News and Events

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

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A wooden trike to Monash

Trike as it was when I pulled it out from the side of the house

Glen Iris Bikepath sign

Now cleaned up trike leaning against a solar powered light.  Thingie

Newly opened Blakes Feast Cafe

Parked at Monash outside the main Caf.  Note orange and black gloves in "glovebox".

Ben starting off.

During my recent Industrial design master's degree at Monash Uni I made 6 leaning trikes.  A few of these were development machines and were taken apart and the parts used to complete newer frames.  But I still came out of the degree with 4 trikes, and I can't use them all.  So I decided to give one away to the Monash HPV team, and after an email to their leader Piyath, he said ok, they wanted it.  The email exchange was last Friday, and I spent some of yesterday morning cleaning it and pumping up the tyres, and other bits of the morning riding it on errands to the chemist, bank, pathology lab and post office.  And it all worked ok!

This morning I headed off to Monash Clayton, just a lazy 24k away, and the trike worked just fine.  This ride used to be part of my commute, but I hadn't been along one part of the bike trail for a while, and was pleasantly surprised with some bike track upgrades.  Instead of being forced to ride along Brixton Rise in Glen Iris, there is now a nice bit of bike path with the Blakes Coffee Window at the end of it.  I stopped for a hot chocolate and to chat to some seemingly interested bike riders about the trike.

Anyway, the ride to Monash was uneventful, and although slightly wobbly at the start, Monash HPV's rider Ben didn't have too much trouble getting going.  Here is a short video.  Hope the trike goes well for you!


Steve Nurse

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tweaking the Timber Trike

At Mada Monash, Ply Bike on a Ply Wall

Piebald Chain, but it doesn't clunk

Shortened Seat Bolts

Extra Bolts inside, top bolt circled red

Cropped brake noodles

For the last few days I have been riding my latest timber trike, and its been a lot of fun, and given me the chance to iron out a few wrinkles.

Number one was the chain clunking on high gear.  I couldn't find any parts of the chain where the links were tight, but couldn't find any, so then changed the chain on one side of the quick link.  Still no good, and still clunking, however the new chain I had fitted was silver and during my test I could see when the chain was clunking: on the other side of the quick link.  Swapping another section of chain over fixed things, but the chain looks rather pie-bald now and I plan to replace it for a better-looking chain soon.

I shortened the seat bolts so they are more presentable, and added a few other bolts so the seat holds together better.  As well, I cut some metal off the brake noodles meaning the front wheel can be removed more easily.

So that's about it, except I have something coming up and have been quietly gathering parts.  A friend at Uni, Yun, had a project  and he let me have some balls enclosing motion sensitive lights he had made for it.  These are to go in the back of the tailbox, and I have bought some clear floorcovering material to go with them.  Woohoo!

Motion Sensitive lights
Clear Floorcover

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cycle Zoo Pdf


My book "An Illustrated Guide to the Cycle Zoo" is now available as a pdf download for $AUD 4.00.  If you read the blog regularly or even don't, and just want an inexpensive reference book about cycles, you really need to buy it and are only a few mouse clicks and an email or two away.  The link to buy is here,  click on the Purchase It tab and then the top "Buy Now" button and after that you are in the hands of Mr. Paypal.  Then an email rolls in to my inbox, a small about of money is shuffled electronically around the world and I send you the pdf.  Easy Peasey.

 Still Free!  (But please buy a book if you enjoy it at all) is the cycle tour boardgame I designed.  It says in a very roundabout sort of way that all human powered vehicles are equal, it doesn't matter what you ride, and sharing a ride with friends is a wonderful experience. To read more about it and download free, follow this link

My friend Dave Trickey got the ball rolling on this new pdf-buying scheme.  Thanks Dave!


Steve Nurse

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

O Bikes in Melbourne

A small invasion of O-bikes outside the Hive, Richmond, Melbourne

The bikes are a strange mix of high and low tech, this handlegrip is integrated with a bell

Front mudguard, light, generator and band brake

Back Wheel, Band brake and Ashtabula cranks

Obikes in Victoria St Richmond.

A bike in Coburg

In the last few weeks, there has been an invasion of bikes on our streets.  In competition with the official melbourne bike share scheme which has blue bikes, Obikes have started to appear.  They seem to be more widespread than the Blue bikes, but I have yet to see anyone use one.  But I have seen them parked outside shopping centres and sort-of getting in the way.

The bikes have a curious mix of old and new tech, for example they have Ashtabula cranks (now seen only on the cheapest of cheap new bikes)  and a single gear.  The brakes are band brakes, and I'm not that familiar with them, but they look out of place next to the shiny generator on the front hub.

Jai in his biking in a big city blog  has documented what looks like a similar hire scheme in Canada, and he even hired one.  Me, I don't even own a smartphone.  Good luck, Obike.