News and Events

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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cruzbike mk2

Start point was a folding bike which Stu gave to me. (Thanks Stu) In this photo, the forks and wheels have been changed, and an old steerer stem is in place ready to be modified.
The bike is almost "a natural" for the conversion process, as the water bottle bosses on the main seat can be used to mount the seat base without the use of messy hose pipe clamps.
This is the modified steerer stem in place, it converts a 1" diameter steerer to 1 1/8" or thereabouts.  A 1 1/8" tube was brazed on top of the 1" steerershown in the top photo.
Off - Piste modification.  I moved the seat as far back as it would go and drilled a few extra (lower) holes in the seat back to make this work.  As well I cut back the seat base, so it wouldn't interfere with the bike's hinge.
So this is mk2 ready to be tested.  When the seat is moved back, and the pedals are readjusted for correct leg length, the pedals move up.  This is good, I am very used to bikes with a high bottom bracket which are aerodynamic and can go a bit faster.

Over the last few days I have been making a mk2 Cruzbike from the kit I received a few months ago.  After flexing my muscles with mk1 a few weeks ago and receiving a suitable donor bike, it was time to do a faster version.  As well, I had already stolen some parts from the mk1! 

Getting the front wheel setting right was interesting, without careful adjustment, the front wheel can bang into the top of the fork, the chain can bang into a fork boss, the brake pads get out of range for contact with the rim. And every setting change affects fork offset and handling!

So this bike has been ridden a few times but not yet mastered, and obviously there will be more tweaking.  I am looking for Zen-like handling, with fast riding and pedalling without the irritating diversion of putting hands on handlebars.  Yes, I know, dream on......


Steve Nurse

Bev and Barnie

Bev and Barnie on a recent visit.

Our friend Bev has been round a couple of times in recent days.  The first time was to introduce us to her new friend, Barnie.  Barnie is a dog.

Barnie was previously called Arnie but is now called Barnie, because Bev has another friend called Arnie, and calling the dog Arnie just got too confusing.  And Barnie doesn't mind, "Barnie or Arnie, what the heck, I get fed and walked and stuff " I imagine him thinking.

Barnie is 9 1/2, which is sort of middle aged for a dog, and her previous family couldn't keep her because he lived with Mum after all the kids had left home and Mum had moved to an apartment with slippery floors and other dog-not-very-friendly features.

Bev rescued Barnie from death at a dogs home, and he goes to a good life.  Bev lives next door to a family who has a dog, and she already looks after their dog sometimes and has a dog door between her place and theirs. So now things are even more dog heaven at her place.

Barnie's previous owners sent a postcard from his old life to Bev.  Here is the link.

Bon Voyage Bev and Barnie!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Surfboard Trailer

An Echidna (middle foreground), seen on a surf-check trip on the Ilean trike.

Some of the previous lives of the wheels of my latest project were.....bought new as a Speedsail (gotta love the website!) an "unsafe at any speed" home-made skateboard principal trike as shown another surfboard trailer..... and lastly

...... as a Monsterbike inner trailer, which had been rather abandoned until recently.

Latest use for the wheels, another surfboard trailer.  I started making the trailer to carry the board.......

 fin-down, but abandoned that plan for....

..... a fin-up alternative.  The bits of wood on the timber lift the board up so the board does not rest on its legrope

There is a plate with a slot in it for the fin.  This plate bolts on over the fin and some bits of allthread rod.

So this is it in use, for the moment at least it is a walking trailer and just hangs on to the fin end.  The fin up design means the wax doesn't melt on the way to the surf, as well the rocker of the board bends in the right direction for an ergonomic hand hold.  Not that the surfboard trailer eqivalent of a "blocky" is walking around the house dragging the thing.

I have been lucky to have January off away as holidays at the beach and have spent some of the time making a trailer to make it easier to walk my surfboard to the local beaches.  I used an old set of wheels on a steel frame, and its come out ok, I even put it into use.  The trailer forms a board stand, so the board can stay on the trailer and lean against a wall when its in the garage, the trailer only needs to come off at the beach or when it goes on the car. 

Local beaches are about 1k away and you can walk to them, and the trailer makes it easier.  But I'm not sure about adding on to the trailer (and making a bike trailer) and going to the nearest beachbreaks  which are 3 - 9k away.  I can usually use a car and there is a choice of being exhausted when you get home from a surf or exhausted exhausted when you ride to the surf and back carrying a surfboard on a bike trailer!


Steve Nurse

Monday, January 12, 2015

Wheeled Electric Barbecue Controversy!

Electric Barbecue fitted with wooden support.  The support was fitted when I failed to find......

the axle for the wheels.  In fact, this was  there all the time, "hidden" in part of the packaging.

Some of the bike repairs I've done on holiday, replacing a cheap new tyre ($3.00 from k-mart!) with a manky old one that should at least not have gaping holes in it.

With Christine, fixing a series of bikes.

Although this blog is mainly devoted to sharing my general competence with wheeled machines with the general public, occasionly, my general incompetence is also noteworthy or at least comical!

Christine, my wife has pressured me to have a functioning barbecue at our place, in order to have people round for lunch and dinner, and cook outside without heating up the kitchen. 

