Dirtsurf - Mount and Protect Using Innertubes and Tires




About: I'm a 28 year old brazilian guy, with major in applied mathematics (licensed in animal health). I was that type of kid who would tear everything apart and then put it back together (working) and have spare ...

Hello there, so this is my first ible, not very good at it, but  I am going to do my best.

I am a 27,brazilian applied mathematician ( no i am not a teacher, i am specialized in animal health...long story )  and for a while i have been wanting  to post a ible, and buy a dirtsurf.
Well the problem is that here we did not have dirtsruf, and importing one is was out of question, finally i came across a  guy selling a really good "generic" one in a different state and at a very reasonable price (around ($375 including shipping fee). Of course it is not the same quality (its made out of steel not aluminum), wood shape, so its way heavier but the overall quality is pretty good, 20" wheels, disc brake and all the stuff. 

So i took the guts and bought it. The main reason why i wanted one besides the fun it promised is that i am planning on transforming it to electric using a regular bike kit (crystalite or something similar) and using it to commute to work.

Being the way i am i had to upgrade it somehow!, so this ible is about how i managed to assemble it and give it a few upgrades (more to come)

Disclaimer: sorry for the bad english, its not my main lenguage, and sorry once again for the bad pics, only had my cell camera!

Step 1: Assemble

Here i dont have much to say, its a really cimple process, easier than a common bike, just put everything together  the way tis is supposed to. This model i think they call flexideck.

1 - assemble tires (inner tube, tires, rim)

2 - attach tires to  sub chassis ( there are 2 one to front and one to back) - pay attention to propperly align the rear wheel so the disc brake is somewhat alligned, we will fine tune it later

3 - join the 2 chassis usind the deck/shape, just simple screw it together, it will only fit one way!

4 - the brake adjustments is a little bit pain, cause its besically a trial and error, but what you have to do is thigthen or lose the screws that support  the brake so its propperly alligned, a good tip is to keep the wheel turnig whilist doing it.

5 - ajust the brake lever, not fancy about it just follow the cable and losen the bolt, pull the cable to de desire length and then screw it back! (tip for first lessons try to keep it really  close so it activates the brake fast, trust me its easier this way)

sorry for few pictures, i was so excited about my new toy that i just rushed into putting everything together!

Step 2: First Run

So after everything assembled i gave it a try at my patio.... not a very good one, see the thing with dirtsurfer is that it gets easier to ride/balance it the faster you go and since my patio is small i was never able to get the propper speed ( besides the fact that i chicken out a couple of times, see i am getting married in september and my fience specifically told me:


and since i am a wise man (and i will be sleeping right beside her) i decided to be safe first!;-)

But dont worry guys, its really easier than it looks, again sorry for no pics here, i was alone and it was already hard to balance myself, image a camera along!

I did tried it a few times at my street and i notice that even at low speed, when i was geting of (you now keeping bruises far away as possible) the under side of the chassis was scratching a lot, and i began to worry about ruining my brand new gift. It could be only cosmetic scratches but in the long run it seemed it could really hurt de DS.

So i got my mind thinking how i could protect the DS from the begginers bumps, scratches and even crasches!....

Step 3: Protection - First Attempt

Many things came to my mind, i needed to add some kind of pad to the tubular chassis, speciaaly in the front.

It had to be something cheap, easy to assemble, have some cosmetic value, and of course durable.. it would be a plus if it was recycled!

Inner tubes! that is the first thing that came to mind! of course!, i mean good rubber, for free, absorbs impact well , comes in a variety of sizes, waterproof  and RECYCLED and so on.

i have already used it in my bikes so it was a no brainer and i just run to the bike shop, asked for a few blown out ones and rolled them up in the chassis, tied all with zip ties and i was ready to go..it looked kinf of cool too! a little ratrod!(love the sytle i have a big truck and a dunne buggy that i made both this style..well other ibles)

in one of the pics you can even see a patch

Step 4: First Attempt Results and Conclusions

Well the genius idea wasnt so perfect for this use, it looked cool, it reduce the noise, it was for free, it was recycled but it was no good..

after only for blocks and half an hour trying to ride it here is the result...

The rubber is to soft for this kind of rubbing/scratching use, so it fell apart right by the time i arrived home.

back to thinking...

