Alt Bike Culture - Amphibious bicycle
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05-13-12, 05:53 AM
The aim of this project is to create an amphibious bicycle from stuff you can find at your local hardware store. I use common tools, so no welding or big machinery. Another goal is that everyone can use his or her own bicycle to make it amphibious. The conversion time, from land to water is not more than 7 minutes; the same for the opposite direction. Beside universal applicable the construction is simple, save and cheap; about 100 dollar.
This project sound's easy; it's not. When it was that simple, we could buy an amphibious bike in the local cycleshop. This video show's enough information to make one for your own. In the water Berto's Amphi-Cycle will be propelled by a new version of the simple outboard motor. With a cordless drill and with an extra 12V battery. I found out that other ways of propelling are too complex and expensive.
05-14-12, 12:42 PM
What I have noticed is that if you take two completely different functions and combine them into one machine, you tend to get a device that does both poorly. So a TV with built-in recording system has much potential, whereas a combination anvil-toothbrush is unlikely to be successful. Consequently, there have been no end of flying cars that weren't much of a car or much of a plane. And it's similar with amphibous bikes (and amphibious cars, for that matter.) Look on youtube, and you'll find quite a few variations, but they all boil down to a slow heavy bike that turns into a slow tippy boat.
05-15-12, 02:29 AM
What I have noticed is that if you take two completely different functions and combine them into one machine, you tend to get a device that does both poorly.
This is a DIY project to find ways to come to a solution of that dilemma. But I think it is worth. This project shows already some progression; the simple en strong frame, where the bicycle is hanging in, the stabillity on the floaters. The aim is to come to zero set-up time; in one go from the land in the water and out again.
I hope that this project stimulates people to work that out. After 127 years of bicycle's it would be nice to have also a choice going amphi.
05-15-12, 09:31 AM
If the bicycle does not provide any propulsion, why bring it along?
I think a good starting point for a bicycle boat would be a recumbent. It would give you a nice low center of gravity. Be a fun project with enough resources.
05-15-12, 10:04 AM
I'd like to build a recumbent trike around a kayak. You'd probably need an inboard differential and sealed driveshafts to the rear wheels. A propeller could be rigged up from there too. Fit some aero wheel covers to the front wheel and it could act as a rudder.
My thinking is that it's easier to take something that floats well and make it roadable than the other way round.
05-15-12, 11:16 AM
There's always the autocanoe.
05-27-12, 12:38 AM
Amphibious bicycle? Huh? Not. A bike that hauls your boat to the water, maybe. This is no more an amphibious bike than putting your bike on an airplane and calling a "flying bike." Putting a bike into a canoe, or a raft, or loading it onto a ferry, and getting from A to B by other means than using the bike for propulsion does not make it amphibious.
Show me a bike you ride into the water and pedal to some destination, then ride onto dry land and pedal home, and then I'll give you the title of "amphibious."
05-27-12, 02:52 PM
Anyone who hasn't been to the Memorial Day weekend Humbolt County Kenetic Sculpture Race (http://kineticgrandchampionship.com/) just hasn't lived.
It's a 3-day race from Arcata to Ferndale (California) over land and water using pedal powered art. Lots of whimsey and fun. Since this is Humbolt County, it's pretty easy to get a contact high if you're in a crowd.
05-29-12, 03:17 PM
LOL, just chanced on this thread, away from my usual haunt, the C&V forum.
My thoughts on the issue: the problem starts at trying to fit one bike in one hull. Forget it. Multihull is the way to go. On second thought, forget hulls. Hydrofoils! Ski's! Second problem is: centre of gravity and wheel size. Next time, try going for a small wheel size. Third issue: need for seperate controls for both functions land and water. These should be combined. Some quick thinking resulted in this idea:
-Get a BMX bike, 20 or 24 inch kids mountainbike or something like that.
