News and Events

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

Thursday, February 26, 2015



Over a little while I have been noting a few other Blogs of interest, hope you enjoy these sites as much as I do.

Bentupcyclingjournal is frequently updated and provides information about trikes and trike riding, but I particularly enjoyed this post.  When Rohan Dennis recently broke the UCI Hour cycling world record, it made the press big time but little or no information about the restrictions on bikes is given in most articles. And us recumbent rider types get upset. Bentupcyclingjournal puts the whole argument quite concisely, Thank You. PS The hour world record is held by a highly unlikely speedbike, the rider Francesco Russo is on his back, head forwards and looking up into a mirror to see the road ahead and steer and balance.  But he's one of us guys.

Type Velomobile, Cake, Germany into your search engine and you end up at the wonderful, gentle website of Auntie Helen. Like it a lot.

And lastly, a few months ago, Aiden McHaffie lives in the UK and bought one of my cycling books late last year.  He is building a recumbent trike and here is his blog.  Not so prolific of late but at one stage, he blogged every day for a year.


Steve Nurse

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

iLean mk2 - on the road

Out at our local park in the morning, on the 2nd test run of the pocket rocket ilean.
At this time of day the park is populated by dogs, dog walkers and people on strange human powered vehicles taking self-timer photos on digital cameras.

Posting a few photos of my new, smaller lighter version of an ilean trike.  It works but is a bit slow and can't carry anything, and I will work on fixing that over the next few days, swapping out wheels and tyres, widening the back axle and adding a tailbox.


Steve Nurse

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

iLean mk2 - pocket rocket

Starting the build of the new ilean with some fairly snazzy bits.  The aluminium frame shown here was built for one of my Big at the Front Bikes, and the start of that bike build is detailed here. With a bike using an identical frame, I completed the Murray 1200  (1200km) 4 day Audax ride.
The wood and steel parts at the back hold a bottom bracket shell mounted to the frame.  Here I have varnished the wood (laminated and glued 6mm plywood) and brazed the raw steel bottom bracket to its mounting plate.  The mounting plate has been machined so it is square to the bottom bracket and is in good alignment when mounted on the timber.
All mounted in the frame.  An old bike tube was cut up and with this on either side of the wood, it is a snug fit in the alloy frame.  The adapter is screwed into the frame using the centre 3 holes, and the holes at the end are for knocking the timber adapter out of the frame.
Slightly more routine work, brazing v-brake bosses to each side of the fork. The front derailleur is already mounted on the fork, a while ago I wrote a procedure for this process.


A few weeks ago, I started to build a new ilean trike, and as I write, it is rideable and on the road. 

Do you ever see those cooking shows where the chef (very annoyingly) skips over vast hours spent baking and covering things with cling wrap and leaving it in the fridge by brandishing an almost finished product and saying "Here is one I prepared earlier".  In an ilean trike building sense, I am the same as that annoying chef, I have stuff I prepared earlier, and just use it on my current builds. More will follow shortly!


Steve Nurse

Monday, February 9, 2015

Monostay Bike, What Next?

Lasercut Steel flat, to be folded into a monostay.

Schematic of steel Monostay on bike

Loopwheel from ......

England, an in-wheel suspension system.  The bike wheel you get when too much bling on your bike is really not enough.

Loopwheel schematic

Original, short-lived monostay bike.


For a while, I have been building bikes and have been in the position of being able to build what sort of bikes I like within reason.  If something fails on a bike I build, there are few consequenses beyond a loss of dignity.  Its not an aeroplane or a space rocket, you just pick yourself up and move on back to the drawing board.  This is what happened recently with my monostay bike. 

The last one didn't work for long, and I've set about making new alternatives monostay long wheelbase recumbents.  Not content with one approach, I am going forward with 2 separate approaches!

1.  Loopwheel Lwb.   A fascinating 20" bikewheel called a loopwheel has been championed by Velovision.  After lots of negotiation including a few phonecalls to England I purchased a loopwheel for a monostay, which is usually used on recumbent trikes.  Initially I wanted to make a rigid bolt-on swingarm for an existing frame to hold the loopwheel but now thing that making an entirely new frame entirely of plywood is the go.  (Note that a suspension bikewheel can also use the pantour hub)

Last week I started a design master's degree at Monash University with my principle subject the development of the ilean trike.  It's too early for me to make brand new ilean trikes for my masters degree yet, but I can certainly do a bike as an informative limbering up exercise!  I intend to use a few new-to-me construction techniques on the bike, which should be fun and informative.  I like the "one sheet boat" concept, why not have a one sheet bike? 

2. Steel monostay.  The last monostay bike had a wooden piece and lasercut steel bosses supporting the back wheel, but on that construction the wood wasn't strong enough.  So a fully lasercut piece might do the job, and I've designed one and had it made.  Not sure when I will have a chance to put this version of the bike together!


Steve Nurse

Friday, February 6, 2015

Cruzbike version of ilean.

An old cartoon showing a relaxed recumbent riding position.  If low stress riding is one of the aims of recumbent cycling, then that aim has been met by Maria Parker on the Cruzbike version of an ilean trike!

Late last year, after much emailing, quite a bit of argy and lots of bargy, I built and then sent some new bike parts to Jim Parker of Cruzbike.  These parts made up an adapter set to convert front wheel drive Cruzbikes to an ilean type trike, and included the rear wheel shafts detailed in a previous post.

My first version of an ilean is shown here on a 200k ride in November 2013, possibly the first long distance ride on one of these machines.

In late December last year I saw some videos Jim had taken of the trike and they mirror my feelings about the vehicles with the wheelset, they add stability to a bike!

So, anyway, as you may now know, Cruzbike have now installed and tested the ilean trike kit and are calling their version the Ttrike as per this blog post.

There has been a bit of discussion of the Cruzbike trikes on a few bulletin boards, here are a few links to some examples.

Bentrideronline.  Lots of it!

From a German list, Translation courtesy Google translate.

From the US, I aim to join this forum as they have some techy stuff on it.

Cruzbike forum, Now includes comments from Jim Parker on performance of the trike at a Human Powered Racing America meeting, as well as a link to the results spreadsheet for the meeting

From Brazil , a bit more perspective in this report, which seems to be from a general bike site, not a recumbent bike site.  The photo of the fully laden cruzbike clone is a wonderful thing. Someone on the forum did something very sensible, writing a summary of the trike performances at the HPRA meeting mentioned above in kph.

Facebook posting of video

French Discussion, Translation Courtesy Google Translate

Last night I wrote to Vi Vuong, the starter of the whole ilean thing and his comments were:

"Hi Steve,

Thanks for the link. It is a pleasant surprise that Cruze Bike is embracing our work. Hopefully the module will be offered as an inexpensive option, for any FWD bike.   It should encourage more recumbent adoption.

I have been riding bikes on the street a lot.  Monitoring and dodging cars is no fun...  Probably will get back on the trails with the trikes soon.

Cheers, Vi"
He is a gentleman and a scholar!
Steve Nurse