Yesterday was a great day for bicycle parts collection. Someone put 2 bicycles out by the road with a sign saying "free bikes" ... so I took them home. It seems that one of them just needs some air in the tires ... and a rider. Then later in the day I was passing by bulk garbage piles and saw a bicycle wheel. So I stopped and found 2 more bicycles that I put in the car and took home. Now the question is, do I just fix them up and give them away? Or strip them for parts? (cut up the frames, save the brakes & shifters, etc.)
I'll worry about that later. I have other activities to attend to today. Gotta go! :-)
I changed the front wheel to a 24" one (had to cut the brakes assembly off to do this and patch the fork and grind things smooth again) ... and rode it around. Pretty nice. Then I changed it to a 26" wheel (the brake assembly was still off). It rides pretty good and is the same size as the rear wheel. Which means you can theoretically make it from just one donor bike.
sideview with the 26" wheel
sideview of the front fork
Wheel clearance of front fork ...
too close for caliper brakes,
awkward even with "V" brakes
Another view of fork clearance
This view shows the roller for the return chain.
It keeps the chain from swinging back and forth and wreaking havoc. I had to drop it down a little so that the chain didn't rub the bottom of the frame when on the big gear in the back and the big gear in the front at the same time.
Okay ... I like how it rides so far. However, I had no way of carrying anything with me. So, I added a water bottle holder on the steering tube. Then I custom made a rack for the back from an oven rack. And attached a refrigerator basket to it with cable ties. Also put some clip-on pedals on it. I think I may change the front wheel to a 24" one ... which will give my pedals more ground clearance. (meaning I won't occasionally scrub my heels on the ground)
I finally attached the long cables to the rear and now have dual brakes and a wide range of gears. I had to re-work the welds on the steering bar. And I admit that I probably bent the front forks too much ... it sits just a little bit low to the ground ... I know this because my heels occasionally scuff the ground. It is quiet, rides nice, and I'm just going to be happy with it as it is. Too many problems to change it now (I'd have to re-work a whole new front fork). I'll be aware of that on my next bike. In the meantime, I'm riding this bike almost every day. I'm willing to take on hills and longer mileage. The goal this summer is to work up to 30 to 50 miles a day.
UPDATE: You'll find that I later re-worked the front fork ...
It seems I can never have enough Recumbents ... made 2 Bentech LWB's & 1 SWB, 1 Toureasy clone, a LWB lowracer, 2 Mach 2's, bought a Sun EZ-Speedster, and made a DeltaWolf trike. I LIKE USS! See some of my bikes below ...