The Scooter Wood Bike
Frame Materials: Wood 2x4 (4' long) and ¾" plywood
Weight as pictured: 29 lbs
What was I thinking?:
How to design a cross between a recumbent and an upright bike. I wanted to have the torso balance with no support from hands or backrest. How to arrive at the lowest BB height. (I picked seat tube angle that allowed my feet to run parallel to the ground, not toe down like regular bikes or eel down like recumbents.)
How Does it ride?:
It is stable and well behaved from 2-18 mph. It turns on a dime. It's a dog on hills. It has a has a nice high speed vibration and whine. While riding, you sit up straight with no weight on your hands. All your weight is on the seat board. The bike seat is just there to keep you from sliding down towards the pedals. Do steer away from potholes. It's easy to put both feet down when stopping.
What Changed before the photos?:
I first built it with the small scooter wheel shown. Later I changes the fork and front wheel up to a 12" pneumatic tire.
I also added a shim to keep the chain from coming off to the outside.
What may change later on this bike?:
Could staple fabric to wheel stays to make cool built in panniers (saddle bags).
Could go back to 12" front wheel.
What would I do differently on another attempt?:
I would try lighter construction by ripping the 2x4 down to 2 and 7/8" wide (The width for the BB). I might put pivot joints in the wheelstay to back bone joint to allow folding. I might make the back bone a little steeper for a more upright compact bike.
What lessons were learned?:
It worked surprisingly well. Bike design and execution are actually very forgiving if your expectations are low enough. For wood construction. Cheapo one piece (Ashtubula) crank sets work well since the metal axel holds the cones that hold the bearings that compress the cups inward into the wood. Two 2x4s sandwiched together hold the BB just fine. Small lightly loaded front wheels work well if you stay away from pot holes.
What are the keeper developments?:
One piece bb/crank sets for wood frames, Plywood wheel stays,
Single speed w/ coaster brake for simplicity and ease/forgiveness of construction, Multiple seat post holes for quick change for different riders.
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