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BINREV SPYD3R

HPR - HPR3178: Finishing the Recumbent Bicycle

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Websites:

Gallery:

1 - Bending Tools
1 - Bending Tools

This is how I clamped up the conduit bending tool in the trusty workmate. In this configuration you can bend the tube to specific angles and make sure the bends stay in plane. The goal here is to create two side rails that are identical. The seat webbing is sewn on to these rails.

2 - Needed weights
2 - Needed weights

This photo shows some more of how the bending jig was set up. Those are counter weights needed to keep the jig on the ground while the tube is being bent.

3 - Seat rail plans
3 - Seat rail plans

Mr. Carson provides pdf files that you can print out to be used as templates to match your bends.

4 - Marking tubes
4 - Marking tubes

5 - Sighting down tube
5 - Sighting down tube

6 - Using marks
6 - Using marks

7 - Help with angles
7 - Help with angles

8 - Matching to plans
8 - Matching to plans

Pictures 4-8 show the layout of the tubes and how the marks are used to ensure you make mirror image rails for the seat.

9 - Matching sides
9 - Matching sides

10 - Seat backs
10 - Seat backs

11 - Drilling fish mouths
11 - Drilling fish mouths

12 - Seat backs ready for trimming
12 - Seat backs ready for trimming

13 - Finished seat backs
13 - Finished seat backs

14 - Jigging up
14 - Jigging up

Pictures 9-14 outline the steps in fabricating the seat backs. The seat backs tie the rails together and are where the clamps that connect the seat to the frame grab the seat. This part of the construction can be overwhelming if you don't take it one step at a time. I had to constantly remind myself that building the bike was not a race but a journey, take your time and enjoy each little milestone. The last picture is the seat frame jigged up and ready for brazing.

15 - Seat stay one
15 - Seat stay one

16 - Seat stay two
16 - Seat stay two

The seat stay was at first glance very intimidating. This piece connects the back of the seat down to the frame, supporting the upper part of your body. Its made of many parts, but all they are is cut up pieces of steel rod and threaded rod that are brazed together. No bending is involved only cutting and brazing and in the end it wasn't to difficult to fabricate.

17 - Seat stay three
17 - Seat stay three

The completed seat connected to the frame. The seat is clamped to the frame using hose clamps and clamping blocks made of conduit cut length wise and brazed together at right angles.

18 - Seat webbing one
18 - Seat webbing one

19 - Seat webbing two
19 - Seat webbing two

The seat webbing is sewn on using fishing line as described on the website, the only challenge is getting it nice and tight. Needle, line and a few hpr episodes is all you need to get through the task.

20 - Finished
20 - Finished

The last picture is the bike finished and ready for its maiden journey.

Espeak script:

Hello Hacker Public Radio, Brian in Ohio here.

I am out from under my rock, and doing the last of the recumbent bike build episodes. My wife and I are visiting the land of our youth, Colorado, so my recording stuff is at home, hence the espeak rendition of the show. I finished building the bike a while ago and have been riding it around town to do errands and get exercise. I love this bike! The comfort level is unparalleled. Its like sitting in a chase lounge. No more neck strain or pain in the derriere. You don't need any fancy bike clothes, like padded biking shorts, in order to feel comfortable. The bike is fast and has responsive handling. Somethings I have learned so far while riding the bike. First, a rear view mirror really helps when riding on the street. Unlike upright bikes turning your head to look back to clear for traffic is not as easy. Next, the handling takes some getting used to. The long lever arm of the steering tube makes the bike feel jerky when you first ride it. After a while you'll see that a light hand on the tiller goes a long way to smoothing out the ride. It took me a bit of practice to gracefully get the bike started after coming to a stop. Because you can't stand up and hammer on the peddles, coming to a stop requires a bit of work on the gears. Being in a easy gear then shifting up as you get moving is the way to go. If you build one of these bikes, and why wouldn't you, you will have to think about storage because throwing a back pack on is not really an option. I found a bike rack that attaches to the back of the bike, a grocery store plastic basket and an instructive video tutorial by C J Hoyle on you tube took care of my storage needs, a link is in the show notes. The last parts that need to be fabricated to complete the bike were the seat and the handle bars, and all of there associated bits and pieces that make up these assemblies. Instead of narrating through all the pictures, I leave you, dear hacker public radio listener, that's interested to look at the pictures and read the captions yourself. My general impressions of building the pieces are as follows. The handle bars are relatively easy to fabricate but the big problem for me was the metal on the handle bars you use to make the tiller did not braze well with the conduit. In the end I had to resort to pop rivets and a through bolt to get a safe, sturdy connection. The seat is a collection of many parts and at first glance can be a bit overwhelming. By examining the photos on the recycled recumbent website and studying the plans, focusing on each step the seat came out fine for me, yours will too. The side rails are bent using a conduit bender and the challenge is getting the two sides close to match. Take your time and get some extra conduit, you're probably going to need it. The seat back stay is pretty easy to make, but it is made up of quite a few parts, requiring simple cuts and brazing to fashion it. The rest of the seat parts, the various fittings used to clamp the seat to the frame are pretty easy to make and I can't compliment Mr. Carsen highly enough for his ingenious design. Fitting out the bike; getting wheels, brakes and drive train together are going to be unique to every bike and will depend on how much money you want to spend, what parts you have laying around and what fittings you might have to create to attach the parts. I opted to use used parts that were at hand so I could get the bike up and running. I plan on upgrading parts, making changes and improvements after I've ridden the bike for a few months and gotten a good number of miles under my belt. I'll do an update show in the future to let you know what I've done. Will I do this again? Yes definitely I will build another bike, maybe a mach two or three, the building is fun the bike rides great. Mr Carsen sells parts, kits and completed bikes on his website. When I do it again I may opt to buy the seat from him. I would recommend this project to anyone. You can, go out and build one yourself.

This is Brian in Ohio signing off for now reminding every one to: go fast; take chances.

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