View Full Version : Gladiator Build from beggining

Chopper King
02-12-2013, 09:53 PM
Hey all
I am creating a thread to post all the pics and information for my new Gladiator Trike build
if any one has any questions or wants to post their own pictures, please feel free to do so
Thanks :cheesy:
Chopper King

02-12-2013, 10:23 PM
Cool, I'm watching.


Chopper King
02-13-2013, 07:21 AM

On the far right is the first weld i did with the new steel after a bit of grinding, then the other three are pictures of the the first bend i have ever done, filled the tube with sand and then capped the ends off but i still put a few little kinks in the pipe, i will get them looked at by a friend to see if the strength of them is ok and he will be able to male the kinks look like they never existed, if not i will just have to get them rolled

these bends are to support the rear axle at the back

Chopper King
02-13-2013, 07:28 AM
there wont be any more posts from me for 9 days guys, sorry about that, holiday time

02-13-2013, 07:49 AM
I think you will continue to have problems with bending. Even when sand filled. The bender you have is meant for thick walled pipe, and is not real good on thin walled tube. There have been other posts on this subject, but I know from experience you will be lucky to avoid kinks with that bender.
Have a good holiday!
Steve G.

02-13-2013, 10:56 AM
I think you will continue to have problems with bending. Even when sand filled. The bender you have is meant for thick walled pipe, and is not real good on thin walled tube. There have been other posts on this subject, but I know from experience you will be lucky to avoid kinks with that bender.
Have a good holiday!
Steve G.

Good luck on your build Chopper King. I have to agree with Ticktock. I've used that style bender many times. The kinked bend should still be plenty strong for a bicycle. Get out the body filler. Enjoy your holiday!

02-13-2013, 09:16 PM
The tighter you can pack the sand the better it will be. There is a post just recently which shows an end cap with a screw down compressing disc to really get the sand in tight. That would help. After that, the only thing that works is a bit of heat in the right places--like red hot!
The old way was to have excess tube, fill with sand, flatten the ends, and roll up like a tooth paste tube to compress the sand, but that needs heat and a lot of hands! It also wastes a lot of metal. It is important to really crush that sand into the tube.
Steve G

Chopper King
02-22-2013, 09:51 AM
I think I will just get a good friend to roll them for me, it's worth the 50-70 odd dollars to get it right

i have also decided to save money where I can but when it comes to the important things I am going to do it right and put in the hard yards. Save up money and buy something that will last

02-22-2013, 10:35 AM
I learnt a long time ago that it is hard to beat the guy that has all the right gear, and does it for a living!
You may do it yourself, but it is often not quite what you want, and can actually cost more.
I can make a clock gear in about half an hour, if I have the right cutter. You could file one by hand (it used to be done that way)
It will take you all day, and may not work. So you waste a day and waste the metal. Better I cut the gear, and I get the bender to bend my pipes!
Wise move. But don't stop looking at ways to do it your self--as the experience grows, so does the ability. ( I had to pay to get wheels cut once)
Steve G
Steve G

Chopper King
02-28-2013, 04:20 AM
went to the local shop today and asked about the spokes, they told me that stainless steel spokes would cost me $1.20 each (including nipple) and steel spokes would be 50 cents a piece (including nipples and chromed to whatever color i like, cant beat that deal

the theme for my bike is going to be white rims, and either a white frame or a metalic blue, and what ever color i choose i will make the pedals, handlebars, hubs etc the opposite colour
so what color should i choose for the spokes ?

02-28-2013, 08:11 AM
I usually ask the wife, then do the opposite because she will change her mind!!
With the rims fixed on white, guess the nipples have to be blur to match the frame..
And I did not ask the wife that time!
Should lookmgood whichever way you go in those colours.'
Steve G

Chopper King
03-01-2013, 07:59 PM
Haha, we'll I have decided on my colors, rims will be white, hubs will be white, spokes will be metallic blue, frame will be white, handlebars fading into blue, and wherever else I can I will add metallic blue features

Chopper King
03-05-2013, 08:30 AM
Changed my colors again because of a few difficulties and opinions against my colors, anyway I won't reveal the new colors until later :)

today I thought I might post my progress, and I guess you could call this day 1!!! Dad bought me 10 washers today and I had to weld 2 together because they were just a bit too thin for my liking, as I got home and collected my washers, they were sitting on a brand new pedestal drill !!!! Could not contain my excitement !! So now I have welded washes together and drilled all the holes in around 2 and a half hours, pics will be posted some time soon hopefully :)

Chopper King
03-06-2013, 08:18 AM
Hey all,
today i got a day off to try and complete the hubs, didnt really have any troubles at all, just took some time, here are some pictures

Here are the hubs with the hub template attached

Here is one hub screwed down and drilled

All the hubs, drilled and taped

03-06-2013, 08:27 AM
Good progress, and great news about the drill.
There are a couple of holes slightly off the right place (sorry--I am a clock maker) but it should be no problem--the spokes will sort that out.
Thats about the most boreing part of the build done, so its all fun from now on.
Steve G

Chopper King
03-06-2013, 09:34 AM
Hello again.
here is what else i have finished today, and yes ticktock, not sure how that happened, but i did pick that up

flanges tacked to the axle before checking alignment

a nice thick (and ugly) bead

Bead grinded away with a light touch of sanding

after welding the inside flange, i had my first axle

03-06-2013, 10:14 AM
Picture one looks good--picture two looks good--get to picture three and -Panic sets in! Then I remember you are building a Gladiator!
Those flanges really are a looong way apart when you are used to normal size hubs. (But whats normal anyway?)
All looks good, Can't wait to see a finished wheel.
Steve G,

03-06-2013, 02:48 PM
Lookin' good, man! Finishing up a set of custom-built wheels is any exciting
landmark to reach, although I personally don't actually enjoy the process.

