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All the danger of a Penny Farthing, with none of the authenticity. Well in this design of Penny Fakething, there is the advantage that you can dismount forwards, avoiding the 'header' type accidents common with a traditional Penny Farthing.

A modern take on that classic bicycle design.

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Step 1: Starting the frame

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Select a scrap frame & forks. Cheap 'gaspipe' MTB frames are easy to weld. Remove the forks and assess how it will go together.

Step 2: Bending the forks

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The forks will have to be bent to match the frame. Forks are tough, so use levers to bend them.

IMPORTANT: Unless you are tall (like me) you may need to bend the top-tube and down-tube of the frame in to make it smaller - in this case you will have to cut the frame first.

Step 3: Cutting the frame and forks

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The frame & forks can be cut so that they fit together. A normal hacksaw can be used, or a pipe cutter.

Step 4: Joining the frame

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If the sizes of tubes that are to be joined are a match, then a short piece of smaller tube can be used inside them as a ferrule to help line the joint up and add strength. If the sizes don't match, then one tube can be welded inside the other. This will make a less attractive weld, but, so long as the weld is strong, you can fair the shapes with car body-filler (bondo).

Step 5: The Armature

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The armarture, or spine, will need to be made from strong tubeing. I used 40mm ERW steel tube - this is probably the minimum that you could get away with.

It was bent using a hydraulic tube bender. If you are lucky, you may find some scrap that is already bent to a suitable shape.

I welded the headtube in before I did the second bend, so that I could assess the shape more easily.
Ilove it, but no shifting or brakes.... SCARY!!!
Derin6 years ago
penny farthing ->penny farting
DJ Radio Derin6 years ago
_soapy_6 years ago
Joss20076 years ago
Thats bloody fantastic! well done
Wobbly John (author) 6 years ago
I've just added a new video taken at a cycle event we were at last weekend. It's at the end of this instructable. Enjoy. Wobbly John
Uber-dangerous and funny :D you seriously have talent and guts!
Looks great! The apes solve the difficult mounting problem. I reckon you're going to need a gusset up under the fork sooner or later.
Wobbly John (author)  johnny payphone6 years ago
The Great man Himself !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for the comments.

The fork/front-frame join seems strong enough, I'm more worried about sideways flexing at this point, which I don't think a gusset will help.

Have you seen my other creations on Cycles
I have! I came to this site specifically to comment to you. I was particularly excited that you'd made your own Velocino, as this is a project I've always wanted to try... not many people even know what one is, not to mention have one. I saw an actual Hen'n'Chickens this winter and I can't wait to apply the pennyfakething technology to that design. Does your bike have a name?
Patrik6 years ago
Whee! :-) One suggestion: you may want to improve the contrast on that first and last picture - especially since the first one is used as a thumbnail for the whole instructable. Here are some improved versions:
Eromanga Patrik6 years ago
Love it. It would be beyond me to make one but I would definitely give one a ride. Have sent this instructable to a mechanically practical friend who has a couple of penny farthings and loves tinkering with bikes. See if he bites.
looks like a good time. Good work!
jolshefsky6 years ago
Wow: this is super fantastic. It's great to see someone else making absolutely impractical, usable bikes!
very cool!
blubrick6 years ago
I love it. All the convenience of a real penny farthing, combined with the safety of a real penny farthing!
2shane26 years ago
Uber Kool....... I am not saying it's not a great idea, cause it really is... I just have an aversion to anything that makes me closer to dead, instead of lasting to old age. And penny farthings... well after some time and lots of DEAD and seriously injured people, some one invented a SAFETY bicycle. Still it's a brilliant piece of work tho...
I was JUST thinking of a pennyfarthing and its dangers. Although, I've seen them break apart at speed....then there's the inability to stop it once the pedals are wildly spinning.
I see no way to be comfortable on this thing, however I like it, it's cool in that ooh I wanna hurt myself with one of them instead of the normal way...
You could put a chair on it to make it comfortable! :D
Look at the way you sit to ride, back problems...
Oh yeah, good point....
Still fun though...
Wobbly John (author)  killerjackalope6 years ago
[monty python] Not the comfy chair!!! [/monty python] It's not uncomfortable. Comfort was not the main concern - it's not intended for riding long distances - it's just for fun.
Yeah, I just thought the way you sit could be a nuisance, I may be wrong... Also the design looks easily adjustable for the handlebar height...
Cool! This made me think of this song: I can ride my bike with no handlebars, no handlebars, no handlebars... Anyways, nice job! You might want to fix up the embed code for your video at the end. +1 vote. +1 rating.
Ah, Johnny Payphone's inspiration strikes again. I like your handlebar variation.
Wobbly John (author)  TheMadTinker6 years ago
Yes, I built this last year after seeing Johnny Payphone's one. Mine has ended up a bit big, and I am glad I did the step-through handlebars.

If you have any contact with Johnny, point him towards the XnTRICK CyclesXnTRICK Cycles website.
I don't know the man personally, but you should post your work over in the tactile section of the Brass Goggles forums; he'll be sure to see it eventually if you post something there.
Doveman6 years ago
Ive never heard of this. It preety cool though.