I had no great objections to this, however, in doing this, I have moved our barbecuing this from gas to electric.  Now this in itself is a controversy which threatens to become as controversial as When Dylan Went Electric.   However, more controversy was to come, as a fundamental stupidity meant I couldn't find the axle for the wheels for the barbecue came with as it was hidden in a bit of packaging.  Never one to be discouraged, I installed a wooden foot to replace the wheels, our barbecue being a not-highly-necessary-that-it-roll-device.  Later I found the "missing" axle.  Pictures are attached.


Steve Nurse

Monday, January 5, 2015

Buckley's Ride 2015

Graham Signiorini in repose at Little River.

Ian Knox's Hurricane.

At the Mordialloc Pit Stop.  The whole foreshore from Sorrento to Mordialloc was replete with busy camping areas and temporary summer amusement parks and rides.

Yesterday, I started off from home on my wooden bike at about 5am for a trip around Port Phillip Bay organised by Sarah Chaplin and Audax.  Start was at 6:10 am from the South Melbourne Football Ground,  and I was there in plenty of time to meet a few other recumbenteers, Ian Knox and Graham Signiorini.  The ride was about 210k, but I added about 10k each way to get to and from the start.

Headed off into the city with a big bunch led by Helen Lew Ton.  There was a bit of drizzle and this continued halfway to Geelong but nothing to worry about. (Audax riders eat nails for breakfast!) I was able to ride in a group all the way to Little River and Stephen Rowland's most excellent rest stop which included fruit cake and coffee. 

Graham and I checked out together and rode into the wind by ourselves all the way to the end of Corio.  A fast mob passed us there, I tried to keep up but couldn't, having used up a few too many weetbix riding (almost) outside of a big mob for 20k or more.  Graham (Superman) Signiorini continued on, he said he stayed ahead of the fast mob all the way to Queenscliffe.   Anyway, I plodded on and got to Queenscliffe at 11:50 which was in plenty of time to board the 12:00 ferry to Sorrento.  Bright sunshine by this stage, and the bay was newly washed and gorgeous to see.

The ride back from  Sorrento to Melboune was good, but I'd used up a bit too much energy to go fast or keep up with some of the bunches.  This was unfortunate, the wind and weather were perfect for riding. 

I had a couple of breaks along the way, and after Mordialloc was able to pass a few upright riders doing the Beach Road trek.  For self respect, they wanted to pass me, but I really wasn't concerned if they passed me, I had 190k or so in my legs already, chasing etc. was not required. 

At about 6pm I finished the ride, still with a bit of go in my legs, and able to ride the rest of the way home.  Also managed to get to the finish point without getting lost, a bit of a bonus considering I didn't have a speedo, gps, sat nav or other gizmos and didn't use the maps or directions.

Thanks to the organisers and volunteers, especially Sarah Chaplin and Stephen Rowlands and his family.

Buckley's Ride 2015 - prequel

We came back from holidays to find several ...

Folding bikes donated......

to the Stephen Nurse bicycle Menagerie and wrecking yard.  Thanks Stu!

Back to Bikecentric.  On the very hot and windy day prior to Buckley's ride, I moved the bike indoors, did some work on the back wheel while watching crappy old VHS videos and DVD's.

We have been back from some holidays at the beach for a few days, and during that time I have done some bike fixing and completed the Audax Buckleys (Around the Bay in a Day) Ride.   In 2013, I did the same ride on a trike, and last year did it on my current wooden bike.  In fact, that ride was the first I did on that bike, so er, Happy Birthday to you, bicycle!

Saturday was very hot and windy (39-40C and 80 kph winds) with high fire danger and the best way to spend the day was inside and out of trouble.  I worked on my bike a bit, and Christine started a Jigsaw puzzle sent by Sarah and Richard as a Christmas present.  Thanks Guys!

The Buckleys ride is a good one to for me do, it is at the start of the year when there are few commitments, is very familiar and flat, and usually some people I know are along for the ride.  Bring it on!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Birth of the Blog


A few weeks ago, I visited my friend Brad near Trida, and one of my friends, Tony asked about Brad's trike.  

In fact, the story about the trike goes back 4 years, and it's tied up with the start of this blog.  I've never written about it in the blog itself, so here we go.

About 4 years ago, Brad and I were working together designing electric motors, and we got chatting about things and had discussed my (then) website and Human Powered Vehicles and stuff.  At that time, I had just published my book, and was interested in upgrading my website.  Anyway, Brad and I negotiated, I gave him one of my books, some advice on building trikes, and bike bits and pieces from my shed.  In return, Brad did some work on my website, integrating a blog with the website, and setting up the pictures on the main web pages, much the way you see it today.  He'd done work on his Tai Chi academy website and this all looked pretty good.

Here are a few web links that are concerned:
Brad's trike in Huff
Brad's Blog Entry
Wikipedia Entry and Photo

And how's it all going?  Well, my blog has quite a few visitors, up to 925 a month from all around the world.  This all took a while to build up.  Although not opposed to earning money from advertising on the blog, I haven't got my head around how to activate it yet!  Will keep blogging for now, what more can I say except

Thanks Brad!