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Monday, May 12, 2008

HOW TO BUILD AN INEXPENSIVE RECUMBENT BICYCLE AT HOME PART 3

Well it's been a while, but the snow has finally melted and the Sun has decided to come out. So it's time to build bikes again. In this post I will talk about 2 sections of the build, the steering column and the seat brace and seat, so off we build!

MAKING THE STEERING COLUMN

This recumbent has over the seat steering. This requires for the handlebars to clear your legs while they crank the pedals. I accomplish this by using a few parts from scrap bikes.

Part 1 is a stem that I took from a mountain bike. I removed the clamp that holds the handlebar and kept the sides so that I could attach the second part. Part 1 actually goes into the steerer tube of the fork, it's the main stem.

Part 2 is just a piece of frame from the top tube of a racer bike cut to lenght. I then drilled some holes so I could attach it to Part 1, the main stem.

Part 3 is a regular road bike stem that is shoved inside Part 2 and tightened up as usual. I chose a road stem since I wanted the handlebars close to me.

Part 4 is a pair of moustache handlebars that can usually be found on old roadster bikes. You can also use a regular flat bar. I chose these because that is my riding position of choice.

Get all this stuff together, bolt everything real tight and you have yourself a steering column for your recumbent. Did I mention bolt everything tight? Don't skimp that part for later.





THE SEAT BRACE AND SEAT

The seat brace was going to be a challenge on this suspended bent. I couldn't use the rear stays for support since they are moving. I found the solution in some left over tubing from an old bike rack. The tubes were pre-bent to shape. I flattened the bend to add some strength, drilled a bunch of holes in the tubes, bike frame and then I bolted everything together tight with nylon lined bolts. The seat is just 2 pieces of plywood slapped together with door hinges and bolted to the braces in the appropriate holes.

This set up is my worst looking educated piece of guesswork that I have ever done. Awkwardly, it is also the most sturdy! The seat will have some fine adjustement done later on and will be padded. The rear suspension will take most of the hits, but plywood is still not that comfy, it will be padded.



The next installement of this build will be about chain management. This is the part where you get headaches.

Remember that if you are building one of these things, overbuild and tighten every thing down hard. In this build alone so far I have 10 added combination of nuts and bolts not found on a regular bike. That means 10 other things than can go wrong, don't forget it.

Til next time, ride safe and Godspeed.

Gerry :)

Homebuilt recumbent part 1
Homebuilt recumbent part2
Homebuilt recumbent part 4

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

How do you recommend I drill holes in a bike frame? Will a wood bit work? Thank you.

Gerry Lauzon said...

I don't think a wood bit would work well. I use a metal bit on my drill.

Gerry :)

alecw35 said...

hey heres a thought. If the bike takes forks that are 1 1/8" threaded headset. then a 1" diameter stem quill tube. you could cut all of the angled extension tube off the stem. then fit the seat tube from an old bike over it. with seat clamp to hold it together. then you could fit either another quill stem in the top of the tube. or an aheadset stem round the top of the tube.

georgiaboy said...

hey, i just saw your bike on another website. internet celebrity-hood is approaching... ;)
http://thereifixedit.failblog.org/2011/05/06/white-trash-repairs-backwards-bicycles/

Gerry Lauzon said...

That is awesome and it is quite fitting since it was a huge fail!

Gerry :)