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Greenhorn
06-21-2009, 06:29 PM
Its been a busy weekend. I finished up the major work and redid the handlbars. I kinda muffed up the clamp so I had to dump a bunch of weld into it and re-drill it--i know, it looks fugly.

When all was said and done, this setup is 100 times better than the last....its like riding a brand new bike. starting was much easier, as was going up hills and cornering. Only problem is the pole is in the middle of my vision.

One performance issue I noticed was that the bike tends to lean to the left. I don't know if that is because of how I sit or if there is somethign wrong with the bike. That said, I can "sometimes" go no handed for a few seconds when coasting downhill and I seem to keep a straight line. Also, the bike tends to pull in whatever direction I am peddling. I dont know if that is dontthing unique to recumbents or not.


It was raining this afternoon, but I had to try her out.

Here she is redesigned...all 45 pounds of her:

http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww33/WI_Greenhorn/BikeBuild_4266.jpg

http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww33/WI_Greenhorn/BikeBuild_4272.jpg

http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww33/WI_Greenhorn/BikeBuild_4270.jpg

http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww33/WI_Greenhorn/BikeBuild_4264.jpg

http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww33/WI_Greenhorn/BikeBuild_4269.jpg

http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww33/WI_Greenhorn/BikeBuild_4267.jpg




[Also--I had a little mishap with my welder. I had finished a piece and turned around. I bumped into the table and the piece fell. It landed on the hose to my welder. I didnt notice it was on the hose until I saw it smoking a couple of seconds later. The hose had a narrow, gash about 2 inches down to the cable on the inside. The cable inside did not look affected. I wrapped it with an old innertube and applied a generous amount of electical tape. Don't know if that was a good idea or not.......]

savarin
06-21-2009, 07:34 PM
as long as there is no bare cable it will be fine.

trikeman
06-21-2009, 07:38 PM
Have you tried the mud puddle test, where you roll it through some water and see if it is tracking straight (back wheel rolling in the same line as the front)?

I assume the lean is not caused by your seat not being perfectly centered? Have you let anyone else ride it and observed how it looks while you observe to see if its the way you sit?

My LWB pulls to one side when I peddle, then back the other way as the other foot comes into pushing position. Some of it goes away as you get used to spinning more. You learn to automatically pull on the handlebar in the opposing direction over time, and then you don't really notice it anymore.

Just throwing out ideas.

Where did you put all that weight - it doesn't look that heavy, but it is consistent with what some other builders have found, and more than others. Curious.


My MIG gun has a nice groove one one side where I hit it with a grinder. Could have been a lot worse if I had been using the oxy-acetylene torch at the time.

Greenhorn
06-21-2009, 07:43 PM
A good chunk of weight is in the handbar seat-up. Also, the seat is a bit heavy, even though it is aluminum.

trikeman
06-21-2009, 07:47 PM
I was just about to say, you might ultimately want to dump that handlebar setup and get or make yourself a nice a aluminum riser and RANS or Bacchetta type aluminum handlebar. I also think you don't really need that massive piece of steel under the seat shown in the plans, since you seat is Aluminum and you have those big steel braces.

comreich
06-22-2009, 12:10 AM
The slight pedal steer is, I think, normal. Both my LWB and my highracer exhibit this trait, especially at higher RPMs (e.g., when I'm spinning to catch up to my rear wheel :)) Get's a little hair-raising at speed running downhill.

As for the weight, mine weighs in at 40+ pounds as well, although that's with a rack and the heavy seat frame and some other touring gear.

Unlike you though, I can't ride mine no-hands so congrats on that one :)

Greenhorn
06-22-2009, 04:38 AM
I also think you don't really need that massive piece of steel under the seat shown in the plans, since you seat is Aluminum and you have those big steel braces.

I have considered hacking that support beam off, but I noticed when I ride that my seat "flexes" when going over rough terrain and actually hits that support bar on occassion. Also, if I remove the support beam, there would be nothing to support the rear triangle. Although, I suppose I could just ditch the adjusting braces and weld the rear triagle directly onto the steel plate screwed into the top of the aluminum seat.....

trikeman
06-22-2009, 09:33 AM
I have considered hacking that support beam off, but I noticed when I ride that my seat "flexes" when going over rough terrain and actually hits that support bar on occassion. Also, if I remove the support beam, there would be nothing to support the rear triangle. Although, I suppose I could just ditch the adjusting braces and weld the rear triagle directly onto the steel plate screwed into the top of the aluminum seat.....

Hmmm. Maybe that seat needs an aluminum frame under it then. That might be as heavy as the big steel tube though. I know my RANS seat is just an aluminum tube frame supported by seat stays, and doesn't seem to flex too much when I do the bridge technique. They seem to have used aluminum everywhere they can except the frame, and it still weighs 30+ pounds. The aluminum riser and handlebars flex like hell if you pull on them too hard, but you aren't supposed to do that, and they say it cuts down on road vibration. I notice on the old aluminum aircraft seats they put vertical creases in the seat back to give it extra support, but that would be hard to do on your sheet aluminum.

Greenhorn
06-25-2009, 12:25 PM
Hmmm. Maybe that seat needs an aluminum frame under it then. That might be as heavy as the big steel tube though. I know my RANS seat is just an aluminum tube frame supported by seat stays, and doesn't seem to flex too much when I do the bridge technique.


