Introduction: No Weld Recumbent - Modifications

This instructable introduces some modifications made to the original post for a no weld recumbent. Think of this instructable as you would the chinese version of the iPhone - nothing original, just piggy-backed off the original idea.

The original instructable that I modified is
https://www.instructables.com/id/Chucks_No_Weld_Recumbent_Bike/?ALLSTEPS

I hope you find these steps useful - sorry I don't have more detailed photos of the build - next build I will be sure to include more photos.

The wood cost $5 - that was the most expensive item bought - i bought five bike frames for $15 total ($3 a frame) and then some krylon spray paint at $3.75 a bottle. Overall, the whole bike cost about $35 bucks + time and effort.

Step 1: Connecting the Front Together

All the differences in this instructable come in at steps three and four of "Chuck's non-weld recumbent".

The first difference is how I connect the two frames. Instead of fashioning a bracket to go around the steer tube, I connected them through the holes where the brakes attach to the front fork and rear bracket.

At first I was just going to only have a rear brake, but since the front is where most of the weight is, that seemed like a bad idea in hill country.

First - I disassembled the brake (took the nuts off on both sides and replaced the center bolt with a six-inch section 1/4 inch threaded rod. I didn't know what size rod to get, so I just brought some of the pieces with me to the local hardware store. I got the largest size threaded rod that the washers would fit over.

Second - I reassembled the brake minus the part that holds the spring in - I don't have a drill press, so I didn't try to drill out a hole for it to fit in the assembly. So far, the spring has not popped loose - you will find that it fits rather snug once all reassembled.

Third - attach the brake to the fork.

Fourth - rotate the rear half of the bike that the cranks are on up until you can wiggle the rod through the other brake mount hole. You may need to beat, hammer or drill/grind a little larger hole for it to pop through. Since it is coming in at an angle it may be difficult to work it through - with a little patience and/or a dremel tool, you can get it through there.

Fifth - adjust to length and then finish by putting on lock washers, nuts and then some lock-tite.

Step 2: The Seat Post

Rather than using the seat tube, I took off the front fork of the donor bike (the one that I sawed in half) and placed it upside down into the seat tube. It was close to the same dimensions and locked in firmly once I tightened the seat tube bolt.

I placed the front fork in the seat tube so the fork blades angled toward the back of the bike.

I then attached a board using u-bolts.

Maybe later I can attach a canopy or something to the ends of the upturned fork. Thinking of future additions have kept me from cutting off the bolts to make them shorter.

Step 3: The Seat Back

I had an old flotation seat from a boat and cut it open. Any old life jacket, seat cushion will do - these are usually closed-cell foam and mildew resistant. If you don't have anything like that, department stores usually sell poly-fill stuffing for cushions - just check to make sure whatever you buy is a weather resistant.

Once I fashioned the foam in the dimensions I wanted ( I did so by placing them on the wood and cutting off the excess), I used scotch tape to hold them in place.

Next, I cut out fabric the same way I did the foam. I placed the fabric over the foam and the seat and cut it out where I had about two inches on each side left over.

Lastly, I used a staple gun to hold the fabric in place. So far it has held up without any rips. And the seat is pretty comfortable (loads comfortable compared to a normal bike seat).

Step 4: The Seat Bottom

The seat bottom is attached to the main tube with u-bolts just like the back. I attached the foam and fabric the same way as I did the back. The only difference is that one bolt goes up into the seat.

I then used a rotary tool to cut off the excess and used come liquid metal by loctite to keep the bolts from coming loose. After that, I placed the foam on and then stapled on the fabric.

Comments

author
tonyscott (author)2011-07-04

I've got in my mind to do somethink like that, thanks for the good ideas.

author
Advar (author)2010-01-14

And I was going to buy a near $400 cruzbike adapter for a $25 Goodwill step-through.
       Silly me.

author
ysgryphon (author)2009-05-01

This is great! I have built a similar bike based on the "Cruizebike" design that uses a Mongoose Y frame mountain bike as the main frame and a donor bike drive unit. The mountain bike has front and rear suspension that really smooths out the bumps. Like you, I got the mountain bike for $5 and started modifying. I wish I had seen this first since I did a lot of welding to get everything together. I'm going back out to the garage and start over since your design is a lot easier to build and looks more rugged than mine. How did you fab the long tube for the handlebars?

author
Alecw35 (author)2009-04-19

hey you could drill holes in the cut off top tube bit to fit the gear cables to. so they could run down the tube to the bb cable guide. would be neater, lighter and probably give a better shift.

author
stephenniall (author)2009-01-23

Omg thia ia the nicest recumbent bicycle i have seen even better than the expensive ones Love it !

author
tmherrin (author)stephenniall2009-01-27

thanks. i found a junk place in town where i can buy old bikes for $5 or less - it is real cheap to try and pretty easy since it doesn't involve any welding.

author
stephenniall (author)tmherrin2009-01-29

Sounds great you could get a load and sell them im sure you'd make alot for them

author
eomonkeyboi24 (author)2008-10-25

Could we get a video of it in action? I want to make on and need to see one of this type of bike in action. Anything is appreciated!

author
JerryMopar (author)2008-09-27

This is brilliance! Take the back triangle and bolt it to the front spindle, Ill have to try ths !!

author
necropolian (author)2008-09-18

wow. pretty cool! but, is it safe to ride? anyway, 5/5!

author
tmherrin (author)necropolian2008-09-18

it takes some getting used to, that is for sure. I haven't ridden any other recumbent bikes other than what i have made, so I can't really compare it to a 'normal' bike. my guess is they also take getting used to since your balance is different. steering isn't that bad because most of the turning on a bike is by leaning rather than turning the handlebars.

author
sennomo (author)tmherrin2008-09-23

To be pedantic, all bikes are steered mainly by leaning, but yeah, it is quite different on one of these models. What I like is accelerating out of a turn; it just feels more natural riding low.

author
tmherrin (author)sennomo2008-09-25

i totally agree.

author
necropolian (author)tmherrin2008-09-19

yes, i already thought that you will need a time of practice, it just seems a little unstable. (maybe it's just my mind, because i fell of my bike two times last weeks, and now i'm hurt, i suddenly see everything unsafe.) and thanks for the links.

author
tmherrin (author)necropolian2008-09-18

if you want to see people riding front drive/front steer recumbents, here are some links on youtube -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Pw9NG1S8zk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Pw9NG1S8zk

author
sennomo (author)2008-09-23

Good solution for the seat.

author
tmherrin (author)sennomo2008-09-25

thanks. if other people are to try it, they may want to experiment with how much padding goes where. i put an even block of padding - as a result, i hope to add some more lumbar padding to help make it even more comfy.

author
steadmanjon (author)2008-09-18

Sheer genius.

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