News and Events

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

Monday, November 11, 2019

OzHpv Challenge 2019, Day 1 Saturday. Speed!

Rob L. road race

Rob's front wheel drive raptor

Briefing before start.

Dome Deli

Criterium start

Dome, Rob, Simon

G-trikes crew

William and Tim run the computers

Sarah needs to race next year!

Velo lineup

Tim C, road race

Sam Duttli dominated racing on day 1.  In the road race he couldn't see due to the rain for 1/2 a lap so stopped and removed the windshield, and still won!

Tim M, and Simon W.

Dome and Rob's bikes

William, Road race

Geoff, road race

Rob L. road race

Jamie Friday had won several Challenges like this one in Wodonga in this bike.


After a good nights sleep at the Belmont Scout hall we headed down to the track a few minutes away. And its a very quick downhill and only 4 streets away.

Here are Saturday's challenge pics, a few of them taken during the road race. My placing was quite secure, ahead of William and Jamie and behind everyone else, so was able to take a few pics without losing Challenge points.

Here is the video I took on the day, Tim C v. Ben P. in the drag race final. Will post more later.

Regards  Steve Nurse

Monday, November 4, 2019

Repairing a Steel Frame Bike

Original haul of parts was written up here.

Barrel bolts / cable tie / drink bottle boss gearcable hack.
Barrel bolts from brakes from shed. I shaped them a bit before installing.
Transmission with biopace chainring.

Top cable tie on downtube shifter bosses

and done.

With faux (not locked) lock at Fairfield shops.

Haul of books from op shop.
Haul of plate from op shop.


This post was going to be called fixing a fixie but the bike I'm working on isn't a fixie now so I just couldn't do it. You know, integrity.  And stuff.

So the frame I picked up a few months and several posts ago is now assembled into quite a reasonable 7 speed bike weighing in at 10.8kg.   The first bits of the repopulating of the frame were easy, the front wheel and brake levers came from my original haul, I had a compatible rear wheel and tyre, and I found a seat, seatpost,  crank, pedals and handlebars in the shed.  But the gearchanger proved to be a problem.  The frame was set up for downtube shifters but I couldn't get them to work properly. Somehow the screw didn't tighten down on the lever right and so the lever would move giving spontaneous unwanted gear changes.  Downtube shifters are way out of the way of the normal position of the hands anyway.

Eventually I worked out something.  The frame has 2 sets of water bottle bosses and I borrowed the ones on the down tube to mount a couple of slightly hacked bike cable barrel bolts from the shed to make bolt on cable bosses. Then I rigged up a stem shifter and after a bit of fiddling, woohoo it all works!  I tried a few things to keep the gear cable off the frame near the crank, but good old cable ties did the trick. After a bit more thinking, the old downtube lever bosses have become an anchor point for another cable tie which prevents the gearcable from going too far astray. The pics probably tell the story better.

Anyway, today a cheque (what's that, I know) came in the post (what's that, I know) and I thought that a trip to deposit (yes, I know, what's that) the cheque would be a good way to test out the bike. The trip went well, and on this rainy day I managed to get only slightly wet. After depositing the cheque at the bank I went to a nearby op shop and bought some 50c books and a nice old plate. The books are all quite old with 3 of them predating decimal currency (1966) and even me (1960).

PS, just after posting I found there are some proper doo - dahs that do the down-tube to stem shifter conversion and don't look the slightest bit hackish. There you go!

Best wishes

Steve  (bike hack) Nurse

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Bike Switcheroo

Bikes before tailbox swap
Prep work: Scooter fork modified to take 35mm tube.

New steerer Assembly

Aseembly parts, old handlebar clamp (right) needed modification, new clamp goes on without mods.
New and old style steerer mounts.
Plastic milk bottles as drink bottle holder and drink bottle.

Aluminium washer inside bottle holder

Checking new and old locks for grammage damage.
Glue inside tee nut means drink bottle holder should remain secure.
Holder as pocket.

