I would like to add gears to my adult tricycle. How difficult would that be and would it be very costly?

  • 3
    If it's not designed for it then it would be difficult and would cost a bundle. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 8 '19 at 3:12
  • 1
    Could you give more details? Does it currently have gears but you want to add more? Or is it single-speed and you want to make it geared? Both are likely to be expensive because, even if the trike currently has gears, you'll need to replace essentiall all the gear-related parts; if it's a single-speed, it probably won't have mounting points for the necessary equipment. – David Richerby Jul 8 '19 at 8:49
  • 1
    Costs are hard - they vary around the world by significant amounts. Where on the planet are you? Do you intend on doing the labour yourself or getting a Local Bike Shop to do it ? And what's your experience with tools - have you built a wheel ? – Criggie Jul 8 '19 at 12:53
  • 2
    Adding gears might be hard. However, if you just want to make it easier to pedal, that might be accomplished by using a smaller chainring at the front and/or a larger sprocket at the back – Kibbee Jul 8 '19 at 12:59

Probably the simplest is to replace the hubs with internally geared hubs. There are many of those on the market with a wide range of gear capabilities. You may find it easier to buy complete new wheels. You need to check all the interfaces of the wheels-the width and diameter of the axle, how it mounts to the frame, the width of the rims if you are using rim brakes, the width and height of the tire fitting in the frame. You need to add a control for the gears and cable back to the hub to carry the information. Presumably your dropouts are horizontal so you can set the chain tension properly. This will be maintained with internally geared hubs. You might need to change the size of the front or rear gears depending on the gear range you desire and the hub you select. That will impact the length of the chain, which is easy to adjust. I would go into one (or a few) local shops with your question and see what they suggest. It would be good to determine where your problem lies. Do you want a lower gear for climbing hills? Are you close, but just need one a little lower? Are there some hills that are far too hard? Do you need a higher gear because you can't pedal fast enough? Again, are you close or far from what you want? These will help the shop with recommending the proper solution.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.