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Picture of Home Built Recumbent Bike
A few years ago I bought this fold up bike at a local army surplus store and it was ok for a while. Later, I thought I'd turn it into a recumbent bike. I was researching them on the web and became really enthusiactic. It took me a month or so to conceive and build. In the end though, I trashed it because it was too small for my body frame anf the gearing on the bike was too low. I thought you guys might like to see it and get some inspiration. I'll be building a new one soon. Let's call this one a learning prototype.
 
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Step 1: Added Fork and Crank

Picture of Added Fork and Crank
Here's a shot looking down on the fork that was bolted on to the frame and the chain guide wheels I made from skateboard wheels.

Step 2: Chain Guide Wheels

Picture of Chain Guide Wheels
With the longer chain, I needed guide wheels and I bought these replacement skateboard wheels at the dollar store. I filed them down on my drill press and made a groove for the chain. Overall not bad, a little noisy. Next time, I'll try for some sort of wheel tension.

Step 3: Crank Out Front

Picture of Crank Out Front
Here's the pedal crank bolted on the fork. It seemed to work out ok.

Step 4: Seat 1

Picture of Seat 1
Basic plywood seat covered with foam and fabric. After riding it for a while, I'd change the position of the foam.

Step 5: Seat 2

Picture of Seat 2
Another shot of the seat. Here's the back. I used old seat parts and a photographers clamp for adjustment.

Step 6: Seat 3

Picture of Seat 3
Yet another shot, here the bottom of the seat is bolted to the frame. Next time, I'll add some sort of adjustment.
andrea biffi9 months ago

awesome!

jesusfreek5 years ago
Hey, that's pretty cool, I am planning to make a recumbent with my own design but your design will defiantly help with it, thanks. Any tips???
macrumpton5 years ago
Looks great. I have a folding Dahon Boardwalk with 20" wheels that I have been trying to figure out how to non-destructively make into a recumbent folder.I was thinking if I did it as a Front wheel drive bike it would probably still be able to fold without any chain removal.
sayoian995 years ago
can you tell me how to make the seat?PWEESE?(im making one of my own,but need a seat...-)
PKM6 years ago
Using a folding bike as a donor for a recumbent- genius! Why did I pass by those folding bikes in the discount shop after christmas with nary a second glance? Also, it looks like the BB up front has two single tubes coming from it- I thought the chainstays (ie bottom back "fork") started right at the bottom bracket? Does it just depend on the frame you take it from? Anyway, this looks pretty slick- how does it ride? The seat-handlebar distance looks quite small so I guess it might not be the most relaxing bike to cruise on.
thetoolman (author)  PKM6 years ago
Yeah, each frame is different and you have to engineer it as it is. I've learned a lot from this project and will approach it differently next time.
Cool! How hard are they to ride?
thetoolman (author)  Weissensteinburg6 years ago
This one was hard at first and overall not a great ride. The next one will be bigger and longer with better gearing.
gmjhowe6 years ago
Nice, looks like you managed it without too much heavy modifying.