Instructables

Budget Chopper Bicycle

Picture of Budget Chopper Bicycle
chopper final.jpg
This is an instructable on how to build a chopper bike on a budget.

The main inspiration for this came from AtomicZombie and Koolkat's instructables.

I've recycled as many parts as possible, and used scrap materials when I could.

I took a 25 year old Raleigh Wisp ladies racing bike and converted it to something a bit out of the ordinary.

Materials needed:
*Donor bike.
*Welder (I used a gasless MIG welder - a Clarke 105EN)
*Steel tube(s) for the forks. These need to be quite heavy gauge as the forces involved will tend to bend the tubes.
*Steel tubing to extend the frame after chopping. The diameter of this tubing should be either slightly smaller than the existing frame tubing (to fit inside the cut tubes) or slightly bigger (to fit over the tubing). Butt welding tubes of the same diameter is more difficult and will not be as strong unless your an expert welder (and I'm not!).
*Some sheets of steel. I had some 1.4mm thick sheet steel which is perfect for the plates I made.
*New chains - if you're extending the frame significantly, the chain length will also increase. Buy two cheap chains to join together.
*Access to a pipe bender - you may need this if your angles change significantly and you don't want to cut the extension tubes at an angle.

Read on for instructions on how I did it, and the mistakes I made along the way.

Above all, enjoy building and don't give up!
 
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Step 1: Think about your source bike.

So... what have we got? My sister's 25-year-old Raleigh Wisp. I've wanted to build a chopper for a while, but surely we can't do anything with this Wisp, can we?

It's an unusual frame - it's got twin top tubes which go from the steerer tube all the way down to the rear hub. This is a really distinctive look and I wanted to keep it.

I could use the twin top tubes as a nice place to mount the seat.

OK, lets move on to the next stage - preparing the forks.
"Cut the legs off the forks. Try and get the base at flat as possible. "
If they have the threaded nut on one end, and the cut-outs on the other, we would be cutting something off of them to do this! Please help, I do not understand!
now THAT is cool-!
mickalobe4 years ago
finished!
Photo-0358.jpg
hi, Mickalobe i love the way you have customized your bike. could you please send to me the dimension/measurement on how you have made that bike.
jinnan_tonnix (author)  mickalobe4 years ago
That looks really good. Long and low - that's what it's all about!
mavado2 years ago
Hi, Mickalobe i loved your bike, could you please send to me the measurements that you have used to make your bike please.
TheMaker8882 years ago
unless the chainstays are tweaked the break mount hole should be aligned with orig mount..
you also may have the wheel poorly alighed making it look like the break mount is off or not centered.
zhump2 years ago
Great write up. I like the look. Proportions look good
525 years ago
the bike looks good but is 2 long
Hellchild 523 years ago
its supposed to be...?
chadeau 524 years ago
...no such thing as "too long" on a chop !
amen
about how much does all o dis cost?
jlmayes3 years ago
love the look
 hows the steering?
jinnan_tonnix (author)  theman1233214 years ago
Terrible!
Most normal bikes tend to centre themselves if you take your hands off the bars.

However, choppers and bikes with a long rake are naturally unstable. You have to fight to keep the wheel centred. If you take your hands off the bars, the wheel will instantly fall to one side.

It takes about 10 minutes to get used to it, though. At very low speeds, it's very difficult to ride, but speeds above 10 mph /  12 kmh it's OK.

I actually rode the first version in a charity bike ride for 24 miles!

Eli_Z4 years ago
Very cool.  Very, very cool.  Thanks for the 'ble, enlightening.  Now I must learn to weld, grind, cut...

Very very rock'n'roll.
geoper24 years ago
nice instructable very good work but with the seat u got in the pics i think that your "rear end" will be touching the wheel so i dont know if its good to ride ??probably u put another one
Jodex4 years ago
And also can you give me some measurements? Like how long your front fork is and how long is the distance between the centers of the wheels? Centimeters may be better =) Thank you.
jinnan_tonnix (author)  Jodex4 years ago
Hi Jodex! I don't have many measurements - I made it up as I built it! But I do know that the forks are 120cm (48 inches) long. I've dismantled it as I'm building another one, so I can't measure for you. :(
Well okay. And I just have to say that that bike was veeery nice looking!
Jodex4 years ago
I already have a bike like that bought new from store, but I'm gonna make another! That's so cool! Just need to get a bike to mod...
Do you ever have any issues with your builds flexing at all?
jinnan_tonnix (author)  guitarplayer8734 years ago
Oh yes! Lots of flex! The bike is long and the tubes are narrow diameter. This was the first bike I made, so it's OK for a first attempt. It would flex less if it was shorter and I used thicker tubes. It's just for fun, though. I'm going to make another bike over the winter.
mickalobe4 years ago
here a more recent upgraded pic
Photo-0357.jpg
mickalobe4 years ago
i built this bike and it turned out great.
Photo-0348.jpg
strangebike4 years ago
looks like some really tidy engineering going on on this bike. I much prefer the second version is it as structurally strong as the first one? or have you gained flex in the frame ? Really glad to seethe dry build stage and the test fit done fully before you wasted your paint on the final job . Really impressed fella !
jinnan_tonnix (author)  strangebike4 years ago
Yeah there's a lot of flex in the frame. However, it's just for fun, it's not a serious bike. This is my first bike build, but I've got plans for another chopper. It will be a 'steampunk' chopper. I won't be able to start it for a while, but the plans are all in my head!
hheyy Jinn-know how pro MC bilders join pipe? Bungs-machined to interior diameter,or pipe same external dia as inside of pipe being joined.Drill a few holes for rosette welds,circle the joint itself,and the bung helps prevent 'burn thru'...most bike tubing is in gen standard sizes for accessory porpoises,not to mention dolphins......har har
r31skyline4 years ago
hi i was wondering if you have the dimentions for this build and a bit more detale on wher to bend and how much to bend please email me with more detale @ anthony-murphy@virginbroadband.com.au
I would recommend having a back rest to be added to the seat stays which will make more appealing and comfortable for the rider since the back rest can be welded to the seat stays easily.
uguy5 years ago
Bad to post an unfinished ible.!
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