There are several threads over at the BentRider Online Forums about mounting 26″ or 700c wheels to the front of an ICE Sprint (here and here) instead of the stock 20″ wheels.
At least two guy’s did the conversion and their results are promising. Faster top speed, smother ride on tarmac and gravel sound good, a bigger turning radius of 6.5m compared to 5.8m of a stock Sprint isn’t that much of a price to pay. Defying common wisdom both riders found out these big wheeled trikes aren’t more prone to tipp over around corners than equipped with 20″ wheels either.
Images: Perry Butler
Images: Jim Bolf
I’m tempted to follow their path. Unfortunately I have to lift and tilt my Sprint through a door and with the big front wheels it would be a major hustle or couldn’t go through that door at all. But 24″ front wheels would fit…
The downside would be the rather small selection of quality 24″ tires. Having changed my rear wheel from 20″ to 26″ and now 24″ in the last month and compared the different riding characteristics of my Sprint (still 20″ front wheels) I have a good feeling about a 24″ front and 26″ or better 28″ (700c, 29″) rear wheel setup. I’ve to look what kind of wide rims are available.
Update April 14. 2014
Took some time to find some sturdy 25mm wide 24″ Grossman downhill rims at Ebay. They were only made with 32 spoke holes but Gingko Spezialradteile offers custom 70mm and 90mm Sturmey Archer drum brake hubs shells with 28 and 32 spoke holes beside the stock 36 spoke hole version. The 90mm hubs arrived two days ago and now I finally got 24″ front wheels for my Sprint.
24″ look not as impressive as 26″ front wheels but give a way better ride on rough roads than 20″ wheels. The Sprint has a less nimble steering now that requires noticeably more force to steer. More like a cruiser than a race bike.
Update August 5. 2015
Well, the ‘old’ Sprint got a nose and rolls on 3×24″ wheels now. The front suspension had to go since handling with the big front wheels is much better without it.
While the new Blue ICE currently got 3×26″ wheels:
Update August 31. 2015
After some wheel swopping, I’ve finally settled for 24″ wheels at the front and 26″ wheel at the rear. It’s currently shod with 55mm wide Schwalbe Big Ben. Without the ICE front suspension the steering is nimble, corner handling is very good and the wide tyres provide a comfortable ride.
The black Sprint got its 20″ front wheels back. I really like the setup with 20″ wheels at the front and a fat 24″ wheel at the rear. This way I can choose between two very different, but both very nice handling trikes.
Update May 23. 2017
An other take on the big frontwheel craze.