News and Events

Keep up to date with the latest news and events of Modular Bikes.

Monday, June 25, 2012

New Bike on the way Part 8

Finished!  Well, at least rideable

Seat Assembly, part painted
On Friday I received the plywood cut for the seat on and spent some time filing away some of the slot tabs by hand.  The tabs were a bit thick for the slots and it was possible to notice the grain of the wood when filing.  Saturday was spent with angle grinding,  (10 times faster than hand filing but noisy and no noticing of the grain!) painting, assembling and gluing with 5 minute araldite.

 The seat clamps are 3 bolts at the bottom of the seat and they work well. On one side is a 1/4" tee nut drilled through, on the other is a 1/4" tee nut tapped M6 and between them is a 6mm allen screw.

 Overnight on Saturday I dried the seat in the warmth inside and went for a small blocky (2 or 3k) on Sunday morning.  Not much time for more than that as we had a family gathering at our house in the afternoon.  The bike works well but it rides  a little bit high.  I'm fairly sure a new rear triangle or a bit of bike surgery on it will fix that.  Anyway I want to finish the painting on it and enjoy riding it for a while before too much extra work. The photos above can be compared to the cad plan graphic of a few posts ago.  The bit at the back of the cad pic is the yet to be built tailbox.

 Incidentally the seemingly wildly popular Melburn Roubaix had our normally quiet street as part of their itinerary.  There were many bikes and many types of bikes in attendance.  The short video is     here

All for Now

Steve Nurse

Friday, June 22, 2012

New Bike on the way, Part 7

Routed plywood on the bike

Quite a good day today, despite it being cold and wet all day.  A work deadline was extended which put me in a good mood and my custom NC routed timber seat kit from the very fine gentlemen at Tgc Building was delivered.  And of course I couldn't help but put it together at least a bit, filing away the tight-fitting parts and knocking them together in the kitchen.  As today is Friday I should be able to have a crack the whole bike together.  But the days are only getting up to about 12 degrees C these days, not very good paint-or-resin drying weather.



Sunday, June 17, 2012

New bike on the way, part 6

Latest in the "Pokey and Gumby Observe" series which started here

Mini - V- Brakes Fitted
Hi, Well not much to report this weekend, the bike seat kit I ordered isn't here yet so I finished off things on the bike like fitting V-brakes and Gear Cables.  A large drill press bought from my work is coming home soon and I cleared down and sorted the junk on the bench in preparation for its arrival.

As well, I wandered (ok, rode )into the city and bought another Melbourne Bike Share Scheme helmet for $5.00. I plan to make a visor for it as shown in this post , and then mount rear view mirrors on the visor.  Will report on how that goes.


Steve Nurse

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Bike on the way, part 5

1st steps to fixing derailleur: braze up one of the hinges and find a bit of metal to make it sit in the right position. 

Best to do this in a bike stand, it's much easier to test the deraileur mech

Cut out the relevant bit of metal and braze it in position

And its done and it works.  Chain wrap is not quite as good as it could be but need to try this on the road.

Photos left off from the last post:  Rear suspension comes from an old Checkoslvakian  pedal and a few cut-up bits of bike tube.

Wrap the tube round the pedal bits

and it fits in the frame.  Not sure it will work but it looks neat.

Bike building is going quite well, last weekend I fixed / bodgied up the front derailleur, some mini - v brakes arrived from an on-line order and I found a mob ( who do nc routing and ordered the cut to shape timber for the seat.  Cross fingers the timber will arrive tomorrow and I can continue to build the beast.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, Edith

L to R we have Christine, Kath, Edith, Sandra and Igor

Bringing In the Cake

Edith at her 100th Birthday Party

Some of the many friends & relatives in Attendance

My wife, Christine reading one of the many letters of congratulations, Edith in the Background.  When you turn 100, the following people will write to you. * Queen of England * Premier of Victoria * Governor of Victoria * Governer General of Australia * Prime Minister of Australia * Local Member of Parliament * Federal opposition leader.

New Bike on the way, Part 4


Over the weekend I worked on my new bike a bit and things are progressing well.
* Finished front forks by brazing on brake bosses and cable stop for 3-speed gearbox in the front hub.
* Fitted wheels, chain, handlebars, gearcables
* Ordered v-brakes and emailed an NC routing place about getting the seat made.
* Cut up a bike pedal and used one of the rubber blocks as a suspension block.  Quite neat!

So we are almost there.  Last weekend I spent some time trying to make the seat from plywood using a jigsaw and it was hopeless.  Need to wait till my friendly nc router guy comes back to me with a quote.

