Monday, February 28, 2011

Making sleeve from salvaged junker

It's amazing how I keep stumbling upon the raw materials for this project. Today my daughter's tiny pink bike was saved from destruction by my discovery of an ancient Murray road bike frame in a neighbor's trash pile.

From Recumbent Bike Project

I went all around it with my calipers and found that the seat tube ought to be the right size for the sleeve piece to join the bottom bracket piece to the headset piece in the first assembly. So I cut a length of about 12" from the seat tube and tried to slide it into the Raleigh tubing. No go. Very close but it didn't fit. I guess those hundredths of an inch on the caliper mattered after all. Hmmm. It occurred to me that the crusty old paint on the tube might be the problem, so I grabbed a piece of 50 grit sandpaper and started doing the shoe-shine motion on it. Didn't take long for gleaming silver steel to appear.

From Recumbent Bike Project

Not only was it beautiful under that paint, it FIT right into the Raleigh tubes! Fit like a glove. This was very satisfying.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hacking 'em up

I finished disassembling bike #2 and found the parts all to be in great condition. I'll be using the brakes, fork, crankset, etc from this bike on the recumbent.

The next step was of course to start hacking the frames up with my new hacksaw. This was fun. I even got my 9-yr-old son to help me and he was very pleased with this. I cut some of the pieces too long on purpose so I can cut them to size more evenly in the metal shop later with their professional-grade power tools. Here's the Raleigh after making all of the cuts:

From Recumbent Bike Project

Weird thing about the Raleigh is that all tubes are same diameter. This is potential problem for fitting of pieces, but I found that I can reverse the position of one of the pieces from other donor bike (which has the normal different sizes in top tube and seat tube) and it'll sleeve together nicely for the top tube. Here's what the mock assembly looks like before any bending or welding

From Recumbent Bike Project

On account of the smallish size of both donor bikes, I've run short of tubing. Just lack enough tube to make sleeve for downtube connection. Poking around I've found a source for my sleeve tube, though.

From Recumbent Bike Project

Problem is I have to cut it in dead of night and never tell the kids. It's My daughter's first bike, with 12" wheels, which she's outgrown. I got it for $2.99 at Goodwill a long time ago. The lower downtube will fit like a glove, so it's mine! Mwahahahaha!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Disassembly of First Bike

First bike is a Nishiki hybrid, probably from early 1990s, smallish frame. Kinda heavy. Frame is steel, and I discovered the crankarms and rims are all steel too, so I probably will not use those on the recumbent bike. I'd like to keep the weight down as much as I can. (The other donor bike has aluminum rims and crankarms.) The bottom bracket was totally seized up, wouldn't turn at all. I got it open and found bearings all rusted but the spindle and cups were in good shape. Other components seemed fine, still usable for something. It had new-looking pedals which I'll give to my son for his bike to make it lighter (plastic instead of metal).

From Recumbent Bike Project

The only a real problem with this bike is that the stem is frozen in the steering tube. It looks like the only way to get it out would be to cut it off, so I've decided not to use this bike as bike number one (the one that provides the bottom bracket and fork), but instead to try to make a truing stand out of the fork and handlebars.

Here's a picture of the frame. Right now the cups are still in the bottom bracket, but I will remove them.

From Recumbent Bike Project

I want to build a recumbent bike

While searching for what to do with old bikes besides fix 'em up and ride them (something I love to do but already have enough of them), I found a site where a guy shows how to build your own recumbent. That's my goal.

On Saturday I scored two donor bikes for free, so I'm ready to get going. Here are the donors:

From Recumbent Bike Project

Now, this could take a while. I don't know how to weld, so I'll either have to learn or get someone to do the welding for me. I did get a hacksaw yesterday so I can start cutting the frames up and getting the pieces ready.

Next posts will be about the disassembly of donor bikes.