My family was at a recent family reunion.   While there, one of the cousins had a an interesting looking contraption.  It was a swingbike?!!?!?  A bike that had two pivot joints in it.  I tried riding it while I was there, but didn't have much luck, as the terrain was rather hilly, and somewhat hard to learn on.  He told me that it was something that had been around for quite some time, and the design wasn't necessarily anything new, just fun.

Upon arriving back home, I decided to do a little bit of looking around on the internet, and see what I could find out about said bikes. There was a company that produced these bikes in the early 70's, but they never really caught on.  There is also a company making these today, called americasbikecompany.com.  The original swingbike, and the newer swingbike design, while the same are rather different in design.  The original swingbike design was almost more of a unicycle type thing where they pedals were in front of the pivot point by quite a bit.  The newer design bikes have the pedals kind of below the pedals.  I looked at both designs, and by luck I reckoned that it would be easier for me to build the latter type design, because it could essentially be built with one bike, and a donor bike that would provide the head tube.  (NOTE:  Look around on the internet for "swingbike", and you'll pretty quickly see the two types of designs that I'm talking about, and what the differences are)

Step 1: Starting Point...

These are the things that are required to build this project:

One complete bike.  Can be multiple geared, or single speed.  I suppose that any size bike would work for this. 
One donor bike to get the front forktube, headtube and all hardware from
Heavy walled tubing, or possibly solid round bar (I used 1.25" OD x .375W tubing)
Some plate steel for making the pivot mount (I used 11GA (.120 thick))

Cut off wheel, or way to cut tubing
Die grinder (helps with shaping fishmouths)
Welder (arc, MIG or TIG)
Variety of wrenches to dis-assemble and re-assemble bike
Sharpie or marking device

My cost to build this was more or less nothing, other than the cost of welding gas and wire.  I was able to scrounge for the main donor bike, and I've had the second donor bike laying around for several years.  At most, I would think that you should be out less than $50 for everything.

As for difficulty, I wouldn't say that this is really a hard project, but it does require a few metal working tools that not everyone might have, or have access to.  So, I put the difficulty level at the middle of the range because of that.  My total time to build the bike was about 16 hours in all.

Let's get this thing started.  This is the only pic that I have of the donor bike, and I don't have any pics of the second donor bike at all.  My main bike is a 26" run of the mill cheapo Murray MTB.  But, this isn't just any old MTB, this is an Ultra Terrain Extreme!  My donor bike was a gem as well.  It was a built-for-Kmart bike, and it was ALL PRO.  I actually kind of felt a little bad cutting up that bike because it was a brazed together frame, from back in the day, so it was probably a pretty decent bike as far as that goes. 

Psh... I got over that pretty quickly though.   ;)

My first step was to disassemble my main donor bike, and get to a bare frame.  After that, I cut the frame at the arrows indicated as close to the downtube as I could.  I wanted the remaining tubes to be as long as possible.  In this case, a slightly stretched out bike won't be a bad thing.

Before cutting it apart, I also measured the angle between the upper main tube, and the lower main tube.  I needed to know what this angle was, because I am going to cut the LOWER tube at some point, and make it parallel with the top tube.