I wonder if I could avoid some of the flex and lighten it by securing the top attachment lower, along the "straight" portion of the seat and/or removing the "adjustment" braces.

trikeman
06-25-2009, 01:25 PM
You could try eliminating the stuff marked through in red and moving the stays to the blue line. Of course that may flex too much for ya.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/smyrna5/3660607846/

Even some of the good commercial High Racers weigh 30 pounds or so, so maybe 10 pounds over isn't so bad.

mkane53
06-25-2009, 03:08 PM
... but of course there's the pesky issue of having removed the rear brake ...

You'll probably want to relocate the rear brake to the chainstays, because I don't think you'd want to attach them that far up on non-triangulated (other than the seat itself of course), relocated Seatstays.



You could try eliminating the stuff marked through in red and moving the stays to the blue line. Of course that may flex too much for ya.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/smyrna5/3660607846/

Even some of the good commercial High Racers weigh 30 pounds or so, so maybe 10 pounds over isn't so bad.

Greenhorn
06-25-2009, 04:11 PM
... but of course there's the pesky issue of having removed the rear brake ...

You'll probably want to relocate the rear brake to the chainstays, because I don't think you'd want to attach them that far up on non-triangulated (other than the seat itself of course), relocated Seatstays.

Ahh yes, problem with that is that due to the angle of the dropouts, I cannot get the rear wheel in and out with the caliper attached to the "stuffing joint"--even with the brake arms open.

savarin
06-25-2009, 06:51 PM
Ahh yes, problem with that is that due to the angle of the dropouts, I cannot get the rear wheel in and out with the caliper attached to the "stuffing joint"--even with the brake arms open.

Remove the red line stuff.
Add the blue line stays in.
Add another thin stay half way down the back of the seat to the bottom of the blue stay.
Rivet 2 ally angles down the back of the seat to control flexing
Weld two "V" brake bosses to the bottom stays.

Any flexing in aluminium will produce cracks at some moment in time.

mkane53
06-25-2009, 07:01 PM
Remove the red line stuff.
Add the blue line stays in.
Add another thin stay half way down the back of the seat to the bottom of the blue stay.
Rivet 2 ally angles down the back of the seat to control flexing
Weld two "V" brake bosses to the bottom stays.

Any flexing in aluminium will produce cracks at some moment in time.


Not trying to be a nay-sayer here, but if the object of the exercise is to eliminate weight, I'm not sure you're going to end up saving much at the end of the day. Maybe some ... but I would think it would be pretty minimal after all the gyrations.

Greenhorn
06-25-2009, 09:18 PM
Not trying to be a nay-sayer here, but if the object of the exercise is to eliminate weight, I'm not sure you're going to end up saving much at the end of the day. Maybe some ... but I would think it would be pretty minimal after all the gyrations.

I've decided to just cut out the bottom seat support brackets and attach the thing directly to the frame. When I bent the seat, I made my bends at 45 degrees---the same angle as the seat brace. By raising the seat 1 1/2 inches, I have been able to recline it back farther--but I dont necerssarily like the additional recline. If I chop off the bottom seat supports and attach it directly to the boom, the angle of the seat will match the angle of the seat brace, so I should not have any flexing problems.

mkane53
06-25-2009, 11:17 PM
Yep, that'll work. Saves a little weight and probably puts you in a better riding position as well.

Greenhorn
06-28-2009, 12:04 PM
Yep, that'll work. Saves a little weight and probably puts you in a better riding position as well.

Removing all the seat mounting/adjusting hardware and the quill stem shaved off 5 pounds from the bike. Its now at 40.

Still working out a few quirks with the derailuers and the handlebar set-up. But should be ready to paint soon.

Sad to say that I am disappointed with this build. :( I know it is my first one and all, but after every weekend and most weeknights for 6 months, I am not just impressed with my efforts. The bike seems very "clunky." going uphill is an absolute bear. I am still having steering issues (sloppy/twitchy) because i put the headtube too far forward/put the seat too far back. My new steering setup is better...it is just so heavy and cumbersome. Also, mea culpa Greg on the seat angle....should have been more upright.

At least I can ride around the neighborhood with it.....I just don't feel the workmanship is good enough to take out on the paths---seems like every second I am fixing something or something else is going out of alignment.

SWMBO reminded me this morning that "if first you don't suceed, try, try again." Being the perfectionist I am, I am looking on towards my next project. I am bouncing around between 1) a SWB lowracer; 2) a meridian; or 3) a V3 clone. ..although right now, I almost feel like just buying one and being done with it.

trikeman
06-28-2009, 03:29 PM
GH - I feel your pain. I didn't have too much concern about the workmanship on my DW, but it was way heavier than I had imagined, and wasn't exactly a speed demon. The workmanship issues can be addressed with time, but no matter what you do, an over-built mild steel frame in 1.5" tube is always going to be heavier than a store-bought aluminum or chromoly frame. Add the fact that many of us are using heavy(er) salvaged mountain bike components and you easily get the 10 pounds of additional weight your HR weighs over the 31 pound store bought Giro. I guess its the tradeoff for easy to build big square tube with cast off parts.