**** The Truth Is Out There! ****
(Geezer & Bent Enthusiast At Large)

Chopper King
03-06-2013, 04:49 PM
Hey all,
here are my two finished hubs, put a fair few man hours into them ! they are looking ok, could do with a bit of sanding here and there

Chopper King
03-08-2013, 04:52 AM
Im back again,
last night i made a little bit of progress, as the centers of my rims are spot welded to the actual rim cutting the welds out was almost impossible, so instead i had to cut all the way around the rim with a angle grinder which only took about 50 minutes for the first rim and half an hour for the second, did not cut the rim once :)

Chopper King

Rims cut out
Rims and hubs cut out, no sanding or grinding yet

03-08-2013, 11:27 AM
Top marks for persistance! Hate to think how much dust is on the floor.
Good work (and I mean work) .
Steve G,'

Chopper King
03-08-2013, 05:31 PM
Thanks a lot ticktock ! There definitely is a lot of dust on the floor and I haven't even finished grinding !

Chopper King
03-12-2013, 04:45 AM
Hey there
here are my rims, half sanded, still need to buy some new sand paper to fix up a few spots
Chopper King


03-12-2013, 05:01 AM
Comin' along nicely, CK! Cutting the centers out is the
biggest part of the job! Ya gotta eat a lotta grit! :laugh3:

**** The Truth Is Out There! ****
(Geezer & Bent Enthusiast At Large)

Chopper King
03-12-2013, 05:25 AM
here is my frame, im not sure if i will have to cut and weld any spots yet but at the moment it looks pretty good

Frame before welding
Back end of the frame, with fish mouth cuts
Frame all welded up and grinded

Chopper King
03-12-2013, 06:31 AM
Here are some updates
just finished the front forks and tonight i ordered some spokes, turns out that ordering 144 is cheaper than ordering 112 !

front forks that i salvaged some parts from
Front forks all welded up
and grinded down nicely
they look nearly dead straight (but looks can be decieving)

03-12-2013, 07:43 AM
I will never understand the logic of bulk buying, but that is a usefull tip!
Forks look good.
Steve G,

03-12-2013, 11:42 AM
I've even seen that in grocery stores, Steve. The larger package isn't ALWAYS the best deal. By carefully comparing, I've occasionally seen where the smaller unit is actually cheaper per oz. (or whatever unit of measure they happen to be using) Go figure. :rolleyes4:

I think a lotta people get duped by assuming the larger the unit, the better the deal, which is USUALLY true, but definitely not ALWAYS.

**** The Truth Is Out There! ****
(Geezer & Bent Enthusiast At Large)

03-12-2013, 02:01 PM
Reminds me of a comedy movie called Father of the Bride- Steve Martin is sent to Grocery store to get hotdog buns and hotdogs for a bridal shower and he is all upset over the wedding costs and the hotdog buns come in a package of 12 where as the hotdogs only come in packages of 8. He made a big drama of it and got shipped off to jail. Lesson of the story was it is what it is- compare prices but don't let it cloud the object of the purchase which in this case was to buy spokes for a project. I can hardly wait to see the wheels as I a like observing the difference each person adds to their build. From the photos I have seen it really looks like it is coming together nicely. Any color thoughts yet? Or am I pushing that too soon? Looking good so far. While I am not a fan of choppers to ride or build I appreciate the work that goes into them. It has made me want to try and build a wheel just for the heck of it.

Chopper King
03-12-2013, 07:35 PM
Thanks darnthedog,
colors i am not 100% sure on yet, but i am thinking white or chromed frame, metallic blue rims with chromed sspokes, and metallic blue or black features

Chopper King

Chopper King
03-13-2013, 01:36 AM
Hey there, local bike shop is selling me spokes for 15 cents each !!!! And the spokes are an extra 14 cents !!!!! Very very cheap, I'm happy with the price :)

Chopper King
03-13-2013, 05:00 AM
I mean nipples not spokes
Nipples are an extra 14 cents !

