Saturday, June 30, 2007




Monday, June 25, 2007

th-th-th-that's all folks!

Thanks to everyone who's been following the story. Here she is, in more-or-less final form. Couldn't resist the call of green. I have to find the right place to add the mandatory touch of red. It's even got a cupholder.

Just in case anyone's searching for this in the future: quadricycle, velomobile, homebuilt, diy, recumbent. That ought to cover it. I'll try to get some videos uploaded soon.

Monday, June 18, 2007

It holds children!

When I said feature complete, I didn't mean it. After a rousing game of minigolf in the morning, I got a whole afternoon in the sweltering heat of the garage to complete the rumble seat.

Here are the results. I had to move the seat up to the higher rails to get enough room for the children's feet.

OK, that's going to be it for pictures until I get it all rebuilt and shiny. My neighbors are threatening to enter it in a 4th of July parade if I don't first.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Feature complete.

Which means, it may not be pretty, it may have bugs, but it does everything it was designed to do. I rode it all around the neighborhood in the dusk, scaring the dogs. No mishaps, no scary surprises. Note the children, simulated here by a bundle of shingles. Next steps will be some solo shakedown runs to Simpsonwood, then, just like American Chopper, it'll be off to paint and chrome.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Hey all -

Thanks for your comments! I had the jackshaft idea too, but thought it was a little too complex for this round. Let me put it this way - I might turn out to be a passable fabricator at some point, but a mechanic I ain't. Even the oil on brand new bike chain kinda makes it not my favorite part of the whole process.

My personal wuss issues aside, I went through and rewelded all the joints on the crank. I was able to fill in the 3 or 4 holes that I made the first time around, and basically extended and completed the rest of them.

With the crank brace, rewelded crank, and electric assist, it works like a charm. I took it up and down the street, down the cul-del-sac, and back. I haven't decided yet on the gears or not - for a vehicle with no long distance requirements, it seems like too much. So far, the best strategy seems to be to keep it in the second-lowest gear and use just enough electric assist to keep light pressure on the pedals. Uphill, that's almost full throttle. On the flats, you can stop pedaling and the motor will propel you much faster, but then it starts to feel illegal.

1 brake was enough to get me safely down the hill, so 2 ought to be just fine - I really have a single destination in mind (Simpsonwood), so as long as I take the long, flat way, should be no problem.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Grr. Arrgh.

The bike part of the bike car is turning out to be significantly harder than anticipated. After the electric runs, I got the crank installed and the chain on, and took it up the driveway. Chain falls off. Tried again. Chain falls off. It was really hard to pedal (turns out I bought a too big big chainring for the front). Oh, and don't weld 6 dollar chainrings. They fold up like a taco.

So I got a smaller chainring off one of the junk bikes and bolted it on. Easier to pedal, chain falls off. By this time I notice that the shaft outside of the bike is really bent. Ok, it's going to need some support outside of the chainring. Order another bearing, wait a few days.

Got that bearing on tonight, take the back derailleur off (it so does not need any gears other than "low"). Take it up the driveway. Chain does not fall off! Crank breaks at a weld. Arrgh. Now I need to go through and solidify the crank. And probably get a yet-smaller chainring.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Yes, yes, hell yes

Mad progress. Crank is all welded up and pretty straight. It's mounted in the bearings and on the bike. Seat position is pretty set, it's nice and low in the frame, but I did weld on 2 more rails in case I want it higher in the future.

The steering works great, which is just awesome. It involves a 90 degree transfer of motion via an angle bracket, which is an idea I got from tracker organs (although I'm sure it's used anywhere you need to transfer motion from one direction to another). A rare example of an old hobby coming in handy in a new one. It's via a lever - forward for right, back for left.

And, as soon as I had the steering set up, I couldn't help but take it out into the night for a test drive with just the electric wheel. It. is. the. bomb. The wheel pushes it along just great, and even up a little incline. It stops on hills, but that's what the pedals are for. It's a blast already. I can't wait to get the chain and brakes on it.