When I bought my RANS Wave, i figured that for $350 the new seat and quality Chromo frame, plus the fact I could ride it the day I bought it was worth it over building one. I did enjoy the building process on my DW, but I didn't have near the problems you did. That is probably because I have worked on cars and other things my whole life and have always liked building things.

If money wasn't so tight right now, and I didn't fear the economy is going to get a lot worse with the Congress and President spending on their favorite earmark projects like a drunken sailor I would probably buy a Ti-Rex, and carbon Aero, and/or an X-Stream, and maybe a Catrike too, in addition to building some. They are just fine pieces of machinery.

GregLWB
06-28-2009, 04:35 PM
Sad to say that I am disappointed with this build. :( I know it is my first one and all, but after every weekend and most weeknights for 6 months, I am not just impressed with my efforts. The bike seems very "clunky." going uphill is an absolute bear. I am still having steering issues (sloppy/twitchy) because i put the headtube too far forward/put the seat too far back. My new steering setup is better...it is just so heavy and cumbersome. Also, mea culpa Greg on the seat angle....should have been more upright.

At least I can ride around the neighborhood with it.....I just don't feel the workmanship is good enough to take out on the paths---seems like every second I am fixing something or something else is going out of alignment.

SWMBO reminded me this morning that "if first you don't suceed, try, try again." Being the perfectionist I am, I am looking on towards my next project. I am bouncing around between 1) a SWB lowracer; 2) a meridian; or 3) a V3 clone. ..although right now, I almost feel like just buying one and being done with it.

GH - I hear you and I understand. My welds are strong but still not pretty. I only show you all closeups of my better ones. Also I had to put quite a few miles on my HR before I got really comfortable on it. Friday was the first time I took it on a really narrow path (not wide enough for two people to walk side by side) that had potholes and a 4 inch drop on each edge (rode it for about a mile).

In my opinion the HR (or SWB) bikes have a longer learning curve than a LWB or CLWB bike. One thing to try is to drop the air pressure in your front tire 5 lbs at a time until it becomes less twitchy (that was recommended by Fast Freddy Markham for LWB bikes). I have found it to work well on SWB bikes as well. I was surprised at the weight of your bike too as mine came in around 36 pounds and I thought that your parts looked to be lighter. Maybe it was the weight of the fork stem you left attached in the rear?

On the seat thing I hope you understood that I was teasing you :jester:(and appreciated the input you gave which made my bike better) and that I think the laid back position is probably faster in the wind or on the flats but a more upright position is probably easier for climbing hills.

It is fun to ride one that has been purchased and you can get on right away but had you not done it this way you wouldn't have the wealth of knowledge that you have now. Even if you do purchase one I hope that you will build more and use the things you have learned to make that one even better.

Also, none of our builds are ever perfect (at least I don't think so) although I may be wrong but I think that some little imperfections show that a machine didn't build it, YOU DID! That is why handmade items are never exactly the same from piece to piece. It also sounds like SWMBO is being pretty supportive of you learning how to do this.:)

Greg

trikeman
06-28-2009, 05:39 PM
One advantage of a homebuilt bike looking like a homebuilt, is that if you build it well, and are fast enough, it becomes a real sleeper [g]. A few pounds on a total package that weighs in at over 200 pounds is probably not holding us back much, despite what the weight weenie inside us all says.

savarin
06-28-2009, 08:38 PM
Also, none of our builds are ever perfect (at least I don't think so) although I may be wrong but I think that some little imperfections show that a machine didn't build it, YOU DID! That is why handmade items are never exactly the same from piece to piece. It also sounds like SWMBO is being pretty supportive of you learning how to do this.:)

Greg

Have to agree here.
I always have something I want to change as soon as its finished.
Often even half way through.
The worse one for me is I get half way through, learn something better, then want to start another build.
Does the twitchy steering disappear at higher speed?
You do have an awful amount of tiller and I find that is not conducive to comfy steering (YMMV)
Have you considered USS? That would get rid of the tiller effect.

savarin
06-28-2009, 08:42 PM
One advantage of a homebuilt bike looking like a homebuilt, is that if you build it well, and are fast enough, it becomes a real sleeper [g]. A few pounds on a total package that weighs in at over 200 pounds is probably not holding us back much, despite what the weight weenie inside us all says.

:jester: I bet all of us could loose far more pounds from ourselves than we ever could from our builds. That would give for more benefits in both speed and endurance :jester:

TheKid
06-28-2009, 09:18 PM
Have to agree here.
I always have something I want to change as soon as its finished.
Often even half way through.


That's why my tadpole isn't done after almost 2 years. I'm finally to the point where it handles the way I want it to, (Shortened the head tubes to reduce the caster angle) the seat is in the best possible position as far as angle, (Got done with that today after 2 days of experimenting) and the steering is fully adjustable.

Greenhorn
06-28-2009, 10:55 PM
Have to agree here.
I always have something I want to change as soon as its finished.
Often even half way through.
The worse one for me is I get half way through, learn something better, then want to start another build.
Does the twitchy steering disappear at higher speed?
You do have an awful amount of tiller and I find that is not conducive to comfy steering (YMMV)
Have you considered USS? That would get rid of the tiller effect.