-Install a fixed gear driveline in a gear comfortable for city cruising, but nothing too heavy. Use a disc front wheel
-Fit the bike with front and rear racks
-Attach a hydrofoil/float front and back on the racks. Foam covered in fibreglass or something like that. make 'm pivot in the front at the axles, put it on a cantilevered strut at the back so the wings go below the wheel.
-fab a friction drive between a screw and the rear wheel and a screw that fits between the two front wings.
Now for getting the rig in the water:
-Unfold the floats
-clip the wheel to the pedal
-Turn the seat around and adjust seating position to go the other way around. This might require a very adaptable saddle/seat combo.
-use the front wheel to steer, rear wheel to drive with a mid-mounted screw.
pro's of this approach:
-The nice thing about using wings ski's, or floats attached to poles or struts is that you can get a lot of lateral stability in a tiny, foldable package.
-No redundant drive systems, except for the screw when in land mode.
-quick to set up
-still bikeable, because the wings fold in a way that the aero is not too screwed up.
-probably still a major hassle to balance
-complicated design, maybe some complicated fabrication
-not really fast and you have to pedal yourself.
-rear steering might require some getting used to
-Not very practical in rough water
BTW Nice shots of Maastricht. Love that city.
06-04-12, 06:43 AM
@Italuminium, Thank's for your reaction. My project is placed on forum for your kind of thoughts. My intention was low-tech and low-cost. Much of what I have seen and read before is right the opposite. Beside that the question, when a bike is amphibious? When there is no set up time going in and out the water? No use of electric propulsion on the road and in the water? I hope I made some people enthousiast making a amphibious bike for themselves.
06-04-12, 09:02 PM
My wish list for an amphibious bike would be the following:
Practical for rides of about 10 miles.
Set up time of under 10 minutes
Decent performance in choppy water
06-08-12, 06:31 PM
06-09-12, 02:27 PM
You're going to have to do better than thin. My Daughter designed this bike when we lived in Florida. Florida roads have water filled ditches, with alligators, so she figured it would be best if the bike could float.
This bike did float, but it had three pin-hole leaks, and it sank after about ten seconds.
No propeller, I guess you'd have to paddle with your hands.
It's all fiberglass, no welding required.
06-11-12, 12:08 PM
Having made many amphibious bikes, I must say, it can only be pursued as a joyful folly. StephenH is exactly right about hybrid systems. This is why I don't use multitools. For amphibious transportation, it turns out it's much better to tow a canoe and then when you reach the water, put your bike in the boat.
Amphibious bike tips:
-ideally you should be able to transition from land to water without stopping and changing anything. This is the goal. Also, your controls should remain the same. This is easily accomplished by making the front wheel the rudder, and running a chain from the rear wheel's sprocket to the paddlewheel.
-First and foremost, it is much more important to think of balance than bouyancy! Many people go for the bouyancy thing and end up with something that floats, but not rightside up.
-Water weighs 8 lbs/gallon. Therefore a 55 gallon drum floats 440 lbs. But you don't want to be neutrally bouyant, you want to float on TOP of the water. So overshoot your weight.
-If you use a paddlewheel, you want less than 50% of it submerged! This is another common failure. They don't think about the draw of the boat and the paddlewheel sits underwater, where it just churns. 10% underwater would be better than 60%.
-If you use a paddlewheel, you're gonna want to cover it with a fender. Otherwise you will constantly spray yourself.
-Your speed on any pedal-powered non-hydrofoil (or penguin drive) is going to be limited to about 1/2 mph. Don't plan on going anywhere.
Amphibious couch trike:
See our efforts over the years:
P.S. The penguin drive kayak thingie is amazing, and will let you go as fast on water as you do on land on your bike.
06-11-12, 12:22 PM
06-11-12, 04:42 PM
The first thing that went through my head when I saw this picture is "I must be inconspicuous whilst riding to the water. Therefor, I shall adopt native garb."
06-12-12, 12:13 PM
Oh yeah the name of that aquachopper is "The S.S. Edmund Ratzgerald"
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