Grocery Cart Bicycle

This is a great idea. Not sure how well it works, but you’ve got to give Ryan McFarland kudos for coming up with this idea and for recycling. He’s got tons of other interesting projects he’s built on instructables.com and his blog which is worth checking out.

Posted in DIY, Load Carrying, special purpose, Tech Talk, Work CyclingComments (0)

Mobile Graffiti Trike

A really cool platform for projection or laser graffiti artists. If you don’t know what projection graffiti is check out Graffiti Research Lab’s Blog. It’s really cool.

Link:
Graffiti Research Lab

Posted in City Cycling, DIY, Load Carrying, special purpose, Work CyclingComments (0)

Great Video: Geekhouse Bikes

My friend Frank just sent me this link to a great video of a bicycle being made at Geekhouse Bikes. From the looks of their website, these guys build great custom bicycles. Keep up the great work guys.

Posted in City Cycling, DIY, VideosComments (3)

Dual Pull Brake Lever

Dual_pull_brakes
I thought I’d re-post about these really cool dual pull brake levers I installed on my front load cargo tricycle (2 wheels up front 1 wheel in back). I’ve had them on the trike for about 6 months and they work great! Basically, you can run two brake cables from two different brake sets into one lever and the lever balances the pull going to both sets of brakes.

Inside the lever there is a little mechanism that balances the pull between the two brake lines. That way you have equal pressure going to both front brakes on the trike when you pull the lever. What this means for cargo tricycles is that you can have one lever that actuates both front wheels equally without any brake steering effect. Brake steering is when one wheel brakes harder than the other, which pulls the tricycle violently to the left or right when braking.

In practice, you still need to make sure that your brakes are tuned similarly. Meaning that you can’t have one brake cable totally loose with the other one completely tight and still hope that the dual pull brake lever will work it’s magic. However, if you spend the time to at least adjust your brake cables reasonably, these things work great!

If you do a Google search for “dual pull brake lever” there are a lot of companies selling these. I think I got mine for about $12 USD.

Posted in accessories, DIY, Load Carrying, Tech TalkComments (9)

Ghetto Engineering

Bicycle crank repaired with welded on construction rebar

Bicycle crank repaired with welded on construction rebar

Here’s a picture I took in Korea of a repaired delivery bike. Rather than throw away the bike or broken part, the owner just welded construction rebar to fix a broken crank. I love seeing old bicycles evolve and take on a life of their own. I guess when you have to use your bicycle everyday for work, it’s a completely different mindset from people using bicycles for sport. Things aren’t perfect, but they’re useful.

Posted in DIY, Load Carrying, Tech Talk, Work CyclingComments (2)

Atomic Zombie Bicycle Builder’s Bonanza

Brad Graham and Kathy McGowan have written an amazing book called Atomic Zombie Bicycle Builder’s Bonanza. This book is a “must have” for anyone that loves to tinker and make things. Inside the book are detailed instructions and over 200 photos that teach you how to hack, modify, and build bicycles using minimal tools. 

The book is written in a clear and easy to understand style that walks you through real projects ranging from playful to surreal. Anyone who loves DIY projects will love this book. After reading it, you’ll be ready for any Franken-Bike creation.

I found the book on Amazon for about $17 and they even had an electronic version available for an additional $5.  It won’t compare to the two week frame building course at the United Bicycle Institute. But if you think of the cost of tuition and room & board, this book is a real bargain. Also checkout Brad Graham’s website, which is definitely worth a visit.

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Open Source Design: Jetrike

Jetrike
I ran across this website while doing research on leaning tricycles. The inventor of Jetrike has put all of his notes, working drawings, and research onto his webpage in hopes of fostering innovation in the field. His work is amazingly detailed and useful for anyone trying to develop a leaning trike with popular appeal.

We’d like to applaud his generosity and willingness to share. Keep up the great work!

Posted in DIY, Load Carrying, Tech Talk, tricycles, Useful ReferencesComments (3)

DIY: Homebuilt Sidecar

Popular_mechanics_diy_sidecarPopular Mechanics has a great article submitted by a Caleb Brown who shows you how he built a leaning bicycle sidecar for carrying his son around. The great things about the design are that the full suspension smooths out bumps in the road, the suspension allows for leaning, it allows the driver & child to communicate face to face, and finally it’s pretty low cost. Also, the fact that it uses a commercially available child carrier means many families will be able to make use of carriers they already own.

It looks professional and we’re impressed. GREAT JOB!!!

Posted in DIY, Family Cycling, Load Carrying, trailers, tricyclesComments (4)

Leaning Tricycle

In many situations tricycles have advantages over traditional bicycles. Tricycles don’t fall over when sitting at a full stop, they are stable at low speed, they can carry tremedous loads, and you can take a rest any time.

However one of the most difficult things for riders to get used to is the fact that most trikes do not allow you to lean into a turn like on a bicycle. There are many people who are developing designs for leaning tricycles and we’ll start to post links to some of those.

One of the cooler designs we’ve seen so far is from Apax Vehicle Developments in Canada. Their website is barebones, but they’ve got some cool videos that shows their trike in action.

Posted in DIY, Load Carrying, Tech Talk, tricyclesComments (2)

North American Handmade Bicycle Show 2007 (San Jose, CA)

AhearneI just posted my photos from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show at the San Jose Convention Center. There was a huge number of custom bicycle builders from all over the world attending the show. The variety of bikes ranged from all out velomobiles to rat bikes built with found materials. It was great talking with the builders who went out of their way to be friendly and answer any questions.

Some of the themes I noticed throughout the show:

Some fun stuff I saw at the show:

My photos from the show on Flickr

Posted in City Cycling, Commuting, DIY, Family Cycling, Load Carrying, Mobility Impaired, Places & Events, Portable, Touring, Useful References, Work CyclingComments (2)

Bicycle Maintenance Book Recommendations

Barnett’s Manual: Analysis and Procedures for Bicycle Mechanics (4 Vol. Set)

• Comprehensive reference on all makes of bicycles and components
• Tons of great diagrams that walk you through each step
• Expensive – $115 for the manual and $85 for the optional CD-ROM from the BBI website (OUCH!)
• Worth the money for any professional or serious home mechanic

The Bicycle Book (Haynes Automotive Repair Manual Series)
• Book for general bicycle maintenance
• Good book for the average home mechanic
• In-expensive (around $16 at Amazon)

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