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AtomicZombie Extreme Machines Newsletter for February 08, 2015

DIY Bike Builder's Forum
Check Out Our DIY Forum!

Our global Bike Builder's Forum is a great place to get advice on your DIY project, or show off your home built bike or trike.

New Members Welcome!

DIY Bike Builder's Gallery
DIY Bike Builder's Gallery

Show off your home built trikes and bikes, or take inspiration from the thousands of photos in our DIY Builder's Gallery.

New Gallery Projects...

DIY Bikes and Trikes 1

DIY Bikes and Trikes 2

DIY Bikes and Trikes 3

DIY Bikes and Trikes 4

DIY Bikes and Trikes 5

DIY Bikes and Trikes 6

DIY Bikes and Trikes 7

DIY Bikes and Trikes 8



Our Latest Tutorials...

Kids Tadpole Trike
Kids Tadpole Trike
An easy to build DIY kids tadpole trike. Build this fun trike using basic components taken from a pair of kids bikes.

Derailleur Restoration
Derailleur Restoration
Make an old rear derailleur look and sound like new with some basic cleaning and lubricating. Keep your transmission running smooth.

Wheel Bearing Service
Wheel Bearing Service
Learn to lubricate and setup your cup and cone wheel bearings. Keep your DIY recumbent bike running like clockwork.

HammerHead Winter Trike
HammerHead Winter Trike
Build a fun to ride DIY winter trike. This dual headed monster will run on snow, ice and slush. Great for winter riding!




Random Bike Quote...









Some Fun Bike History!

Fun Bike History

John Boyd Dunlop invented the first pneumatic bicycle tire In 1887. He developed the first practical pneumatic or inflatable tire for his son's tricycle, fitting it to a wooden disc 96cm across in the yard of his home in Belfast.

The tire was an inflated tube of sheet rubber. He then took his wheel and a metal wheel from his son's tricycle and rolled both across the yard together, taking the first ever rubber tire bicycle test ride!



Popular Plans This Month...

Warrior Recumbent Tadpole Racing Trike
The Warrior Recumbent Tadpole Racing Trike is an amazing tadpole trike that can be built using only basic components. Includes under seat steering, disc brakes, adjustable cranks.

Aurora Delta Racing Trike
The Aurora Delta Racing Trike merges maximum speed with comfort. This unique DIY delta trike breaks new ground with rear suspension and dual disc brakes.

Spirit Short Wheelbase Racing Bike
The Spirit Short Wheelbase Racing Bike is an easy to build sporty short wheelbase recumbent bike with over seat steering and an adjustable bottom bracket.

Viking Recumbent Tandem Tadpole Trike
The Viking Recumbent Tandem Tadpole Trike is a high performance tandem tadpole trike with an independent transmission, disc brakes, and dual adjustable bottom brackets.

Building The Yard Mule - Chores Stole My Weekend!

Article by Radical Brad

Well, another two weeks has passed, and I planned to use this section of the newsletter to discuss the progress made on my Yard Mule project. As I mentioned in the last newsletter, The Yard Mule will be a fusion between a truck differential, a motorcycle front end, and a snow blower engine. This hearty workhorse will mainly be used around here to move firewood, dirt, and other heavy items, helping us become more efficient in our strive to live a more sustainable lifestyle out here on our country property.

Unfortunately, I did not have any time to work on the Yard Mule project this week because the very chores that it will be helping me with took up most of my weekend. Last year we decided to convert completely to wood heat after seeing the astronomical amount the gas company wanted to fill our 500 pound propane tank, and since we have a decent amount of wood on our property, the transition to self reliance made sense. So in keeping with the DIY spirit, I looked over the building code documents, purchased a cheap tile saw, and then went to work building a platform for a woodstove.

Home Built Woodstove Platform
Home Built Woodstove Platform
This was my first introduction to cutting tiles, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to do. As long as you take it easy when sliding the blade along the tile, the cuts are always clean, so besides making a measuring error, there isn't much that can go wrong when cutting tiles. Once the platform was completed, we hired a professional installer to complete the chimney and then certify the installation for insurance reasons. The entire cost of the woodstove and platform was about the same as two years of propane heat, so the return on investment was good.

