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crank_girl
07-14-2013, 04:43 AM
I've been lurking a bit but have now been virtually bitten by an atomic zombie and have decided to go forth with my first build so thought I'd better introduce myself.

I'm from Manchester and was a keen cyclist prior to becoming I'll and consequently disabled. I miss cycling terribly so have been looking for a way to get back on a pedal powered vehicle that I can operate easily and happened upon the idea of a self build recumbent, which ultimately led me to AZ. I have rather limited mobility and energy so the idea of cycling whilst sitting down and having somewhere to sit when I rest appeals greatly. I don't have a lot of cash and need to save what I can as I'm unlikely to work again so a self build bent seems like the perfect option.

I won't be building my ride myself as my dad is an engineer and would be mortally offended if I didn't let him in on the act. He doesn't know much about bikes though so I shall be accumulating the bits and overseeing the project. I'm going for a streetfox design with USS and a few modifications. I need a big luggage rack on the back and a way to clip my crutches on. I'll also be looking for mega comfy seat options as I have back problems so need a lot of support and cushioning.

I have a friend nearby that deals in bikes and bike parts and a back room full of bike carcasses that I never got round to building up so I've pretty much got most bits sorted.

I'll be posting my progress in the build subforum. Wish me luck!

crank_girl
07-14-2013, 04:45 AM
PS. Can anyone point me in the direction of a twin pull brake lever retailer in UK?

bambuko
07-14-2013, 06:31 AM
quick google comes up with:
example 1 (http://www.bikecare.co.uk/product_info.php?acc=Dual_Brake_Lever&id=89)
and
example2 (http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/twin-pull-v-brake-lever-right-prod21412/)
I have never used them, so can't comment, but I guess this is what you are looking for?
Alternatively you might be better off using cable doubler? (http://problemsolversbike.com/products/cable_doubler/)
It should be easy to make diy version?

Ibedayank
07-14-2013, 09:18 AM
the cable doubler is a weaker version of a 2to 1 carb throttle splitter used on older british motorcycles
any shop that deals in BSA Norton and Triumph will have one

darnthedog
07-14-2013, 09:24 AM
Welcome to the fun crank_girl- sounds like you got it all figured out. We love pictures so please keep us updated.
As to seats there are lots of options. Not sure of your needs with your back. But folks have mounted commercial seats, build up suspended seats, moulded their own layered wood seats, and even warped aluminum sheets to form a seat. Of course the seat of the plans is not bad either as you can add or delete the foam as desired to make it comfortable.
Just need to indicate your preference and someone can show you where to look. Good luck and hope your riding soon.

DannyC
07-14-2013, 10:08 AM
Hello & welcome crank_girl. They are really great folks here, you will not want for advice & guidance in any way.
Good luck with the build.

Regards,

Dan.

Radical Brad
07-14-2013, 12:13 PM
Greets!
Sounds like you have everything needed to complete a successful build... parts, skills, drive.

Look forward to the pics.
Brad

dmac257
07-14-2013, 12:24 PM
I've been lurking a bit but have now been virtually bitten by an atomic zombie and have decided to go forth with my first build so thought I'd better introduce myself.

I'm from Manchester and was a keen cyclist prior to becoming I'll and consequently disabled. I miss cycling terribly so have been looking for a way to get back on a pedal powered vehicle that I can operate easily and happened upon the idea of a self build recumbent, which ultimately led me to AZ. I have rather limited mobility and energy so the idea of cycling whilst sitting down and having somewhere to sit when I rest appeals greatly. I don't have a lot of cash and need to save what I can as I'm unlikely to work again so a self build bent seems like the perfect option.

I won't be building my ride myself as my dad is an engineer and would be mortally offended if I didn't let him in on the act. He doesn't know much about bikes though so I shall be accumulating the bits and overseeing the project. I'm going for a streetfox design with USS and a few modifications. I need a big luggage rack on the back and a way to clip my crutches on. I'll also be looking for mega comfy seat options as I have back problems so need a lot of support and cushioning.

