Recumbent Bike




About: Frivolous Engineering is the end result of a hobby that got out of hand.

This is not a typical instructable that has a list of parts, dimensions and build instructions. It’s more of an Inspire-able.

I had a long conversation with the builder of a recumbent bike.He’s passionate about biking and recumbents. He built his bike using only basic hand tools:some wrenches, a hack-saw and a propane torch.

Almost all the parts were salvaged and cost him nothing.Just a couple of bike frames, bike hardware and rails from a bed frame.For the seat he used an inner tube, two bike handles, and some rad hose, covered with a piece of tarp.

Building a recumbent bicycle from salvaged bike parts involves using what you can find, and building it to fit YOUR body.Therefore each bike is a unique, one-of-a-kind creation:a mobile sculpture that surprises the eye and awakens the child in all of us.

At the end of our conversation he asked me one question:When was I going to build one?
Later, I thought to myself: why build just one?Why not pass along some of his ideas and maybe inspire a whole bunch of folks to build them?

If you decide to build one, please come back to this instrucable and share your experiences and post photos of your build.



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    35 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Here in Thailand. This is my 5th debugging on FWD MBB recumbent bike. Still have some bugs to deal with but I can keep my goal to build "No-Weld" 'bent bike that use only what left around my house.

    This bike made from my old 10spd roadbike donor with mixte frame&fork with some bolts-on brackets and some hose-clamps. The seat is PVC board covered with some rags for cushion.

    Still in progress but has more than 100 KM of test ride under its seat @^_^@


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I was going to say "F that I ride my beach cruiser down dirt roads", then I realized this was me three years ago.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Lets Go Jodie ... GO...
    The road is calling you / us.
    Good luck and God bless you and your work
    Greetings in the moment from Hong Kong


    8 years ago on Introduction

    How did he manage to weld/braze strong enough bonds between his various bottom brackets and his various frames, with only "some wrenches, a hacksaw and a propane torch"? Can one braze strong enough joints with a propane torch? My mental holdup in building my own has been just that--I don't have a welder, don't have good friends with one, and don't have a prayer of buying one any time soon. If I could do this with just a propane torch... WHOO HOO!

    5 replies had some interesting discussions on the topic of brazing with (it turns out) MAPP gas-fuel hardware-store hand torches. The conclusion of both the hobbyist and the more dedicated framebuilder in the thread was that MAPP gas+handheld was adequate for brazing on little things like bosses for a drink cage, but impractical for things like brazing BB to seat tube, etc. I do take inspiration from your dude, definitely... he just made it happen, rather than being stumped by a lack of this or that. I've just skipped away from a garage sale with a bunch more super cheap chunks for my bike... it's happening! Also, check out for all kind o' stuff on folks' recumbents. TY for responding!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    that is... really awesome.

    im taking a welding class at my school next year, and of course, after school is over theres a whole summer...

    1 reply

    That's a great bike and 'ible!   Very Cool!

    Feel free to add more construction links, People!

    Not overdone, just done differently, Layout. 

    Fewer tools than you, including the internet...Aesthetics where the last of the builder's concerns.

    Mind you, he did add a welding helmet to the front of the bike.