My 1st recumbent

Joined
Feb 3, 2017
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australia
Hoi. So I've built a chopper bike and some other stuff previously, but I've always wanted a recumbent. Problem is, it seems like a massive undertaking (especially when i dream too big), but looking at the AZ SWB tutorial, i think I can start this simple one and actually get it done. It states you can build it in a few hours 😅, I'm sure that's "possible", but I'm hoping to finish within a month.
Here's my base bike and donor/parts bike:

Challenges already-
-donor parts are all small (pedal arm length could need extending).
-a graze on my palm.
-1st attempts to use chain breaker tool didn't work.
 
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Joined
Oct 19, 2012
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Wakefield, UK
You're right about the donors. An adult sized one would help. There's a website called freecycle.org where folk offer and ask for used items. I've had a few bikes that way for the effort of fetching them. You could try that.
An angle grinder will break not just chains but pretty much everything you point it at.
 
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Despite the suggestion that i didn't know an angle grinder can cut things, I've made a couple of quick seat brackets out of rectangular steel tube. These will give me a lot more contact area for welding than a flat tab onto frame tube.
 
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Apple Valley, California, USA
You're right about the donors. An adult sized one would help. There's a website called freecycle.org where folk offer and ask for used items. I've had a few bikes that way for the effort of fetching them. You could try that.
An angle grinder will break not just chains but pretty much everything you point it at.
DITTO on Freecycle.org. I've received +/- 15 bikes/frames.
But you need to update once in awhile, to keep it fresh, if you need more.
I update with a fresh post once or twice a year.

Good luck with your search.
 
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Thanks for the freecycle tip, i hadn't heard of the site and it's always nice to find another place for freebies. I imagine it's usefulness varies pretty heavily in different countries and cities.
But either way i'm not looking for another bike right now.
 
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I have an old skateboard deck that I'm using for plywood for the seat. It's got some curves in it that I'm telling myself will be perfectly hug the human body when converted to a seat.

I have an old wheelchair lying around with a nice angle in it so that i can slot it straight into the seat holder tube on the bike rather than weld it on.

I noticed in the tutorial here on AZ it says 30° from horizontal, but i assume it means from vertical otherwise you'd be lying down... or folded like a pancake.
 
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Joined
Feb 7, 2008
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Location
Nottinghamshire England
Seat looks nice.
Yes

A bit short maybe but we'll see how it goes.
Where back or base ?

I find for a seat back of around 50' [ yes I like my seats upright ] I need the nose of the base to be about 10' up.
Otherwise you feel as though you are sliding forward off it all the time , bit unnerving when never ridden a recumbent before.

Yes a longer wheelbase would have been better in that the bike would have been less lively and a little slower to respond to the helm , however most configurations can be ridden with enough practice ;)

I suspect it will have little or no ' hands off ' stability and could be a handful when trying to signal with 1 hand and steer with the other ?

Keep at it , it will soon be rolling...
 
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Messages
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Yes



Where back or base ?

I find for a seat back of around 50' [ yes I like my seats upright ] I need the nose of the base to be about 10' up.
Otherwise you feel as though you are sliding forward off it all the time , bit unnerving when never ridden a recumbent before.

Yes a longer wheelbase would have been better in that the bike would have been less lively and a little slower to respond to the helm , however most configurations can be ridden with enough practice ;)

I suspect it will have little or no ' hands off ' stability and could be a handful when trying to signal with 1 hand and steer with the other ?

Keep at it , it will soon be rolling...
Both parts of the seat look a little short but feel ok for now-(lenghts: 11' back, 6' seat)
The skateboard seat has a bit of scoop in it to hold me in but after padding maybe not. I'm actualy not sure it qualifies as 'recumbent', it's very upright...with wheels on:

I'm just trying to enjoy the creating part and try ideas. Im aiming for either surprisingly good or hilariously awkward to ride.
 
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My molded seat :-



Is
back 23" long
base 9" long
top 7" wide
base 12" wide

Yours you could raise the back a little , a gap maybe 4"-5" between the 2 is no problem.
Although mine to longer that yours I tend to curve away from the seat before I reach the top of it.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
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Location
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My molded seat :-



Is
back 23" long
base 9" long
top 7" wide
base 12" wide

Yours you could raise the back a little , a gap maybe 4"-5" between the 2 is no problem.
Although mine to longer that yours I tend to curve away from the seat before I reach the top of it.
Ah this is very nice, it makes mine look like a dirty old broken skateboard haha. Thanks for the pro measurements for refernece. Yes i will try raising the back, i actually cut the board shorter than i wanted only because i already cut the support tube shorter than i wanted 🤦‍♂️. Oh well, lessons being learnt.
 
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Made some high handlebars using some bits and peices. I repurposed the seat tube tightening clip as a handlebar clip which seems to work fine.

At this point i gathered all the chains i could find and joined them together... and realised the pedals are so low that the front forks are in the way of the chain. I would have to reroute the chain under tension and the return. This could be a problem.

I'm kinda at the point of maybe having to start all over again.. that's pretty demotivating... or i just change what I'm building. Introducing the Picycle:

No chain needed, pedals attached directly to the front wheel and a small child sits on the front boom and pedals to power a blender so that there are fresh margaritas wherever ur destination.
 
Joined
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Wakefield, UK
You could attach the front boom to the forks so it moves with them, swap the front and rear wheels and have a front wheel drive.

Rerouting the chain is very common on many recumbents, usually by using pulley wheels with a U channel section to locate the chain.
 
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You could attach the front boom to the forks so it moves with them, swap the front and rear wheels and have a front wheel drive.
Hmm. Yeah thanks for mentioning this. I just assumed FWD&steer would be awkward and not a good idea, but after a quick googling i found a lot of people defending and reccomending this set up. Keen to experience both for myself now.
Rerouting the chain is very common on many recumbents, usually by using pulley wheels with a U channel section to locate the chain.
Yeah and i was always planning to reroute the return/bottom chain, but the tension on the top chain requires a really heavy duty fixing with extra friction.

I think i might just redo(raise) the boom, and maybe have to redo the seat and then hopefully the handlebars are still ok.
The boom tubing is thin (harder to weld), and the fishmouthing and aligning of it took quite a while so I'm not excited about redoing it....
I feel like I'm about to be an advertisement for buying the site's detailed recumbent plans right about now 😅.
 
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Messages
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I'm not really sure what you mean but i don't have suspension.
I'm back on track with adjusted pedal height. I may be crazy but the seat seems more comfortable now.
Oh and i was wrong, the chain is so dam long that even with full tension it has some slack and even though i tried very hard to give it a straight path, the top chain will need a little assistance to not touch the front fork.
 
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