Yes, I have considered USS, but the length of the headtube to seat would require me to drill another hole for a heatube and try and figure out a remote steer configuration. Also, it would likely result in chain interferene. I am still toying with that idea though. if I just bought a really long stem for the USS, i would still have a tiller effect, right?

My other ideas are to: 1) purchase a riser and try and cobble together a tweener system (from road handlebars and cut off mtb bar ends)--although that would likely require new shifters and/or or brake levers; 2) purchase a riser and try to keep what I have (although this would result in a "closed" superman position---which is what I have been doing to avoid the tiller effect so far)--the downside here is that the raised tiller obstructs my view; or

3)--the most dramatic--just scrap the bike and start over. If I did this, I would likely just use the rear triangle from my first donor bike ( as it is lighter than the 10 pound fork I have shoved in the back now). I would also shorten the wheelbase and lessen the seat recline. --maybe also use a 20 inch wheel in front.



-----

Sav--to answer your question...yes the steering does inprove at speed.

TheKid
06-28-2009, 11:40 PM
Yes, I have considered USS, but the length of the headtube to seat would require me to drill another hole for a heatube and try and figure out a remote steer configuration.

Not necessarily. You don't have to drill any holes for USS. All you need is a shortened head tube and steering tube, with a handlebar clamp welded to it. Mount it right under the seat tube, and angle the bars forward. Tiller will be totally eliminated. The WildKat has a system like that, but with short bars. I had a system like that on my tadpole. I had a head tube that was 4 3/4" long, and shortened it to 2". I shortened the steer tube to 3" from the race to the top. Then you just weld the steer tube to the frame, and the head tube spins on it instead of the other way around. I think it was Locutus who did this on his trike too. All you'll need for the remote steer is a tab welded to the bars, and one welded to the fork, connected by a tie rod.

http://atomiczombie.com/product-wildkat.htm

mkane53
06-29-2009, 09:15 AM
GH - There are very few things in life that can't be improved upon with practice.

Welding, mechanics, fabrication, painting, riding ... all improve over time if you stick with it. If you want the lightest, slickest, shiniest fire-breather available, then you're probably ALWAYS going to have to buy it. But that's always something of a trade-off, because you may or may not have developed the mechanical skills to REPAIR it at that point too. So you'll never really be comfortable going outside of range of a bike shop - you won't have the confidence to go out on an extended tour for instance.

Riding a recumbent is a skill that requires time to learn. Time and miles. It's not a magic bullet that will have you averaging 20 mph immediately if your average speed on an upright the day before is 12 mph. It took me something like 500 miles of riding my Meridian before I really felt comfortable on it. Now it's like a second skin. But the HighRoller knocked me back a few steps ... and 250 or so miles into that, I'm still not as comfortable as I am on the Meridian. I may never be, but I'm certainly more comfortable and confident on it than I was 250 miles ago.

As others have pointed out, most of us are carrying around more spare pounds on our body than we could EVER shed from our bicycles ... even if we made them from carbon fiber and titanium.

Stick with it - both building and riding; both get easier, faster and smoother with time and practice. Don't forget, before you started this you could probably have never imagined that you COULD weld two pieces of metal together - beautifully or otherwise.

Greenhorn
06-29-2009, 10:25 AM
GH - There are very few things in life that can't be improved upon with practice.
. . . .

Stick with it - both building and riding; both get easier, faster and smoother with time and practice. Don't forget, before you started this you could probably have never imagined that you COULD weld two pieces of metal together - beautifully or otherwise.

Good advice. Its not so much a matter of having the shinniest, fanciest, lightest bike for me....I am just such a perfectionist and my own worst critic. I must have welded, and re-welded every joint on this bike at least 3 times before I was happy with the alignment. My building comes in spurts of eureka moments of exuberance and insane accomplishment, followed by many hours of frustration, swearing, etc. The frustration for me is knowing it could be better and also that it takes me 3 times longer than it should.

SWMBO told me that i can't expect my first of anything to be perfect or even how I want it. She reminded me last night that not many people can say they have built a bike that they have ridden 20 miles. She also reminded me that most of my troubles are mechanical things that can be "tweaked" as she put it, and that the frame itself looks strong. --this is why I keep her around:heart:

Sorry for being a perpetual complainer.....you guys are probably tired of my endless rants already.

I am going to order a riser and stem clamp from rans today and start work on the paint job while I am waiting for the parts to arrive.....(I learned this morning that attaching a loaded riser/handbar set-up to your steerer tube with a seat post clamp is not a good idea :dunce2:).

TheKid
06-29-2009, 12:53 PM
I must have welded, and re-welded every joint on this bike at least 3 times before I was happy with the alignment.

You are not alone. Welcome to the club. :1eye:

mkane53
06-29-2009, 06:56 PM
Yeah, you know it's funny. I don't know how may welds go into the average bicycle, but I can count on the fingers of one hand - with a couple of fingers left over - how many of those I look at and go: "Damn, now that's a righteous weld!" I'm sure that's the norm for professional welders but it's a real treat for those of us who are only occasional welders.

Greenhorn
06-29-2009, 06:59 PM
Yeah, you know it's funny. I don't know how may welds go into the average bicycle, but I can count on the fingers of one hand - with a couple of fingers left over - how many of those I look at and go: "Damn, now that's a righteous weld!" I'm sure that's the norm for professional welders but it's a real treat for those of us who are only occasional welders.

