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SactoDoug
11-19-2010, 11:10 PM
I am starting work on my High Roller this weekend. My goal is to have a fast and relatively light recumbent bicycle. I just finished stripping the donor bike down. Tomorrow I will chop up the frame and if I have time, I will practice welding on some scrap metal then weld the rear fork on to the boom.

I uploaded a picture of the donor bike. I would use an image hosting site but they are blocked at my work and I do browse this forum at work (on my breaks of course :) ).

I needed very specific items for my High Roller and I got very lucky that I was able to find most of the parts I needed from one bike off of Craigslist for $150.

Aluminum 6061 frame 700c wheels Trigger Shifters 8 speed or better freewheel Triple gear crank

As a bonus and slight complication, the donor came with disc brakes. This is great for the rear but it means I can't use the aluminum front fork that I already bought. I don't want to use the front fork that came with the donor because it is too heavy and I don't need the suspension. Because of this I had to order another fork from eBay. I quickly learned that there is no such thing as an aluminum fork for a 700c wheel that has a disc brake mount. They only come in CroMo or carbon fiber. So I ordered carbon fiber since it was only $20 more than the CroMo forks. I will probably use the aluminum fork that I have for my Spring project, a Tomahawk.

I already bought all of the metal that I need. Most of it is 1/8" 6061 aluminum. According to my rough calculation it should be just as strong as 16 gage steel but about 20% lighter. I know my welds are not going to be the pretty professional stack of dime welds. I will probably have a bunch of caterpillar welds. I am going to leave the metal bare and polish it when I am done. I hope it turns out looking good. If not, I can always paint it later.

I am excited to start this project. I don't plan to be done until mid to late January. Don't expect daily updates. I will post pictures as I go. I will probably ask a lot of questions too.

SirJoey
11-20-2010, 09:56 AM
Don't expect daily updates.WHAT?!! NO DAILY UPDATES?!! :eek:
You're KIDDING, RIGHT? :eek:

:jester:



********** The **** Is My Shepherd! **********
http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/77/signaturethanksgiving.jpg
-----(Geezer & Bent Enthusiast At Large)------

Odd Man Out
11-20-2010, 03:46 PM
I quickly learned that there is no such thing as an aluminum fork for a 700c wheel that has a disc brake mount. I will probably ask a lot of questions too.

You could look around for an old model Bontrager Satillite 700c fork -- they were all AL with disc mounts.

Glad to have you aboard -- if you have Q's about anything doing with AL, I can help you out. One thing to remember is that if you are going with an AL frame, that it is mandatory that you have the thing professionally heat treated (using glycol and NOT water) when you are done or else you are looking forward to an unexpected catastrophic frame failure sometime in your future riding experience.

I'm here to help.

dynodon
11-20-2010, 04:52 PM
I wanted to build a AL Tomahawk I have a friend that welds AL for a living after I build a light steel version I may still take a crack at the AL....just tack it all together and have him finishe weld it for me.

SactoDoug
11-20-2010, 09:36 PM
I chopped up the frame today and removed most of the paint. Removing the paint and grinding the old welds down took up most of the time. I think I can finish it up tomorrow with another hour of effort. On the plus side, I can see that it should polish up nicely when I am done.

I will not have the frame heat treated. It makes no sense paying $300 to have a frame heat treated for a bike that I am building for $350. I have spoken to a few professional welders and done some research. I am confident that I can build an aluminum bike and that it will be fine. I don't plan on doing any Dukes of Hazard jumps with it and the biggest bumps that it will hit are pot holes and dropping off of a 6 inch curb. I will add extra reinforcement at critical welds where I feel it is necessary.

If I have time tomorrow, I might try to tackle welding up the rear end.

Odd Man Out
11-21-2010, 12:31 AM
It makes no sense paying $300 to have a frame heat treated for a bike that I am building for $350. I am confident that I can build an aluminum bike and that it will be fine. I don't plan on doing any Dukes of Hazard jumps with it and the biggest bumps that it will hit are pot holes and dropping off of a 6 inch curb.

