Saturday, July 5, 2014

My Old Recumbent photos

They aren't big, but they are the best I have available at this time.  These are some of my first recumbents.

 Bentech SWB - muffler pipe and the forks from a Huffy Mtn bike

 Me on the Bentech SWB - the Bentech LWB was supposed to be my main bike, but this one became the one that I'd grab and ride much more often.

 Bentech LWB - 4130 chromoly main tube

 Bentech LWB - muffler pipe

Tour Easy clone - made from a Japanese 10-speed bicycle

Redondo LWB Lowracer - showing the intermediate jackshaft that makes this bike fly so fast!

Large Cartoon Photo of my Sun EZ Speedster CX

This is a larger photo of me on my Sun EZ Speedster CX SWB recumbent.

The Sun Speedster is a very maligned bike. 

My experience has been that a lot of bicycle shops didn't set them up correctly.  Sun only sells to bicycle shops because they know that most owners have no idea how to properly set up and adjust their bikes.  The problem was, the only information on how to properly set up the Speedster, was a photo on the Sun website.  No written instructions.  You had to pay really close attention to details in the photo.

The additional problem that a lot of riders had, was attempting to ride the Speedster with the handlebar stem poking up vertically (90 degrees to the ground).  This makes for really squirrely handling.  That's the position you have them in for getting on or off the bike.  But to ride, you need to have the steering stem locked back closer to your body similar to that in the photo above.  Then it handles very sedately.

So, due to the usual comedy of errors ... I was able to purchase my Speedster from a bicycle shop for only $400 (brand new).  After setting it up properly, I've had many enjoyable years riding it!!

Re-modified Don's delta trike (sigh)

 July 4th, 2014 - the owner (Don) was complaining that the main tube was canted about 2 degrees to the right.  So today we dismantled it.  We removed the rack, wheels and axles, the seat, and disconnected the shifting cable.  We inverted the frame, I was going to use a hacksaw, but instead used the cutting wheel on the 4-1/2" hand grinder.  I cut from the bottom at the point where the main tube connects with the rear unit ... but not quite all the way through ... just short of the top re-enforcing plate. Cut the support tubes from the seat back tube, and cut off the seat mount unit.  So, with the main tube only connected to the rear unit by the top re-enforcing plate, put it upside down in a vise, checked for level on the main tube,  then torqued (twisted) the rear unit until it was level with the main tube.  That re-enforcing plate is pretty tough (1/8" thick) and with Don pushing up on one side while I applied my weight pushing down on the other side.  It took us 3 attempts before we finally moved it enough to the proper position.  Then welded it back together.  Adjusted and welded back on the seat tube support tubes, welded on a new seat mount configuration (with a little more rearward angle to the seat), and welded on a roller to support the bottom return part of the chain so it doesn't hang down and swing back and forth.  Bolted the wheels, axles, and cargo rack back on.  Then we cable-tied a basket to the rear cargo rack for the owner to put groceries in when he goes shopping ... or books when he goes to the library.  And finally hooked back up the shifter cable after making an alignment adjustment to the rear derailleur mount.

I'm talking about being exhausted!

The above photo is the re-completed modified delta trike ...

This is the lower chain roller ... when forward pressure is placed on the pedals, the top part of the chain sits about an inch (2.5 cm) above the roller unit.  There is a shield over the roller to keep the chain from hopping off the roller (had that problem before on another recumbent that I built).

Looking at the area where all the work was concentrated today.  Right in the middle you can see the silver "top re-enforcing plate" in front of the rack (the plate I didn't cut through).  This is where all the critical action took place.

In this photo, there is a better view of the seat mount (above the basket) ... and you can see the chain roller down in front of the seat.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Rear Fender

I think a fender on the rear is absolutely essential.  I've had wet stripes up my back along with dirt & grit in in my hair ... way too many times.

This fender is bolted on in two spots (front and top front).  The wires at the rear are currently Gorilla Taped into place on the inside of the frame.  At least they aren't rattling too much ...  I'll drill & tap holes to bolt them on .. shortly.