Chopper King
08-30-2013, 08:22 AM
Hello everyone
It has been a while since i have posted anything in this thread and that's because i have been busy on holidays and some other commitments! anyway ever since i have been working on a lot of things! first was the front suspension, so the first image shows all the sheet metal that i have cut up to make the flaps, the second image is the process of filing out the holes big enough so that the bolts would fit into them, and the next two images are both of the flaps welded onto the front forks :) i hope you enjoy and make sure you ask if there is any questions, Chopper King

Chopper King
08-30-2013, 08:31 AM
hello everyone.
here is a few images of the front suspension half completed, the images are not that clear i know as my camera was flat when i took these photos but you can still see whats going on and hopefully get the picture, this took me a lot of time to get done as i had to keep cutting the nuts down smaller and smaller for wheel clearance, but i am happy with how they came up in the end and they swing very smoothly after i put some grease between the bolts and the round tubing,
Chopper King

Chopper King
08-30-2013, 08:52 AM
hello again,
okay so i have had to do a bit of waiting for the paint on my wheels and hubs as the paint shop was over an hours drive away but it was well worth it ! the pictures are pretty self explanatory but as i have said in another thread getting everything lined up is essential ! one of my flanges was around 3mm out and that threw my whole tire out by about the same distance! also, i have to share that it took the guys at the tire shop 3 tubes, 2 guys and 1 hour to get my tubes in and tires on, still havnt got the bill but im not looking forward to that one !
Chopper King
http://s9.postimg.org/tl3o2s5f3/1003781_669775093039655_1390819332_n.jpg http://s23.postimg.org/9lh9epnrf/943071_669776509706180_513779071_n.jpghttp://s23.postimg.org/n8rx0o77v/1150374_712880262062471_788293596_n.jpg

Chopper King
08-30-2013, 08:58 AM
Forgot one post!
before i finished my rear wheels i did my front suspension which took a while to clean up and find the right springs !
chopper King

08-30-2013, 08:58 AM
Looks like it is really coming together for you now. Before long you to will have a Zombie Grin. Congradulation on the rear wheels they look great. Nice color.

Chopper King
08-30-2013, 09:07 AM
And finally i have a rolling frame !! it has taken around 60 hours of work to get to this stage (mind you around 10 hours of sanding my rims) but all the hard work is definitely worth it !! i love the look of my new chop ! still have to do some slight mods to the head tube and frame but it will look basically the same :) hope you enjoy and make sure to ask questions !
Chopper king

08-30-2013, 12:02 PM
Loooking goood!
Steve G

Radical Brad
08-30-2013, 02:51 PM
Congrats! Nicely executed.


08-30-2013, 04:32 PM
Good progress! Looks like you got a good score on a matching set of tires too.

Chopper King
09-04-2013, 09:20 AM
Hello all, got a lot of progress done two nights ago, put in around 6 hours and was set to have the frame done tonight but i found out that i was out of welding wire! thought i had some in the cupboard but it turns out i tricked myself by putting an empty reel back in its packet (still dont know why i did that)
anyway here is just a few picks and some advice would be good :) im still wondering if it is maybe too long ?
Chopper King

09-04-2013, 11:14 AM
Hi there chopper king

I've been so wrapped up in my Inferno trike, that I need to catch up on what others are doing.

That's going to be a long low mean looking machine.
You wonder if it's too long? I say compared to what?

It's your vision, take possession of it and make it totally yours.

I'll be watching a lot closer, from now on.


Chopper King
09-04-2013, 07:25 PM
Hi edspedalcars,
Thanks a lot. I was comparing it to Brads chopper or h.Simpson's chopper which seem a little bit shorter and stubbier but its too late to change now ! I like the look of my chopper and im not 100% happy with it but im happy :) its turned out better than i first expected though!
Chopper King

09-04-2013, 08:42 PM
If it fits in the shed, and turns around in all the places you go to, its not too long, unless you want it shorter!
Looks good in the pics
Steve G

09-04-2013, 10:39 PM
Looking like it is really coming along.
If your unhappy with the length you do have a grinder and a welder which is all you really need to make it the way you REALLY want it.
Just try to do it before painting it.
But in all honesty I thought choppers were supposed to be a bit longer.
Have fun deciding.

Chopper King
01-29-2014, 07:21 AM
Hello All!
ive been on holidays and working but ive still been chipping away at my gladiator! thought id post a few pictures of the seat that i made at home over the weekend for just $30 !

so the first picture is the foam that i cut using an electric kitchen knife, the vinyl that i cut, and the plywood i cut with the jigsaw


The next image is the vinyl all sewed up ready to put onto the foam and plywood, now i dont know how many of you out there have sewn before, but for those who havnt i can tell you its a lot harder and frustrating then it looks!


Next is a few images of the bottom seat fully made and ready to put on the bike, stapling these seats is a process and a half doing it by yourself! looking back now i should have got someone to help me hold it down, would have made the world of difference!

http://s18.postimg.org/mzjdcr2bt/1097337_798393233511173_318679075_n.jpg http://s3.postimg.org/3w1cf6zgz/1600301_798393240177839_1005064458_n.jpg

and so now is the final result all read to go on my Gladiator!


See you all soon

Chopper King
01-29-2014, 07:26 AM
Me again!
thought id just post a few quick pictures of the completed frame!



Chopper King
01-29-2014, 07:30 AM
All these uploads are probably becoming a pest! but theres not many left!

So here i have the modified goose neck which you all know how its made so i wont go into detail!



01-29-2014, 08:33 AM

looking good , length well could be a problem if you need to transport it ? otherwise grab your share of the road !