Hey, it's your health and am just trying to help. In your research did you find out how many aluminum frame makers do NOT heat treat their frames... I would bet that the answer will be zero. Might be a reason for that.

Also, if you take into account the bucks spent on medical care after a headtube fails at speed, it just might make sense spending money on heating treating -- call it preventative medicine.
:punk:

wiretie
11-21-2010, 12:57 AM
I'm no expert, but I've heard from more place than one that aluminum loses 50 percent of it's strength after welding, but it regains 40 percent back after heat treating, IDKFS but I would verify the strength of your finished welds. Nobody wants to see you or your hard earned project get mangled...
Good luck and have fun,
Briggs

Odd Man Out
11-21-2010, 01:07 AM
I'm no expert, but I've heard from more place than one that aluminum loses 50 percent of it's strength after welding, but it regains 40 percent back after heat treating, IDKFS but I would verify the strength of your finished welds. Nobody wants to see you or your hard earned project get mangled...
Good luck and have fun,
Briggs

Close to true -- the area of the weld loses pretty much all tensile strength and becomes somewhat brittle. 6061T6 goes to a 6061T zero after welding. After a good heat treatment, the weld and area around it can be brought back all the way to T6 condition.

IrvJamison
11-21-2010, 02:25 AM
My background was in the Aerospace machining business and also in racing and I can tell you that **** *** is CORRECT when he states that you must have the frame PROPERLY heat-treated. Without it YOU WILL HAVE A MAJOR FAILURE. Itís not worth taking the chance with your safety or the safety of others. Just the right bump on the old melon can cause permanent damage, believe me, I know first hand.
Irv Jamison

SactoDoug
11-21-2010, 05:38 AM
Close to true -- the area of the weld loses pretty much all tensile strength and becomes somewhat brittle. 6061T6 goes to a 6061T zero after welding. After a good heat treatment, the weld and area around it can be brought back all the way to T6 condition.


It does not lose all tensile strength. Also T0 is not more brittle than T6. It is exactly the opposite. T6 is harder and more brittle but it is about twice as strong which is why people use it. T0 aluminum is kept refrigerated to prevent it from aging to keep it ductile so that aluminum makers can later form it into the shapes that they want prior to further treatment.

The fact is that 6061 T0 still has a tensile strength of between 16-22 ksi. The welded area will have a temper of zero. After 4 days the area will be consider "naturally aged" and will have a T1 rating which is 26 ksi. While that is still not equal to T6 at 38 ksi, it is enough for my usage. I am not building a race car or aircraft and it will take me more than 4 days to put all the components on the bicycle after I am done welding. I won't be jumping on it while it is still hot from the welds, that is for sure.

Also, I am using 1/8" thick aluminum which is 1/3 thicker than what I need to match the same strength of steel. After welding and natural aging it will have the same tensile strength.

There is also one big disadvantage to heat treating. It can destroy your project. It is common for aluminum parts to warp during heat treatment. Wouldn't that be great to pay $300 to heat treatment only to have it completely ruin all of your work?

BTW, heat treating alone would only get the aluminum to a T4 rating which has the same tensile strength as T1. As far as I can tell, the main difference between T4 and T1 is that T4 has a yield strength of 16 ksi vs 14 ksi for T1. It must also be artificially aged to get to T6.

Odd Man Out
11-21-2010, 06:10 AM
There is also one big disadvantage to heat treating. It can destroy your project. It is common for aluminum parts to warp during heat treatment. Wouldn't that be great to pay $300 to heat treatment only to have it completely ruin all of your work?

BTW, heat treating alone would only get the aluminum to a T4 rating which has the same tensile strength as T1.

