View Full Version : USS Spirit, no photos yet....

08-13-2012, 04:37 PM
I took it for a trial run.

The front gears are not yet set up, the rear are, the brakes work. As does the steering :cheesy:

Some things I have noted...

The bent plywood seat is SO much better - Many thanks for the links (@texastuff) and the advice on that one. (@several posters)

The (very) tiny play in the linkage is not a problem at all.

I had to "fix" the USS as the original steering tabs were effectively longer at the forks, resulting in a gearing effect. The wheel turned less than the bars. (not good)

Some thoughts on riding the bike.

- You can't easily move your body to balance. Counter Steering Helps a LOT. I learned this driving BIG motorbikes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countersteering

- It's way easier to start off down a slight hill.

- There's no suspension. I do appreciate that's obvious. But you can't lift up our of the saddle. I may "spring" the seat. I've seen suspension seats for normal bikes. We shall see.

- The USS bars have a lot of leverage back and forth. Even tightening the bars a lot at the bracket does not stop me from moving them about if I push or pull to hard. I am thinking of welding them at a suitable angle.

- A VERY light hand on the USS bars makes the bike travel in a straight line. Less is MORE. Hauling out of the bars as you start off makes for a very short journey.:(

- Foam sleeping mats for camping are perfect for lining the bent plywood seat.

I like it, a lot. It will need a little more work. Some tweaking. Lights, mudguards, pannier brackets, paint, etc. Once it's presentable I'll post some pics.

My welding needs a LOT of work. Right now I can make stuff stick, and it will hold against a car jack. But I'm scoring about 0.2 our of 10 for artistic merit, and that's only cause they hate to give you 0.

It will take a bit of practice before I'm prepared to go out in traffic, and I need a decent helmet mirror.

I'll be out of the loop for a week or two, so pics will be a while.

Thanks Guys.

(Already trying to decide between Warrior and Marauder for the next build, or perhaps a Roman Chariot style trailer for the kids)


Radical Brad
08-13-2012, 05:02 PM
Thanks for the report... pics, pics, pics!


08-13-2012, 06:13 PM
On my return, I will get pics of the bike in it's current state. Pics of the finished article may take a while longer.


08-13-2012, 06:15 PM
Ps, if you cut handle bars in the middle where they are a bit thicker, the inside radius is the same as the outside radius of the normal part of handlebars.

This makes an easy way to extend a pair of bars to make a large U for USS.

Jam on the extensions and lap weld it.


08-13-2012, 11:24 PM
Hi LuckyDave,

Good to have an in depth report like this - warts and all - look forward to the pics......

08-14-2012, 04:26 AM
ok some pics - just from my Android, but still




Radical Brad
08-14-2012, 10:58 AM
Nice work!


08-14-2012, 12:56 PM
Looks Great- As to the welds- A little flap disc work would smooth them out for paint to stick. Looks like they got plenty of build up- So I think your just not quite finished with them. Overall though I think it looks great. Keep up the good work.

08-14-2012, 05:50 PM
wooo, well done!

08-14-2012, 08:12 PM
Looking very good, a nice and tidy build.

08-15-2012, 08:14 AM
Hi Dave,
Welcome from China!
very readable report, Thanks.
I found the same as you, on my LWB, any strength at the bars was likely to be followed by scraping noises!
Whereas I can't manage no-hands yet(I suspect because you can't move in the same way as on an upwrong ),
it only takes a very light touch to keep it straight.
Take offs are just practice, and luckily they are more difficult than a controlled landing.
Do you intend to trim the derailer tube, or is there a reason?
Top little bike, should be fun to ride, and handle traffic as well as an upwrong once you get used to it.
I now take mine anywhere in Beijing, whereas at first????
Steve G Beijing

08-16-2012, 07:21 AM
The derailleur bar makes a good handle for walking the bike on end to get it out of the back garden.

Thanks guys.

Still some tidying up to do on Welds. Flap disk & in some cases rewelding.


08-16-2012, 08:21 AM
Dave, I've heard of some that might use a dab of Bond-o on the weld to smooth it up a bit. Don't ask me how I know.

08-16-2012, 11:40 AM
Thanks Dave--I should have thought of that myself!!
Actually, for a similar reason I have shied away from USS--very hard to handle when walking Highr bars are much easier.
Steve G

08-16-2012, 01:38 PM
Very sweet looking build!

08-20-2012, 02:53 PM
Good to hear about cycling in Beijing.
Dublin should be a piece of cake in comparison.

I need to sort the front gears, add mudguards, panier rails, lights, supports for the seat rail, and possibly suspend the seat....


08-20-2012, 09:52 PM
I doubt it will be any easier in Dublin.
Nearly all main roads here have bike lanes wider than your main roads!
The smaller streets are a bit exciting, but strangely enough, for all the stupidity of Chinese car drivers, you get a fair go most times.
A wide bike lane here, at peak hour , on the green light, is like the start of of the Tour De France!
Steve G,