Introduction: Turn an Old Kids Bike Into a Chopped Kick Bike
My boy wanted a new scooter for Christmas to replace the old one that simply went missing one day and I'd been tripping over his old bike all summer since it resisted all attempts to give it away.....
It must be karma I thought as the idea came to chop it into a scooter or kick bike for his Christmas present...
Almost every part of the frame is used and it's almost as if bikes are designed to be turned into kick bikes!
I used Kickbike.com as inspiration (no connection).
Step 1: Take One Old Bike...
Take an old bike and look at the frame and all the different angles where it all joins together. See if you can 'visualise' any logical places to cut the bike to form a natural kick bike shape.
Try to get the platform as low to the ground as you can, I did this by turning the old top rear forks upside down and the bend in them had a natural lowering effect.
I have marked with a red dotted line where I made my cuts. You'll see better on the next steps showing the finished bike.
Apologies. Stupidly I didn't intend this to become an instructable so didn't take any better pics of the bike before, or during the build duh! Sorry.
Step 2: The Front...
Take the original bottom rear forks and pinch them together a little. Position them at the end of the original top tube (with the original top rear forks still attached to form the new rear forks).
This forms a place to weld the original lower crossbar to and also conveniently forms a small platform to fix the kick step to. I used an old piece of mahogany but I'd have preferred to use something like ally checker plate. Maybe I'll add a plate top to it when I find a piece.
Step 3: The Rear...
Turn the top part of the rear forks and the original top crossbar upside down to form the bed and rear forks.
I left a small stub of the upright tube in place and welded a small plate from the little fork stiffener crossbar up onto the top of the tube to both cover it and stiffen the forks a little.
Step 4: Weld It All Up
Somehow I managed to do this using a stick welder but I don't recommend this as the metal was way too thin. I used erm, a LOT of rods filling up holes. A small MIG set would have been much better but I gave my old set away.....
I guess it's relatively important for it all to line up and be in line. I positioned everything on a flat bench propped up in various places on wood blocks. I then lined everything up and used clamps to hold it in place.
After tacking the main pieces together I proceeded to add more and more tacks (and filling in the many holes lol!) until it looked strong enough. It holds me so I figured it'd hold my boy.
Step 5: Rat Bike...
Because of the atrocious quality of the welding, I decided to turn this into a 'rat' bike as an excuse to paint it using loads of sloppily applied black hammerite :-)
Plus it's a great excuse to use the flaming skull decals that my boy loves. I also had a brainwave and cable tied his old Halloween mask on the front too which glows in the dark, cool huh!?
Step 6: Next Time...
When I make another bigger kick bike I will make another cut up at the head end to try and keep the original steering angle. Chopped like I did it this time made the ride a bit unstable and liable to flop. I welded a couple of rods down to stop it completely flopping over, but still, it takes some skill to ride. Keeping the original head angle would make a much easier bike to ride.
Next time I'd also pick a bike with regular brakes back and front to make stopping better. This bike had a pedal operated rear brake that I didn't have time to incorporate into the kick bike design and the front brake is pretty feeble at high speed.
Still, that's why we build stuff isn't it, to learn from our mistakes and get it even better on the next one?