Holder with drink bottle

Nude trike, no seat

Trike with lighter tailbox

Modded spare tube storage box.

New 3d printed stopper
Nightshift changing handlebar extensions and gearlever.

At Wecycle, it went well on this test ride.


For the last week or so I've been switching parts on one of my bikes, making sure its the best and lightest thing I can get for the OzHpv challenge which is coming up in a week. This has meant:

Swapping tailboxes
Swapping locks
Installing pocket in tailbox
Installing more secure steerer mount
Add velcro to tube storage box so lid stays on.
Fixing puncture
Replacing tyre
Replacing printed frame plug
Replacing Brake Cables
Replacing gearshift lever
Tuning brakes.

So quite a bit and I actually started a month or so, making a new steerer mount using a new adjustable 35mm handlebar stem.  The old stem used for the equivalent part was for a 25.4mm handlebar, and needed to be hacked and filed before use.  This one is better, more secure and can be used without mods.

The tailbox came from my electric trike and saves about 1.1 kg through use of lightweight corflute panels.  A lock I put together (is pathetic but) saves another 100g or so.

The gearchanger I had was quite short and stubby and took effort to change.  Swapping handlebar extensions means a longer changer lever will fit in. 

The cable routing is a bit torturous and I had to oil the cables to let them run smoothly.

Very happy now and looking forward to riding it on a short tour next week and straight after that at the challenge.  To be a bit faster I could have put the fairing back on again but I will be taking the bike on the train and don't feel comfortable doing that with the fairing fitted.

Best Wishes

Steve Nurse

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Canberra ATRF Conference 2019

Some of the classic artwork in the Hyatt Canberra

Front of Hyatt Canberra, tradies cars get pride of place

Hyatt Canberra

The only other bike parked at the conference.

Yes, guess where. Ok, its outside the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. Shortly after this was taken, I parked my bike behind the distant red blobby thing which is a sculpture. Security guards were apparently not happy but we had already sauntered off to a pub by the time they realised it was there.

With a couple of Monash academic types. I am a Monash ex-academic type.

Walking into another classic Canberra Hotel, the Kurrajong. Robbie (ok, Monash Uni) shouted me a beer. Thanks!

Jesse Suskin speaks for drone delivery operators Wing Australia . The future is here and it delivers coffee to you in Canberra at least!

Michel Masson, Chief Executive officer Infrastructure Victoria spoke on the Wednesday morning.

Stephen Greaves presents about cycling in Japan

Patrick Tsai on valueing walking Amenity

Historical bling on display at the Hyatt
Free merch from transport Canberra. They are very proud of their electric trams (red) and Robbie was very proud to have his bus (ok, the one he helped to design) immortalised as a cardboard cutout.
My trike / bike / thing / transport out the back of the Hyatt.

For a few weeks, I've been back from my trip to Canberra. Most of the trip was to take part in the Australasian Transport Research Forum.  When I was studying for a research masters a few years ago, I was encouraged to write papers for this conference series and I wrote articles for the Sydney and Melbourne conferences. I sort of got in the habit and even though I'd left uni felt I still had something to contribute, so wrote for the Darwin conference last year and for the Canberra conference this year.

The papers for the Canberra conference haven't been officially published yet but I put both my article and presentation up on Researchgate.

Anyway, the conference went well.  I stayed at the Canberra Youth Hostel which involved a few hurdles as far as transport was concerned. Firstly, the hostel was in the middle of the city and didn't have car parking attached.  I ended up plonking it in a multi-storey supermarket and that worked ok, I just had to plan ahead trips to the car to retrieve and replace various articles of stuff (sleeping bag, clothes etc.) as necessary.  Secondly my rather large bike would not fit in the rather small lift and I had to take it apart (not that hard) into 2 pieces to get it in the lift to take it into the basement bike parking area and laundry.

Anyway, with all that organised, I was off to the conference on Monday Sep 30....  more to follow.