Right...then when you finally get one of those, you are so excited, you screw up the other side of whatever you are welding:rolleyes4:

TheKid
06-29-2009, 09:36 PM
Yeah, you know it's funny. I don't know how may welds go into the average bicycle, but I can count on the fingers of one hand - with a couple of fingers left over - how many of those I look at and go: "Damn, now that's a righteous weld!" I'm sure that's the norm for professional welders but it's a real treat for those of us who are only occasional welders.


Very well said.

Greenhorn
06-30-2009, 10:14 AM
I have determined that the recline angle of my seat is a major design flaw given the distance from the seat to the front fork. Any steering mechanism will involve a very long/cumbersome tiller, or result in an uncomfortable position that requires me to strech my arms/neck and will obstruct my view. My back is still out of whack from this weekend's ride, and when I sat in the seat this morning, it immediately reproduced the pain.

A new seat set up should solve a number of problems simultaneosly have determined that by decreasing the angle of recline by 20-30 degrees, I will be in a much better position relative to the front fork. This will alleviate some of the steering issues, as I should be able to get by with a simple mast with a stem or curve at the end and should be able to keep my current handlebar set-up. Decreasing the seat recline should also increase my visibility and power output and eliminate some of the hip pain I was experiencing.

I have also decided to ditch the aluminum seat altogether--maybe it will come in handy on a low rider project sometime in the future......

I have a major seat/frame re-design in the works, which will hopefully lighten the bike, result in a more comfortable seat, and will "hopefully" be as strong.

Examining the joint of the rear chainstays/fork again, I have decided to put faith in the strength of my welds (and Trikeman) and the boat anchor of a fork and eliminate the rear support beam and rear triangle as it currently exists.

I will report back when the redesign is complete or when I have smelted the bike in frustration ;)

trikeman
06-30-2009, 11:52 AM
Examining the joint of the rear chainstays/fork again, I have decided to put faith in the strength of my welds (and Trikeman) and the boat anchor of a fork and eliminate the rear support beam and rear triangle as it currently exists.


May *** have mercy on your soul!

When you do eliminate that big seat brace, just make sure your new seat is rigid enough to take the back pressure AND that the seat stays are sturdy enough to take the force. I have talked to several people that tell me they have cracked the seat stays on commercial bents with aggressive mashing.

I was in my local thrift last week, and saw a set of aluminum crutches for about $5 that had adjustable leg lengths (with those little spring loaded balls that pop into holes). They looked plenty stout enough to make good adjustable seat stays. Since they were aluminum, you would have to weld on some brackets and flatten the ends to put bolts through to hold them, but they should be nice and light, if you can find a pair.

http://www.apmmedical.com/images/crutch.jpg

comreich
06-30-2009, 12:33 PM
Greenhorn, I've now got over 600 miles on my highracer without the extra seat brace and it's fine. Granted, the snowboard seat has a relatively heavy EMT frame to stiffen it, but if you were to take a multi-ply skateboard and modify it I don't think you would have any need to attach a frame to it. You can make one yourself out of 2 plys of 1/8" plywood and there are a couple of links on BROL that will show you how to do it -- I think John Lewis has posted here on his as well.

The bottom of the seat supports attach to the rack eyelets on my dropouts and I'm only using water bottle mounting bolts to hold everything together there. At the top I have heavier fixtures and 1/4" bolts and so far everything is holding up fine. One of my training routes has even been under construction for the last couple of weeks, so I've been riding on something harder than mud and almost as smooth as gravel, bouncing over curbs (a little gingerly) and over root heaves on the bike path at speed. Even without the big seat support the bike is fine. I know why Brad adds it, and it certainly makes mounting the seat a whole lot easier, but IIRC, you're about my size (5'10", 183# and dropping :)) so I don't see that removing it will be a problem for you.

I like Trikeman's idea of using those aluminum crutches to make the seat angle adjustable and I just about bought a pair. I'm just not sure how strong the little ball pieces are to hold up over a couple of hundred miles. You might be better off replacing the two balls with a single bomb pin (or whatever RANS calls them).

Anyway, good luck on things and keep us posted.

Greenhorn
06-30-2009, 12:40 PM
This morning, I noticed that on my current set-up--my back/neck pain is right at the joint of the seat stays, support beam, and seat.

My new crazy idea is to use a skaeboard for a back rest and connect new seat stays to the wheel axle on the skateboard.

I may still keep a small portion of the seat support beam and make the rear triangle smaller. I do still need a place to mount my rear brake.


For some reason, that aluminum seat just was not rigid enough and was transfering the force of everything all along my back.

[edit: Sorry, Comreich--didn't see your post before---great (crazy) minds think alike]

comreich
06-30-2009, 01:41 PM
Hey, I resemble that crazy person :jester: One thing to keep in mind when you do go ahead and cut the seat support shorter -- make sure that the seat supports are as wide apart at the top as they are attached to the chain stays. My seat supports angle in a bit and there is a slight bit of swaying in the seat when I ride. If you take a look at a Bacchetta or the new RANS X-Stream*, the seat stays are parallel to the frame and this both looks nicer and seems to work better to support the seat.

