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Arthur
05-14-2010, 06:01 PM
Hello everybody!

After months of reading on the Atomic Zombie website and on this forum I'd like to share a little about my own experiences with working on building the High Roller.

First of all AZ has been a great discovery for me. Nowhere else on the web I found such a proper explanation of bike dissection and bike building. Kudos to Brad for being an expert on the subject but still being able to explain it to the layman properly!

I've liked the concept of a recumbent bike for a long time. If you love biking and innovation - as I do - and you realize that you can be more comfortable and efficient on a recumbent, well, then you want one :) The problem is that - at least in Holland where I live - they cost literally thousands of euros, which in my opinion is really not necessary.

I have no experience with welding or metal construction whatsoever, but I always wanted to learn how to weld. A few months ago I decided to start a welding course. I took this course in a great place in my town called the "Stadswerkplaats". It is a non-profit organization with a working place where they have all kinds of tools and machinery for wood- and metalworking. For a few euro's "rent" you can work in this place and use all the machinery. And you can get all kind of courses, including welding and metal construction.

The bottom line is that I have started working on building the High Roller using my new knowledge, a lot of help from the kind people at the "Stadswerkplaats" and Brad's building plan off course.

Here are some photo's of the frame and the seat thus far. I will post my progress later on!

Sincerely,
Arthur

http://netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/align.jpg
aligning the frame

http://netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/frame.jpg
latest photo of the frame (I made a bit more progress last week, pictures coming soon)

http://netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/bottom_bracket.jpg
the bottom bracket

http://netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/seat_wood.jpg
building the seat

http://netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/seat.jpg
painting the seat

KoolKat
05-14-2010, 06:23 PM
Great stuff, Arthur! Keep up the pictures and descriptions. We love following everyone's builds like this. :rockon:

Arthur
05-15-2010, 05:56 PM
Great stuff, Arthur! Keep up the pictures and descriptions. We love following everyone's builds like this. :rockon:
Thanks Koolkat! Well, here we go:

http://www.netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/frame_back.jpg
As promised I am showing last week's progress. I already made the seat support tube (which gave me quite a headache with all the angles and calculations) and it came out real nice. Last week I attached it to the frame and completed the triangular structure with the seat stays. Thought it might look better if the seat stays would go all the way to the rear axle, but that would take the seat to far backwards. So I attached them at the point where the fork legs start to bent, which also creates a decent look.

http://www.netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/frame_back_detail.jpg
As you can see I attached the seat stays under the seat support instead of onto the sides. Somehow this seemed more logical to me.

http://www.netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/seat_support.jpg
The two seat tabs. As you can see they are not properly aligned. I'm thinking about leaving them this way as a silent homage to my beginnerhood (lol).

http://www.netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/clearance.jpg
Yes, we've got clearance! I checked this today after completely installing the seat support and the rear triangle. Luckily there's no need to cut all the welds and move the seat forward! There will be interference with the heel though, since I always pedal with the ball of my foot. I hope this will only occur in slow tight corners, because I would love to keep pedaling while leaning into fast corners! Any experience with that, HR owners?

http://www.netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/entire_frame.jpg
Here is the entire frame after today's work. Anyone starting to recognize a HR here?

Next up are the "extended" rear dropouts. Figuring this out was way more complicated than I thought. There are (of course) several types of drop-outs, different types of derailleurs and another few ways of attaching the latter to the former... I ran out of time today, will continue next week.

Also the goose-neck has to be done. I had two handlebars ready and was going to use one of them for the goose-neck. But they both turned out to be made out of aluminum, so that's a no-go! I am planning on using an iron diamond frame tube (the one running from the steer to the seat). I hope it will be strong enough!

I'd like to finish with a question to the AZ crew members. Since I am not much of a painter myself I am considering to have the frame powder-coated. Does anyone have experience with this? Is it affordable and does it come out right? I'd appreciate your feedback!