Monday, June 2, 2014

More on Mesh

I rode the trike 15 miles today.  Climbed a fairly stiff 2-mile hill between the 7-1/2 to 9-1/2 mile markers.  No issues with the mesh seat.  very comfortable.  Before I started, I did place a 1-1/2" wide x 3/4" thick block between the seat connector and the main tube.  What this did was push the lower end of the seat slightly up in the air so that I wasn't fighting sliding down off it.  Good ride with no seat issues.

view from the left side.

view from the right side.  Still have to adjust the left front brake.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Mesh Seat & Bell Flag

I did another 12-miler.  That original design seat just isn't comfortable enough for me to ride long mileage on it.  So I decided to pull a mesh seat off another one of my recumbent bikes.

Here it is with mesh seat and Bell flag ...

A closer view of the seat.  Need to make a newer mesh cover for it.  I need to make those EMT bars that are wider horizontally and then come up vertically instead of at a slant.  That's so I can get a little tighter turning radius.

I welded some tabs on and bolted the seat to them where the rear fork meets the main frame.

Here's the bracket I made to attach the bottom of the seat to the frame main tube.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Heel Strike, Warrior Flag4

The front portion of my main frame tube was parallel to the ground.  From the top of the tube to the ground was 12".  I found that I was have periodic heel strikes with my size 10 (EU 43) clipless sandals.  I decided to cut from the bottom up the joint where the two tubes are spliced together ... leaving the top weld in place.  The hacksaw removed some metal, then I lifted up the tube so the bottom opening was about 3/16" wide.  That isn't very much, but it resulted in about a 1-1/2" rise to the top of the front tube.  I then brace this with some metal chips, and welded it all back together.  This has pretty much eliminated heel strike.  Other than a short, high, bump (speed bumps).

This is that seam where I cut up from the bottom.

Here you can see that the front section of the main tube rises slightly.

The tip of the flag pole is in the same plane as the left front wheel.  Yes, I pulled the support brace in another 7/8".

Monday, March 10, 2014

Axle Plates for any Cart or Sulky Plan

Here's some more detail on the axle plates used on the Freighter or Dog Sulky ...

 This shows the type of electrical box covers to buy ... the top right one.

 Drill then hacksaw the slot

 Forming them to the tubing so you can weld or bolt them ...

Using a straight edge to line them up before welding or marking to drill

Dog Sulky

I noticed that someone was asking about building a sulky to be pulled by a dog.  Plans for such a sulky were in a 1983 book titled "The Cart Book With Plans and Projects" by William L. Sullivan.  This book is out of print.  I haven't searched lately to see if it is obtainable.

Here's probably enough information to be able to construct one on your own.

 The parts list is in the first photo ...
 Look at the electrical box cover plates used to hold the axles - bolted or welded on ...
 Here are the markings to use with a pipe bender
 These are the pieces for making the seat
 The harness is a critical component - adjust according to the dog
That's it.  I didn't want to post every page of the entire chapter ... figured this was enough

Warrior Flag3

Today I got a couple of photos of the flag in action ... as my neighbor rode it up and down the street.  I'm still amazed that I can turn a 360˚ circle inside of the 16 feet width of the narrow road out front.

Here we are seeing the flag from the front as Dan rides towards me.

Here is Dan riding away from me.  The flag position looks pretty good to me ... out there, but not obtrusive enough to warrant a citation.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Warrior Flag 2

Based on advice in the AtomicZombie forum, I shortened my bracket and pulled the flag in closer to the body of the trike.  From the front of the trike, you can see that the flag tip is the width of the trike when making a left turn.  I also had to tighten up the left axle bolt, and the under-seat steering unit.  Less slop in my steering and front end now.  Don and I rode our trikes together yesterday on a short 2 mile circuit.  Racing downhill back towards the shop was a lot of fun!

This is looking straight down the center of the trike (no rear wheel sticking out to either side).

Side-by-side rear photos for comparison.  Do a vertical line up from the left front tire and look at the difference in the amount of pole visible before it hits the base of the flag.  I definitely brought it in.  But still feel comfortable with the "protection" that it affords.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Warrior Flag

I've been test riding.  As a result, I have made some minor modifications.  1) You will notice that the angle of the upper portion of the seat tube has been changed to better mount a rack or rear engine.  2) The brake levers have been rotated more to the rear of the bars.  Just more comfortable for braking and keeping my hands out of the wheels.  3) I needed a flag so that cars and trucks will pay attention to me and not attempt to crowd me when they pass.

