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How can I turn my recumbent bike into a spinning wheel? Answered

I spin wool into yarn. I have an old recumbent bike. I would like to know how to turn the recumbent bike into a spinning wheel. Would consider using an old bike tire rim for the wheel. Need to be able to control the speed ratio.



10 years ago

Brilliant idea. I'd love to see the result. Sorry I don't have an answer though. I had to say that I thought your idea was great! I have some suggestions that might help. I think you want to consider adding some kind of heavy weight to the wheel. If there was an inner tube made out of lead it would be perfect. You need to have the constant and consistent motion that you get from spinning mass. If you just spin a bicycle wheel, I think you might have an inconsistent thread. There are crimp on lead weights that are added to auto tires to balance them, but you'd need to do them around the entire rim on both sides. I don't know how you'd build the spindle though. I don't know enough about spinning to help with that. Do your spinning in a room with a ticking clock, or metronome. It will help you keep your pedal strokes consistent from start to finish. If you need to stop and come back to it a week later, you will be able to duplicate your speed so your thread doesn't change. It sounds really cool.


Answer 10 years ago

Thanks so much for the suggestion and the encouragement. I have been talking about this for a year, and most people just give me "that" look that says I ate too much glue as a child! I really want to do this ... Think some PVC pipe may work for some of the components.


Answer 7 years ago

Check out the Babe Production Spinning Wheel - frames made from PVC. Still spendy but they've got your extra ideas right there. I am keenly interested in your results - I want to build one of these badly myself. You should maybe also look up "top-whorl drop-spindle" since this is the most minimal yarn-spinning method, nd gives you a firm idea of the minimum actions needes to spin yarn. It might spark some ideas!

Please post if you've made progress - we're all waiting to hear about your progress!



Answer 10 years ago

I know that look TOO! hahaha

It really is a very sound and sensible idea. I haven't been on one, but aren't recumbent bikes designed for comfort? and for use for long periods? and don't they allow you to easily keep your arms and hands free? Everything about it makes sense.

It seems like it would be very pleasant, and pleasantly physically active to spin on a recumbent bike.

Maybe they think you want to make yarn while going to the grocery store.

A wheel with a large mass is important. If you ever see one of those large whet stone wheels that were used for sharpening blades 100 years ago, see if you can get on it and spin it. I don't know where you'd find one. My Grandfather had one.

Treadle sewing machines also use mass to spin evenly. That is one reason the wheel under the machine is large and made of wrought iron.

The mass makes it spin up slowly and it takes a long time to stop spinning. It won't sputter - going faster, then slower. The mass makes acceleration and deceleration very gradual. Once you get it going though, it isn't any more work to keep it going as it is to spin a light weight wheel, as long as the axle is well lubricated. A bike wheel axle is designed to spin very easily, and carry a couple of hundred pounds of human at the same time. You should be able to add weight to the wheel without impacting the mechanics at all.

The brake linkage will just be in the way, I'd just take all of that off. You can stop the wheel with your hand.

Tell your friends that this long time tech/invention/mechanical geek who, according to his mother, is a "genius" thought it was a great idea.


9 years ago

This is not at ALL a strange idea or new concept.

You can make a spinning wheel out of a bike tire.It's been done.In fact, it's not only been done, but it has been done by people with very few resources,in India. The middle east IS the origin of the spinning wheel-probably  Baghdad.The oldest wheels were called Charkhas and there is even one on the Indian flag :) See: Ghandi at his spinning wheel(a very famous photograph).

Women today still use the original Charkha design, but I have also seen the bike tire design.I'm actually making out plans to build a spinning wheel with an old bike tire.I was thinking of using the gear system already in place, but I REALLY don't think I want all that grease on a metal chain around my fiber D:
I am basing my design off of this photograph:


It looks like a few 2x4s and a steel or metal rod holding the bobbin and flyer.I have see flyers made of a tiny piece of what looks like molding and two dowels on each side.You can even use mug hooks for the hooks that control the winding placement. You will have to have access to a saw and something that can cut perfect circles for the gears.For the pedal, a simple rectangular piece of wood works and  you need a rod.The rod can be made of wood too.You can either tie the rod to the wheel and pedal, or get a ball joint.I think you could certainly use another type of connection like a regular bolt that spins freely inside the join to the wheel.The most important thing is to not center the connection.It needs to be spining just around the center, otherwise it will not spin the tire.This should be a pretty cheap alternative to buying a wheel at a LYS.

As soon as I can figure out a good design with multiple gears for ratio, I will make and sell them on Etsy.I have seen a bike tire spinning wheel on there for $250, and to me that is just not fair.I mean, it's a bike and a couple of 2x4s.I want to make these and charge as little as absolutely possible so that people don't have to pay $300-600 for an Ashford or other major brand name. I'm sure that just because they are cheap to make, they can be aesthetically pleasing without tacking on an extra $100 for varnish XD