Ciao,
Arthur

dynodon
05-15-2010, 07:15 PM
around these parts its between $100-150 but its real nice when its done....make sure you ride it for a while to get all the tabs and stuff how you want it before you take it in to get coated you dont want to grind and weld on your beautiful frame....

savarin
05-15-2010, 10:07 PM
If you can afford it then powder coating is the way to go.
Its so tough.
One thing to remember is not just ensuring you have everything you even think you need welded but any sliding fit stuff needs a bit more clearance as the paint coat is a lot thicker than standard sprayed paint.
Here its about $140 for a recumbent frame plus all the bits.
The biggest problem here with powder coaters is the complete lack of decent colours, they only carry the common industrial colours.
I will be asking if they can spray a colour if I supply it in an effort to get round this.
Maybe something from these people.
http://www.paintwithpearl.com/

Arthur
05-16-2010, 03:33 PM
Thanks for the information guys! So powder coating is a bit expensive and there is not much choice in colors, but it looks good and is very strong (and thick). I'll keep that in mind.
I already bought some spray-cans earlier in silver and black, which is the color scheme I'm thinking about. Someone told me that it helps a lot to heat up the frame before you apply the first layer of spray-paint, that it makes it stick better...

Luckily, the decision on the paint can be postponed for a bit :). I recently re-read badcheese (http://forum.atomiczombie.com/showthread.php?t=2561)'s story on his HR build, and I understand that there is a lot of tinkering and adjusting to expect after the initial build is finished!
Ah I can't wait for the first ride, the weather is getting better en better! First a few days of (paid) work has to be done. I'll continue the build on Wednesday and post again.

dynodon
05-16-2010, 07:14 PM
around here the colors are limitless I think its becouse of all the Automotive plants in the area.

savarin
05-16-2010, 07:49 PM
around here the colors are limitless I think its becouse of all the Automotive plants in the area.

ooooh, lucky, here they deal mainly with architectural stuff in huge quantities so us one offs are just a side line with very little profit.
My sand blaster is designed, I have the steel cupboard for the oven, just got to get my bum in gear to build the stuff so I can do my own and anyone elses small custom stuff.

Odd Man Out
05-16-2010, 08:13 PM
So powder coating is a bit expensive and there is not much choice in colors, but it looks good and is very strong (and thick). I'll keep that in mind.

I disagree with the "not much choice" part. All one needs to do is a search on the net for "powder coat paint" and you will get lots of hits -- in fact you will be hard pressed to make your choice. I have found at least 12 different gloss silvers and more in black.

There are many things you can do with powder coat paint. My next trike will have a base coat of gloss silver with the next coat of translucent red with a topcoat of gloss clear = Amazing. I am actually in the process of building my own PC oven so I no longer have to shell out the bucks to others -- you figure that each coating costs about $150 and I now have 5 trikes to get done, that equals $2200 for paint!!! I can build an oven for less than 1K.

Another point of interest for you all is the fact that a powder coating oven only needs to heat to a max of about 475 degrees F, so you can use regular oven elements in your build -- nuttin fancy. Also they make special tape that you can wrap parts that you do not want coated. And, now I am just rambling, they make the holographic powder coating paint -- you know, that can that change colors when you move it = so cool! If anyone needs help with PC'ing, I am here to help.
OMO

KoolKat
05-16-2010, 08:55 PM
Yes, OMO has a wealth of knowledge concerning powder coat paint. Maybe we should start a new thread just for that?

savarin
05-16-2010, 09:20 PM
If we leave out the rattle can method that if we are honest only gives a thin easily chipped coat the the cost difference between conventional spraying and powder coating is a moot point. If anything powder coating can be cheaper and as an added bonus is far less hazardous to health.
The cost of metal primer, primer filler, colour coat and top coat soon becomes a huge cost.
As OMO stated, there is a huge plethora of colours and custom finishes out there but here in Australia finding someone local to apply them is almost an impossibility.
Given a choice I would always go for powder coating over standard spray job any day.
I would love to see a powder coating topic here. And assistance in designing the oven, what gun to purchase (there is an instruct able on how to make one somewhere) etc etc.
Start the ball rolling OMO:sunny:

Odd Man Out
05-16-2010, 09:25 PM
Start the ball rolling OMO:sunny:

Otay, here goes nuthin...

badcheese
05-17-2010, 11:23 AM
There will be interference with the heel though, since I always pedal with the ball of my foot. I hope this will only occur in slow tight corners, because I would love to keep pedaling while leaning into fast corners! Any experience with that, HR owners?

I also pedal with the ball of my foot and I have heel interference on my High Roller. Pedaling through a high-speed turn is no problem, as you hope. Tight low-speed turns are the only ones that result in heel strike. You will figure out how to avoid it by keeping the foot inside the turn high. The worst thing that has happened to me is that my foot gets knocked off the pedal (even when my foot is clipped in!), which can be a bit unnerving, but is really no big deal.