Running low on firewood.
Running low on firewood.
Last year we had to upgrade our snowblower since the old one needed some work on the transmission. A DIY freak always enjoys buying new appliances because this means the old ones end up in the garage as parts for projects, and this snowblower was perfect as the engine still ran great. This 5 horsepower side shaft engine would be a perfect power plant for the Yard Mule as it is easy to mount and would be adaptable to the rear differential hardware. My project cost was still hovering around zero, so the total cost of less than $500 seemed easily attainable now. If I had to purchase an old snowblower or tiller for the engine, I am guessing the cost would have been about $150 or so.

Next year's uncut firewood supply.
Next year's uncut firewood supply.
Last year we decided to burn only wood from our property, which was a bit of a learning experience for several reasons. First, we quickly learned that you defiantly get what you pay for when it comes to wood cutting and splitting equipment, and those low to medium grade chain saws have no chance of keeping up when you rely on wood as your primary source of heat. When I finally purchased a high quality chainsaw, the difference was almost hard to fathom. I went from cutting a single medium sized tree into 16 inch sections to filling several truck loads worth of logs in the same amount of time, and it didn't seem like running a marathon!

Another thing we quickly realized is that pine and aspen do not offer the same heat output per volume as compared to birch. In fact, it seemed that we would need about twice as much pine, which is not really an issue since the wood is cut form our property and costs us nothing but the time to harvest it. So here comes a nice cold February, and our wood supply was looking a little thin!

Luckily, we had stocked up 10 cords of birch, purchased last year form a local logging company. Our plan was to split and dry the birch this year so we have a buffer of at least one year in our wood supply, but this weekend we decided to borrow a little from the stash to supplement out dwindling supply. No problem, I would just spend an hour or two cutting and splitting some wood, and then head down to the shack to work on the Yard Mule... yeah, chores are never that easy, are they?

Firewood stacked in the basement.
Firewood stacked in the basement.
So after an hour of fighting to get the snow blower running, it took another hour and a half to get a path to the wood pile and to the basement window where we would truck it into the house. The chain saw started fine, and cutting several logs took about an hour. Where I really lost the day was when I tried to start up the log splitter. It seems that these things do not like to turn over when it is -25 outside due to the hydraulic oil becoming as thick as peanut butter. I pulled the engine over for 30 minutes at a time until I was exhausted, and then took a 30 minute break, coming back to try again in shifts until the sun began to set. Eventually, I remembered a trick I used to use on my DIY go-cart when I was young... a teaspoon of gas into the air filter opening. Too bad I didn't try that first, as the engine fired right up on the first pull! Off to split wood.

By the time we trucked the wood over to the window and rolled it down the ramp I made, the stars were bright and the day was over. The upside to this is that I did get some needed winter exercise, and realize now that having the Yard Mule will definitely help get our wood supply stocked for next winter. Hopefully, I will get some time to work on the project next weekend as long as chores do not get in the way and as long as it isn't colder than -20 in my unheated work shack. If all goes well, I hope do dig out my scrap metal pile and see if there is enough tubing to make the truck box, and then take the grinder to the motorcycle frame to liberate the head tube and front forks. Stay tuned, I will report something on this project either way!



Pedal Power Invention Convention in York, England

Article by Peter Eland - Editor and Publisher, Velo Vision

Pedal Power Invention Convention brings bike-building festival to York, England

Where can bike builders, modifiers and inventors get together in the UK? There used to be an event called Cyclefest over ten years ago, but since then there’s been nothing very specific, certainly not at more than a local level. There are ‘normal’ cycle shows, maker fairs and green festivals where DIY bikes, pedal generators, sound systems etc. are welcome, but not where they’re the real focus.

That will change this June with the first ‘Pedal Power Invention Convention’, which will be held on York’s Knavesmire, a huge open area within the city’s horse-racing track. It will be running alongside the York Rally, a cycling gathering which has taken place almost every year since 1945.

The York Rally has masses of space to fill, and by hosting the convention it will create a new attraction for participants and visitors alike. The convention will benefit from an event infrastructure already in place, including an on-site campsite, and there will be masses of other cycling activities at the Rally for Convention participants to enjoy too.