I have a friend nearby that deals in bikes and bike parts and a back room full of bike carcasses that I never got round to building up so I've pretty much got most bits sorted.

I'll be posting my progress in the build subforum. Wish me luck!

Couple of questions: How limited is your disability. Luggage rack would suggest a Delta Trike .. a little more work initially for the build but space behind seat between wheels might be an option for your cargo. What do you intend to carry? I am building a Streetfox as MY first build because of ease of drive line and suspension. I might put panniers on both sides of rear wheel but undecided. My intention is to build a Delta or Quad grocerymobile for small hauling when I have some more welding experience.

dmac257

crank_girl
07-14-2013, 01:15 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome. Not only do I have a new hobby/project/method of rehabilitation but also a new community to engage with. Result! :)

After much web trawling I've found a double barrel lever at price I'm willing to pay (trying to do this on a veeeery tight budget) so that's one problem sorted.

dmac257: I can't walk very well - short distances very slowly with crutches and I have chronic fatigue so I run out of energy rather quickly. When I say luggage rack I do mean pannier rack, though maybe a little larger so I can carry a box or something. Nothing big or heavy. Thinking I could use it to nip to the shops or the post office to collect a parcel.

Thanks for the seat advice, darnthedog. I think I'll go with a wooden base and memory foam. Maybe with an extra section for lumbar support. Do you know of any resources that might help with angles/measurements?

Had a good sort through my bike junk boxes today for parts and have a lot of what I need (and much much more of what I don't!) I've got a lot of very pretty older mechs and deraillieurs that were intended for my beautiful 1950s steel tourer. I think I'm going to stick with a tourer gear range for this build but maybe use bits that are more modern. I have some bar end levers but see that lots of people go for gripshift. I'm not familiar with newer setups. Any suggestions?

dmac257
07-14-2013, 04:50 PM
I think I'll go with a wooden base and memory foam. Maybe with an extra section for lumbar support. Do you know of any resources that might help with angles/measurements?

Had a good sort through my bike junk boxes today for parts and have a lot of what I need (and much much more of what I don't!) I've got a lot of very pretty older mechs and deraillieurs that were intended for my beautiful 1950s steel tourer. I think I'm going to stick with a tourer gear range for this build but maybe use bits that are more modern. I have some bar end levers but see that lots of people go for gripshift. I'm not familiar with newer setups. Any suggestions?

First let me point out that YOU are in control of the build. Plans are a guideline and you can't really go wrong making it EXACTLY same as plans. My Streetfox will be shorter than plans and the seat angle will be steeper (more upright). What I did was take a piece of plywood 20 inches tall and leaned it against a post in basement and sat on floor moved the board a little bit till it felt comfortable and measured the angle. It ended up pretty close to same angle as the seat/back of my recliner in the living room.

You are lucky you have parts boxes. I had ONE full teen sized suspension mountain bike with 24" wheels as my main donor and a couple of diamond frame uprights not being used ... turns out not much will be used from the DF bikes. The 24" is 27 speeds and front chainrings are 28,38,48 if I remember right so hoping that the low end will be low enough for a trike. The good news is that almost everything from the 24" will be used. Including the gripshifts that came from the donor. You can use the bar end shifters. Heck the bottom line is you can use any parts you want from "freebie" to solid gold (if you have solid gold parts you are not using I will come pick them up).

Streetfox usually have direct steering but the under seat steering is doable. You have to watch for the chain line clearances and there is an online tutorial for converting the over seat steering to under seat steering that easily can apply to a streetfox.

Good luck and post pictures of the build once dad starts sticking stuff together.

dmac257

Ticktock
07-15-2013, 08:12 AM
Hi There,
Welcome from Beijing.
I am a little concerned about your choice of build. Of course its up to you, but I hope you don't mind if raise a couple of points.
You say you can't walk far, and use crutches. Will you be Ok getting in and out (or on and off) something that low?
The alternative is a delta like delta runner of timber wolf, which have a higher seat, but you would have to step over the main boom to get to the seat.
I can't answer the question--but its worth thinking about.
But as always, any problems --just shout here--you always get an answer.
Steve G,
Beijing

crank_girl
07-15-2013, 03:02 PM
Thanks for the welcome, Steve. I'm just reading a detective story set in Beijing. Sounds like a really interesting place.