The bike rides great at high speed, very stable and aerodynamic. Downhill sections are a blast. Wear close-fitting clothes (yes, I wear spandex), because loose shorts turn into a parachute when you move fast feet-first.

It's looking great! Best of luck.

John Lewis
05-18-2010, 03:46 AM
My SWB also has heel strike. After a short time it becomes a total non event and you don't even think about it. In normal riding the front wheel turns very little. At the speed where heel strike is a problem you are slow enough to almost fall off anyway.:jester:

As badcheese says you learn to keep your foot out of way or to angle heel out or whatever is needed. When being silly and riding really slow tight turns I sometimes just pedal 1/2 turn then back pedal and do it again. Under normal circumstances there is no need for anything like that.

John

Arthur
05-20-2010, 03:55 PM
I also pedal with the ball of my foot and I have heel interference on my High Roller. Pedaling through a high-speed turn is no problem, as you hope. Tight low-speed turns are the only ones that result in heel strike. You will figure out how to avoid it by keeping the foot inside the turn high. The worst thing that has happened to me is that my foot gets knocked off the pedal (even when my foot is clipped in!), which can be a bit unnerving, but is really no big deal.

The bike rides great at high speed, very stable and aerodynamic. Downhill sections are a blast. Wear close-fitting clothes (yes, I wear spandex), because loose shorts turn into a parachute when you move fast feet-first.

It's looking great! Best of luck.

Thanks you for the encouraging words badcheese! This is exactly what I was hoping to hear.

Arthur
05-20-2010, 04:02 PM
When being silly and riding really slow tight turns I sometimes just pedal 1/2 turn then back pedal and do it again.

That's clever. And probably more elegant than pushing your way through the corner with your feet on the ground :)

Arthur
05-20-2010, 04:54 PM
Yesterday I went and attached the extended dropouts to the rear fork. As I was fooling around with the rear wheel - trying to align both dropouts - I found out that the fork legs were not right!
There was not nearly enough room between the legs for the rear wheel. And even if I would force the wheel in, it would still be off-center. Guess this is another thing that you should check early in the process!
Well I just cut the welds between the fork legs and the main frame tube (only the inside half) and spend a while bending and measuring until it was right. Now it is all fine.

Today I temporarily attached the seat and the wheels. This way I was able to sit on it and figure out where the steer should be at. It was real nice to see the bike like this, it is starting to look like something you can ride!! Here are some pictures:

http://www.netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/seat_attached.jpg
Here you see the seat attached. I think I will reinforce the tabs using some triangular pieces of metal, because they might bent to easy as they are right now.

http://www.netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/nut.jpg
Someone gave me a good tip: instead of using wood screws the seat will be attached with a nut and a bolt that locks into the wood.

http://www.netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/bolt.jpg
The bolt has a round and almost flat head that will disappear behind the foam.

http://www.netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/hr_on_wheels.jpg
The complete bike as it is now. The steer needs a longer neck off course.

http://www.netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/tig_welding.jpg
As per Brad's advice, I asked a welding pro to weld the goose neck. Here is said pro TIG-welding the steer clamp. The weld came out strong and clean.

http://www.netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/steer.jpg
This is the completed steer. Not sure if I like the curly handlebars as they don't really match with the rest of the bike, but it feels way better on the wrists than a straight mountain bike bar.
I'm also considering to make the steer adjustable in length and angle perhaps.. We'll see!

Arthur
05-21-2010, 06:22 AM
Ah, I just remembered, there's one question that has been bothering me all the way through this build :jester:.

In order to be able to mount the front derailleur, you have to leave a piece of frame tube attached to bottom bracket. I get that. But why-oh-why must there be an exact 56 degree angle between this tube and the main boom?

I figured if it were just for aesthetic reasons it would be something like 45 or 60 degrees, not exactly 56... And it also doesn't exactly align with the seat support... Neither can I imagine it has something to do with the direction of the force in which your legs are pushing... :rolleyes4:

I took the advice blindly just to be safe, but I feel kind of stupid. Can anyone please tell me what it's for!

Arthur
05-21-2010, 06:53 AM
I have another question to bent-riders. I'm wondering about the steering ergonomics. I never rode a 'bent, but it seems to me that your arms are hanging from the handlebars and your arms will get tired because you have to keep them up all the time against gravity, and maybe your hands and fingers get tired too, because you have to keep a firm grip on the bars to prevent your arms to go down.

