News and Events

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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Resolutions 2015


Last year (somewhere) I posted a list of what I wanted to achieve in 2014 and this has been a very worthwhile thing. 

If nothing else, I stayed on track with applying for tertiary study in 2014, and that has proved to be my "job parachute" for 2015, with a masters degree scholarship relating to Human Powered Vehicles set to be my main employment next year.  I did all the other stuff as well, although the Velocino is still a hotch-potch.

So here are the aspirations for 2015.
  • Hollow out a book about Lance Armstrong, put a plastic bag containing an innocuous white powder inside, and sell the resulting artwork on ebay.  Ideally the book should cost less than $2.00 from an op shop and be called "Lance Armstrong, Secrets of  My Success".  But my standards are not very high, I will settle for compromises!
  • Set up Audax Permanent Rides, Albury to Corryong and Aireys Inlet to Ballarat.  These routes traverse some great roads and lead to great locations. If the Permanents  existed, they would help lead riders to events which run in the towns, ie The Lake Wendouree Challenge, and last years OzHpv Challenge in Corryong.  
  • Do ok at my Uni Course
  • Start a crowd sourcing initiative.  It could be for anything!  But if I eventually manufacture and sell some some bikes, then crowd sourcing would be an option for the selling and manufacture, and I would like to get some crowd sourcing done for something small first as a way of limbering up.
Ok, that's it.  There is a mix of easy, and hard ones there, see how it goes this time next year.


Steve Nurse

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A few friends and neighbours came around

A few friends and neighbours came around, Christine with Erica, Tony, Christine, George and Bev.

Ellen with Nolan

Off to deliver Ellen's bike, recently found on a junk heap.  Ellen lives about 2k away, and there is a folded Bickerton bike in the front, ready to take me home on the return journey.

Technical mod. to Ellen's bike was swapping the old black cluster for the silvery coloured one with more teeth on the biggest cog, giving a lower bottom gear.

Fixing Ellen's bike in the middle of the standar bike junk pandemonium.

More friends and neighbours came round, Christine with Betty, Ray, Anne, Geoff

Self timer Photo, me and the Bickerton
Hi, here are a few photos taken in the lead up to Christmas.  I've been slowly recovering from Dental Surgery, learning to use a barbecue (put the sausages on before the steak, you shouldn't prick the sausages) and we caught up with quite a few friends and neighbours.  And bike repairs come like breathing to me, I fixed up a found-on-a-junk-heap bike for out niece Ellen.

Happy and safe Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Cruzbike

Fitting a Cruzbike Kit....

to a Ladies "Ricardo" Bike

and learning to ride it in the street.
The bike conversion needed a custom headset like this one if the bike doesn't have a standard 1 1/8" threadless headset.  I managed to make the half painted blue one from bits in the shed.


In the last month or so I've been putting together a Cruzbike kit which I swapped with an acquaintance for some bike parts.  It started with buying a $30.00 ebay bike from a neighbouring suburb and then slowly reconfiguring it using the kit bits.

The kit has 3 parts to let you modify a standard bike.  In order of increasing complexity,
  •  a long axle with spacers lets you fit a front wheel where the back wheel was.
  • the standard bike seat is replaced by a larger 2 part recumbent seat.
  • The steerer assembly and front wheel mount get adapters to mount a higher steerer, a pedal assembly, a derailleur and the back wheel.
  All these parts act and can be installed indepedently, and you can come up with your own versions of the modifications.

Naturally what bike you start with determines what it ends up like.  Generally the lower and further back the seat is mounted relative to the front wheel, the faster the bike will go.  Leaning the seat back helps the bike go faster as well.  You can look at the cruzbike web page   (click on bikes) and the bikes run down the page from fastest to slowest. There is a plethora of Cruzbike conversion pictures on the internet here, and its interesting to see what people have done with the kit. As well,  I made another bike of this type 2 years ago. 

Even though its not really finished, the Cruzbike has been fun to ride around the block.  When you ride, you have to use your arms to push back on the steering a bit to counter the leg force.  Its sorta good to learn this technique, which exercises the arms as well as the legs and is said to improve hill climbing.  The bikes are moving bottom bracket front wheel drive machines.  Its a fairly unique bike style and Cruzbike seem to be the only mob promoting it commercially.  (There are prototype commercial  and guided self-build versions.)

 I'll keep tinkering with the Cruzbike kit (which may still be available but are no longer in production) and hope to come up with a faster version.  Its already been great fun building up the bike I've made!

For a really broad view of what moving bottom bracket bikes can look like, have a look at this link.  For sheer differentness though, you can't go past some of the creations of Sergei Zemin: scroll down this page a bit to have a look.

Leaving Work

Part of my Going Away Present - a lump of wood cleverly disguised as "Precision Recumbent Framing Material".....

and the other part - a posterboard....

which all came home with me on my bike.  The "framing material" started out way too long (3m) for me to carry and was thoughtfully cut in half.

A few days ago, I had my last day at work after stints of 7 and 11 years working at an electric motor company.  I was made redundant and didn't choose to leave but it has ended up not too bad.  Since the beginning of the year I've been applying for a part time Master's degree in design at Monash University and on hearing I had been given the woolly chook, switched my application to full time study.  So, err, end of the year, I am finishing up work but have the small complication of having booked in for Wisdom teeth removal, oh joyous fun...  It turns out the surgery comes at the last week of my work, so I finished a bit early.

Kept myself quite busy in the weeks leading up to my last day, there were study applications, Christmas Parties, friends to catch up with, ordering a new computer and I rode to work on the last day.  Its always quite satisfying riding to work and it gives some meditative time to think things out.  The traffic can be as foul and snarlly as it likes but it always takes (ok, took) 1.5 to 2 hours each way.

There was a presentation from my colleagues, sad to go but I am looking forward to new things!  The photos show some of the going away presents.  I have also gathered a few parts that I've worked on in my career and will put them together as some form of sculpture later.  At one stage I received a 10 year service recognition certificate and pocket knife - the pocket knife is ok but the certificate is fairly boring and I will award myself something better.  A friend Byron was given a complete "Christmas Tree" assemblage of parts associated with his work at the company, and it sits proudly in his lounge room.  His kids whizz it around, sometimes at manic speed and he tells them to slow it down a bit!  I will post a picture of the sculpture I make when its done.

All for now, quoting Jack Gringlas quoting Douglas Adams, "So long and Thanks for all the Fish".