Wobble Bike

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Introduction: Wobble Bike

About: Dan Goldwater is a co-founder of Instructables. Currently he operates MonkeyLectric where he develops revolutionary bike lighting products.

Build your own wobble bike! This double-jointed rolling wonder lets you steer from both ends. Also known as a "swing bike", there was even a commercially produced version in the 1970's. The wobble bike is one of many types of "freak" or "chopper" bikes you can make. Its one of the easiest to start with if you have never made something like this before. It's also great fun to ride! It only takes a couple minutes to get the hang of it, and then you can ride it nearly anywhere.

You can make the wobble bike in just 3 or 4 hours. You don't need to be very good at welding, but at least have a friend show you how to do it if you've never done it before.

This article is brought to you by MonkeyLectric and the Monkey Light bike light.


Step 1: Tools Used

WHAT YOU NEED
- 2 steel beater bikes
- a small Arc or MIG welder.
- an Angle grinder with cutoff wheel and paint-stripping wheel

Step 2: Chop Bike 1

 It takes 2 beater bikes to make one wobble bike. Chop the tubes of the first bike using the cutoff wheel at the three locations shown. You will end up with a separate front half and rear half of the bike. A good cutoff wheel will cut the tubes in just a few seconds. Use the better of the two bikes here since most of this one will end up in the completed wobble bike.

Step 3: Chop Bike 2

From the second bike we mainly need the steering assembly and top tube. There are 4-5 cuts to make depending on the bike. Cut the frame and fork as shown. Cut one side of the fork flush, the other side leave an inch of tube and cut at the angle shown.

On most bikes the stem (the thing connecting the steering tube with the handlebar) is aluminum, so you can't easily weld it. The stem can't be completely removed because it usually is needed to hold the steering assembly together. So we need to find an exposed area of steel that we can weld to. If the end of the steering tube is accessible that is a good spot, in that case just cut off the handlebar and excess stem. If you can't weld to the steering tube then you can weld to a steel handlebar. Cut the handlebar very short (maybe 3" long) to provide just enough space to weld to.


Step 4: Weld the Parts Together

 I've highlighted in green the part that came from bike #2. In purple are 2 steel bolts I welded on to set the tube angle. Check the positioning before you weld it to make sure the pedals are a reasonable height off the ground when pedaling. You can't weld to a painted bike tube, so near the weld area use the paint-stripping wheel to clean the tubes down to bare metal.  

after welding, paint it!

Step 5: Ride It!

Riding tip: push the handlebar away from your body when you ride. This keeps the frame straight out in front of you like a normal bike. With this tip you'll be riding it in under 5 minutes. Once you get the hang of it you can learn to casually swing the front wheel way around to the sides for some real style points. Have fun!

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78 Discussions

Thanks for this post. I have just built my own wobble bike using this instructable as a guide. Great fun building the bike - and it is ridable, it has front and rear brakes and gears !

3 replies

wow great! can you post a photo? i'd love to see one with brakes!

This is the wobble bike I built, complete with brakes. I haven't painted or grinded down the redundant frame parts which does actually make it easier to work out the construction. I found Dan's post the most useful in understanding how to build a wobble bike. The design is probably closer to the post put up by wobblejohn.
The welding aint too pretty - It took me and my friend a while to realise that we were using his 'no gas' welder with regular non flux coated welding wire. A trip to machine mart and a purchase of CO2 canister made all the difference.

wobble_bike.JPGriding_wobble_bike.JPG

iv made the gas no gas wire mistake,

I used to have one from the 70's and man was a hardship at the beginning, because I was kind of small for it, but afterwards it was such a thrill and fun plus the head turners! Same as this one and even the same color! Haha! It was so cool!

image.jpeg

I have just realised why the fellow here has such an odd facial expression. He looks pained because one of his testicles is trapped between the saddle and his leg. I know about this. This happened to a friend of mine who I was "helping" to ride a tandem. Due to his bad steering and my wrenching round his seatpost/rear-handlebar post as we fell in the bushes. His testicle recovered apparently. I couldn't stop laughing... so bad. This is a cautionary tale intended to prevent unwise use of tandems which merely diminish the status of the rear-rider sometimes called "the stoker" - a perjorative.

Ho Ho... great fun. One wonders if drugs were involved in the conception and whether the fellow has survived riding the contraption in town. I do hope so. He looks so grave and serious too. Oh those long miss-spent hours down the shed..!

Now make a tandem wobble bike. Haha. This is really cool!

1 reply

Im on it! Will try that this summer, been looking for an excuse to cut up more bikes

Cycling shoes with cleats? Would you dare install click-in pedals on this bike? I mean, since you have the shoes...

Great i-ble.

I saw a bike that had the handle-bars geared so it would steer in the opposite direction, it was at some holiday resort in england on the west coast, probably Blackpool, and some guy was offering prize money for people who could ride it through a set of cones without falling off.

Maybe you could challenge people to do something similar with this bike for a laugh.

2 replies

I've seen this too - the trick is to steer with the front fork, ie. holding onto the front fork and steering like that rather than with the handlebars. This directly turns the wheel in the dropout rather than through the handlebars.

Excellent. A friend has built a similar bike. He added on a disc brake on the rear hinge, controllable by hand-brake. It works great. You can lock up the hinge when you see fit and ride with it in that position.

1 reply

Haha! I just built one of my own tonight. Its was like wrestling a pig trying to keep it all clamped together while I was doing my cutting and welding. Only problem is that my feet are too big and the front wheel rubs my toes. I need to go with a smaller wheel or lengthen the frame. Does certain changes in the geometry help it handle better? I felt like I was learning to ride all over again, but it was fun.

i don't think he's going to be going very fast on this bike to begin with, but it would certainly be easy to attach a BRAKE to the rear wheel and control it on the handlebar.