Sure you can carry the weight of your own arms, but on a long trip this might get tiring.

On an upright bike your hands and arms kind of rest on the handlebars which seems more comfortable (on a normal bike that is, on a sports bike you have to carry part of your body weight with your arms).

Part of the solution might be to put the steer relatively close to your body, so that you can tuck your elbows in your sides. Not sure if that's comfortable, but it might support the weight of your arms a bit.

Another solution might be to build an under steer, but I'd like to set that option aside for now.

What is your experience with this? Do your arms get fatigued? Or do you rest your elbows and/or upper arms on your body? Is that even comfortable? And is this the reason why some of the recumbent handlebars sometimes are a lot less wide than normal handlebars? I'd appreciate any feedback on the matter.

savarin
05-21-2010, 08:55 AM
I have another question to bent-riders. I'm wondering about the steering ergonomics. I never rode a 'bent, but it seems to me that your arms are hanging from the handlebars and your arms will get tired because you have to keep them up all the time against gravity, and maybe your hands and fingers get tired too, because you have to keep a firm grip on the bars to prevent your arms to go down.

Never found this to be a problem, personally I find it more comfortable with the lack of neck, shoulder and wrist strain that develops on a conventional bike.



Part of the solution might be to put the steer relatively close to your body, so that you can tuck your elbows in your sides. Not sure if that's comfortable, but it might support the weight of your arms a bit.

It helps and I prefer that but tucking your elbows into your side gives a more streamlined position.
This is often called "begging hamster" as opposed to "superman" when they stretch out in front of you.



Another solution might be to build an under steer, but I'd like to set that option aside for now.

This is what I have just built and so far I really like it the best.



What is your experience with this? Do your arms get fatigued?

no.



Or do you rest your elbows and/or upper arms on your body? Is that even comfortable?

yes


And is this the reason why some of the recumbent handlebars sometimes are a lot less wide than normal handlebars? I'd appreciate any feedback on the matter.

Again it produces a more streamlined position and is comfy.

fultondp
05-21-2010, 11:46 AM
Ah, I just remembered, there's one question that has been bothering me all the way through this build :jester:.

In order to be able to mount the front derailleur, you have to leave a piece of frame tube attached to bottom bracket. I get that. But why-oh-why must there be an exact 56 degree angle between this tube and the main boom?

I figured if it were just for aesthetic reasons it would be something like 45 or 60 degrees, not exactly 56... And it also doesn't exactly align with the seat support... Neither can I imagine it has something to do with the direction of the force in which your legs are pushing... :rolleyes4:

I took the advice blindly just to be safe, but I feel kind of stupid. Can anyone please tell me what it's for!

The angle is set by the engineering of the front derailleur cage. If the angle is shallower, the derailleur can't push the chain up to the highest gear. If the angle is steeper, the chain will hit the spreader at the bottom of the cage when the chain is on the smallest sprocket. The length of the cage is the limiting factor for the gearing spread you can have on the front cluster. You can make or buy long cage derailleurs, they are used for extreme low gearing on mountain and snow bikes, but just sticking to the factory angle keeps everything stock and cheaper.

The angle to the main boom is 56 deg is specific for this build. Other builds will be different. The real angle that matters is between the derailleur mounting boom and the chainline to the rear cluster (or idler, or middrive).

-- darren

John Lewis
05-22-2010, 02:19 AM
The angle is set by the engineering of the front derailleur cage. If the angle is shallower, the derailleur can't push the chain up to the highest gear. If the angle is steeper, the chain will hit the spreader at the bottom of the cage when the chain is on the smallest sprocket. The length of the cage is the limiting factor for the gearing spread you can have on the front cluster. You can make or buy long cage derailleurs, they are used for extreme low gearing on mountain and snow bikes, but just sticking to the factory angle keeps everything stock and cheaper.

The angle to the main boom is 56 deg is specific for this build. Other builds will be different. The real angle that matters is between the derailleur mounting boom and the chainline to the rear cluster (or idler, or middrive).

-- darren

I weld mine on later. That lets me tack it and get the deraileur to chain angle right. It can be a real problem if its out by much.

John

savarin
05-22-2010, 02:57 AM
I welded my tube to a flat length of steel so I can make final tweaks by bending the flat.

