News and Events

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

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Fixing bike 42, Kerrie's Reid


As traded, back tyre was flat

Saddle - dried ot plastic needs a drink.


Unlike some of the bikes I've been working on, this one is a quick turnaround. When I was shopping on a recumbent a few days ago, I spotted this bike near the station, not locked up and looking abandoned, with a flat back tyre and grass in the hubs. A few hours later I wandered down to the station, it was still there, and I dragged it back home.

This morning our helper Kerrie came round, and I asked her if she wanted a bike, and she selected the Reid from the showroom / bike hospital area. Another one of this type has been waiting around at Wecycle and not moving, so I had no problem passing it on.

So I've been on to it today, replacing the back tube and tidying her up a bit. The saddle has had one dose of olive oil with one or more to go.

Will report

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Fixing Bike 41, Malvern Star



This bike was delivered to me by Stu a couple of doors down. In terms of actual wear it is almost new, with no wear on the front tyre, but it had been left outside and so had rusted. Some bolts had rusted more than others and this shows where cents had been saved on the quality of fasteners. There are salt spray tests which deliberately accelerate rust, and bike fasteners should have survived some form of salt spray tests.

I suspect the bike had been out of use since the derailleur had a bash and stopped working. Anyway, here is a list of things I fixed:

Remove and spray handlebars black.

Replace 1 rear spoke nipple, it had split.

Clean front hub, this included a rusty / stuck quick release bolt.

Replace rear derailleur, the cable tension adjuster is essential, I tried one without it and couldn't get gear changing right so couldn't use it.

Replace bell, I busted the original when removing the handlebars.

Rusty chain, soak in vinegar, then clean and oil. There were still many stuck links and they were fixed laboriously by oiling, waggling the links with pliers, and bending the chain in its non-flexy direction until it was ok. Probably not worth the time and effort really, about 1 hour to fix a part that could cost around $5.00. But satisfying!

All those things fixed, the bike rides well, and I will deliver it to Wecycle this morning.


Steve Nurse

Monday, November 22, 2021

Fixing Bike 40, Triax



Stu dropped this one off. It is a mountain bike with an Alu frame and astabula (one - piece) cranks. Normally the astabula say "yuk" to me and I wasn't sure if it would be worth passing on to Wecycle.

So I sent a photo to Mike and he said "Hi Steve from the photo it looks quite nice and sound" , and after a bit of fixing I took it up to Wecycle today. Fixing involved tightening the cranks, adjusting the gears, a bit of cleaning, and loosening a few spokes to true the wheels.


Steve Nurse

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Art in the Park, November 20 at Wecycle

The bike trailer with foldable prop.

Folding the prop down helps me get it around the side of the house.

The cargo: this is the tetrahedral wheel rim sculpture I discussed in my design blog. In the last few days I made it "a bit less boring" by replacing one of the top rims with a spoked wheel with a cd fan in the centre.

Backyard trial with the sculpture. This is the sculpture in flat-pack form.

Woohoo we're rolling! This is the first time I had it hitched up.

Arrival at Wecycle, I was the first there today.

Set up, a few early arrivals, customers and volunteer Lucas are trickling in.

Just about full swing a few hours later.

I was helping Carlos to check gears on a bike inside (yes, I did some work there) Here he's using his phone to see the L and H marks on the rear derailleur.

Back home

This plug goes into the main frame beam of the Vuong trike. The bolt at the fop secures it in the frame.

Another view of the hitch adapter. I think the steel part was once a bit of a chainstay.

Trailer hitch on trike. This particular trailer fits in with the asymmetry of the back wheels.


For a few days I've been finishing off a sculpture in our backyard, and it had its public debut and first road trip today. A bit after the sculpture was done, I dragged a barely started hard rubbish trailer project around from the side of the house and got to work. Firstly I made a full plywood deck, then a few pins to go in the sculptures spoke holes. Lastly I made a folding prop for the rim sculpture.

It wasn't till this morning when I was actually using it that I tried the trailer and it worked very well. But even by my standards this rig is conspicuous. Anyway the sculpture went down well at Wecycle at Batman Park, where I volunteer on Saturdays fixing bikes for refugees. Here is a video of it reflecting light from the sun in our backyard.