Side view showing the flag.  My flag pole was missing a flag, and since no one will see much of the vest from the rear if I was wearing it ... I decided to tape it to the pole and use it as a flag.

You'll notice that the flag pole bottom bracket attaches to the idler pulley bolt at the base.  And I made a bracket that attaches to the seat bolt at the top of the seat.  It has a 2-1/2" length of 1/2" tubing that the pole passes through.  That controls the angle of the flag and secures it in a fairly rigid position.

From the rear, you'll notice that the flag pole extends a foot or more to the side of my left front tire.  I have found from experience that this tends to keep cars and trucks from crowding you on the roadway as they go past.  Due to there being no nifty bicycle trails around here ... I ride a lot of roads.  With this arrangement (I tried it on the main road today), if there is oncoming traffic ... the vehicles behind you will slow way down and wait to pass.  Opposing traffic on a narrow 2-lane road with no shoulders, will also slow way down and stay to the far edge of the roadway while going past.

The trike seems to roll easily without apparent mechanical drag (brakes, wheels, etc.)  The flag didn't provide significant drag either ... although any flag will provide some drag.  The smaller hills that I've pedaled up could be easily spun up (spinning).  I have a small gear on the front and a mega-tooth gear 42(?) on the rear.  I'll try spinning up a steep hill tomorrow and see how it goes.  I've stayed out of the smallest gears on the rear ... unless there is a tailwind or a good down-slope, it is just too stiff pedaling.  Although it does go FAST!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Riding Warrior

Here's where I'm at ... It's not really finished "done".  But the shifters, and brakes are all on there and functional.  The seat foam isn't glued on yet ... I just set the 3 pieces on there and sit down on it and ride.  I rode it up and down the street a bunch of times.  The angle on the seat-back post needs to be adjusted and trimmed.  A couple other little tweaks need to be made.  But that is what test riding is all about.  My neighbor got on it and rode it.  He didn't tip over, break anything, or injure himself.  He was very pleased with the speed and handling. 

Right side view

Left side view

3/4 view from front

I'll probably continue riding and tweaking it this next week.  I need a water bottle cage on the front boom.  I haven't got any, but fenders would be nice ... it's particularly annoying with the back wheel throwing dirt into my hair.  I need a rack or something on the back.  A flag poking up, back, and slightly outward would be very handy.  Car drivers tend to drive around the tip of flags so they don't damage their cars.  So I want it to stick out to the side far enough that they go around me and don't clip my left front wheel.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Rear Derailleur Cable

I finally welded on 4 cable stops and 2 cable guide rings.  I've heard that the less overall cable housing you have, the less friction.  So I figured to eliminate the length up behind the seat back.  And on the underside of the rear fork.  Here are the photo segments starting at the rear wheel.

Notice the wire under the rear fork.

Here's the run paralleling the seat back.  I used a small length of cable housing to  bridge up to the rear fork.

The cable housing runs behind the idler pulley and through the 2 guide rings ... then up the right handlebar.

Here I'm attempting to show the full length of the cable run.  I think I've got it adjusted so it will shift the full run of the gears.  I need to bolt the seat back on, set the foam pieces on.  And test ride it up and down the street.  Once it is fully functional ... then it will be time to strip it all down and paint it.  sigh.  :-)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Friction Thumb Shifters

Someone sent a request asking for closeup photos of the shift levers I put on my trike. 

The brand name on the lever and the spring clamp is "Lubao".

The flat spring hooks over the nub protruding to the left.  You kind of have to hold it in place while screwing in the phillips head screw visible on the top of that box thing.

Here you can see the screw from the backside of the unit.  On the left (angled towards you) is the thumb lever.

Here's the view from front side.  I just slid it into place and screwed it down until it firmly clamped.

I tried to find the brand on the internet, but was unable to find anything other than a town named Lubao in the Phillipines.  Do a search for "friction thumb shifters" and look at the Suntour & Shimano ones.  The Falcon ones are a bit cheap in construction.