Arthur
05-25-2010, 11:51 AM
Never found this to be a problem, personally I find it more comfortable with the lack of neck, shoulder and wrist strain that develops on a conventional bike.

It helps and I prefer that but tucking your elbows into your side gives a more streamlined position.
This is often called "begging hamster" as opposed to "superman" when they stretch out in front of you.

Savarin, I love the image of the "begging hamster". Looking at people riding recumbents will never be the same again :) After reading your story I will definitely go for the hamster setup, for the sake of comfort and aerodynamics.

Arthur
05-25-2010, 11:55 AM
The angle is set by the engineering of the front derailleur cage. If the angle is shallower, the derailleur can't push the chain up to the highest gear. If the angle is steeper, the chain will hit the spreader at the bottom of the cage when the chain is on the smallest sprocket.

Eureka! Thank you for clearing that up.

Arthur
05-25-2010, 04:00 PM
This weekend I sprained my ankle, so I was sort of grounded and not able to build. The long awaited test ride had to wait a little more!

Today things were better again. I welded the handlebars and goose neck to the bike and installed the chain and the idler pulley and the rear derailleur. Just the bare minimum to be able to finally take a test ride! I also stuck the foam onto the seat with some tape. Due to my impatience and the lack of proper cables I had to go without the ability to brake or change gears.

I was really psyched! Too psyched to remember to take pictures actually. But here's the story:

Test ride #1
Finally, I was riding my HR! Well, for one or two meters that is. I got some real hard interference between my knees and the handlebars! I was totally unable to complete the pedal-movement all the way around!
I guess the handlebars will have to go up and backwards (more towards the seat). Since I didn't have the patience nor the right metal tube to do this right away, I decided to move the bottom bracket as far forward as possible for my legs. This way I had (sort of) clearance when going exactly straight. I figured that in the corners I would just have to either stop pedaling or bring my knee really far outward to avoid hitting the handlebars.

Test ride #2
This time I got a bit further, but after two or three strokes pedaling the idler pulley flew off, as the bolt for the pulley broke of its bracket. Two welding tacks isn't enough for the force you apply with your legs! So I welded it back on, this time all the way around the bolt head.

Test ride #3
This time I took it around the block! Wow it is great to be in a recumbent position!

Test ride #4
With renewed confidence I hit the streets again. I was going to visit the bike shop to buy some extra long brake and gearing cables. So I joined the inner city traffic. At the next t-junction the idler pulley flew off again, this time with bracket and all :) To make matters worse, a cab rode over the pulley, but luckily it was only scratched. The bracket was also just tack welded so adjustments could be made later on. Not a good idea, not strong enough! So I walked back and welded the bracket to the frame properly.

Test ride #5
This was a proper test ride! I made it all they way to the bike shop and back, about 2 miles or so. Nearly knocking the handlebars out of your hands with your knees every now and then and not being able to brake is a bit unnerving at 5 o'clock during rush hour, but I still loved the ride :punk:

Observations
There's a lot to tell.

The perspective on the road and on traffic is quite different from what you see on an upright. You're lower to the ground off course, that's different. Your view to the front and upwards is strangely wide and open, I love it. You experience the ride more intensely. The area behind you, on the other hand, is closed off. It is a dark zone where stuff happens that you don't see :batman:. I got surprised several times by traffic coming from behind. You cannot twist your spine like on an upright to look back, so a mirror might be a very good idea.
To my surprise the frame has quite a little flex! My worries about the frame having no suspension are gone. The frame appears to be a good shock absorber itself. Also due to the foam, it even was comfy when riding on some sort of cobblestones.
Braking on a recumbent by dragging your heels over the tarmac is fun :)
Although I could not pedal freely, I believe I felt that it took little energy to keep at speed.
Starting off from standing still, especially in high gear, is tough. I always started kind of wiggly, correcting and holding on to the handlebars like a madman lol. Might get better with some experience and the ability to change gears.
Sometimes the bike suddenly felt a bit unstable, even at speed. It may be due to the fact that the steering is a bit different. But when I kept my head up looking forward, all was fine.
Leaning into corners feels great!
No heel strike up to now.


Tomorrow I hope to fix the steering and get the brakes and gear changers to operate. And I'll make some pictures. Thanks for reading!

Arthur

MarcusPHagen
05-25-2010, 05:53 PM
I got surprised several times by traffic coming from behind. You cannot twist your spine like on an upright to look back, so a mirror might be a very good idea.

