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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Saving the Zeica Stuff


For a long time I have been a member of Australia's national human powered vehicle group, OzHpv and for quite a while I led recumbent rides around Melbourne.

The rides led to the Victorian group getting a name (Vichpv) and a website, and a yahoogroup, all of which led to improved communications.....  Thanks to Adrienne for maintaining the website!

Without digging up too much old history, the current VicHpv website hosts have announced they are packing up their pixels and pissing off into the cyberspace from which they came***.  Or something like that**.

Anyway, some of my stuff is on that website ( and will be gone unless it is rescued.  The members page ( seems to lead to the most valuable information, for example Eric and Alan Ball, the founders of Evolve Trikes have plans a trike and a lowracer bike following on from their page.

So here is the is the small Zeica story, complete with broken links.  For more information on the Zeica, see here . Coincidentally, the other day I was reading this blog post which has similar themes.

" This bike has existed for less than 2 weeks but it's the fourth or fifth twisting - chain front wheel drive-recumbent cycle I've built. Plans of a similar previous effort are on the net in the "ihpva incoming" folder I have built and designed bikes as a hobby for about 18 years now and my own web page is at This bike was designed to be a 26 / 20, that is 26" wheel at the front and a 20" at the back. Why these wheel sizes,  I hear you say?

* It is hard to put suspension on the front wheel of this sort of bike because the chain forces would cause a normal suspension to "bob" under pedalling forces. A big wheel can soak up bumps better than a small wheel so a big wheel at the front is good. Also a big front wheel makes it possible to use standard racing and mountain bike parts and produce a bike with high gear inches. My 20" drive wheel recumbent needs a 57T chain ring to getup to decent speeds whereas a 52T ring gets the 26" wheel going fast.
* I like to have a corflute tailbox on the back of my bikes, in fact I think my bikes are naked without them.  They make the bike go faster, and they are a secure, safe, dry place to store stuff. With a seat high enough for me to be seen in traffic (600mm) and a 20" back wheel, the corflute tailbox fits neatly over the back wheel with no cutout for the wheel necessary. The forks that hold the back wheel are compliant and bounce over bumps to some extent so there is no need for a large back wheel for suspension reasons.
The "need" for the bike started about 6 weeks ago when another bike I'd built broke. I salvaged the parts I could from the wreck and got designing and ringing metal suppliers and exhaust tube benders. Found a couple of suppliers not far from home and headed out one Saturday morning to buy and then bend a piece of 50.8 x 1.2mm round mild-steel tube which cost $25.00 for 6m. The gentleman at Midas Muffler shop in Preston refused all payment for the bending.
After drawing the plan for the bike I printed templates for cutting the holes in the the main tube and inserted the two fork tubes. (Programs for making the templates are on the internet at and undertubemitre.exe, under I find it best to make the holes undersize using a jigsaw and a drill,then file the last millimetre or so all around. Then the intersecting tubes were brazed in, and I put in a cross-brace to support the seat base, complete with screwthread braze - ons to anchor the seat. The parts from the previous bike were fitted and about 10 days ago I went around the block for the first time and 9 days ago rode about 40k with some friends without any real problems.

I'm very happy with the bike, it can be ridden no hands and pass many road-going cyclists. Plan to ride the bike in "Round the bay in a day" this year so the tweaking and improving and training on the bike will continue until October at least. Gosh, it might even get a coat of paint by then!  See you on the road somewhere!
Steve Nurse 10/8/04"

*** Quote from John Cooper Clarke, " I married a monster from outer space "
    "In an Intergactic / fit of Rage, 
     She pissed off to another age, 
     Now she lives in 1999
     With her new boyfriend
     A blob of Slime"

** Quote from VicHpv list:

"Hi all,

Please note MC2 is being shut down by 30th June 2012. This is the organisation that hosts the VicHPV website. Their email is copied below.

This means if you have any text or pictures of importance that are only on the MC2 VicHPV page, please grab a copy now.

I signalled my unavailability to manage this page some time ago, and asked a couple of times if someone else wanted to take it over. Nobody wanted to at the time. I suspect that with the main contributors using their own accounts on flikr et al, in combination with the email list, the individual group webpage it is not as valued as it once was.

The question is for the email list members is: "Do you still want a VicHPV website?"

I think in principle its a great idea; its how I found the group in the first instance. It does mean that someone with the time and basic knowledge needs to be found to take it over.

What do you think?


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Mc2closureslist] Staged closure of mc2
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 18:04:12 +1000
From: mc2closures

MC2 site will be closing on 30th June 2012.
etc. etc.
We wish you all the very best as you move on to explore new online horizons!
mc2 Help Desk
VICNET - State Library of Victoria


1 comment:

  1. The forks that hold the back wheel are consistent and bob over knocks to detail more some degree so there is no need for a huge back wheel for suspension explanations.