are the only hubs I own that don’t have bearings in them. Instead, like the freewheel, they are pressed over the hexagonal ends of the axles, which are supported at either end by bearings running in bottom-bracket cups.
This is the only human-powered vehicle I own with three pairs of bottom bracket cups.
Take another look at that rear end. You don’t get better protection for a derailleur than to position it approximately halfway between two wheels. I just ran out to the garage to measure the width of the rear end from the center of one tire’s tread to the other: 23-1/2 inches.
The frame tubing came from England, too: Reynold’s 531. The big “P” stands for Scott Paisley, who built this tricycle at his shop in Ohio. Follow that out-of focus chain back to the freewheel: there’s the third loop around the freewheel. I believe Scott cut away part of the British loop to artfully curve the right chain stay all the way to the right inner bearing housing.
I remember driving a Subaru from Illinois to Ohio to see Scott’s workshop and get measured for this machine. The car was old enough that the spare tire was mounted over the engine. Some months before, the key had frozen in the ignition, and the only way to kill the engine was to stop the car and let out the clutch with the transmission in gear.
Because 1) that was an inelegant solution, and 2) Subaru dealer John Bearce wanted $84 for a new ignition switch, I ran the ignition wire through an 89-cent on-off switch from the hardware store. Of course I first had to find which wire under the dash was the right one. So I turned the car on and cut the leads one by one until the engine shut down. I tell you this so you understand why I never became an auto mechanic.
I’m running 700x28c tires all the way around. Hope I never get a flat; it took a lot of muscle to get the last bit of Bontrager bead onto the original Mavic MA-2 rims.
Love the adjustability of this two-bolt Sun Tour XC seatpost. The delightfully incongruous saddle–I seem to require titanium saddle rails for that extra performance boost–came from the parts collection I took over from the Les Siegrist estate in 2012. Note the frame lug cut-out ahead of the seatpost, super clean seat stay attachment and, below the binder bolt on the left seat stay, the braze-on for the frame pump.
Let’s take a look at the other end of the Paisley. The original front office was based on a beautiful set of Cinelli bars and stem. However, this equally attractive Nitto stem allows me to raise the Modolo-styled SR bars a scooch, and it will not ever–ever–squeak.
Okay, I agree, this is a little different. Ahead of that investment-cast fork crown: a pair of Shimano cantilevers in their usual position. Behind the fork, the tricycle’s second brake: a Universal sidepull from Italy running Scott-Matthauser pads. Note that the Universal is attached by a drop bolt.
Here’s a look at the brakes from the left side of the trike. I’m playing around with a noodle housing from a linear brake as a way of changing the entry angle of the sidepull’s cable. Right now, I’m optimized for tight right-hand turns; while the sidepull itself will never engage the downtube, the noodle will hit the front derailleur’s cable housing if you turn far enough left. This is more of a problem in theory than in practice. When contact is made, the noodle simply pivots on the housing stop. A shorter noodle with a tighter radius might solve the contact issue altogether.
Here’s a picture of the trike in its original paint. (This and the following pictures are also posted at the Classic Rendezvous website.)
If anything, the original brake configuration was even more unusual. I matched a front-mounted sidepull with a Phil Wood disc brake. Within the first few months of ownership, I decided my early adopter status was secondary to having adequate stoppers, so I trashed the Phil, had Scott install cantilever bosses and reset the dropouts to 100 mm, got the bike repainted and installed a reversed sidepull. (Corrosion has since taken its toll on the original Universal, so I sourced a duplicate from eBay.)
I’m still using the Specialized alloy headset, but everything else in this picture has changed. Those are indexed downtube shifters, but the original Shimano 600 rear derailleur worked more reliably in friction mode, most likely because the design of the L-bracket derailleur attachment dates to, as far as I can figure out, 1945 (I am not kidding). A little file work made quick work of the braze-on that supported the Phil’s cable housing. Miss that paint job.
Kids, this is why you shouldn’t pay attention to trends. A white saddle? Handlebar tape? Brake hoods? It’s a dirty world out there; don’t pretend it’s not. Note the seatstay-mounted pump and early (white) Look clipless pedals. And look what happens when you decide to design your own trike: the front end geometry of a Trek 720, the seat angle of a Guercotti and a 16-inch chainstay, shorter than a modern-day Trek Madone 6.5. If my feet were any bigger, they’d hit the back axle.
The Kirtland handlebar bag was mounted on an Eclipse seatpost adapter. The bag’s long gone, and I haven’t seen the adapter in a while, but I do have a second set of mounts for my Arkel Big Bar Bag; I could bolt them and the bag onto a short handlebar section attached to a tandem stoker stem. Behind the saddle and over the axle is a great place for your stuff.
Not sure if I ever carried bags on that front Blackburn low-rider rack (by the way, you can’t use this rack, still sold today, with the Arkel pannier attachment system). Water bottle is from my employer in the 1980s, Vitesse Cycle Shop.
If I remember right, I took these early pictures with a Nikon FM (hey, look Pops, film!) when I was living on East Illinois Street in Peoria. Those were the days: a shared bathroom between two apartments, and the other tenant always forgetting to unlock my door when he left for the weekend.
One night, during an especially entertaining rainstorm, the ceiling plaster fell on me while I was sleeping. I don’t remember being particularly surprised. Or annoyed.
Six months after I moved out, somebody, maybe the city, tore down the house. I don’t think it was my landlord. He had already closed his TV business on North Wisconsin Avenue. I always imagined he gassed up the car for a late-night trip out of town with the missing half of my rental deposit. With my tricycle under me, I fancied myself as a considerably more stable fellow.
I still do.
Note: Scott Paisley continues to roam the Earth on two wheels. He recently ascended the podium at the 2013 USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships in Madison, Wisconsin, placing third in the Masters 55 to 59-year-old class as a representative of MVC/Blue Wheel/Monticello Velo Club. He co-owns Blue Wheel Bicycles in Charlottesville, Virginia.