Absolutely right, Arthur! At LEAST one mirror. I use both right and left (the right for when I'm making a left turn -- definitely want to keep an eye on who's coming up behind me). Some people like the helmet mirrors, since they can turn their heads to scan behind. I haven't tried one yet, but may add that to the mix. Good luck on your new ride!

Marcus

Arthur
05-25-2010, 06:15 PM
Thanks Marcus!

I've even read about people with mirrors attached to their glasses :)
And another - perhaps more feasible - option I read about is wearing a mirror on your wrist, like a watch. That way you can also scan the area behind you. This will only be useful when you have over seat steering is guess. Just another idea for your mix!

likebikes
05-25-2010, 08:55 PM
I use a bar end mirror omn my hi roller and it's worked out very well so far.

badcheese
05-25-2010, 09:12 PM
Yes, I always ride with a mirror. I have the type that clips to glasses, but I think now that I would prefer a helmet mount so I don't have to remove it every time I wear my sunglasses for a different activity. It's very nice to have it on my head instead of on the bike so I can turn my head a little to see in different directions without turning my handlebars!

I ran my seat stays directly to the rear dropouts, so I have less frame flex and I get all the road vibration straight to my back when my rear wheel hits a bump. I like the way it looks, but if I did it again I would join the seat stays further up the rear forks/chainstays as you have done (and as Brad did).

Congratulations on your ride! As much fun as it is, don't forget to tear it down and paint it before it rusts!

John Lewis
05-26-2010, 02:41 AM
Good one Arthur,
Sounds like you had a lot of fun. With regards to mirrors, they are essential on a bent because as you found you can't turn round to look. I have 2 side mirrors on the tadpole and on all the others I use a helmet mirror. Once I learned to use it I preferred it because the bike mirrors being convex give a false distance. Things look further off than they are. The helmet mirror is flat and renders distance correctly.

John

savarin
05-26-2010, 04:38 AM
Sounds like a traditional test ride to me Arthur:laugh3::juggle2:
Very exciting. (does anybody wait for brakes?)
I have just started to use a helmet mirror, a bit strange to get used to but worth persevering.
I started with a convex mirror thinking the wide angle view would be good, it isnt. The flat mirror is heaps better. (thanks John)

Arthur
05-26-2010, 06:45 PM
Ah it is so good that you guys share the enthusiasm! Don't get me wrong, several people around me in "real-life" truly appreciate what I'm doing, but you guys know what it's like to build your very own hot vehicle from scratch.
Did I mention that I had a very hard time controlling my ear-to-ear grin while driving in public for the first time? :)

About the mirrors: Plenty of options! I like the idea of using head-mounted mirrors because then you have some control over the angle of view. I don't like to wear sunglasses or helmets though.. So I've decided to make some wrist-mirrors and try them out. Afterward I will post my "review" here, so it can be added to the list of possibilities. If it is no good, I'll just use one of the other options.

I adjusted the steering today, made some pictures, but it's after midnight here and I am not up to the fuss of posting them anymore :)

I also tried to do the wiring for at least ONE brake, but I don't have proper wire-cutters and it got REALLY frustrating. After more than an hour of sawing and cutting with inferior tools I ended up with several shorter, frayed cables and several tiny holes in my fingertips. But still, no brakes. I'm going to bed :snore:.

Kind regards,
Arthur

badcheese
05-26-2010, 10:12 PM
I have also had some frustration while cutting cables because I don't have the expensive cable cutters the bike shops use. Then I saw a post from Brad saying he just cuts them with a zip disc on his angle grinder. Of course! It's so much easier than cutting with dikes, which is what I was doing before. The zip disc also cuts cable housing cleanly without crushing it.

When in doubt, reach for the angle grinder!

Racer46
05-27-2010, 04:51 PM
If you wear gloves, mount the mirrors on the back. 25hz used Velcro to mount his.

Arthur
05-27-2010, 05:09 PM
I was thinking about sweatbands. I visited six different women's make-up stores today, shopping for flat round mirrors :)
No luck though :wacky:

Arthur
05-27-2010, 05:19 PM
I have also had some frustration while cutting cables because I don't have the expensive cable cutters the bike shops use. Then I saw a post from Brad saying he just cuts them with a zip disc on his angle grinder. Of course! It's so much easier than cutting with dikes, which is what I was doing before. The zip disc also cuts cable housing cleanly without crushing it.