I agree but the chances are slim if Glycol is used.
Actually it really can bring it all the way to T6.
But I see that you are hugely knowleagable in all things AL so I bow to your expertise.
Just hope that you have great health insurance...
Looking forward to your extended ride reports.
Remember, we zombies love picts!
:punk::punk::punk:

John Lewis
11-21-2010, 08:32 AM
I would also recommend heat treatment. I've had some experience with 6061 T6 in aircraft building in my ultralight days and i'm well aware of its characteristics.
That said, the builders of what we call roo bars but which you might know as bull bars don't seem to heat treat. The Al they use is not 6061T6 of course .More likely one of the 700 series.

As you are using thicker material it may be OK. However it would appear that you intend to weld some bike parts to the heavy tube. eg the rear chain stay assembly etc. This is thinner material and I would have some concern.

At any event. Take it steady and test thoroughly and I will look forward to seeing how your build progresses.

John Lewis

wiretie
11-21-2010, 11:14 AM
Yep Yep Yep!

Racer46
11-21-2010, 07:09 PM
Hey, it's your health and am just trying to help. In your research did you find out how many aluminum frame makers do NOT heat treat their frames... I would bet that the answer will be zero. Might be a reason for that.

<snip>

Actually quite a few manufacturers do not heat treat. Catrike comes to mind. Be advised that they do not use 6061, they use 7005. Catrike only artificially ages the frames at 450 degrees for 10 hours.

My Infinity is made out of 6061 & 6063 and was not heat treated. When the frame broke it was at a known week point. Later bikes had a gusset that mind didn't have. The bike lasted 22 years until it broke under the stress of my rather hefty mass. I estimate that I am about 50 pounds too heavy for that bike.

Odd Man Out
11-21-2010, 10:36 PM
Actually quite a few manufacturers do not heat treat. Catrike comes to mind. Be advised that they do not use 6061, they use 7005. Catrike only artificially ages the frames at 450 degrees for 10 hours.

My Infinity is made out of 6061 & 6063 and was not heat treated. When the frame broke it was at a known week point. Later bikes had a gusset that mind didn't have. The bike lasted 22 years until it broke under the stress of my rather hefty mass. I estimate that I am about 50 pounds too heavy for that bike.

Racer
I am not trying to spark controversy. Catrike not "heat" treating at 450 degrees??? Sounds warm to me... and 7000 series is a bit stronger than 6000 series would you not agree?
Hey, if people don't want to heat treat their AL creations then more power to them. Some people smoke cigarettes despite the known dangers. It's whatever floats your boat -- was just trying to help someone avoid a future problem.

SactoDoug
11-22-2010, 05:59 PM
I would also recommend heat treatment. I've had some experience with 6061 T6 in aircraft building in my ultralight days and i'm well aware of its characteristics.
That said, the builders of what we call roo bars but which you might know as bull bars don't seem to heat treat. The Al they use is not 6061T6 of course .More likely one of the 700 series.

As you are using thicker material it may be OK. However it would appear that you intend to weld some bike parts to the heavy tube. eg the rear chain stay assembly etc. This is thinner material and I would have some concern.

At any event. Take it steady and test thoroughly and I will look forward to seeing how your build progresses.

John Lewis


I have read that the Chinese makers use 6061 and the Taiwanese bike makers use 7005. I don't know any way to confirm this but it seem to be accurate. 7005 is higher quality and strength but I did not go with it because it is more expensive and harder to aquire. I can get 6061 literally off the shelf at my local metal supplier. If I am working away and need a certain common piece to complete a part, I can literally go to Home Depot to buy it. With 7005, I would have to catalog order it or order online.

I will be adding reinforcements to parts from the donor frame. When I build the triangle for the chain stay, I will weld 1/8" thick 3" triangles in the rear corners and more reinforcements where I feel they would go well. I will also add reinforcement at the head tube too. I have no problem with adding a few oz's of extra aluminum for reinforcement.


