Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bike Breaking

I'm building a bike. Actually, rebuilding is probably more accurate. Or maybe merging, since I'm taking two bikes to build one. So bike breaking (as in ship breaking) was the first order of business.

Why build a bike, you ask? I already have a couple. I'm getting old however, and my back hurts and my knees are shot (one of them, anyway). I want a recumbent, but they cost an arm and leg, or at least as much as knee surgery. Being a cheap and thrifty guy of many talents, I'll figure I'll can try and make one.

It almost seemed like a sin to cut into a bike frame. One of the donor frames was a freebie early eighties mountain bike frame from a missionary getting ready to go home. The other was a late seventies Japanese road bike frame I paid $20 for.

I don't think I would have tried this if it wasn't for two things. First, all the instruction are posted on the internet. I learned from Project Buggy that working the bugs out of a design is the most time consuming part of a project. I'm more than willing to let someone else do that for me.

Secondly, Smitty was next door and willing to teach me how to braze. Brazing is a lot like soldering, which I became quite proficient at doing for Project Buggy. You just need about a magnitude more heat. It is also a lot easier to do than welding, which is why it has been a preferred bike building technique from the beginning of time.

Tune in for our next episode, where we'll learn about the sling seat design and the modern miracle called Phifertex.


brenda said...

Sweet! You can name it "frankenstein."

Neil said...

that is so cool! I can't wait to see it. I love a good project. Mine aren't nearly some creative, but I felt good about myself for days after I tore Pam's camera apart, cleaned out some sand, and got the thing back together. It took half the night, but in some strange way it gave extra meaning to my life. But I know you are more sensible then to stay up half the night.

Eldon and Janeil Olsen said...

Most clever title. Can't wait to see the finished article.

PS I like my haircut.

darkfire said...

I thought the seat was really cool. Make sure you agree with all the directions before you get too far. The great bane of the internet is that any lame brain can post nonsense. Like me!

g said...

that's AWESOME!

looking forward to the next episode.

Jurfonater said...

Nice! I wanna see it when its done.

velvetelement said...

That is awesome Ken. I had a friend build a recumbent bike and I had never seen the likes of it before, it will be fun to see how yours turns out. I like Brenda's name of "Frankenstein"!

Anonymous said...

This is too cool. I can sympathize with cutting into a perfectly good frame. Five frames lost their lives during the evolution of the skibike...although at least four were resurrected; better, stronger, and faster! If you need someone to speed test it at 60 mph, I'm pretty sure Sam could be bribed.

- Mike