Instructables

Chuck's No Weld Recumbent Bike

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I've gotten into bikes pretty heavily as of late and recently I was inspired to build a recumbent bike. When I started researching I found several people had done it without welding. I thought what a great idea, a no weld bike. (A zero dollar no weld bike)

I soon found out, to do it this way you end up with a front wheel drive front wheel steer configuration. Less than ideal but if this were ideal I would have a functioning welder so that point really is moot. I built this in an afternoon with the sole intention of having a funky bike to ride so I apologize for the lack of build photos. I wasn't going to do an instructable but Luke over at makezine.com asked me to, so this is a brief rundown of what it took to build my recumbent.
 
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Step 1: Gather your supplies

Materials: I had two donor bikes, one "Y" frame with and another one with a good chainset that I didn't mind hacking up. I also used a wheel from a BMX bike for the rear to improve the center of gravity. The seat was one of the biggest challenges. I used plywood and the back of an old office chair. Not the most comfortable set up but this is Mark I after all.

Tools

- 2 Cresent Wrenches
- Angle grinder with a cut off wheel (or hacksaw)
- Drill and Bits
- Allen Wrenches
- Hammers (lots of hammers)
astral_mage7 months ago
needs training wheels? adult sized of course
I love how you used the seat clamp and saddle rails to clamp onto the stem. Super smart.
dbird13 years ago
WOW. I never dreamed this could be so simple. I'm gonna find the lowest Y frame I can get my hands on.
I have a problem though, my wheels wont turn. can you help please
curley14 years ago
To spread the fork you could use the scissors jack from your car, Depending on the jack, you might be able to clamp either or both sides of the fork to the top and bottom of the jack to prevent slippage.
add this to my group!
so what size is the green frame? Is it 26"?
fidgety25 years ago
hello I have recently built one of these bikes to your specifications and am having a very hard time figuring out how to turn correctly while riding it if someone could give me a few pointers it would be most appreciated thankyou fidgety2
adcarson5 years ago
Good simple read, chuck. I like the related 'modifications' for comfort, but your structural scheme is fine! You are being posted over on www.bentrideronline.com in the message board just now, take a look. And, come show us your second project in the 'homebuilders' section! ADC (www.recycledrecumbent.com
sennomo5 years ago
Nice! Very simple, and you got a good reclining angle.
germeten5 years ago
Q: Doesn't turning effect the position of the feet while cranking? Otherwise it's a great and simple conversion!
i've always thought about making one but i never realized how it would affect your turning
chuckdiesel (author)  germeten5 years ago
Yes, it does and it makes for a great arm workout.
Moose7075 years ago
yeah cool one i like your ideas.. hmm i might have to make an electric version of this :) thatd be fun/scary
PKM5 years ago
Dang it, why didn't you post this before I ignored a rusty but serviceable bike at the garage sale down the road? Next time I see a bike in a hedge while I'm out riding I'm definitely going to salvage it. If all a project like this needs is a hacksaw and a couple of clamps I might give it a spin... Here's a scary thought... leave the pedals on the frame donor linked up to the back wheel, then sit someone on the handlebars and have them pedal the front wheel... rear-piloted articulated tandem?
chuckdiesel (author)  PKM5 years ago
Danger for two I love it. Thanks for the comment.
xD or twice the danger for one rider...
omnibot Notbob5 years ago
Or .. use those pedals to get up to speed before using the ones in front?
PKM omnibot5 years ago
I completely didn't even think of that. Then you could leave the bottom drivetrain in a low gear (or have a single fixed "granny gear"), then use the top one for cruising. Another alternative, of course, is convert the bottom drivetrain to electric for an easy parallel hybrid. This design has great flexibility, it seems...
cas6767 PKM5 years ago
get a midget and have him pedal unicycle style. Not a bad instructable but I think having a little person as a hood-ornament/power source would raise this to legendary status.
8thDay5 years ago
Sweet build! seat looks like it might a rough ride but still functional
Notbob5 years ago
This is great... about time something "no-welding" came out. Just something you could do is paint it to hide the different colors from the different bikes....
nah, it's its own paint scheme. its called "DIY" and it's a mark quite a few wear proudly.
frollard5 years ago
A couple of similar projects out there; but awesome build. I want one!