Im trying to insert a 7 speed gear and disc brake on the front wheel of a recumbent cycle that I'm trying to make. However its difficult to find or almost impossible to get forks with widths that accommodate such components. My aim is to make a FWD cycle. Can it be fabricated if not available as such? If so, can someone tell me how?

  • Doesn't it need to be recumbent specific or custom fab anyway to have a place to mount the derailleur? Or are you using an IGH?
    – Affe
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 18:40
  • Do you distinguish between FWD bike and MBB for Moving Bottom Bracket? I've seen some that have an entire rear triangle carved off a donor bike in order to give a triangle of power with a BB housing etc.
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 3:07
  • @Affe Yes custom fabrication is what I'm thinking of, IGH is a possibilty but I've only seen 3 speed internal gears available around me. But that too at the expense of disc brakes. Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 13:04
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    @Criggie I've thought of that but its difficult to get a geared donor bike. That was our teams first idea, to cut off the back end and attach a BB housing. Now what I'm trying to do it make a BB housing out of some other pipes, attach the whole setup to the fork and steering handle by welding probably. But can't get forks that wide to fit a gear set and disc brake. Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 13:16

2 Answers 2


If you are looking to re-purpose off the shelf components: Fat bike forks use dropout spacings of 135mm and 150mm, I believe. Road disc brake bikes and some mountain bikes use 135mm rear spacing, so you should be able to combine a fat bike fork and road rear disc hub. A 135mm rear hub will have space for an 11 speed cassette, but you can use spacers to fit a 7 speed cassette.

If you are building a front wheel drive recumbent, you'll have to at least do some fabricating for the frame attached to the fork that holds the bottom bracket bearings, cranks, derailleur etc. That would include welding steel or aluminium tube. If you can do that you can also design a fabricate a custom fork.

  • Yeah I'm actually gonna try that now. Need to source the parts. I'm trying to minimise the amount of fabrication and also budget, otherwise would've gone straight to fabricating the entire setup. Also could could you possibly tell how much width a standard 7 set gear would need? Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 13:22

Atomic Zombie is a website with a lot of DIY bike designs, including this FWD recumbent, which may give you some ideas. There are a few FWD recumbents you can buy off the peg, including the Cruzbike and some models from Performer. No idea if they would sell you just a fork.

  • This cycle kind of looks like what I’m trying to do. Thanks. Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 7:26

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