I'm planning another trailer, this time for my electric Voung leaning trike, and it will be used to tow a surfboard. 


Steve Nurse

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Fixing Bikes 38 and 39, Apollo and Byk

Apollo bike as traded

Fixed up with single chainring

Byk, not much to fix.


Yesterday I was up at the Wecycle shed and fixed 2 bikes. The Byk needed brake adjustment and had a loose chainguard so not much to fix. The Apollo needed a bit more work. It is a 24", and was originally a 21 speed with a triple at the front. The triple at the front is overkill, and a 9 or 10 year old doesn't need to learn the skill of using them or need the range for the most part.

So I didn't put a triple on the front and made do with a single, then removed the front derailleur and changer. It was a wet, miserable day and I'd dressed up pretty warm and was glad of that.


Steve Nurse

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

With Bryan on the Boullie again


Bryan with Owen. A lot of bike riders and walkers are curious about Bryan's bike - its fast for one. Owen was asking about the  "Perth to Sydney for Youth Mental Health signage.

Bryan had a few k's on my bike, while I tried his M5 high racer.

Near the end of the ride, heading north on Chandler Highway.

As always, we (recumbents) were vastly outnumbered by racing bikes.

And yes, my helmet now includes yellow ear covers, which are cloth sewn over the straps. They are mainly to stop sunburn but might also help reduce noise and wind resistance. This is the first time I've seen them in photographs, I think they look ok.

I can only go no hands down hills while not pedalling. Melbourne central business district is in the background, only 5 or 6 k from this road which has 6k unbroken of road without traffic lights, with hills, and surrounded by bush.

On the M5. It's a different setup to my bikes and trikes. I have my shoulders more upright on my machine. The headrest is essential on the M5 as the body is more laid back.


A few days ago I went riding with long distance cyclist Bryan Taaffe again on a good local road. He'd handed me a few 20" bike tyres a few days before, and when we met I passed my cycling book on to him.

Here are Bryan's comments: "That’s it good experience and I was very surprised how well you machine handled and speed . Just knees hit the handle bars was only issue . 

Thanks again for the book most appreciated. 

Some class photos or you on the M5 too good day out"

As for the carbon M5 highracer, its very fast downhill but stays fast uphill too. The seat is so far laid back that the headrest is needed. This takes some getting used to. For me (glasses wearer) it made my vision blurry. Bryan no doubt got used to it between Perth and Sydney! The bottom bracket is quite high, with toes level with eyes while pedalling. Not too much of a problem for me.

Plan to catch up with Bryan again in a few weeks, a good incentive to get fitter and tweak the bikes and trikes more.

Here is the story about riding on the same course a few weeks ago. 


Steve Nurse


Friday, October 29, 2021

Fixing 50 bikes, Reid makeover and Jamis


Jamis, like Billy Ray Cypress, the gear cables were falling apart (I'm calling this cable cancer), and that was about all that was wrong with it.

Very poor quality basket on Reid

Removing it. I had to twist the front bolts from below as it needed lots of torque to remove them.

Near the start. Chain, crank, bell top removed for a....

Soak in vinegar to derust. Note chain condition.

Relpacement basket rack

With basket on

Down the shops for a test run

Nearing completion.


I had been riding round the neighbourhood, and spotted a good junk pile a few days ago, and decided to go past it again the next day which took me on an unusual route. I spotted the Reid bike on another dumpster pile along the way and picked it up and took it the 2 or 3 streets back home. Within an hour or so, the Jamis had arrived as well, picked up and donated to Wecycle by neighbour Stu.

Despite looking pretty bad with a rusty chain and basket, the Reid has scrubbed up ok. I made a new basket support and donated a bamboo basket and its fine now. Jamis has had the gear cable outers replaced now and is also good to go.

Regards  Steve Nurse 

Update Nov 12

Although I was sick with a toothache last week, I did go along to Wecycle to drop off the Jamis.  And during the week it was delivered by Mike and Gian, here is the photo and quote, "Mwafaq from Iraq. He and his son will Rami will ride together". So the effort was well worth it.

I suspect that some of the good hybrid / commuter bikes (like the Jamis and Billy Ray Cypress) have been replaced by ebikes but have absolutely no evidence for this.