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20" wheel to 451

I've been kicking aorund the idea of going to a 451 wheel on the front of my P38 for the reasons you've stated.
I'm 6'4" and have an 2007 XL P38 with the touring fork with the lugged crown and 175mm cranks. Other than going to the Paul brake, are there any other modifications that need to be made to accomodate the 451 wheel? Is a new fork needed? Is there a Velocity wheel available in that size? How about tire choices?
Thanks for your input.

I have not done it myself (yet), but both Ben Fox and Rick Martin have. And they both seem happy with the change.

As I read Ben's older note, he was able to use his Lightning 20" touring fork with the larger ISO 451 front wheel. He also used short cranks. But since you are taller than Ben, you might not have to switch cranks. You have to avoid so-called "hard interference" between crankarms and the front wheel.

So it seems that the Paul Moto Lite BMX brake (and the new wheel) is all that you will need.

Looking at the Velocity website, they have a rim called the Fusion in the ISO 451 size. They could build you a wheel using this rim, or you could buy the rim and have someone else build it.

Don't know what tires are currently available in this size. Many years ago the IRC Roadlite was a popular skinny tire.

Safe riding,

Sorry I didn't see this sooner,I don't check as often as I used too.If you have the touring fork you should be fine to use the 451 wheel.
If memory serves me correctly you needat least 10 3/4" from bottom of fork crown to axle drop out.I had an older P-38 with crowned fork but, it only measured 10 1/2" and the 451 wouldn't fit.
I think all the newer, 2000 and up, will take it.
I was very happy with the 451 and I'm a short guy 5' 7".I did need to use a 153mm crank to clear wheel and a Paul Moto BMX brake,but other than, no issues.
I felt it was faster and rode smoother with 451.
I just happen to have the Paul brake I used on the bike,[I sold it with the 406 wheel], and a nice 451 front wheel.
The wheel though is part of a set 700x130mm rear.
They are American Classics hubs and Velocity Razor rims all black. These are the wheels I had on the P-38.
If you're serious about making the chage over and would be interested in the parts drop me an email.

Unless you've already done your conversion, IMHO the handling on the front 451 goes straight to hell, boy. I have removed it and gone back to stock b/c it was a total nightmare..twitchy handling due to higher CG-I think, and that is only exacerbated by the P38's design in particular. IF you want a bling-go bent, why not just buy a Raleigh Choppper, as it is much more show than go. I also think it's incredibly unsafe to mess with that sizing, and Lightning in Lompoc concurred with me on this.
For the record, I think the prev. owner who had this size on my bike didn't give a crap about the pedals hitting the sidewall on turns, as he probably was trying to do off roading with about convoluted idiotic bragging rites with a recumbent!
There's an Australian bike called the Street Screamer on ebay which has four skateboard wheels on the front end...if you want the 451, maybe try that first...could be better handling!?
P.S, if you wanna buy a 451 tire/wheel, it's on my shed door waiting1

Thanks for your input "bugger", however, the 451mm conversion party is over. I'm sorry you missed it, it was very good!
I picked up the wheel set from Ben Fox and love the new set-up.
1)Heel lock, or tire inference is not a problem as I have an XL model long boom. I've never bumped the tire with my foot. 2)Being an experienced P38 pilot, the minor twitchiness is not a problem. I believe there is a certain amount of twitchiness with all SWB recumbents and becomes a minor issue with experience and common sense riding. 3)I didn't make the conversion to gain any sort of bling-go or show. I've always felt that an XL P38 should come standard with the 451mm front wheel. I'm 6'4" and it just seems to make the bike fit me better. My feet reach the ground with ease when I'm stopped, the taller wheel raises the front slightly which I like, giving me a slightly more laid back ride, and the ride it self is smoother on rough roads with the larger tire. 4) there is an improvement in rolling inertia with the larger wheel as well. 5) I enjoy tinkering with my bents.
I have absolutly no regrets about converting my P38 front wheel from 406 to 451. Give me your address and I will gladly pick up the 451 wheel you have discarded. I would like to make the same change to my Phantom which I've already changed the rear 26" to a 700mm! I'm planning another 451 party for that one by the way!
my e-mail:


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