Introductions - Amateur with a big project. Failure is probable.
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01-25-11, 09:39 PM
Hello! I'm Karen, a student at ASU in Tempe, Arizona. I recently moved back from a year studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, and have consequently gotten hooked on all things bikes, especially the new medium of building a two-wheeler from the rubber up. But, since I'm insane and clearly a masochist, I'm not planning on just building ANY bike. I want to build this (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.smallroomsoftware.com/files/LIGHT3115.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.smallroomsoftware.com/articles/2006/9/26/christiania-bike&h=356&w=581&sz=51&tbnid=tczUNSUfpkjjrM:&tbnh=82&tbnw=134&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dchristiania%2Bbike&zoom=1&q=christiania+bike&hl=en&usg=__VqLD4GI3wW9cuN1fZhRqLh3sSHo=&sa=X&ei=UJc_TbeWO5LCsAPBz_moCA&ved=0CCMQ9QEwAg) bike. Stupid idea? Probably.
I can hardly change a tire, haven't got a clue what I'm doing with a welder, and barely have enough experience on a bike to be able to not fall when I hit a pebble in the bike lane. I know this is a massive project. If I wasn't (clearly) insane, I would submit myself to simply putting together a standard retro Schwinn. But no! Must go big!
So, I suppose I'm hoping to make a few connections on here that could help me through the process with suggestions, critiques, assaults on my ego and the like. Any takers?
01-25-11, 09:44 PM
I would think your best bet would to ask at all your local bike shops.
Let me look around to see What Bike Forums might do for you.
01-25-11, 09:45 PM
This may be the place.
01-26-11, 09:53 PM
Check in the Utility Bike Forums for one place.
If you specifically want a bike similar to that, the simplest way to do it is keep an eagle eye on Craigslist and watch for a Worksman Front-Loading Tricycle. They show up periodically, so it may take 6 months. They are not necessarily as high quality as a dutch bakfiets-type bike, but are usable. The platform on the front of them just bolts onto the springs with 4 bolts, and you can build any kind of box you want to and bolt it on there. They are usually single-speed, and you pretty much need to live some place flat to use them. You want one with with pneumatic tires, not the solid rubber kind, and you want the original wheels if possible, which are extra-heavy-duty. These trikes are around $1,000 new, but often go for $200 or so used- they are very low supply, and very low demand, so prices are erratic.
Have you actually used one? They are cool, they do have some disadvantages- such as being slower, much heavier, and catching more wind. If you're figuring to ride 10 miles each way every day, get a regular bike. If you're going a couple of miles to the store, these things work. If you ride in the road, you pretty much take up a lane whether you want to or not, so pick your routes judiciously.
I believe there is also a Haley trike in the northeast that custom-makes similar trikes.
One challenge is that the front wheels on the Worksman trikes use an axle which is not used on a standard bike, so you have to come up with something different there. On the other hand, the Mexican cargo trikes are set up to use standard bike wheels. Google up Mercurio or Husky cargo trikes to see what I mean.
You might look up the Atomic Zombie stuff. They have a bunch of do-it-yourself plans for odd cycling contraptions, and may or may not have a functional equivalent to this.
Local junior colleges may have welding classes, if you are interested.
01-27-11, 03:31 PM
Thanks for the information, Stephen. I've got my head in a dictionary right now trying to decode a lot of what you said...
As for the utility of the bike, I ride a KHS Flite right now, which is my main commuter. I probably ride around 5-10 miles a day on that bike, and have the use (unfortunately not the sole ownership) of a vintage Schwinn Varsity when I feel like a more leisurely ride. So, this will most certainly not be my main mode of transportation. I'm building/buying/modifying it for a few reasons:
1) Tempe, AZ has a fledgling biking community that is finally gaining momentum in the 'do-it-yourself' direction; the bike co-ops around the area are seeing more and more traffic, and I see more vintage refurbs around campus. However, a lot of people have both a bike and a car, for the express purpose of being able to tranport things that don't fit comfortably into a backpack. I have yet to see a cargo bike around the city, and hope that by my having one and possibly considering it a 'community' bike, it might jumpstart an influx of other cargo bikes. Essentially, go greener.
2) I do not and have never owned a car, and don't plan to for the the foreseeable future. It'd be nice to have the option of having a cargo bike to move awkwardly shaped/sized things.
Is Atomic Zombie a publication or a video blog, or...
I'd love to be able to use building this contraption to gain some knowledge about building, well, weird stuff. I'm considering building a normal bike simultaneously, and teaching myself the bike basics on that project, while focusing my creative energy on the trike.
01-27-11, 03:38 PM
Hey Karen. Welcome to the bikeforums. You definitely came to a great place for references and 'opinion' on this subject matter. You will want to hang out in the Frame builders forum. They will undoubtedly be you best resource on this site for this type of project. The bike mechanics forum will also be very useful to you. I hope you keep us updated on your project and, totally wish you the best of luck!
01-27-11, 11:18 PM
I see a bakfiets-type cargo bike in there, but not a cargo trike.
Thanks for the information, Stephen. I've got my head in a dictionary right now trying to decode a lot of what you said...If you're having problems with the terminology, be sure to check out Sheldon Brown's excellent Bicycle Glossary (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/). Oh, and welcome to Bike Forums! :D
01-28-11, 08:15 PM
Or you can save yourself a lot of trouble, and save your ego too, by just bopping over the border and picking up one of these babies. They're definitely not built for speed, but they haul a load very nicely. Around 2500 pesos(200 dollars) brand new, here in Yucatán. Of course, being single speed, they're only good on flat ground.
01-28-11, 08:45 PM
I love your project. alt bikes forum is another source of... people who build strange things.
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