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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Low Gravity Load Bike from 24" Mountain Bike

Donor vehicle was a lot like this one, hoping to transform it......

into this,

or this......

or even this.

Starting the fork mod by extending the fork steerer using an inner sleeve tube.....

Then adding an outer sleeve which is machined to take the lower bearing cup.

This is how it ended up on the bike.  The prongs for load carrying are handlebars cut in half,  held in old handlebar stems.

At work on its maiden voyage!  Returning a broken chainsaw to the dumpster for Stu.
The basic stuff is there.

A while ago, I bought a 24" Victoria Folding bike, and I've been quietly looking for abandoned 24" bikes for upgrade parts (aluminium wheels etc.) for it since then.  While no 24" bikes came my way till recently, I have at least been thinking about them.  Then a few days ago, I had some inspiration, seeing a spot on my Velocino machine fork crown where some load carrying racks could sit.  A day or so later I picked up a 24" Huffy girls bike from a hard rubbish collection. Then I started....

24" mountain bikes are some of the cheapest and least desirable bikes available in Australia today.  They are mainly bought for teenagers who will use them for a few years  and then discard them, moving on to a 26" mountain bike, hybrid bike or racer (or be put off cycling by them).  The tyres on 24" bikes often have heavy, inappropriate off-road tread and don't roll easily on pavement at any pressure.  But they have at least a few things good about them:

  • Wide range of gears.
  • Product of 140 years of bicycle development since 1885 and 45 years of Asian manufacturing expertise since 1970.  Can't be all that bad!
  • Robust and often made of steel.
  • Easy to obtain at a low cost.
  • Size fits a large proportion of the population, most women and a good proportion of men, say 5'3" to 6" height range. 
  • Common size for parts including tyres

At the other end of the scale we have cargo bikes.  Although they have been manufactured for a long time, it is hard to obtain one at reasonable cost and second hand examples sell for a good sum and are not necessarily sold complete.

So when you think about it, there are big incentives in terms of cost to upgrade a 24" bike to a cargo bike.  Sofar the budget for my bike has been 0$ - admittedly I have a shed, very chockers and messy with bike parts and tubes to hack at.  I'll continue on with this project, upgrading some bikes and carrying things on them.

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