I see where you are coming from wrt to getting in/out/on/off but it should be fine. :)

DannyC
07-15-2013, 05:18 PM
I sincerely hope so too Crank_Girl....... I just had a hip replacement and the StreetFox is my first project too! :-)

Dan.

crank_girl
07-15-2013, 05:32 PM
Hi Dan. Oof, hip replacement, I'll stick with my bendy limbs thank you very much! ;) Good luck with your build, I'll be looking out for the photos.

graucho
07-15-2013, 11:29 PM
"virtually bitten by an atomic zombie" Yikes!! Scary stuff.... Do they roam at night? :rockstar:

Welcome to the group. Good luck to both of you. With all of the photos and help around here, a new bike is in you future.

stormbird
07-16-2013, 02:58 AM
Hi there

I think you should consider one of the delta's for your first build ?

They turn around in virtually there own length , rather than needing 3/4 of the street [ very handy if you have to ride on the pavement and negotiate those traffic light railings ]

the steering is much easier to do although the price you pay for that is the rear wheel drive is trickier

they will probably be easier to get your crutches on as they are higher up.

the seat show in brads plans will do for testing but for comfort and pleasantness [ back sweating etc ] you really need a mesh seat

try here https://sites.google.com/site/recycledrecumbents/home free seat plans , you don't need the bends for the lumber support.

I have ridden many miles on my Hase Kettweisel and this has no lumber support and is plenty comfortable.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=886&q=hase+kettwiesel&oq=hase+kettwiesel&gs_l=img.12..0j0i24l9.2367.6864.0.9604.15.7.0.8.8. 0.125.591.6j1.7.0....0...1ac.1.19.img.e8WuEXRLmwQ

Underseat steering is nice but with steering as the plans [ say Delta Wolf ] it will help you getting on and off the trike ?

Don't forget you will need a parking brake , just a caliper brake on the front wheel with a handily placed friction gear lever will do , stops it rolling away when you are trying to get on and stops curious oiks from taking it for a spin without asking :)

Bar end shifters work well on underseat steering as twist grips end up the wrong way around and so are harder to use as you are trying to use your little finger and not your thumb or your hand is way low and you cannot then easily reach the brake lever ?

regards Paul

crank_girl
07-16-2013, 05:40 AM
Hi Paul. Thanks for the advice. I did consider the delta but since I have no outside storage the bent will have to be inside so the shorter (and lighter) the better. And I'm much much more enthused by the tadpole trike. If for whatever reason it turns out to be unsuitable I'll sell it and start again. My Dad will build the first with a little help from me but I fully intend to build more and learn how to do the whole lot for myself.

That's a great point you make about steering and parking brake. I think I'll just stick to the streetfox design as is. We have an old railway line behind the house that has been tarmac-ed for leisure use. I don't see me using it anywhere but there for the foreseeable.

MrIdaho
07-16-2013, 07:45 AM
Welcome to the mix crank_girl
So your going to build a Streetfox. What about front hubs?
This needs attention as the standard 14mm axles might bend if hitting a pot hole or?

dmac257
07-16-2013, 03:22 PM
So your going to build a Streetfox. What about front hubs?
This needs attention as the standard 14mm axles might bend if hitting a pot hole or?

First time I have heard someone say that 14mm axles might bend. I thought everyone considered them plenty big enough?

dmac257

Tradetek
07-16-2013, 04:12 PM
I think the mistake is MrIdaho's belief that 14mm is a standard BMX axle size...

Radical Brad
07-16-2013, 04:22 PM
I think he probably meant standard 12mm axles. A rim would fold before a 14mm axle would fail, that's for sure!

