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.
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.
- 2 Cresent Wrenches
- Angle grinder with a cut off wheel (or hacksaw)
- Drill and Bits
- Allen Wrenches
- Hammers (lots of hammers)
Step 2: Chop Shop
So, Chop Shop time. I grabbed the trusty angle grinder with the 4" cutoff wheel attached and amputated parts of a sad old Glacier Point mountain bike. It was painless I assure you, a shower of sparks and it was over. The result a rear triangle, seatpost, gearset and rear wheel ready to be coupled to the "Y" frame bike.
The only prep I did to the "Y" frame bike was to gut the bottom bracket and exchange the fork for the one from the mountain bike.