Update: There really isn't an update. I was not able to work on the bike yesterday because of other commitments. I will see if I can find an hour or two tonight. I probably won't be able to do anything the rest of this week but I do plan to work on it this weekend.

dynodon
11-23-2010, 12:41 PM
waiting with great interest!!!!

SactoDoug
11-23-2010, 07:32 PM
Sorry, there probably won't be any more updates this week. I am in holiday mode now.

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

dynodon
11-24-2010, 09:42 PM
I hear you....me too! gobble till you wobble! enjoy and give thanks...

SactoDoug
12-07-2010, 12:16 PM
A small update. I recieved the carbon fork along with a few other parts for the build such as a pair of idler pulleys, headset, headset spacers and inner tubes.

I have some extra steel 1" X 2" square tubing. I am going to put it to good use and build a frame jig with it. Since I plan to build more than one of AZ's bikes, I think it will be well worth it to have a jig. I have my eye on the Tomahawk (or Marauder) and Dutchman Cargo Bike right now. I think I'm going to have to buy a storage shed just for all the bikes I want to build.

I'm going to have to find a power pulley. I will probably have to just buy one from McMasters Carr. It looks like I can get a nice rope one for about $15. The only thing that concerns me about it is that it will have a round groove in it for a rope rather than a square one for a chain.

Odd Man Out
12-07-2010, 04:50 PM
I'm going to have to find a power pulley. I will probably have to just buy one from McMasters Carr. It looks like I can get a nice rope one for about $15. The only thing that concerns me about it is that it will have a round groove in it for a rope rather than a square one for a chain.


You are spending the big bucks for a carbon fork but going cheap on the power pulley??? Check this site out;
http://www.terracycle.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=T&Category_Code=IdlersALL
They offer high end dedicated stuff -- much better for your build.

SactoDoug
12-07-2010, 07:23 PM
You are spending the big bucks for a carbon fork but going cheap on the power pulley??? Check this site out;
http://www.terracycle.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=T&Category_Code=IdlersALL
They offer high end dedicated stuff -- much better for your build.

Thank you for the suggestion. That looks like a much better option. I looked at other sites and did not see any pullies offered like those.

SactoDoug
10-13-2013, 05:50 PM
It has been a long time. I finally fixed my car last winter and got it out of the garage. I had a few other projects that needed to be done and other things kept coming up. At any rate, I am finally building my bike.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylXC7_jPO48

I'll add more videos as I work on the bike. I am mostly going to work on it on the weekends for a few hours.

SactoDoug
10-13-2013, 05:51 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCefL4i7fEY

SactoDoug
10-13-2013, 05:51 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yulx0sAv6Vo

SactoDoug
10-13-2013, 05:52 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDlHoRqDaCw

SactoDoug
10-21-2013, 03:48 PM
I did some welding over the weekend. More videos will come later when I get the chance to post them:


http://youtu.be/hpbIYOl608I


http://youtu.be/dTO-tY8Rhiw

SactoDoug
10-21-2013, 08:16 PM
I made a mistake. The boom is upside down. I wanted the lettering on the side readable. It is now upside down. I checked and double checked but for some reason in my head I was thinking that the long end of the head tube goes on bottom. After I was done welding, I realized it goes on top. Not a big deal but annoying. The front of the boom will be welded correctly. Next time I will mark which side is up.

Oh well.

More from this weekend:


http://youtu.be/gCGTcnj7ivk


http://youtu.be/l7FD1ZgWHp8

Tradetek
10-21-2013, 09:15 PM
I also learned the ol' sharpie to mark which side is up as well as front a while ago... :oops:

Anyhow, looks like you are making good progress, although the wide angle perspective on your camera is a bit difficult for me to watch. I have some visual triggers for my seizure disorder and apparently your camera is one of them. :(

Bill

SactoDoug
11-06-2013, 06:39 PM
I think part of the issue with the video is the Youtube editing. It allows smoothing of the video but does weird things to the images. I will link the rest of the videos without the additional smoothing.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osZ7U1hNgo0


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHAXWKtHJXM

SactoDoug
05-01-2014, 12:46 AM
It is now 98% complete. I rode it for the first time today. It was learning to ride a bike all over again. It took a number of tries and some pedal adjustments before I could even start pedaling. I rode it for about an hour. It is going to take some getting used to riding. I still do not have complete control over it as I am riding but I'm getting better.