Brad

sandman
07-16-2013, 04:23 PM
Hi my partners Streetfox has 14mm axles and we regularly ride a disused railtrack wich is mostly mud and road planings with the odd tarmac patch and potholes you could lose an Abrams tank in !!! no bent axles yet despite her best efforts at emulating Ari Vatanen regards John

SirJoey
07-16-2013, 08:00 PM
Welcome aboard, Crank Girl!

Looking forward to seeing pics of your first bent taking shape! :)



**** The Truth Is Out There! ****
http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/7131/sirjoeysigmedij1.gif
(Geezer & Bent Enthusiast At Large)

stormbird
07-17-2013, 03:28 AM
Hi Paul. Thanks for the advice. I did consider the delta but since I have no outside storage the bent will have to be inside so the shorter (and lighter) the better.

Deltas tend to be a bit longer , however they are easier to manoeuvre as you can pick up the front wheel and turn it into a cart !
Also if you built the rear end carefully they can be stood on end or against a wall when not in use , 2 deltas can occupy a space not much bigger than a standard bike.


And I'm much much more enthused by the tadpole trike. If for whatever reason it turns out to be unsuitable I'll sell it and start again. My Dad will build the first with a little help from me but I fully intend to build more and learn how to do the whole lot for myself.

yea you have to be enthused about what you build to see it through to the end , not sure your dad would agree with the selling it and building another though !


I don't see me using it anywhere but there for the foreseeable.

But you will ! the extra mobility you gain and the speed and convenience will make you want to go shopping on it and doing other errands hairdresser etc

regards Paul

Ticktock
07-17-2013, 06:37 AM
Hi,
You will be surprised at what it will get used for.
I just built a Delta tandem with the idea of cruising around the city to give the wife some exercise! Since then I have hardly used the other bikes! It gest used nearly every day, as , even if I go off on my own, I meet the wife later, and we go some where, then I go off somewhere else etc. It has a big luggage rack , so parcels at the PO--the list goes on.
I had to make time to take the new trike on a lengthy test ride, as otherwise it would have been the tandem again! The LWB is sulking in the office as it has not been out for a long time.

They get used if you can carry a bit of luggage!
Steve G,
Beijing

crank_girl
07-18-2013, 04:14 PM
yea you have to be enthused about what you build to see it through to the end , not sure your dad would agree with the selling it and building another though !

I think he's delighted to have the opportunity to do something for me (first time I've really asked since I left home 20 years ago). And he'll be pleased to make something a bit more exciting than sausage machines and giant ham cookers.


But you will ! the extra mobility you gain and the speed and convenience will make you want to go shopping on it and doing other errands hairdresser etc

Yeah, I can get my nails done, pick myself up a twin set and pearls, that kind of thing. Sweeeeeeeet! :)

I've started hackety hacking a few bikes I snaffled from my friendly bike parts dealer for a few quid. He's also picked me up some very nice bmx wheels. Just need to send them the 200 miles to my Dad before I get the train down at the weekend. The Mtb wheel I have is a bit naff and will need replacing but will do for now. Someone mentioned the possibility of adding a parking brake. Can anyone point me in the direction of a good online resource for making one?

Cheers!

Ibedayank
07-18-2013, 07:29 PM
http://www.jbimporters.com/web/images/new_800/12005.jpg

Locking bicycle brake levers.... instant parking brake with no need to build anything

check with local recumbent shop that deals with trikes

Ticktock
07-18-2013, 08:05 PM
Hey Mr Yank,
Can you help with more info or a link to the locking brake lever. There ain't no recumbent shops in China--I'm it!
This is better than the bit of wire pin I use now--can't lose the pin on this one!
Steve G

Ibedayank
07-19-2013, 12:02 AM
Hey Mr Yank,
Can you help with more info or a link to the locking brake lever. There ain't no recumbent shops in China--I'm it!
This is better than the bit of wire pin I use now--can't lose the pin on this one!
Steve G
http://www.niagaracycle.com/search.php?search_query=locking+brake+lever


a few styles to choose from

stormbird
07-19-2013, 02:32 AM
Hi there

Parking brakes , on a tadpole it can be put on the rear wheel on a delta on the front wheel unless it is an emergency situation they should only be used for parking as they can lock the wheel up and cause a loss of control.