All for now

Steve Nurse

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Saving the Zeica Stuff


For a long time I have been a member of Australia's national human powered vehicle group, OzHpv and for quite a while I led recumbent rides around Melbourne.

The rides led to the Victorian group getting a name (Vichpv) and a website, and a yahoogroup, all of which led to improved communications.....  Thanks to Adrienne for maintaining the website!

Without digging up too much old history, the current VicHpv website hosts have announced they are packing up their pixels and pissing off into the cyberspace from which they came***.  Or something like that**.

Anyway, some of my stuff is on that website ( and will be gone unless it is rescued.  The members page ( seems to lead to the most valuable information, for example Eric and Alan Ball, the founders of Evolve Trikes have plans a trike and a lowracer bike following on from their page.

So here is the is the small Zeica story, complete with broken links.  For more information on the Zeica, see here . Coincidentally, the other day I was reading this blog post which has similar themes.

" This bike has existed for less than 2 weeks but it's the fourth or fifth twisting - chain front wheel drive-recumbent cycle I've built. Plans of a similar previous effort are on the net in the "ihpva incoming" folder I have built and designed bikes as a hobby for about 18 years now and my own web page is at This bike was designed to be a 26 / 20, that is 26" wheel at the front and a 20" at the back. Why these wheel sizes,  I hear you say?

* It is hard to put suspension on the front wheel of this sort of bike because the chain forces would cause a normal suspension to "bob" under pedalling forces. A big wheel can soak up bumps better than a small wheel so a big wheel at the front is good. Also a big front wheel makes it possible to use standard racing and mountain bike parts and produce a bike with high gear inches. My 20" drive wheel recumbent needs a 57T chain ring to getup to decent speeds whereas a 52T ring gets the 26" wheel going fast.
* I like to have a corflute tailbox on the back of my bikes, in fact I think my bikes are naked without them.  They make the bike go faster, and they are a secure, safe, dry place to store stuff. With a seat high enough for me to be seen in traffic (600mm) and a 20" back wheel, the corflute tailbox fits neatly over the back wheel with no cutout for the wheel necessary. The forks that hold the back wheel are compliant and bounce over bumps to some extent so there is no need for a large back wheel for suspension reasons.
The "need" for the bike started about 6 weeks ago when another bike I'd built broke. I salvaged the parts I could from the wreck and got designing and ringing metal suppliers and exhaust tube benders. Found a couple of suppliers not far from home and headed out one Saturday morning to buy and then bend a piece of 50.8 x 1.2mm round mild-steel tube which cost $25.00 for 6m. The gentleman at Midas Muffler shop in Preston refused all payment for the bending.
After drawing the plan for the bike I printed templates for cutting the holes in the the main tube and inserted the two fork tubes. (Programs for making the templates are on the internet at and undertubemitre.exe, under I find it best to make the holes undersize using a jigsaw and a drill,then file the last millimetre or so all around. Then the intersecting tubes were brazed in, and I put in a cross-brace to support the seat base, complete with screwthread braze - ons to anchor the seat. The parts from the previous bike were fitted and about 10 days ago I went around the block for the first time and 9 days ago rode about 40k with some friends without any real problems.

I'm very happy with the bike, it can be ridden no hands and pass many road-going cyclists. Plan to ride the bike in "Round the bay in a day" this year so the tweaking and improving and training on the bike will continue until October at least. Gosh, it might even get a coat of paint by then!  See you on the road somewhere!
Steve Nurse 10/8/04"

*** Quote from John Cooper Clarke, " I married a monster from outer space "
    "In an Intergactic / fit of Rage, 
     She pissed off to another age, 
     Now she lives in 1999
     With her new boyfriend
     A blob of Slime"

** Quote from VicHpv list:

"Hi all,

Please note MC2 is being shut down by 30th June 2012. This is the organisation that hosts the VicHPV website. Their email is copied below.

This means if you have any text or pictures of importance that are only on the MC2 VicHPV page, please grab a copy now.

I signalled my unavailability to manage this page some time ago, and asked a couple of times if someone else wanted to take it over. Nobody wanted to at the time. I suspect that with the main contributors using their own accounts on flikr et al, in combination with the email list, the individual group webpage it is not as valued as it once was.

The question is for the email list members is: "Do you still want a VicHPV website?"

I think in principle its a great idea; its how I found the group in the first instance. It does mean that someone with the time and basic knowledge needs to be found to take it over.

What do you think?


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Mc2closureslist] Staged closure of mc2
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 18:04:12 +1000
From: mc2closures

MC2 site will be closing on 30th June 2012.
etc. etc.
We wish you all the very best as you move on to explore new online horizons!
mc2 Help Desk
VICNET - State Library of Victoria