Home Built Recumbent Bike




About: Alan Walker a.k.a. "The Toolman" has been creative and worked with his hands all of his life. He has been employed in a wide variety of industries including a museum, a major power tool manufacturer, a natio...

A few years ago I bought this fold up bike at a local army surplus store and it was ok for a while. Later, I thought I'd turn it into a recumbent bike. I was researching them on the web and became really enthusiactic. It took me a month or so to conceive and build. In the end though, I trashed it because it was too small for my body frame anf the gearing on the bike was too low. I thought you guys might like to see it and get some inspiration. I'll be building a new one soon. Let's call this one a learning prototype.

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Step 1: Added Fork and Crank

Here's a shot looking down on the fork that was bolted on to the frame and the chain guide wheels I made from skateboard wheels.

Step 2: Chain Guide Wheels

With the longer chain, I needed guide wheels and I bought these replacement skateboard wheels at the dollar store. I filed them down on my drill press and made a groove for the chain. Overall not bad, a little noisy. Next time, I'll try for some sort of wheel tension.

Step 3: Crank Out Front

Here's the pedal crank bolted on the fork. It seemed to work out ok.

Step 4: Seat 1

Basic plywood seat covered with foam and fabric. After riding it for a while, I'd change the position of the foam.

Step 5: Seat 2

Another shot of the seat. Here's the back. I used old seat parts and a photographers clamp for adjustment.

Step 6: Seat 3

Yet another shot, here the bottom of the seat is bolted to the frame. Next time, I'll add some sort of adjustment.

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    9 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, that's pretty cool, I am planning to make a recumbent with my own design but your design will defiantly help with it, thanks. Any tips???


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Looks great. I have a folding Dahon Boardwalk with 20" wheels that I have been trying to figure out how to non-destructively make into a recumbent folder.I was thinking if I did it as a Front wheel drive bike it would probably still be able to fold without any chain removal.


    10 years ago on Step 4

    can you tell me how to make the seat?PWEESE?(im making one of my own,but need a seat...-)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Using a folding bike as a donor for a recumbent- genius! Why did I pass by those folding bikes in the discount shop after christmas with nary a second glance? Also, it looks like the BB up front has two single tubes coming from it- I thought the chainstays (ie bottom back "fork") started right at the bottom bracket? Does it just depend on the frame you take it from? Anyway, this looks pretty slick- how does it ride? The seat-handlebar distance looks quite small so I guess it might not be the most relaxing bike to cruise on.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, each frame is different and you have to engineer it as it is. I've learned a lot from this project and will approach it differently next time.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Nice, looks like you managed it without too much heavy modifying.