When in doubt, reach for the angle grinder!

So you know the feeling huh? I don't have an angle grinder myself (yet). I bought a new cable instead. Turned out that the brakes I had from my hacked-up mountain bike had to be pulled upward in the middle to work and the High Roller doesn't allow for that because of the main boom. I ended up buying a brand new cantilever brake, which works great.

Arthur
05-27-2010, 06:06 PM
Below you see a fellow bike-hacker (actually he's building a big electric carrier bike) modeling on the HR to show the lack of knee/handlebar clearance.

http://www.netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/interference.jpg
Wouter shows there's no room for the legs

http://www.netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/cut_steer.jpg
No other option then to cut the goose neck!

http://www.netzaak.nl/atomic_zombie/hr_trimmed.jpg
This is my HR in its current state. I made the goose neck extra long (since it easier to make it shorter than longer afterward).

There is plenty enough room now for the knees. The steering is a bit less nice than before though. The longer goose neck adds extra tiller of course and it also flexes a little..

Besides these details it is an absolute blast to ride! It is fast, comfortable and the view is great. And I'm very glad the HR is high enough for people to see you, even cars when you're next to them. I also found out that you DO can see quite a lot behind you by turning the neck and looking over the shoulder. Still thinking about mirrors though. Today I also took some detours over grass, gravel, or curbs for the fun and to overtake people. The bike handles it fine!

I asked the guy from the recumbent shop/factory in this town if he could hook me up with some extra long brake and shifter cables and he said he could. Then I will FINALLY install it, do the final adjustments and tidying and then.. paint!

Arthur

stormbird
05-28-2010, 04:02 AM
I was thinking about sweatbands. I visited six different women's make-up stores today, shopping for flat round mirrors :)
No luck though :wacky:

Arthur

I made some sweatband mirrors as you are suggesting. I found some mirrored plastic it cuts easy with scissors and I drilled 2 small holes in it and stiched it to a sweatband.

Works ok but you do have to be careful it doesn't bend otherwise you view is distorted , it is better than nothing at all.

It is used a lot in kids toys so there is no glass to break , it can also be found in hobby shops and online I think in A4 sheets.

regards Paul

stormbird
05-28-2010, 04:12 AM
Arthur

My bike is very similar to yours but my handle bars travel forward not backwards so my knees are behind the bars ?

Look at the red bike in the picture.

regards Paul

Arthur
06-02-2010, 02:43 PM
Arthur

My bike is very similar to yours but my handle bars travel forward not backwards so my knees are behind the bars ?

Look at the red bike in the picture.

regards Paul

Nice solution Paul. How do you like this "superman" setup, with your arms extendend? Is it comfy on long trips?

Arthur
06-02-2010, 03:48 PM
Hi fellow-bikers! Everybody enjoying some beautiful weather on their bikes?

A few posts ago I said that my HR felt a bit unstable. And it still does, especially when going straight. I wouldn't ride it without my hands on the handlebars. I do a lot of correcting. I did some more test riding and this is what happens exactly:

The bike goes straight. The front wheel is pointing straight forward. When I lean a little to one side, the wheel stays straight. It seems to be "stuck" in that position. Then suddenly, when I lean a little more, it shoots out of the straight position to an angle of a few degrees. I have to be quick and correct by pulling the handlebars to the other side.

I don't like this!

I did some research on this forum and other sources. I'm starting to think this is what they call "wheel flop", can anyone confirm this?

Because I also read that this can be cured by reducing the amount of trail. People say that reducing trail can be done by making the head tube angle more steep (tough job to do on a finished HR) or adding some rake to the front forks (easier job I think).

Right now I have a trail of about 6.5mm or about 2.5" (rake is about 4.5mm and I couldn't get a decent measurement for the head tube angle yet)

Do you think that a) my HR suffers from wheel flop and b) I could make things better by increasing my rake and thus reducing trail?

