Bicycle Components used to build the AfriCart

best to use heaviest duty "nylon" tires available, and heavy duty rims if available

1. ‘Ordinary’ bicycle spokes are of 14 gauge thickness, and their nipples are 4mm in diameter. These spokes will pass through the holes in ‘ordinary’ hubs and rims. Heavy duty spokes are of 12 gauge thickness, and their nipples are 5mm in diameter. They require heavy duty hubs and rims, as the holes in ‘ordinary’ hubs and rims are too small for them. If these heavy duty components are available, they use is highly recommended.

Rear axles are of 10mm diameter and come in various lengths. The best ones to use for bolting the chassis joints are nominally 7" long, as the Utility (India) brand illustrated. The Sim Hwa (China) axles depicted are 6 3/4" long.

Rear hubs with 40 holes vary in width between flanges:

Eastman (India) = 58mm
Avon (India) = 57mm
Sim Hwa (China) Special Grade = 63mm
Sim Hwa (China) De Luxe = 64mm

It is best to use the widest flange distance hubs available, in order to ensure maximum wheel rigidity.

Rear hubs vary in width between inner cone faces:
Eastman (India) = 100mm
(= 110mm with lock nuts)
Avon (India) = 105mm
Sim Hwa (China) Special Grade = 108mm
Sim Hwa (China) De Luxe = 106mm

Rear hubs vary in length of axle / spindle
Eastman (India) = 7" (178mm)
Avon (India) = 6 ½" (166mm)
Sim Hwa (China) Special Grade = 6 3/4" (172mm)
Sim Hwa (China) De Luxe = 7" (178mm)


The crucial dimension here is the width between the spoke flanges, and not the width between cone faces. However when replacing a wheel/hub, it is best to use one that matches the original in this dimension, as otherwise the bearers will have to bend to accommodate the different dimensions. 
NOTE: There must be washers fitted between the inner cones and the wooden wheel bearer/frames, and washers fitted between the axle nuts and the frame. So, each wheel requires four washers.

It is best to use the longest available axles. It is easy to and inexpensive to exchange a shorter axle/spindle for a longer 7" one. The longer axles allow for the use of thicker wood bearers, not requiring counterboring for the axle washers and nuts.


A selection of bicycle bolts useful as fasteners for the Africart. The chain adjuster bolts stamped (as opposed to bent) can be cut apart to produce washers of 10mm inside diameter, which are useful for both the chassis corner bolts, as well as the wheel axles. As washers of this size are hard to find in rural areas, and as the cost of the chain adjuster bolts is frequently less than that of a washer in a hardware shop, this is a useful and cost effective to obtain washers of this size. These bolts are used for attaching the handles to the cart body. The other bolts are used to fasten the handle cross bar to the handles, to secure the four swivel latches to the bottom of the body, and to attach the swiveling stand to its base.