3 main choices:-

1) My original suggestion is a caliper brake and a old friction gear lever hidden within easy reach under the seat , you need to be able to reach it whilst sat down.

2) Locking brake lever as suggested , but you had already bought a twin cable lever ? I suppose you could put the locking one on the opposite side ? same again operate a caliper brake

3) some trikes use a velcro strap that hangs down when not in use and wraps around the existing brake lever and uses the normally fitted brakes

hope this helps ?

Caliper brakes look like this :- http://www.bikemanforu.com/products/sunlite-steel-caliper-brake-set-front-rear-levers-cables-housing.html most old bikes and cheap kids bikes have these.
Scroll down here to brakes :- http://www.ihpva.org/projects/tstrike/trike3.htm he shows how use the friction gear lever , quite often the front mech lever will be fricition and almost all old road bikes had these levers [ sometimes 2 ] on the down tube ]

Paul

crank_girl
07-19-2013, 03:33 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. I think for convenience the locking brake lever sounds best. The Mtb donor frame I have has v-brake mounts, is this likely to be a problem?

DannyC
07-19-2013, 05:35 AM
I know a lot of people with Moulton bikes who simulate a "parking brake" with a rubber "ring" attached to the handlebars that is used to pull on a brake lever to ensure the bike doesn't roll off of its stand.
A simple leather strap with a buckle is just as effective. The dual-pull lever (with integral parking brake are only 5 more than their un-braked cousins though).

Talking of which....
My alloy V-brake kit (A pair of levers and 2 sets of V-Brake arms and cables) arrived and are a perfect style match for the Dual-Pull lever. Result! :-)

Dan.

tomelect
07-19-2013, 05:57 AM
You can also buy dual brake levers with a locking pin for parking $24 here in Aus. I wish I had bought one for my warrior instead of just the dual lever.

Tom http://s16.postimg.org/su059a3hx/dual_pull_brake_lever_lh.jpg

SirJoey
07-19-2013, 10:32 AM
Locking bicycle brake levers.... instant parking brake with no need to build anything
I really like the locking levers.
Had a pair on my Rhoades Car.



**** The Truth Is Out There! ****
http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/7131/sirjoeysigmedij1.gif
(Geezer & Bent Enthusiast At Large)

HHJJ
07-19-2013, 03:58 PM
Hellooooo crank girl.
I'm not too far from you (North of Bolton) and also at the stage of having accumulated stuff and pondering the ins and out keen to commence construction.
It's exciting isn't it!
My ailment (sorry to hear yours) is my back which constrains and defines the options.

Good luck with the build. I look forward to seeing your progress.

stormbird
07-20-2013, 05:57 AM
The Mtb donor frame I have has v-brake mounts, is this likely to be a problem?

No problem I just mentioned caliper as they are the easiest to fit if you are using an older type frame with no v-brake mounts

I forgot the Street Fox had rear suspension so you would have a v-brake rear end as standard , sorry.

regards paul

crank_girl
07-20-2013, 05:54 PM
I suspected that it would not be an issue, thanks for confirming, Paul.

Hello HHJJ! A fellow northerner. :) I am a bit of a plastic northerner, hailing from Bath - which is where I am now as it happens. I've managed to transport myself, my luggage, 2 bmx wheels and various other bits, nearly 200 miles by train. I can't claim much credit other than clever packing as I booked assistance at the railway stations so a couple of poor station staff had to do the heavy work. I also posted myself a very large turkey shaped parcel containing the Mtb rear triangle and a variety of heavy small heavy parts and tools. I decided that it would be cheaper and easier to buy a rear wheel on ebay and also have it sent here, together with some platform pedals, tyres, inner tubes etc.