* After RAAM, like Trikeman, I'm sort of lusting over that bike. I'll probably build a 26"-wheeled ER Tomahawk though 'cause it's easier :)

Greenhorn
07-01-2009, 09:48 AM
The skateboard I got from Wallyworld that I took the wheels off of looks like it will work for a seat. The bottom is just barely wide enough (8 inches) for my Polish keister, but should be ok with padding. I just have to figure out the door/hinge/distance thing for the two pieces.

I got a line on aluminum crutches from my folks when I see them this weekend.

I have the frame mods mocked up. I plan on chopping everything but about 6 inches of the seat support. I am going to take the seat stays from my donor bike and dropp them in at an angle from the dropouts to the remainder of the seat support. Leaving the 6 inches gives Just enough room to mount the rear brake on the seat stay bridge and juuuust enough room to remove the rear wheel. When it is done, it should look like the reverse of the old Rans triangulated highracers---i think it will look pretty slick.

I am going to keep about 1 inch of the current seat stays to act as tabs for the aluminum crutches.

While it is a lot of rework, I think I will be happier with the result. Also, it should go much wuicker because I can use the current rear triangle to align things. I dont know if I will get a net wieght reduction when all is said and done, but mounting a more upright seat with the current angle of the seat support and reae triangle would just look silly.

If it isn't substantially lighter, at least it will *look* fast with the new modifications. :)

Patrike
07-01-2009, 10:55 AM
The skateboard I got from Wallyworld that I took the wheels off of looks like it will work for a seat. The bottom is just barely wide enough (8 inches) for my Polish keister, but should be ok with padding. I just have to figure out the door/hinge/distance thing for the two pieces.

I got a line on aluminum crutches from my folks when I see them this weekend.

I have the frame mods mocked up. I plan on chopping everything but about 6 inches of the seat support. I am going to take the seat stays from my donor bike and dropp them in at an angle from the dropouts to the remainder of the seat support. Leaving the 6 inches gives Just enough room to mount the rear brake on the seat stay bridge and juuuust enough room to remove the rear wheel. When it is done, it should look like the reverse of the old Rans triangulated highracers---i think it will look pretty slick.

I am going to keep about 1 inch of the current seat stays to act as tabs for the aluminum crutches.

While it is a lot of rework, I think I will be happier with the result. Also, it should go much wuicker because I can use the current rear triangle to align things. I dont know if I will get a net wieght reduction when all is said and done, but mounting a more upright seat with the current angle of the seat support and reae triangle would just look silly.

If it isn't substantially lighter, at least it will *look* fast with the new modifications. :)

Can't wait to see how it turns out - I found 2 of those at the end of a driveway - the person laying on ground did not object when I took them - I did not figure a way to mod them yet for seat stays so I am eager to see your out come.

trikeman
07-01-2009, 11:51 AM
I measured the aluminum seat stays on my RANS and they are about 1" in diameter. I think the center pieces on those crutches is bigger, but would probably still work. I am thinking now, that maybe the long arms could just be cut and flatted out on the ends (vise or hammer) and holes drilled where you want them.

Greenhorn
07-14-2009, 02:05 AM
Been a while since i posted. Work has been nuts and wedding planning is in high gear. With the weather being so nice, what little free time I have is spent riding. I managed to re-design the rear triangle of this bugger, and came up with a owrkable albeit inelegant seat. The seat is not atached in the pictures--just mocked up. (The little bent peice is actually cut off and is just resting on the back for the picture)


I am going to use two short lengths of aluminum rods as seat supports running from what is left of the seat brace beam to the holes where the trucks on the board went. Foam is from a rubbery yoga mat. I also need to cut and re-weld the tiller. After several unsucessful attempts at bulky and cumbersome alternatives, I decided to return to this tiller set up--which is much lighter and easier to attach to the steer tube.


http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww33/WI_Greenhorn/BikeBuild_4349.jpg

http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww33/WI_Greenhorn/BikeBuild_4353.jpg

Greenhorn
07-14-2009, 02:55 AM
The other idea I had for the seat support was to weld the end of a seat tube onto the cut off seat support beam and slide a saddle post into it so it could raise and lower the seat by adjusting the seat clamp.... The aluminum rods are less work and lighter...but I do not know if a near veritcal angle will provide enough support. (The slyway highracers have vertical or negative angles on the seat supports)

But...the last thing I want is for my seat to flop backwards when riding.

John Lewis
07-14-2009, 09:29 AM
Hi Greenhorn,
Just a little tip. If you are using aluminium tube and you want to flatten the end. If you squeeze it in a vice it will most likely split and crack at the tight radius.

Here's the trick. Heat about 1.5 to 2 inches at the end with a gas torch or over the stove or whatever. Keep testing with a bit of softwood. When it chars you're about the right heat. Let it cool and then flatten in the vice. You won't have any cracking. The ali will recover most of its strength over a few days. I do all mine this way.
Another idea is to rub soap on the tube and heat until the soap blackens.

John Lewis

Greenhorn
07-14-2009, 09:33 AM
Thanks for the tip!

savarin
07-14-2009, 05:59 PM
My favourite is to coat the area with carbon (smokey torch or candle) and heat till it all disappears. If its a drastic bend or fold then do it in increments repeating the process two or three times.
I've hammered out a dent in an alluminium motorcycle rim this way.