Step 5: Second Run

I ran trough a couple of ideas before i got what it seems hte rigth one.

wood - could be good, i mean it would scratch but then again its cheap and easy to replace, but how to attach it to the chassis? it has a curved shape really hard to mold ( remember i would have to use a somewhat bulky block of wood to work for a few runs) - so wood not good.

plastic/tecnil - some cutting boards (for meat) are made of this really thick kind of plastic the can handle a lot of chippering and rubbing/scratching. seemed a good solution, but not cheap and it had the same problem of the wood, how to attach it o the frame and mould it to the proper form

those seemed good long run solutions but they werent recycled nor cheap and anxiety was killing me, i had to run it again! it so much fun!

then i found the answer rigth in front of me! Rubber seemed the best solution, the problem was that the inner tube was too soft, so where could i find a sturdier rubber? Tires!! yes old bike tires! again they are free, recycled, give it a kind of cool look, waterproff..etc...

back to the bike shop, the owner happily gave me a 26" old moutain bike tire to play with and then it was just a matter of cutting and attaching it!

see as well as the inner tubes tires comes in all kind of sizes and patterns so they are good for protecting a number of different things. the mountain bike was the exactly size for the tube diameter that i had to protect, for smaller tubes and more refined finish you can use those speed/slick type of tires,they look pretty good too and offer just about the same protection.

First things first, all tires have wires in the border of the sides, i hear they are called beads, please correct if i am wrong, so you cannot simple run a knife trought it you have to have something that cuts really strong wires (seriously my cut pliers just broke trying to cut it, use something specific, maybe a rotary tool with the cut disk) you can also do as i did (again anxiety is a bi...)

after marking the sizes i would need , 4 total ( a 26" tire covered all the part i needed and there was still some left)  i first cut the rubber portion of the tire then with the pliers i held the bead close to the point the rubber was cut and started bending and unbendig the bead until it got hot and soft and it broke, believe me not the smartest way of doing this but it worked.

cut away all the parts needed and test fit them!

Step 6: Attaching "tires"

Please notice that i didnt remove the previous inner tube "armor", the reason is that it made the frame thicker, just about the thickness that was necessary to hel the inserted tire in place without getting lose, and since its rubber it would avoid slipping back and forth.

to attach the tires i simple made some slite really close to the beads on each side of the tire and then inserted zip ties trought it, after inserted the tire to the frames and the zip ties trough the slit on the opposite side. the number of ties varies, i used 5 for eache front side and 4 for each back side.

Place it really nice and slowly begin to fasten the ties and adjusting the position. pull all the ties really hard and cut the excess.

in the pics you can see the ties pulled and the excess.

The beads on the tires prevent it from ripping apart, as i have told before, the thickness of the frame was just about rigth (at leat in the front chassis) so the tire embraced it perfectly, no gaps between the two sides of the tire and no way of moving the tire out of place!

Step 7: Dones - Need Test Run

Well its done, i havent put it to use (actually i just finished it)  but i belive it will held in place real nice.


recycled innertubes and tires!
protection against scratches and demages
really cool look (i litte ratlook a litte madmax!)
silent, even if you get of the DS it stops withou making that awful sound of metal against asphalt


Adds some weight to the DS (and this one is not particularly ligth (13kg)
since it uses old tire one might not want to give that rat look to a brand new DS, but then again you can buy a new tire if you want and do the same thing but you will be missing the recycle argument listed before
since it adds a litte bulk to the frame the turning ratio gets a litte(just a little really) bigger because the pivoting arm hit the tire, you can always do it smaller and avoid this kind of effect, since i am a begginer at this i first need to learn how to stand and balnce propperly and then i will worry about turning and carving!

Overall perspective ....BADASS in line board, in style and fun!
More upgrades to come!

Hope you liked it, i think this can be used in a lot of different situations and ideas

please critics are welcome, but be constructive!  and give me some slack abou the english and photos, both of them i promise to do better next time!

a little more about tires, they are really good for a different number of projects, i will try to post them later, you guys already have a bilion ideas here in instructables but to mention a few : flip flops, car bumpers protection, tube protection, planter, vase, furniture (chairs, sofas), belts, handles, use it in you pickup truck to lock and protect the goods your carrying, kids plays house(fort for the boys!), swings.. and a lot more cool stuff

Feel free to ask! 



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    19 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Olá, continuando....

    O freio é aquela alavanca? você consegue descrever a "pressão" do freio? porque eu acho que no primeiro dia eu já morrer ao descer a minha rua!
    Eu vi Dirtsurf para freestyle feitos com aro 16 (http://www.plunderguide.com/dirtsurfer-freestyle/). A minha intenção era a de usar como meio de transporte, pelo freio, mas não vou conseguir subir em guias, acho mais adequado Carveboard ou o Mountainboard

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    sim o freio é a alavanca, sendo freio a disco é regulavel mas se você fizer uma pressão a mais o negocio estanca na hora! mmuito bom o freio! Realmente a velocidade que se pode alcançar em descidas é bem grande!

