Thursday, July 21, 2011

Royal Enfield tricycle has three speeds, all slow

Red rims and chrome fender add distinction.
This blog about Royal Enfield motorcycles clearly has no business writing about three-wheeled push bikes — especially since the "Royal Enfield" brand on these trikes has no known connection to the Royal Enfield that makes the motorcycles.

I can't help it. These goofy looking tricycles fascinate me for two reasons. First: their origin is a mystery (at least to me) and, second, they come in a curious variety of designs.

Here's one offered for sale on CraigsList in Portsmouth, R.I. The red rims are unusual looking and there is one of my favorite accessories: a bulb horn. The front handbrake operates a drum brake.

Idler wheels suggest a derailleur, but no!
Most of these tricycles appear to have a single speed. But not all. Here the chain runs from the front sprocket through an arrangement of idler wheels into a three-speed rear hub powering another chain to the rear axle.

The seller thoughtfully provides a close-up look at the gear shift, a Sturmey-Archer three-speed thumb switch.

Sturmey-Archer thumb shift.
Someone somewhere put a lot of thought into trying to make this machine workable. Even so, I'd dread the weight and wince at the prospect of trying to propel it any distance. No wonder some of these trikes come with a motor.

If you want to give this one a try, the seller is asking $138.

Cute, but what must this thing weigh?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9/18/2012

    I am trying to restore one of these for a customer and can't figure out who made them or where to find wheel bearings for one. It's really not that heavy either.


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