John Lewis
07-15-2009, 08:48 AM
My favourite is to coat the area with carbon (smokey torch or candle) and heat till it all disappears. If its a drastic bend or fold then do it in increments repeating the process two or three times.
I've hammered out a dent in an alluminium motorcycle rim this way.

Yes that works well. Trouble is I never have a candle handy. Guess I could smoke it with the torch.

John Lewis

Greenhorn
07-15-2009, 10:20 AM
I am leaning towards the single post option right now. I figure I have to cap off the end of the seat beam anyways, so welding a frame clamp shouldn't be that bad; plus, using a seat post eliminates some of the alignment issues with using two aluminum rods. I'll see how it goes this weekend.

likebikes
07-17-2009, 01:25 PM
Nice work in progress. It's coming along well and I would like to add to what the others have said that it's definately a learning process. I did a LWB and I thought at first that it was totally unridable but with time I'm used to it and really can take the curves nice. I like your idea for a seat! When I read "skateboard", I groaned but that is really nice! I used a piece of 1/2" plywood for my LWB seat and it worked out well so your pre curved seat should be real nice.
I'm going to start my HR in October (although I've already gathered many components including the doner bike) so I'm interested in your progress. Keep at it and you'll get there, I think you're going in the right direction.

Greenhorn
07-22-2009, 01:10 AM
:(This is about my 5th different handlebar setup and while I haven't ridden it yet, I suspect this is what i may go with. Even with the seat moved forward a bit and more upright, I can't get a tiller setup to work right. Its either a really long low tiller or a shorter one that has me reaching for the sky. the other set up that worked, but I didn't like it was to reverse the stem so it faces me and just use a straight MTB handelbar. But I didn't like the way that felt.

http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww33/WI_Greenhorn/BikeBuild_4427.jpg

http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww33/WI_Greenhorn/BikeBuild_4417.jpg

http://i703.photobucket.com/albums/ww33/WI_Greenhorn/BikeBuild_4423.jpg

I used a 15 inch seatpost for the riser. It is 1 inch wide and tapers at the end so it fits nicely into the steer tube. I have it secured with a heavy 1-inch clamp. I just took the handlebars I cut down before and slapped on bar ends from my mountain bike. Only problem is that i can only clamp the bar ends on about halfway, otherwise they are too narrow.

I know this is like the longest build thread ever, but I am making progress. I hope this setup handles well, otherwise I may have to scrap it and start the whole thing from square one with a shorter wheelbase:(

comreich
07-22-2009, 05:26 AM
Give the tweener bars a chance and I think they'll grow on you. I've really liked my setup. Probably the toughest part, and I still have trouble with this, is sharp corners where the technique is exactly the opposite of a DF. On a DF you corner with your outside foot down and the inside foot up so that you don't scrape the pedal*. On the high racer with tweener bars, you really should extend the inside leg and have the outside leg bent. This way you can avoid having the handlebars bump into your inside leg. It really helps on narrow MUPs with hair-pin curves in the middle of a hill :mad: How I hate those.

The other thing from your picture is that you might want to turn the brake levers out a little bit more. It's a little more comfortable because your wrists aren't turned as much. And it keeps the levers from digging into your knees.

* I'm assuming from your road bike in pictures that you've done a lot of riding and this is second nature to you already :)

Greenhorn
07-25-2009, 07:07 PM
:)Well...as the saying goes...third time is the charm.

I finished my modifications today. I only got a chance to go around the block once (with 1 brake) but man,.....its like a whole different bile. It is about 10 pounds lighter. And, I have to say...the tweener bars are awesome.....so much more control and the bike feels very "open." They could be a bit wider but I think they will do. I like the more upright seating position a lot better than the original angle I had. Also, the wooden seat and the new rear triangle absorb much more of the road vibrations. My teeth were not chattering on the ride for once. I think this one is a keeper!

Only downside I noticed is that when I installed the mast and tweeners, it is at an ever so slight angle---which explains why the bike tends to lean left. I don't know if the headseat cups are not in right or if the headtube got warped when I installed it. I am afraid it is the headtube---but I think I can live with it.

I;ll give a more detailed report once i get all the cable hooked up. (I gotta take SWMBO to dinner seeing as I spent all day in the garage).

trikeman
07-25-2009, 08:26 PM
Glad to hear you are finally getting it like you like it. I knew there was a reason Bacchetta used those tweener bars.

SirJoey
07-25-2009, 08:30 PM
Yeah, sometimes it just takes a little tweakin' & fine tuning. :)


http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/7131/sirjoeysigmedij1.gif

likebikes
07-25-2009, 10:43 PM
Very interested as my High Roller is in the planning phase. Can someone explain the term "tweener bars" to me? I have a set of cruiser bars I was considering using since Brad used them and was happy. The bars on Greenhorns bike are a radical departure from anything I've ever seen though. I used a slightly curved mountain bike bar on my LWB and I improved the grip angle by turning it in the opposite direction so it met my hands at a more favorable angle. It's curved forward like a bulls horns now. I'm not sure how GHs bars are meeting his hands but it is different and appears to be innovative the way you used the bar ends.

comreich
07-26-2009, 12:33 AM
Tweener bars are basically wrap-around bars and your knees pass between the curved sides. Bacchetta, Vole and RANS all use them for their stick bikes and there are some European manufacturers that put them on low racers as well. The hand position is a little more "superman" with your arms forward, but it is fairly comfortable once you get used to it.