Kind regards,
Arthur

savarin
06-02-2010, 08:17 PM
Wheel flop is what is experienced by choppers with very high trail numbers, ie. when the forks are stretched out in front. The wheel exhibits a tendency to "flop" from straight ahead to one side or the other. Personally I dont find wheel flop to be much of a problem except at very low speeds.
2.5" of trail sounds about right, you can go to 3" or a bit more.
I dont really know what is causing your sudden direction change but you might try this one.
Check the head bearings, both of the cups and cones for small indentations.
Also, how tight have you done up the head set?
If there are indentations on any one or more of the cups/cones then the balls can sit in the dent and stay there until they suddenly slip to the next dent. This would give the sudden direction change you are experiencing. It done up too tight this can also do the same thing.
Quite often you cannot feel the dents but they do show up if you clean every scrap of oil and grease off the bearing surfaces and tilt them in all directions in strong light.
The dents show up as tiny shiny spots along the shiny track the balls make.
Also, if there is a wear spot along the track (corrosion?). This can also let the balls sit tight then suddenly slip to the new position.
If you have any of these replace the cups, cones and balls and do up just tight enough to stop play but loose enough to move evenly.
Just thought of another cause, if the bearings have ever been loose for an extended period they can hammer dents into the tracks.
HTH

stormbird
06-03-2010, 01:55 AM
Nice solution Paul. How do you like this "superman" setup, with your arms extendend? Is it comfy on long trips?

Arthur

Very comfortable I like my chest to be open rather than having my hands close together in front of it , slightly less aerodynamic but I ain't riding for speed. It also allows you to pull yourself up out of the seat as mine is rather laid back and some manoeuvres need me to be sat vertically.

regards Paul

stormbird
06-03-2010, 02:03 AM
Hi fellow-bikers! Everybody enjoying some beautiful weather on their bikes?

I did some research on this forum and other sources. I'm starting to think this is what they call "wheel flop", can anyone confirm this?

Right now I have a trail of about 6.5mm or about 2.5" (rake is about 4.5mm and I couldn't get a decent measurement for the head tube angle yet)

Kind regards,
Arthur

Arthur

No that is not wheel flop , as savarin say's wheel flop occurs when starting off and at very low speeds.

What happens is that as you start off any steering input causes the bike to fall in that direction as if it is falling over the wheel ? [ sort of hard to explain ] some of the easy racer style bikes suffer from this and as you ride faster it disappears.

It can also be aggravated on a bike that is close to being unstable with wheel flop if there is to much tiller on the handle bars.

One indicator [ supposedly ] of wheel flop is that with the bike stationary if you turn the handle bars the front of the bike can be seen to rise and fall.

You trail is about right.

For your problem try raising the front of the bike off the ground and try the steering then , is it smooth ?

regards Paul

Arthur
06-03-2010, 04:13 AM
Correction for metric readers:

The trail is indeed 2.5" so that is correct, but this equals about 65mm and not 6.5 as I wrote. Same for the rake, it is 45mm not 4.5

stormbird
06-03-2010, 05:00 AM
Correction for metric readers:

The trail is indeed 2.5" so that is correct, but this equals about 65mm and not 6.5 as I wrote. Same for the rake, it is 45mm not 4.5

Arthur

My understanding is that the trail is importent and the fork angle and wheel offset [ at the wheel end of the fork ] is just used to get the necessary trail ?

http://www.american-v.co.uk/technical/handling/geometry/body.html

and here :-

http://www.tonyfoale.com/Articles/RakeEx/RakeEx.htm

regards Paul

stormbird
06-08-2010, 02:09 AM
I welded my tube to a flat length of steel so I can make final tweaks by bending the flat.

Savarin

Do you have a drawing ? or pictures of this ? I want to make a BB that can sit under the frame not on top , so the front mech tube will have to bolt onto the bolts holding the bb onto the frame.

regards Paul

jackofall
02-10-2011, 05:22 AM
Savarin

Do you have a drawing ? or pictures of this ? I want to make a BB that can sit under the frame not on top , so the front mech tube will have to bolt onto the bolts holding the bb onto the frame.

regards Paul

there is a front deraillier around that monts to the b/b so theres no need for the up-right tube, check with your local bike shop. i know shimano does one for sure

savarin
02-10-2011, 06:18 AM
Savarin

Do you have a drawing ? or pictures of this ? I want to make a BB that can sit under the frame not on top , so the front mech tube will have to bolt onto the bolts holding the bb onto the frame.

regards Paul

I never saw this post originally, do you still want a picture?
I can take one tomorrow.

stormbird
02-11-2011, 02:55 AM
I never saw this post originally, do you still want a picture?
I can take one tomorrow.

Savarin

Thanks for offer but I think I have a solution , just need the bike built first !

regards Paul