    O dirtsurf de uma maneira em geral não deve servir para o seu proposito pois o angulo de curvatura é maior, a velocidade também e a distancia do chão menor que o do carveboard por exemplo!

    É mais uma brincadeira para downhill


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Então por enquanto não vai servir para mim! Eu vou continuar procurando Mountainboard com freio, e mais pra frente talvez eu comece a praticar downhill (porque não dá pra não gostar)

    Marcaine Art

    5 years ago on Introduction

    I'm curious how the steering works? I know how it works on a regular skateboard but with only two wheels this must be very different.

    1 reply

    Actualy you just have to lean over, the same as a regular skate. It as a pivoting arm that works similar to a gyroscop . The heavier the guy and the faster you go the easier and more stable it gets. This one is a bit heavy, i AM planning on building onde using aluminum with a few tweaks

    sorry couldnt even figure how to translate it lol.. could you please help me? i didnt find the product there!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Cara vc é brasileiro tbm...isso é raro por aqui rs eu estava pensando em converter uma bike normal em um dirtsurfer,você acha que isso é possível?

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Possivel é sim, inclusive antes de encontrar esse cara parceiro la do sul tb tava com esboços de fazer isso, mas sinceramente desisti pois nao achei que valeria a pena, veja bem a não ser que vc seja muito bom em solda, tenha os equipamentos e saiba fazer com precisão o negocio nao dá certo.

    Os custos se mostraram pouco diferente do modelo basico para o que eu queria fazer, esse que comprei já é mais top!.. para se ter ideia eu iria gastar R$300 de soldador, fora a bicicleta doadora, outros R$150 e os outros materiais como freios a disco, shape tubos para alongar, etc.

    sem falar que as medidas e angulos são determinantes no processo de fabricação para o bom funcionamento, um angulo errado e o dirt se torna incontrolavel!

    Com a parceria que fiz com o cara consigo trazer/enviar os modelos mais basicos por cerca de R$600 e esse modelo mais top por volta dosR$800.

    Se tiver interesse me avisa por mp

    So uma dica, pergunte em ingles tb, sua duvida tb pode ser a de outros e ajudar!

    Yes it is possible, before finding this guy in the south i made sketches to do this, but honestly i gave up because I thought it wouldnt be worth it, you see unless you are very good at soldering, have the equipment and to know accurately do the business it does not work out.

    The costs proved little different from the basic model for what I wanted to do, the one I bought is a more top model! .. to get an idea I would spend R$ 300 welder, the bike donor, other R$ 150 and other materials such as disc brakes, shape tubes to stretch the frame, etc..

    Not to mention that the measurements and angles are crucial in the manufacturing process for the proper functioning, a wrong angle and the dirt becomes uncontrollable!

    With the partnership with the guy I can now bring / send the more basic models for about R$ 600 and more top models around R$ 800.

    If you are interested let me know by pm

    just a tip, also ask questions in english, it may help others too!


    The nerdling

    6 years ago on Introduction

    i have been wanting to make one of those for ages and now i know the name, so that will help:):):):)):):):)):):):):):):):):):):):)

    7 replies

    Cool i could help, you know the original one is patent rigth? But i was able to get the patent requirement with all the info and specs, maybe i could send it to you. I am not in any kind recommending anyone to copy it for profit use, i only have it because it was impossible for me to buy one and i needed the spec to properly see if my project was feasonable. If you need anything let me know


    Actually i dont remember i have it for over an year, but i think i just google it. it was a downloadeable pdf! it has all the main info and measures!

    if you want i think i could send it over e-mail.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    i been looking in ways to make my own dirt surfer.. and convert it into an electric one.. can you put and instructable in how you made it electric?

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    At least for now it is not electric yet, i am testing the specs of the plain board and its usability for day to day use and of course learning to ride it. I am taking notes for further improvements of the board and trying to buy an electric kit (way to expensive in brazil). The protection was the first part, brakes, speedometer(bike pc) ,mudguards, footstraps, carry bag and all the electric mods are to come. The final version will be electric, day to day use friendly, ligthweigth (probably aircraft graded alumminum), easy to pack and fast. I am waiting some parts to arrive as well as the protection for my body.. This thing is fast downhill ! As soon as i have more news i will post them. If yo uh need anything just ask!