After making all of the cuts to the main bike, the resultant pieces can be seen in the third photo.  Notice that the top and lower main frame tubes are now parallel to each other.  The lower tube ended up being mitered very close to the front headtube, and that was fine, since I knew from the measurement I took above what the angle was.  I did it this way, rather than cutting these off front head tube, because again, I wanted these tubes to be as long as possible, and this was a good way to recycle these tubes without needing to add more tubing into the project, which I didn't really have anyway.
i simply must know; what is the benefit of this modification? or is it just one of those "look what i can do" moments?
I don't know if you saw one of my earlier comments, but you're right, there really is not a &quot;benefit&quot; to making a bike like this, other than the fun of riding it. And, like I said in my instructable, I don't think that I would have ever tried to make one of these if I had not had the opportunity to try and ride one. While my first ride was not totally successful, I saw that it could be fun to ride. <br> <br>If you really stop and think about it, what would be the benefit of unicycle? I'd have to say that there's not a lot &quot;benefit&quot; there, BUT people do some enjoy riding, as crazy as that is to me. <br> <br>So, the real fun in this bike is actually riding it, and while it may be hard to believe, it IS actually fun to ride. <br> <br>I posted some links to good riders riding them in an early post. Give those links a look if you'd like to see what's possible with this bike...
Well, another reason would be, although pretty much as golddigger said... For the show. Just the plain show. As for unicycles, grand-bi and so on, swingbikes are uncommon, and unsettling, which makes them a good spectacle prop, especially for circus purposes. I myself am a unicycler, and although I never heard of any swingbike things, we have here in France several big unicycling associations, meetings, and even cups (including sporty stuff)... So yeah. Just throwing the info out there : swingbikes are a talent, and sometimes, just sometimes, showing off isn't a bad thing especially when it's about having people enjoy discovering or laughing or being amazed ;) <br>And, also, a swingbike can be way more flexible, for example in cities, and with your design, it can even be rode pretty much for cruising, so yeah, here's another use for it !
Sorry, my post was NOT to slam unicyclists! I was simply using that as an example of what some people might consider WHY? <br> <br>I personally OWN a unicycle that I picked up a garage sale, and I have never been able to ride the thing, but I have not spent a lot of time trying either. It is NOT easy to do, and I admire anyone that can. <br> <br>As you stated, one thing about my design is that it IS easy to ride, and in fact, I have ridden it just like a bike, and it does a decent job of that. With that being said, I wouldn't want to ride it 20 miles. :) <br> <br>People do enjoy laughing at you when you ride it as well, and at the end of the day, realistically, it's more of a clown bike than anything. That's a pretty good description of it...
erhh... I just found out about this reply. <br>I'm sorry you felt like I had been defending unicycles and stuff : I wasn't. Was just completing your answer to Golddigger actually, which ended up being part of your answer too ! I wish I had the necessary skills/tools/materials/time (that makes a lot of stuff to get haha) to make one of those : seems pretty amazing. <br>How is it, as of maneuverability ?
Merry X-Mas , just a small update.<br> &nbsp;Front fork is done, Rear fork/frame is done.<br> <br> Still working on the Center frame.<br> <br> Click for larger view<br> <br> <a href="http://i1320.photobucket.com/albums/u536/bikebudy/Swingbike%20Jr/Copyofswing046_zpsed78d5eb.jpg" rel="nofollow"></a>
Great job of this Swingbike, Your welding skill is well above mine.<br> Welds shown on the pivot are so clean and professional.<br> <br> The placement of the pivot, is the reason the frame wants to return to center.<br> I have a Swingbike from the 70's, and they are very much like a uni-cycle.<br> Having the pivot just under the seat, it needs springs to help it return to center.<br> <br> click on photo for a larger view.<br> <a href="http://i1320.photobucket.com/albums/u536/bikebudy/DSCF5579.jpg" rel="nofollow"></a><br> <br> <br> I am also building a Swingbike. I will need two and a half bikes to do this.<br> It is&nbsp;&nbsp;going to&nbsp;be a&nbsp;<strong>&quot;Mini&quot;</strong> version of the original 20&quot; x 16&quot; &nbsp;bike!<br> A 16&quot; rear wheel and a 12&quot; front wheel.<br> <br> I might do an instructional on the build.<br> <br> click on photo for a larger view.<br> <a href="http://i1320.photobucket.com/albums/u536/bikebudy/Swingbike%20Jr/DSCF5618_zps96bd4e57.jpg" rel="nofollow"></a><br> <br> <br> <br>
Thanks for the props on the welding. That the weld that you're referring to is a TIG weld, and that particular one was a LUCKY day! They don't typically look like that when I do them either! My original plan was to TIG all of the tubes as well, but that didn't go good for me at all, so I ended up MIGing the rest of it. <br> <br>I actually have the donor bikes to build a conventional/original swingbike like the one in your pics. I would like to build that version at some point, just to see how that works. Like I said in the posting, mine is very easy to ride, and for me, not knowing how to ride one, that's definitely a benefit...
Aaaarrrrgh!, &nbsp;I can't fit another bike in my front room but you've got me all interested in making one . . must resist. . . must resist. . . .<br> <br> I randomly searched for swing bike and got this demonstration.<br> <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5IgBNYUFsc" rel="nofollow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5IgBNYUFsc</a><br>
Here's a link to an online calculator which allows you to print templates for cutting angled fishmouths in tubing. <br> <br>http://metalgeek.com/static/cope.pcgi
K.aderer, Nice link: Thank You.
Great idea! Rigidity increases many times with this swivel.
TY! <br> <br>ps: Video for proof, <br>or it's photoshopped!)
Hummm... <br> <br>I just tried posting a video of the maiden voyage and it failed upload for some reason. <br> <br>I'll work on it some more...
I have been looking for an affordable folding bike. Would this bike fold in half if your bracket that holds your swivel was mounted to the rear frame with a sleeve around the vertical rather than welding directly?
A video, may be?
A video for sure!
Unfortunately, I don't have any video of the build. I could probably take some video of the close up points or something, or would you like to see a video of me attempting to ride the thing the first time? I have one of those. ;)
I'd definitely like to see you riding it. This is a great, well documented build, but I guess I don't understand why you would want a bike that pivots like that.
And, thanks for the comment on the well documented! <br> <br>This was literally my first rodeo in instructables. I looked around and saw what others had done, and I know that I like to have as much information as possible when I'm trying to do something, so I tried to be as thorough as I could when explaining how I did it...
The only video that I have at the moment is of the very first ride, and as you can imagine, that's a little bit shaky! <br> <br>As for the why, it sounded like something fun to try, and like I said on my first page, I had access to try and ride one, and somewhat failed at that attempt because of the conditions, and I thought, &quot;I should build one of those for myself, and give it a shot&quot;, so I did. <br> <br>Have you looked on line for any videos of people riding these things? I am NOT good at it, so my video riding it would be somewhat terrible. <br> <br>While I could take some new video of me riding it, since I have a &quot;little&quot; more time on it now, I think that these links of someone riding that KNOWS what they're doing probably give you a better idea of what is possible with one of these bikes. <br> <br>This bike is built like mine (or more like, mine is built like his): <br> <br>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktyRiTv9qsI <br> <br>Here's a video of someone riding the &quot;other&quot; typical design of a swingbike: <br> <br>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5P70XtI4zQ <br> <br>At the end of the day, it's just really for fun. I don't ride it very far when I do ride it. Let's just say that...

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