News and Events

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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A test on the fast trike


Last night I went for a ride on my new "fast trike".  In the short term the trike doesn't have a future in this form.  It looks like the next time there will be an OzHpv records meet will be in Easter next year, and I'm not sure I will attempt an unfaired recumbent trike hour record even then. For now though, the frame can be put to better use, either as a daily driver for me or a bike I can do up and then sell.

I don't for a moment regret having made this trike, even though its has been limited to a few wobbly blockies on the roads around us.  The aero wheel covers can be used for any of my leaning trikes and I can easily take the seat apart and remount it at a more sensible angle.

It is spring here now, and we have daylight savings, so I can head out at 7:30 pm when its still light and there's not too much traffic. Last night I got up to about 27kph but the brakes might have been rubbing! Aim to have another go tonight, I might even break out the bike shorts.


Steve Nurse

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Trike for sale

Timber Trike for Sale, $3000

Hi, I'm selling my timber leaning trike as documented in this blog.  This trike has front wheel drive and was built this year.  It has a hollow timber frame and weighs approx 18kg.  

38t biopace top ring, 11-40t cluster.

Frame material Hoop Pine plywood.

Adjustable seat and handlebars, suit riders approx 173 to 193 cm, 5'8" to 6'4"

Front wheel 559, rear 349.

Removable Seat / Tailbox with removable, customisable side panels and approx 50 litres of storage.

The trike uses techniques developed in my Industrial Design Master's degree.  It was entered in the  Dangerous Designs Timber Competition and the build from routed plywood was documented on my blog, click here  for a summary or begin here . A short video is on youtube .

Selling for $3,000 pick up from Clifton Hill, Victoria Australia, or can bring to Bendigo for the OzHpv Challenge.

Steve Nurse 0459341814 or (03) 94818290 or email cesnur (the at symbol)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Behind the Photo

Oh No!
Be careful if you want to try this.
Repaired,  from outside.
Repaired,  from inside.

Well a funny thing happened.  I was writing an article for the ozhpv magazine, Huff, about the Radbot 1000 taillights so went out to take a photo of them on the bike (top).  And as I was getting the photo ready for the mag, I actually looked at the photo, and saw there was a crack in the back of the wooden tailbox.  Scurrying out the front, I looked at the tailbox, and yes, there was a crack. 

Now I knew what the problem was.  For a couple of weeks there have been some bikes and bike frames left out for council collection, and I have snaffled them for personal use as shown in photo 2.  When I was taking a damaged Repco frame-and-bits home on my bike, the snaffled frame banged  into a tree. So (slightly) broken tailbox.

Fixing the break wasn't too hard.  I'd made the tailbox in the first place and used araldite in the process, so it was no big deal to glue, then clamp the broken bits together, then find, then cut, then glue, then screw, then clamp a bit of wood to the top of the box as reinforcement.  All good now.


Steve Nurse

Friday, September 22, 2017

NLT8 at Fringe Furniture

Outside the Clifton Hill Brewery

A promo bike and competition for 4 pines beer .  Note attempt at beer carrying.

My trike's beer carrying section with complimentary dark ale.
Setting Up at Fringe

Some Pressed-Steel stools.

At setup.  I was able to fit my ancient Bickerton (folded) into the back of my trike and ride it home after dropping off the trike.  Easy Peasy.

A screen
The tielike article I wore to opening night (just a bit of material really) was from the same cloth used to make the trikes sidepanel.
Opening night speeches

Trike on opening night.

Hi, Last week I entered my trike in Fringe Furniture 31 which runs till October 1.  This trike has not been my regular ride, so I spent a few days cleaning it and finishing it off before the exhibition.  I decided to show off the modular panelling by having one side timber and one side cloth.

One of my test rides was to the local pub-brewery and I was able to use the trikes beer carrying capacity to good effect, and make a comparison to the 4 Pines Brewery competition prize.  Fully enclosed but slightly squishy accommodation for 1 slab v. not very good accommodation for 1/2 slab. After a chat with the Drive-in-Bottleshop attendant, he gave me a free Dark Ale can, woohoo!

Dropping off the trike at the exhibition was not too hard, the Abbotsford Convent where the exhibition is held is 5 minutes down the bike path, and I was able to hurl a folded up Bickerton. (very much protruding) into the back of the trike and ride the Bickerton home.

I went to the exhibition opening night and made myself a tie  to match the fabric of the trike which hardly anybody noticed. I saw a few people I knew at the exhibition, some neighbours, and a few colleagues from uni.  Free beer at the opening too!

Since then I've made a few visits to the convent and added a prop for the boot lid so people can look in, also left the tie-like object draped over the handlebars with "please try me on" scawled on the skinny end.  The trike is for sale at the exhibition for $3000. There are about 9 days to go and see it, the exhibition ends October 31.


Steve Nurse

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Fast bike Seat

Preparing Seat Frame Internals....

by clamping an offcut of the frame material to the frame, and mounting everything up.

Mostly finished seat frame with seat on the bike trike.

I have not posted for a while, but have progressed a bit on the fast trike.  The seat frame is complete and I've mounted it on the bike and sat on it.  Its all ok, and soon I will be setting up the steerer, gears, brakes etc.

Off to deposit my wooden trike at the fringe festival this afternoon, I will report on that shortly.


Steve Nurse

Monday, August 28, 2017

A seat for the fast trike

Lines drawn on the plywood were to ensure the drilling was in the right place.

This jigging was used to hold the timber on the seat while the glue was drying, and

these 2 F-clamps screwed to a piece of wood to make the jigging more stable.

Glueing 3mm strips of ply together

Piece of frame material used to mount seat on workbench

Mock up of seat on trike

Over the last few days, I have been making a seat for my new fast trike and I'm almost finished.  I haven't really worked out the steering arrangement yet, but I want to get a low, aerodynamic seat in place before the steering is set up.

