Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Tom Mase


This report covers the design and construction of the recumbent racing tricycle for Mr. Robert T. Kelly, a disabled veteran. Unfortunately Rob’s right leg is five inches shorter than his left one and therefore is unable to properly operate standard cranks. Our team HandiTrike is composed of Sean Higginson, Kevin Howie, and Vinay Patel and our project requires us to come up with a design that is feasible to complete within the given three quarters, as well as allow Rob to gain full use of his tricycle. Currently Rob ‘s trike uses the standard crank set up found on most bicycles and tricycles today, but to overcome the five-inch difference a previous group attempted to solve this problem by adding an extension member to the right crank. The overall thought was that this rotating member would allow Rob to potentially gain full use of the crank system. However, there were several flaws in their design due to lack of communication between the group and sponsor.

Throughout this report you will find our various conceptual solutions to our problem, as well as our overall final design to solving this problem. Along with solving the crank issue, HandiTrike has been asked to also construct a completely new trike for Rob Kelly. Currently Rob is not satisfied with the performance he receives from his current GreenSpeed tricycle. Therefore, our group has been asked to solve the crank issue, as well as, design a rear suspension system, improve seat conditions, and include a collapsibility feature to allow for easier transportation in a vehicle. Along with these requested features, HandiTrike will also be including standard safety accessories, such as, lights, reflectors, and flags.

As you will read later in the report, there are no clear leaders in developing components for disabled riders. Therefore most of our problem solving will be based off of completely new and innovative ideas that will hopefully help benefit Rob and future riders as well. We believe that the solutions we come up with by the end of the report will fully satisfy Rob’s needs out of a tricycle, thus allowing him once again to get back on the road and enjoy those long rides.