Greenhorn has built his to look a lot like those from Volae http://www.volaerecumbents.com except that they use welded tubing and Greenhorn has had to make the ends removeable because of the quill he's using. The tweeners I built for my high racer are a lot like those from Bacchetta as a single tube that is bent around. I happened to use the top arch from an old folding chair which was the right tubing size to fit the shifters and brake levers.

The handlebars you've described make some sense for a LWB to get a comfortable wrist position, and Raptobikes http://www.raptobikes.nl has something similar, but more radical for their lowracer. The handlebars are turned forward to improve wrist comfort. This doesn't work so well for the high-masted tweener setup, so Volae and RANS have handlbars that curve around and then point down where you would grab them.

Greenhorn
07-26-2009, 01:56 AM
In all fairness...I used the bar ends because i didn't want to fool around trying to align and weld longer arms. I saw a picture somewhere on the internet where someone else had used mountain bike bar ends ....so i can't take credit for the idea.

They are actually pretty comfortable---the curved part fits in your hand like a revolver grip.

savarin
07-26-2009, 03:40 AM
And tweener bars are lethal in a wipe out.
You become wrapped up inside them and do strange things to your knees and ankles.
At least that has been the experience of myself and another two friends.
They are reasonably comfy though.

SirJoey
07-26-2009, 08:12 AM
And tweener bars are lethal in a wipe out.
At least that has been the experience of myself and another two friends.
Well then, don't wipe out. :jester:

Like when I went to the Dr, & said "Doc, it hurts when I do this".
To which he replied, "Then don't do that". :laugh3:


http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/7131/sirjoeysigmedij1.gif

savarin
07-26-2009, 10:38 AM
Must have been the same doctor I went to.
I said it hurts when I press here,
and here,
and here,
and also here.
He said I had a broken finger

likebikes
07-26-2009, 08:42 PM
Ok, I understand now, the tweener is the rider in actuality. I thought that it meant they were tween something and something else like a cross tween road bike and cruiser bars or that sort of thing.

SirJoey
07-27-2009, 12:21 PM
I thought that it meant they were tween something and something else like a cross tween road bike and cruiser bars or that sort of thing.Well, that's what I thought, too. :thinking:


http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/7131/sirjoeysigmedij1.gif

likebikes
08-05-2009, 01:26 PM
Well, that's what I thought, too. :thinking:


http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/7131/sirjoeysigmedij1.gif

Hey SirJoey,
I just wanted you to know that I really like your Nexus6 bike. I've been looking at it for some time and I just realized it was probably yours. Looks store bought, (I mean that as a compliment) very nice!
Sorry for the threadjack!

SirJoey
08-05-2009, 05:22 PM
Hey SirJoey,
I just wanted you to know that I really like your Nexus6 bike. I've been looking at it for some time and I just realized it was probably yours. Looks store bought, (I mean that as a compliment) very nice!
Sorry for the threadjack!Thanx a lot, LB! Really worked hard on that one, with internal cabling, & lotsa braze-ons.
There are a lot more pics of it on my website, if you're interested. :)


http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/7131/sirjoeysigmedij1.gif

likebikes
08-05-2009, 08:16 PM
Thanx a lot, LB! Really worked hard on that one, with internal cabling, & lotsa braze-ons.
There are a lot more pics of it on my website, if you're interested. :)


http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/7131/sirjoeysigmedij1.gif

That's very very nice workmanship. I will never again say; nobody will notice...

Looking for an update from Greenhorn! How's it going?

Greenhorn
08-06-2009, 12:02 AM
That's very very nice workmanship. I will never again say; nobody will notice...

Looking for an update from Greenhorn! How's it going?

Been out riding...I need to do something about the headtube. The "lean" is really noticible after a while. I cant figure it out. The headtube is level on top, but on the bottom side, one edge is slightly higher than the other. I am hesitant to just file down the low end, but I don't see what other choice I have. It looks like it got warped when I welded it---I could always try and slap some more weld on the other side and hope it comes back---but that isn't very precise.

Greenhorn
08-06-2009, 12:44 AM
Passed a bunch of roadies this afternoon----felt GOOOD. This bike really corners well. As I ride it more, I am gaining more confidence and taking the corners at higher speeds. Going down hills is a blast. I now understand why most recumbents don't use rim brakes.

John Lewis
08-06-2009, 12:44 AM
Greenhorn,
With regard to your headtube. Does it simply need to have the top and bottom of the tube faced square to each other? If that's the case a good bike shop should have the tool to do that for you.

John Lewis

SirJoey
08-06-2009, 06:28 AM
I am hesitant to just file down the low end...Actually, that's pretty good thinking, GH. With care & a little patience, you might be surprised.
I've successfully used that very method several times to square up crooked cuts!

File a little, check with a square, file a little, check... :)


http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/7131/sirjoeysigmedij1.gif

SirJoey
08-06-2009, 06:35 AM
That's very very nice workmanship. I will never again say; nobody will notice...Not to hijack Greenhorn's thread, but thanx!

Oh, & I've said the same thing myself, BTW! :laugh3:


http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/7131/sirjoeysigmedij1.gif