So this shows the seat setup, I am using plywood to mount a Performer seat I bought from Alex McNee which had been gathering dust in the shed.  It took me 2 goes to get the first 4 strips of ply glued together, but after that its been pretty smooth sailing.  In about 2 days, the seat will be done and I can move on to steerer, brakes, gear lever etc. etc.

Its been good having a speedo on my everyday trike.  I can only get anywhere near 40 kph on it by going down big hills, and there will be a lot of work to be done on this new trike if I'm to get up to decent  speeds.


Steve Nurse

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Printed Frame Separators

Current trike in Lorne during an Audax ride
Diagram of separators showing how they are kept in compression. 
Separators from Shapeways on my current trike.

Inside the frame are timber and tee-nuts.
The frame separators on the "40" bike were prototypes.  I hadn't worked out what was going on.
3d printed sample piece.  This had flat sections printed 1.6, 2, 2.4 and 2.8mm thick, and was designed to find out about the printer and how to avoid.....

this sort of thing: the printer makes hollow sections shown here with cross-hatch reinforcements.

Some replacement parts on the printer.

The 4 components making up the new spacers, shown with the finished part.  Inset: gluing the parts together.
Completed and on the frame.

 Hi, I have been using my home 3d printer to make some spacers which fit between the 2 halves of my recumbent trike frame.  This frame uses the same principle of gravity assistance used in my Velocino and separating Hercules bikes.  This mechanism has worked well in one of my frames, and the trike comes apart for when I take the trike on country trains and in the car.

Now I have a 3d printer and I wanted to try to make some frame separators at home.  With its current software, the printer won't print solid sections, and solids are needed for these parts as hollow parts would just crush.  So I worked out what maximum thicknesses I could print, then sliced up the spacer part into 4 pieces.  The H-shaped pieces were printed vertically and I didn't want to make them too tall, so I kept their height to 65mm, half the length of the previous parts from Shapeways over in the USA.  I think my home printed parts have fewer air-miles.

So the bits all fit together fine but the whole trike is not back on the road yet.  I aim to get this done by Thursday, and to ride into Uni on a finished trike on it.  Will report.


Steve (3d printed bike bits) Nurse

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What Does 40 Feel Like?

Current Trike

Part from the Shed.  59 tooth is a big chainring.

Forks from the shed.  I picked out a few good ones from this lot and the rest went to recycling.

Frame for new trike.

Wireless speedo, I got 3 of these for about $10.00 each from ebay.
Speedo fitted


During Easter, I volunteered at an OzHpv record breaking weekend.  I helped out (a bit) on the Sunday of the event, which was held at the Ford Lara proving ground.  But on the Saturday of the event, Glenn Lacey broke the over 50's hour record for an unfaired trike as recorded here, on the World Recumbent Racing Association website.

So the record now stands at about 37 kilometres, and then I got to thinking, well, that doesn't sound that fast, and then I thought, well, I didn't really know, because I don't even have a speedo on my trike.

So several months pass, and I'm thinking a bit more, and then decide that maybe I should put a speedo on my trike.  So I dig and fossick in the shed, and found a speedo with a wire between the sensor and fitted it to the trike.  But the display ended up a long way away from my face and I could hardly read it.  So then I bought 3 wireless speedos from the internet.  They were not expensive and at least one of them works fine, and I can even read it!

And I found out 37kph is quite fast, and I would need to reach 40 with breaking the record.  Most of the time I go around at about 20, and it would take more power than I'm capable of, and more high gears than I have on the trike to go that fast.  Anyway I have not given up completely on trying to get somewhat near the hour record speed, I have started building up another trike from parts in the shed or languishing on trikes I'm not using regularly.  I now have enough to make the trike, and will gradually work on making it faster, an will report on the result.


Steve Nurse

Fixing A Flevo Part 1

Aki and some of his bikes including the red flevo.  The small bike at his feet is very old and has "Dunlop Atlantic" tyres.


A few days ago, I went over to my friend Aki's place.  I'd been there a couple of months ago and tried (and failed) to ride his flevobike, and he can't ride it either.  We are both stubborn, and I agreed to pick up the Flevobike at a later date, with a view to modding it so we can ride it.  My plan is to use a set of vuong wheels on the back.  Meanwhile, I am a bit clueless on the dynamics of Flevo's, would it be easier to ride them with a shallow fork angle (seat down) or steep fork angle (seat up)?  I will put this to a forum I have just joined and see if there is any collected wisdom on this.  Regards

Steve Nurse



Sunday, August 6, 2017


Cutting transparent side panels.....

in the loungeroom.
Fitted to the trike.

Back at Monash Uni, with the source of flashing lights.

The same scene with the lights on, slightly more recognisable as a human powered vehicle.

Hi, for a few years I shared an office with Yun Nam.  Both of us are close to completing our respective degrees now.  For a while I have been fascinated by his motion sensitive LED lights (see this post) and I got to wondering about putting a light show in the back of my leaning trike.  But I had slightly more serious things to think about, and the idea was put on hold.

Recently I saw Yun again, and asked him for some of his lights, and he said sure, take some, and I did.  I bought some transparent floor mat from Bunnings, then stripped back some of the cloth side panels from the trike to get to the timber frames underneath.  These were used as templates for cutting the floor mat. Then the clear sides were attached to the frames,  and the resulting pieces were attached to the trike.

A few days later I went riding on the trike after sticking the motion sensitive lights inside.  I'm not sure that the clear panels could ever be useful useful, but they are useful for showing off the trike, demonstrating that it can carry loads and show off outrageously at night.  I'll mke a film clip when time allows.


Steve Nurse