The odd world of the rickshaw wheel

When I bought the rickshaw half a decade ago, the tires and tubes were already on the rim. Last weekend, I snapped the metal stem on the left rear tube. Thankfully, it had enough air trapped in it to get home, but there was no way to add more air in the future, and all three wheels have leaked a little since day one.

I went to Bikes2Boards and picked up a tube. Then, the process of solving a mystery began. What’s it like under that tire? Here’s a glimpse:

Rickshaw wheel, tire, and tube
Rickshaw wheel, tire, and tube separated for the first time in over five years.

There’s a red tube! The tire is also odd. It essentially goes all the way around with a cut down the middle so a tube can fit in. The uncommon backside of the tire ends up functioning as the tape for the inside of the wheel, which has no tape at all.

Getting the 26 x 1.75 tire off and back on is a serious challenge. It can be done, but it is a difficult process. You have been warned. A nice change is that the wheel now has a common (in the US) Schrader valve. No need to use a Presta to Schrader valve adapter anymore.

9 Replies to “The odd world of the rickshaw wheel”

  1. Hi Brock, Do you happen to have the part number for the replacement bearings you put on your rickshaw? I just bought what appears to be the same bike at a flea market as a rebuild project and I’m having a hard time finding replacement parts. Any info/tips you could give on finding parts would be much appreciated.

  2. Jim, I don’t have a clue about part number on the bearings. We got them by taking the wheel (and maybe the axle, I don’t remember exactly as it was a half-decade ago.) into a NAPA auto parts store where the guy was patient and he just started going through boxes until he found one that worked. The bearings were USA made, undoubtedly the best thing on the ride, and probably the most expensive.

    The box is long gone for the bearings so I don’t know what the part number was. I should have documented that out at the time for future reference (like now).

  3. The willingness of someone behind the counter to search out a part will vary. My friend is a parts manager with U-Haul so he knew the guy and the place to go to. That wasn’t my last trip to auto parts land. I should have documented it here on the blog, but we got the lights working on the 2003 Main Street Pedicab, and I had to buy trailer marker lights and a couple flashers. They call the store “Auto Zone” but it’s a “Pedicab Zone” too.

  4. Thanks anyway…….looks like there is a trip or two to Oreilly’s in my future. My current challenge is that the cast iron brake drum for the band brake is cracked. I’ve been looking at steel drums on gokart sites (they seem to use the same setup) but everything looks like it’s made for 1″ axles. The one on my rickshaw looks to be a litttle larger than that. Oh well, I only have $25 invested and I enjoy screwing around with stuff like this.

  5. Hi Brock, I think I have the same rickshaw, but I’m still trying to build mine up. Do you know where to get replacement tires for the rickshaw? I haven’t been able to find anyone who knows where to get anything that would work. Thanks!

  6. Ray, I sure don’t know where to get replacements or what else would work. Sorry I’m of no help. Let us know if you figure something out.

  7. Hi Brock, looks like you posted the above tire comment a little over a year ago. I have the same bike and am having trouble finding tires or tubes. Do you have any sources or information on the accurate tire size for this bike? Do you know any place that you can buy them on the web? Thanks – Pete

  8. My friend Bob tugged the hell out of the tire to get it back on the rim… …it looked like he almost died! As to the tube, we picked up a matching (or reasonably matching) spec size tube locally. Don’t recall what it was.

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