How to Make a "high-rider" Tall Bike





Introduction: How to Make a "high-rider" Tall Bike

About: Gabriel's work explores the intersection between ecology, infrastructure, art, and society. His investigations range from the detail to regional scale, often employing mapping and place-based narrative. Ongo...

Tall Bikes are a form of modified transportation that can be personalized by your choice of assemblage and bicycle selection. This particular style we call the "high-rider" for it's large front fork and similarity in design to a low-rider.

Made by Gabriel Kaprielian and Garret Farmer.

Step 1: Find Some Beater Bicycles

Find some beater bicycles to use. You should select one men's bicycle and one women's bicycle with dropped top bar.

Step 2: Disassemble Bicycle

The men's bicycle should be disassembled so that the frame is left bare. Take the wheels off the women's bicycle.

Step 3: Cutting Frames

Use an angle grinder to cut bicycle frames (not scissors as shown). You can lay frames on the ground on top of each other to figure out the best angle and spot to cut. This will determine the final tall bike height. Make sure not to cut into the women's bicycle bottom bracket.

Step 4: Weld Frames

Align bicycle frames at points of connection. Place wood 2x4s on each side of the frames and clamp down to keep frames in alignment. Weld frames together at the points shown. (Note: bicycle frames are hollow and welding must go quickly; be especially careful welding the bottom bracket)

Step 5: Steel Fork

You will need to buy steel tubing for the addition to the front fork. Stainless steel is recommended. You will need to find a tube that is slightly larger than the front fork of the women's bicycle, so that it's fork can fit inside.

Step 6: Cutting Fork

Cut the front fork of the women's frame near the middle, maintaining some of the fork for both the top and bottom.

Step 7: Welding New Fork

Insert the women's fork inside of the new fork addition and weld together. You should have some overlap on the top and bottom for added strength. You should also add a metal piece connecting the new fork together above the wheel.

Step 8: Riding Tall

Have fun riding tall and make some more tall bikes with friends so you can have a posse!



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    21 Discussions

    Do you have any sketches of the front fork? I am working on a trike for a disabled child and your fork design may be very useful

    How in the world do you get on it?

    I made this bike and let me say, it is so amazing and fun to ride!!!

    I have a question, is it necessary to use a men and womens bike or can I use two men's bikes?

    1 reply

    That's totally up to your discretion. We used the "women's" bike on the top because it is easier to kick the leg over. We've also made similar "small talls" with a BMX bike on top. Most tall bikes, however, are two "men's" bikes stacked.

    It helps to time your riding with stop lights by looking ahead, but if I need to stop I usually hold onto a telephone pole or stop sign. Of course, you can always dismount too.

    Hey thanks for the comments. I definitely know what you mean about the weighting of most tall bikes being too far back. For this one I noticed it being a bit of a problem going up the hills in San Francisco. So I actually replaced the wheels. It now has a small kids BMX wheel on the front and a larger wheel on the back. This shifts the center of weight in the bike slightly more forward and really helps on hills and with turning.

    I used to work for Raleigh Industries so I know bikes! This design looks great and well executed but it is sadly lacking in brakes. I can see that. with only a slight modification, it would be easy to add caliper brakes both front and rear but, to avoid a mess of cables, how about a 'Back -Pedalling Brake', as is widely used in continental Europe. This is built into the rear hub and there used to be a Sturmey-Archer model which incorporated planetry gears as well.

    1 reply

    If you look closely you can see a 'Back-Pedalling Brake' attached to the rear wheel. I wouldn't be riding it without :)

    ill post a picture when i do! Btw nice project!

    Getting off is the same as getting on. Of course, there is always the option of jumping off. However, at intersections I'll often hold onto a telephone pole when waiting for traffic.

    It helps to start with a little momentum. Then the right foot on the peg welded onto the bottom bracket of the men's frame, left foot on the peddle, and step over the women's frame with the right foot. That's why it helps to have the angled top bar of the women's frame to be able to step over.