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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sherfy's Avatar
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    My tall bike build up

    For over a year now I've been wanting to build a tall bike. Last summer I took a welding class and learned quite a bit, finishing the class by welding together two frames.

    The picture below is my first mock up of the bike:


    I later decided to cute a down tube from an old junker Marin frame I had sitting around to weld in between the two headtubes. This really stiffened up the frame a bit and gave the bike a more complete feel.


    I began my summer industrial design studio with the idea of completing the frames that I welded together last fall.


    I wanted the two frames to look as if they were one, although the seat tube angles obviously kill this, I wanted to put some bondo on the frames to smooth out the lines and make the frame look at clean as possible.


    I've got a couple more projects in the works, including making wooden fenders for the bike, and also have wooden panes frozen in the triangles of the frame.

    I'll keep posting pictures as the frame progresses.

    7/26/08
    Today I put another coat of primer on the frame and finished sanding down some of the filler I put on. The picture is hard to tell the shape of the frame, but once I put another coat of primer on it really started to take shape. It's still got some work but hopefully I'll have it finished by next Friday.


    Below is picture of a fender bender I recently built, it still needs work but it's coming along nicely.

    Cheers, Brett
    Last edited by Sherfy; 07-26-08 at 01:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    awesome. this forum needs some more "process" threads.

    i've almost got the parts together for my first welded tallbike (i've built 3 or 4 bolt-together ones), and i'm worried that i won't be able to get the headtubes perfectly lined up when i go to weld them all together.

    did you use a jig to hold them, or something else?

    thanks for posting.

    josh.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sherfy's Avatar
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    I did what some other folks suggested, which was using two boards to align the down tubes to make sure the bikes were parallel, and then used a 1in dowel rod down both of the two head tubes to ensure the angle was correct. This worked very well and allowed me to make a sealed head tube.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sherfy's Avatar
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    Fresh off the press

    The first set of fenders came off of the jig today. They came out pretty well for the first set I made. They just don't fit, but they're only a half inch off.




  5. #5
    Senior Member Sherfy's Avatar
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    Lots of stuff going on!!!

    I've gotten alot accomplished in the past few days.

    The first set of fenders that came off of my jig were quite nice looking, however they were about an inch small in the radius. I Wound up building a whole new jig, which I believe will be getting some serious modifications here soon.

    Below is a shot of the fenders in the new jig.


    Here's the first fender I pulled off the new jig, and a few shots of the laminations. They came out pretty nice, fit and have enough clearance. I put the first coat of polyurethane on it tonight.



    Here are the panes that I was talking about. I'm going to suspend them within the triangle.





    The frame has really been an adventure, but it's coming along nicely.

    Here's a shot of the bottom brackets that I curved to look as if they were molded.





    and here is a shot of the extended heat tube.



    Thats it for now.

    Cheers!!!
    Brett

  6. #6
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    excellent pics.

    as soon as i come across the elusive 24 inch fork with brake bosses, i'll start my build thread as well.

    keep them coming. can't wait to see the finished ride.

    is the bottom bracket round/molded stuff bondo?

  7. #7
    el padre
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    It is looking good. When I was a kid, I did a tall bike but not as nice as yours will look. keep up the good work.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sherfy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veganboyjosh View Post
    excellent pics.

    as soon as i come across the elusive 24 inch fork with brake bosses, i'll start my build thread as well.

    keep them coming. can't wait to see the finished ride.

    is the bottom bracket round/molded stuff bondo?
    Unfortunately, the answer is yes. It was my first time putting effort into using bondo, and something I would have to consider long and hard before I did it again.

    Put the first coat of polyurethane on the panels yesterday, and need to start fabing some bracket out of aluminum to hold them. I also need to look into where I can get hardware to mount the fenders I'm making. Any suggestions any one?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sherfy's Avatar
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    It's Getting there

    Here are some pics of the frame, It needs some touch up paint around the headset, but other then that it's ready for its first coat of clear, then some decals.




    I also mocked up the panes in the frame to get a feel for how they'll look.


    Tell me what you think.

  10. #10
    el padre
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    Trying to envision the wood without the blue tape...looks like it will add something to the overall frame, and I don't mean weight. looks good to me.

  11. #11
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    The only thing I'd be worried about is wind grabbing the panels and blowing you over. Where I'm from, we get headwinds that will stop you in your tracks. But if you live in a place where that isn't a problem then it should be pretty cool. I really like how its looking. Especially the fenders. What did you use for wood? Did you glue your own layers together?