My turns are a bit wide. I am going to have to learn to lean into my turns more.

The only hiccup is that I broke the handlebar tube and had to reweld it. I tested its strength the second time and I am very confident that it won't break again.

I will have to do a full writeup later with a number of videos I made. I am beat right now. So here is the picture I took of it 98% done.

http://s29.postimg.org/4ag1nxytz/20140430_193446.jpg

go1000go
05-01-2014, 03:05 AM
Looks great.
Any idea what it weighs?

SactoDoug
05-01-2014, 09:47 AM
Looks great.
Any idea what it weighs?

The frame itself is relatively light for its size. Unfortunately I did not weight the bare frame. I know it was less than 10#.

With the bike fully assembled as it is, my bathroom scale says it weighs 42#. The heaviest parts are the wheels. I could probably shave off a couple pounds if I switch from 35mm to 25mm tires and tubes. There are a few places where I could save some weight. If I redo my handlebars I could save at least another pound, probably two.

I will be adding fenders, lights and a seat tube to the bike so it will get slightly heavier. The seat tube will be so that I can use various accessories that hang off of the seat tube.

SactoDoug
06-14-2014, 12:30 PM
I have gone over 500 miles with it so far. I have been riding it to and from work every day since May 1st. I also took it on a century ride. The bike has held up well. Lots of potholes later and not a single frame failure of any kind. I did figure out that my chain choice was a mistake. The Wipperman chain that I bought skips on the 11 tooth gear. No amount of adjustment can fix it. I found some posts online of other people that experienced the same problem. It appears that the Wipperman chain is slightly longer than a typical Shimano or SRAM chain. I replaced it with Shimano and now I have no problems. That was $230 worth of chain down the tubes. :(

The century was a real learning experience. I learned that you need extra sun block on your legs when riding a recumbent! The front of my legs were burned to a crisp. I also learned that I need to ride with shoes that have stiffer soles. Mine flexed a lot since they are "barefoot" running shoes. That caused some pain and toe numbness when I went over the 50 mile mark.

I have also found that I can keep up with the road bikers despite being old and fat. :) That fat part is being fixed since I have lost 15 pounds since I started commuting with it on May 1st. Just 40 more to go. I am certainly much faster than all of the other bicycle commuters. I average about 20 mph cruising speed on my 8 mile commute. I have found that even when I am against a 10+ mph head wind, I can still easily keep up 16 mph. Horray for superior recumbent aerodynamics. :)

It is more comfortable to ride overall. It is not as fun on a bumpy road. I have learned to lift my butt when I know I am going to hit a bump, which helps. On a poor road with a lot of small bumps, the vibration gets transmitted right into my body. I see why many recumbent builders put some kind of suspension on their bikes. At the end of my ride, I don't have the typical pains that I get when I am on my road bike. That is the reason why I can ride it daily. I can't ride my road bike daily because of the pain that builds up.

I expect to be riding this bike for years to come.

HHJJ
06-14-2014, 03:30 PM
Excellent!
Sounds like great fun you are having.

Radical Brad
06-14-2014, 04:19 PM
Thanks for the report and photos... nicely done!

Brad

John Lewis
06-15-2014, 08:04 AM
Great to see it all finished and riding.
It looks great.
It took a while. Must be the best part of 4 years since you first started and I'd almost forgotten about it
so it was great to find the thread again and see how it turned out.

Nice to hear the welds are all standing up to the usage too. recall some of us, me included, were a bit concerned.
Enjoy the ride.

John