News and Events

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

Sunday, August 19, 2018

New Bike Part 1

One of my current trikes with the new fork and front wheel next to it. The lower fork height (green lines) means the new bike will be a bit lower than the old one. I'm interested in getting a 3d printed version of the part squiggled in blue, see photos below.
The stripped Byk Frame.

Clean swap for an 8 speed 40t Sunrace cassette from the old 32t largest cog one supplied on the Byk.
Byk front wheel and forks.
Spreading the fork to take the wider rear wheel, a couple of round tubes slipped over the fork legs add leverage.
Back wheel fits nicely.
Oyama frame and front wheel
A bit of a start I had made on the steerer, here is some detail,

..... and here is the whole thing.
Frames side by side,

..... and another view.
Steel frame weight.

Alu frame weight.
Sketch for discussion with parts supplier. This is the steerer tube and bottom bracket casting, its equivalent is squiggled in blue in the top photo and seen.....

top right in this photo. The new front fork will make the new bike a bit lower (and faster, woohoo) than the old one. 

Trying some steerer tube bearing parts on the steel frame bottom bracket - they seem to fit ok and the steerer bearings should make things a bit lighter compared to bottom bracket bearings.


Over the last few days I have been working on a new bike, as started in my last post. I've been taking apart the Byk bike, and gradually pottering around and planning with the pieces, seeing if they will fit together with other pieces, dragging bits out of the shed and doing the occasional bit of modification.  I came across a 20" folding bike frame and got that out.

Its interesting to compared the Byk frame to the red folding Oyama.  The Byk is aluminium, and weighs about 1/2 as much as the steel Oyama. But the Oyama folds, is slightly bigger to suit adults, and I can weld and bend steel, so do a bit more with the Oyama.  The plan is to saw a frame and use the rear triangle on a new bike and add rear suspension. This is like some bikes I built a while ago.

A few engineers I used to work with make machines which 3d print aluminium, and I went to see them in Dandenong on Thursday.  Its possible I will be able to get some parts from them, so that's a bit exciting too.  Very happy with progress sofar!

Till next time, Regards

Steve Nurse

Monday, August 13, 2018

2 New Projects

Victoria separating bike with Velocino front end....

and the same thing with wheels.

Velocino in its heyday... well ok, it never had one.

Byk E450X8

Checking out brake cabling: after swapping to a mini-V brake, this arrangement will work, just like....

this one does on my wooden trike.

Cranks with 2 sets of pedal holes.

Of course, when you are dealing with 451 wheel bikes you wander around then see them everywhere.  This was taken on a pleasurable post office, pub and supermarket shopping trip. Foreground: Tokyobikes mini-velo, background, modularbikes leaning trike.


After some time spent fixing some fairly standard bikes including some donations to Wecycle, I have hauled some projects of my own round to the back yard.  For a while, I haven't been building anything new because I have too many bikes already and wanted to sell one on ebay before starting again. But the ebay bike (still there, still a bargain) hasn't budged and its been a few months, so I'm breaking my drought of building.

Project 1, Velocino Convertible

Quite a while ago, I bought some Victoria separating bikes.  They are like folding bikes, but instead of folding split into two.  The red one I had was fixed up, sold to a friend, was donated back to me and eventually sold for charity.  And the blue one.....

Well I've treated it as an experimental bike, lavishing attention on it, then ignoring it for long periods, before returning to it to hack away again.  Upgrades have included making a Velocino front end for it that was never finished off, fitting a Sturmey-Archer S2C rear hub to it, and then swapping forks so the front wheel is 20" instead of 24" to carry more load over the front wheel.  A few weeks ago, the long suffering Victoria had a tyre switcheroo done on it, leaving it front wheelless.  Since then, on windy, rainy, stormy nights, I can hear it creaking "help me" as it sits forlornly outside.* But it does need fixing up!  Paint, derusting, pack racks, steering for Velocino etc quite urgently required.

Project 2, Byk Trike

For a few weeks, a rather good kids bike has been available at Wecycle, a Byk E450X8 and last Saturday I finally bought it, getting it at heavily discounted mates rates.  Its got the "narrow tyre 20" " (451) tyres on it, cassette rear sprocket and a light frame.  The plan is to convert it into one of my recumbent bikes or trikes, and I've been scoping the parts for potential uses as I dismember it.  More to come on this project.