Pedal Power Invention Convention in York, England
Pedal Power Invention Convention in York, England
The idea is for the Convention to be several things:

  • A gathering of like-minded people who build bikes, artbikes and bike-related devices, to get together, show off their creations and exchange notes.


  • A demonstration of cargo bikes and cargo carrying in practical use - so the hope is that Convention vehicles will be able to transport all of the event’s rubbish, for example.


  • A demonstration of stationary pedal power - we already have a seven-seater pedal generator and there’ll be a sound system to amplify live music, we should have a pedal powered cinema and more.


  • An inspiration for the next generation of bike builders! We have made an application for National Lottery funding and if it comes through we’ll be able to take bike building projects into local schools and colleges, so they can bring their creations to the event.

We’d love any UK bike builders, inventors, cycle artists or just the curious to come along! Entry is free but you’ll need to pay for camping.

See www.yorkrally.org/invention for all the details!



Cool DIY Bikes by "Comfy Bob"

Photos Courtesy of AZ Forum Member, Comfy Bob

I often like to lose myself in our Builder's Gallery, looking over the thousands of creative DIY bikes and trikes that have amassed in the archives, and then choose a few to profile in our newsletter. The following series of creative bikes represent only a few of the rides that have been built by one of our Gallery members, "Comfy Bob". You can see more of Bob's creative works on his own webpage at - ComfyBikes BlogSpot

Medium Wheelbase Recumbent Bike - Kolko1
Medium Wheelbase Recumbent Bike - Kolko
From Bob's Website...

Jana is a reluctant single bike rider, so I have constructed for her a LWB foldable bent that folds without removing the seat or adjusting anything. This bike is easy to ride even for a recumbent novice. Jana now enjoys rides when not riding with me on our TandemBlue. She named it 'KOLKO' meaning 'small, cute bicycle' in Czech language.

Medium Wheelbase Recumbent Bike - Kolko2
Medium Wheelbase Recumbent Bike Folded Up
This photo shows Bob's bike folded up and packed into the car. Many of his DIY bikes are folders or have the ability to break down using couplings.

Short Wheelbase USS Recumbent Bike - D'Viant1
Short Wheelbase USS Recumbent Bike - D'Viant
From Bob's Website...

This is my first “under-steer” bent made from my1970’s Repco folder. It is very comfortable, as this is probably the best ergonomic design of a recumbent. I have reversed the front fork to avoid making chain pulleys. Because of its looks I named it “D’Viant”. It works well, although the turning circle is a bit large. And, as with all my bikes, it folds neatly with adjustable and removable seat. I have also installed a little electric motor for ease of climbing hills.

Short Wheelbase USS Recumbent Bike - D'Viant2
Short Wheelbase USS Recumbent Bike - D'Viant
The completed USS short wheelbase recumbent, looking great in bright yellow.

The Wilkinson Motorcycle Circa 1910
The Wilkinson Motorcycle Circa 1910
From Bob's Website...

I have completed a LWB separable touring bent based on the Wilkinson motorcycle circa 1910. It is made of four old bikes frames. It separates with 2 parallel sleeves and plumber's union coupling. The cost of this separating mechanism is nil in comparison to S&S couplings that are AUS$250 each. The handlebars are from a low rider bike. The rear air shock by “Cane Creek” is the most expensive item. I bought it in New Jersey a few years ago on special for AUS$200.

The Wilkinson Motorcycle Circa 1910
Building The Wilkinson Style Recumbent
Here is Bob's LWB being laid out on his garage floor. Notice the clever use of the floor to draw the frame template used while tack welding the parts together.

The Wilkinson Motorcycle Circa 1910
The Wilkinson Style LWB Recumbent
This is the most comfortable bent I have built to date and ideal for long distance touring. Later, I have modified the steering as there was a steer effect. I mounted a car steering universal joint for better turning and maneuvering.

Thanks go out to Comfy Bob for posting these great DIY bikes in our gallery and on his website!



AtomicZombie newsletters are packed with features and information for bicycle enthusiasts.

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