  12. #12
    Numbnuts
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    Don't forget your body armor.
    I'm not even kidding. You just made a sail out of your bicycle... Crosswinds may be dicey.

  13. #13
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    ROFL! ^

    Put holes in the wood to make triangles, you'll be good to go.

    I wish I had a welder...

  14. #14
    Senior Member Sherfy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivesjd View Post
    The only thing I'd be worried about is wind grabbing the panels and blowing you over. Where I'm from, we get headwinds that will stop you in your tracks. But if you live in a place where that isn't a problem then it should be pretty cool. I really like how its looking. Especially the fenders. What did you use for wood? Did you glue your own layers together?

    I live in Blacksburg, VA, home to Virginia Tech, and I swear we have more then just a testing wind tunnel around here. Winds are crazy, and yeah I've tooled around with the idea of that the panels will be sails, and my professor was encouraging me to try it in a big parking lot.

    I'm starting to produce the fenders for sale, similar to fast boys and woodys. The first set of fenders I made were out of pine cause its cheap and but a little more difficult to work with because of the knots. The second batch that I have pictured are a red oak pine sandwich. Three plys of pine, between the oak.

    The panels I made are glued one inch sections of pine, poplar, and oak. They're definitally getting some interesting looks from professors in my studio.


    I put decals on the frame today, and a couple coats of clear, I'm going to give it a few days to cure before I consider building it up.

  15. #15
    Senior Member los buenos's Avatar
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    i like the idea of wooden fenders, but if i got those id be afraid of getting them dirty
    proudly, Brimley, Michigan's only resident freak-biker

  16. #16
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    seriously, this thing is going to be deadly in wind.

  17. #17
    gentry basscadetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherfy View Post
    Unfortunately, the answer is yes. It was my first time putting effort into using bondo, and something I would have to consider long and hard before I did it again.

    Put the first coat of polyurethane on the panels yesterday, and need to start fabing some bracket out of aluminum to hold them. I also need to look into where I can get hardware to mount the fenders I'm making. Any suggestions any one?
    there's this cheese grater/file looking tool used for bondo work, that works pretty well. you use it when the bondo is still a bit wet, and soft, (block cheese consistency?) to break down all the high points so you can do detail sanding/filling.
    It's all fun and games till somebody gets hurt. Then it's just fun.

  18. #18
    gentry basscadetz's Avatar
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    oh and, you're planning on selling tallbikes? (the url in your signature - http://www.ellipsisbike.com/)
    It's all fun and games till somebody gets hurt. Then it's just fun.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Sherfy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basscadetz View Post
    oh and, you're planning on selling tallbikes? (the url in your signature - http://www.ellipsisbike.com/)

    Considering it, I really want to try to start making my own lugged frames. An Idea I have eventually is a lugged tall bike frame down the way.

  20. #20
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    Depending on cost, I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

  21. #21
    gentry basscadetz's Avatar
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    *sigh*
    Last edited by basscadetz; 08-06-08 at 06:11 PM.
    It's all fun and games till somebody gets hurt. Then it's just fun.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Sherfy's Avatar
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    Its almost there

    I ran into a little delay w/ the floating bottom bracket. It seems to have a bit of a clearance issue w/ the chainstay, it's off by about a millimeter, so I'll just have to file down the back a little.

    Today was my last day of classes, so work may progress a little slower now but here are some shots of what I presented on my final day. Overall my professor was happy with how I tied the bike together.

    I've had some interest in producing tall bikes for sale, and I'm in the process of working out the details on a one off basis. I'd like to start making my own lugs w/ investment casting, but thats a little ways down the road.

    Enjoy.





  23. #23
    Senior Member Sherfy's Avatar
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    The bike should be finished, I've just been really busy with school.

    Need to go buy tandem cables since normal cables won't be long enough for the brakes, that and figure out what i'm going to use for levers.

    It'll be done so though

  24. #24
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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  25. #25
    coasterbrakelockup lz4005's Avatar
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    I was just thinking yesterday about why there are no commercially available tallbikes, when there are several manufacturers making giraffe unicycles. 5 and 6 foot unis are at least as dangerous as tallbikes, so liability can't be the limiting factor. There's got to be a somewhat larger market for tallbikes than giraffes, so that can't be it either. The only thing I can think of is that the shipping costs would be prohibitive, as is being seen with cargo bikes like the Surly BigDummy.

    There must be a way around that, something similar to a S&S coupler between the frames and in the steerer tube maybe?
    Ride lots, have fun, skid often!

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