Steve Nurse

* Note: not actually true

Monday, August 6, 2018

Mural Ride

Leaning trike as transport mural
Recumbent and electric bike mob in St. Kilda, Glen's new Trisled trike in red.
My trike and an admirer
Waiting for the punt to Williamstown in Port Melbourne.
Punt pier, Dale centre with horns on helmet.
Detail of the real, big-ass transport mural from one of the better viewpoints.
Viewing not quite so good from other positions

A few weeks ago, the combined talents of my wife Christine and I made some "classic transport" panels for my best bike, and I rode it to World Bike Day soon after.  I showed my friend Simon Watt a few pics of it, and he said it reminded him of the Southern Cross Station Transport Mural.  Although I'd seen that mural quite a while ago when the station was still called Spencer Street, I thought I'd try and track it down again just for the hell of it. 

A quick look on the internet revealed its current location, and a "Be Spon" ride came up that could land me in the general area of the station, so yesterday morning I headed off for the ride to St Kilda, met up with friends there, then visited the transport mural on the way home.  I did a bit of a blocky to find the Outlet Centre where the mural is, but was not to be discouraged and eventually found it right in the station building. 

The mural is right up one end, and you have to look up, and through various lights, shop ads and other paraphenalia, and you only see bits of it from each of 3 or 4 shops. However, I can now say: * It is there, * I have seen it, and  * My own rolling transport mural got relatively close. * Nice to catch up with Glen, Dale and a few others on the ride.


Steve Nurse

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Modular Bike


This post is part of a cleaning out process for my website, it had existed as a separate tab on my web page, but I will be replacing that tab with a 3d printing blog soon, one that may even earn me money.  My friend Ann Thompson of Thinking Eye has been coaching me on all these changes which include opening an Instagram account here .

So how did the modular bike end up? Well - Ok I guess!  The best version of it I made is presented here and although it looked quite good and was capable, it was made of steel and was always a bit heavy.  An aluminium version might have done better, but it was beyond my motivation, funds and welding abilities to make one.  The builds resulted in a chapter in my book, and I remember a nice afternoon and a visit to the pub with Adrian Gotts and Struan Little after a working bee building one of the versions, and a visit with our recumbent cycling mob to Fringe Inventions where it was exhibited for a while.  My nieces and nephew still remember racing at an ozhpv challenge at Broadford on it. 

"Modular: constructed with standardized unit or dimensions allowed flexibility and variety in use; modular furniture: modular homes"
A few years ago, I built an adaptable tandem bike from two abandoned Malvern Star folding bikes. It was made with an "insert" between the halves of a folding bike. The bike was good, but I started thinking of the possibilities of something better or different. My modular bikes are the end result. The bikes are designed from the ground up to be assembled as tandems, recumbents &: load carrying bikes and the aim is to make these specialist bicycles affordable by using a cost-effective modular construction.

The design was patented and featured in the Jan. 2005 issue of Velovision (you can find the patent here, search for 'modular bicycle' to find the patent documents. Pick the top entry you find).

This construction includes standard frame units with extras, like a suspended rear triangle, steering link, rack, trailer and recumbent seat & boom. The frame has attachment points at the ends for holding another frame or extras, a tube that acts as a static handlebar mount, and tubes that can support pulleys for a front-wheel drive mechanism. The seatpost doubles as a mount for the recumbent seat, as do the bottle mount bosses on the top tubes.

I have taken care to ensure that the extra features on the bike don’t look scrappy when unused – for example a plastic plate can fit over the front attachment points. So far there have been 3 designs of the modular bike and I have designed a set of models of the bike which you can make for yourself at home. "

Tony Hazeldine on one of the modular bike's predecessors, a conversion from 2 Malvern Star Folding Bikes.

Standard bike with load carrying

Front Wheel Drive bike with trailer. Note redundant rwd drivetrain.

Load Carrying Bike, my employer at the time was Trimcast, and the blue box which we still have is a storage box for military and 4 wheel driving use.
Steers from behind tandem at a Broadford OzHpv challenge with my son Ewan.
Atholl Reid is captain and steers from behind, counterpoint tandem at a Canberra ozhpv rally.
Racing at Broadford with my niece Josie, counterpoint tandem

Back to back tandem, the Jewel in the crown. We are going left to right.
Front steer counterpoint tandem
Long Wheelbase