The real work begins tomorrow with a briefing meeting with dad-geneer (see what I did there?!) ;)

DannyC
07-20-2013, 06:05 PM
Hi Crank_Girl,

Lucky Dad. Does he know the totality of the "fun" (aka madness) that awaits him? :-)

Good luck with the project (please do post progress pictures...including the supporting cast) so we can see your build as it progresses.
At the rate you are going you will be finished long before I have even started (and I have all the bits gathered barring the stock-steel).
Well done on the transport of your "bits" (sounds epic).

Best wishes for an uneventful and successful build.

Dan.

HHJJ
07-20-2013, 06:06 PM
Fair play to yer!
Enjoy!

savarin
07-20-2013, 09:12 PM
Hi Crank_girl,
I would like to suggest that you really take the time to design the seat with full support all the way.
ie. get the contours correct from the approx 1/4 down the thighs through the butt curve - lumbar - mid back - shoulders - neck rest.
If you want a narrow seat near your shoulders then keep it very narrow so your shoulder blades dont touch it else keep it wide to provide full width support.
As a rider with a broken back I find for a long ride I need all that support if I'm able to walk at the end.
Heres a simple method of getting the complex curves for the back shape
http://forum.atomiczombie.com/showthread.php/5191-New-trike-of-indeterminate-origin?highlight=trike
Allow the seat pan section to tilt up a few degrees up to help in preventing you from slipping forwards. I have found with the seat parallel to the ground I keep sliding slowly forwards then have to shift back again.
Consider how far back you want to lean for comfort, I use quite a laid back position but others prefer a more upright position. Whats comfortable for you?
laid back seat - message 114 http://forum.atomiczombie.com/showthread.php/1881-starting-my-trike/page3
see new trike of indeterminate origin for a more upright seat.
Google "spring clips" something like these to hold the crutches, two strong ones on each side top and bottom of the seat rails to clip them into, Hang a flag on the ends
If you fit the underseat handlebars to your seating position then conventional gear shifters work very well, the little finger controls the little trigger and your thumb pushes the other lever.
Personally I dislike bar end shifters after stumbling as I sat down and stabbed my thigh, not badly but enough to make me wary.
These underseat bars are very close and my hands fall naturally onto them.
message 66 http://forum.atomiczombie.com/showthread.php/3363-What-now!/page2
Design the handle bars so they can be adjusted for width and forward/backward tilt to get the position spot on.
http://forum.atomiczombie.com/showthread.php/1881-starting-my-trike/page2, the individual handlebars fit into the tubes and are clamped by splitting the tube and welding on lugs for bolts.
Hope this is of some help.
You are going to love how a trike handles.

stormbird
07-21-2013, 04:52 AM
Hi there

Seat position ?

Just be careful that you don't get it to upright , you can get something called ' recumbent butt ' [ I kid ye not ! ] where you are trying to ride with all your weight on your buttocks and not some of it carried by your back.

This will make your bottom numb quite quickly [ in my case less than 1/2 mile ! ] easy fix as the seat was adjustable I just reclined it a bit more.

Not many web sites you can get 2 strange men talking about your buttocks and it is all above board ?

regards Paul

crank_girl
07-22-2013, 12:33 PM
Hi Savarin. Thanks for the helpful advice about the seat. I'm planning on using memory foam and an anatomical seat design I stumbled across on here I think (apologies if it's yours and I've forgotten). And thanks for the pointer to spring clips. My crutches are pretty funky and have reflectors in the back and front of the hand grips so they'll add to my visibility. In terms of the bar end shifters, I've decided against USS so less danger of stabbing myself I hope!

Ok, now I'm off to update my build thread. :)

Ticktock
07-22-2013, 09:12 PM
On the same subject--seat angle, I find if its too upright, that it restricts breathing, and you also loose a fair bit of pushing power. all my seats now are around 30 to35 degrees from vertical, with the base raised at the front .
Good support at the shoulders helps me get a bit more push when I want it, and also helps if you want to fidget around in the seat--you can' t just stand on thenpeddals as on an upwong!
(Upwong is a Chinese DF)
Steve G
Beijing