News and Events

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

Monday, May 22, 2017

Timber Leaning trike part 14

Material from a hard rubbish pile for the side panels

Bit of surgery required to make these handgrips the right size

Halfway through making the tailbox lid.

Brake assembly.

One Sidepanel fitted. Very pleased with the way this coame out

Small amount of luggage in luggage compartment, including library cds and dvds

Outside the new North Fitzroy Library, after returning cds and dvds.  Its a great new building....

And by way of contrast, officeworks Fitzroy!

Back Home.


I spent some time last night and this morning finishing the trike to a rideable state and spent quite a bit of effort fettling the brakes and gears, as well as making side-covers and a lid for the tailbox, and fitting handgrips and a bell.  And it all came out well.  My first trip out on the trike was a shopping trip, and the worst problem I had with the trike was running over dog excrement on the pavement on the way home!  The steering was a bit out of centre, which I've fixed,  but otherwise no real issues.  Still getting used to it a bit though, and I want to make 2 more sets of panels for the tailbox, 1 in coreflute and 1 in plywood:  I bought in supplies for them today as well and will add some taillights as well.

All for now, Regards

Steve Nurse

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Timber Leaning Trike Part 13

Steerer assembly parts include cast aluminium parts, 2 35mm seatpost clamps, 2 aluminium spacers, the fork and ther timber steerer.

The cast aluminium plates which the steerer pivots on.  They needed the rectangular hole in the centre opened up because they were designed for a very narrow seatpost clamp, and the ones I have are wider.  Left is modified, right unmodified, so that now.....

it all fits together like this!

Cropping the handlebars

Adding a slot for the cables to come out of the steerer and into the fork tube.  This is the same process I used the other day for the face of the steerer, but this time the slots are in the hardwood pieces which are top and bottom on the steerer.  A couple of screws were in the way, so I removed them, then cut them short before putting them back in after the slot was made. 

Good progress by the end of the night!

Hi, here are the photos of today's progress.  I had a break at about 2pm and went for a ride it took visits to 4 bike shops to find enough flexible noodles (6) for the end of each cable on the trike, but it was worth it.  The mod to the fork I did yesterday seems to be working well, and although a few tweaks are still needed, I think I can get everything working without the chain rubbing.

I could have done a midnight blocky on the trike, but will save that for the morning.  Still a bit to go, in particular the wooden sidepanels need a bit of altering before they will look halfway decent on the trike.

All for now!

Steve Nurse

Friday, May 19, 2017

Timber Leaning Trike Part 12

Adding M6 Tee nuts to the seat.  The timber in the foreground is 2 layers thick, that is to accommodate the full depth of the tee nut and add strength in a stressed part of the timber.

Putting a slot into the steerer started of by drilling, then rolling the drill round on an angle to clear out the timber between the holes.  The same size slot is now on both sides, and its to let the brake and gear cables into the steerer.

Cutting a piece of aluminium which wound up.....

In the steerer as a washer near the handlebar clamp bolt.

Checking chain clearance on the brake at the back of the front fork.  Its no good, there was about 8mm of interference.......

so it was back to the hacksaw, the oxy torch and the spray can.  Here is the result of the sawing and brazing, painting black again about to take place.

My wooden trike is nearing completion now, and today I have been finishing parts off.  The front forks are drying now, and tommorrow the trike will go back together.  Still a bit to sort out though, I haven't started selecting the handbrakes or gearchanger from the piles of crap carefully curated selection of choice bicycle parts which inhabit my shed.  I have the mini v-brakes, derailleurs and handlebars sorted though.

All for now, regards

Steve Nurse

Monday, May 15, 2017

A trip to Aki's place

Aki on my leaning trike.

Aki's front window, full of cycling memorabelia.

Aki off and riding.

Black rabbit visiting Aki's, Aki's electric commuter bike.

Aki has one of the bikes Robert W. built, it's fun to ride, here is a short video.

Shortening the length from the pedals to the seat so Aki can ride it.  The seat slides along the main beam.

Trying Aki's Flevo.  I can't ride it, neither can Aki.

More familiar territory for me.  But the steering is very cramped for me in this photo, the seat and steerer are adjusted for Aki's size.

Black rabbit visiting, Aki's Worksong tandem.

A few Sundays ago, I visited my friend Aki's place, we swapped over bikes, and I had a semi-serious go at conquering riding his Flevo bike, and rode and helped him fix another of the bikes in his collection.  Aki owns a 9 year old white rabbit and a black rabbit comes regularly to visit from a few doors up.  Both are very tame.


Steve Nurse

Timber Leaning Trike Part 11

Reinforcing the new tailbox at its base.  This is the same thing I did on the trike I am currently riding as documented here.

New Steerer is jigged and ready for screwing and glueing.

Both sets of wheels are on the frame now.  It needs the seat, steerer pedals, chain, brakes etc.

Today I made quite good progress on the trike, I shortened the pins for the wheels and assembled the back wheelset, then in the afternoon did a bit of preemptive fixing on the tailbox and drilled the steerer ready for screwing and glueing.

There is still a bit to do, glueng and painting the steerer, finishing the crankset and finishing and painting the tailbox and starting to fit the chain and brakes comes next.


Steve Nurse

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Timber Leaning Trike Part 10

Some running repairs while making the new trike, the brake cable is snapping so I
added brake noodles both sides while checking and replacing some brake pads.

This shows most of the items needed to make the Vuong rear wheel setup. As well as 2 x 355 size tyres, tubes, rimtapes and wheels there is a set of replacement bearings, a bearing tool, 75mm aluminium unicycle cranks and matching wheel shafts.  I had the wheel shafts custom made to my design and have some in the cupboard.
The bearing tool in use.  It has a taper setup to allow it to press against the existing bearing spacer so the spacer and bearing can be removed.
Near the end of the bearing swap, this setup with an old bearing, large bolt and washer is to tap in the new bearings.

Bearing swap done, all that remains is to turn a bit off the length of the wheelshafts.

Steerer blank which was included with new parts.  Although I made one of thse in part 1, I will make another with the new parts, which have an up-to-date design.

Finishing the plywood side panels, some of the parts were cut out way back in part 2.

Finishing the seat.  The screwed section of the seat has 3 layers of 4mm ply, and this is thick enough to....

screw the seat base and top to its edge.  This gloses the gaps in the assembly.
Cropping the screws sticking out from the plywood sidepanels.


As you can see, I have been quite busy on the trike.  tomorrow I should be able to put the wheels on the frame, but there is still a steerer to be made and the seat to finalise.  All for now!

Steve Nurse

Next Post

Verandah Chair from Bunk Bed

As found and as photographrd on my flip phone.  2 bunk beds free to good home in Airey's Inlet

Bed with the head and end removed

This was the only branding I could find on the beds

Here is a bit of construction detail.
Side view.
With cushions on the verandah.

A few weeks ago, during Easter, my family spotted some bunk beds out the front of a house which were "free to good home".  The house happened to be one my parents had owned, and the beds were ones my brother and I had slept in when growing up, maybe from ages 8 to 24.  So I was curious about the beds, and went to have a look at them on my trike, and then when I decided it was worth doing something with them, went and got them in the car.

My first thought for the bunks was to make a chair out of them, and I spent a fair while looking at the bed head, working out how they could be narrowed to make a single chair.  It all seemed a bit complicated,  but after a while I thought "oh, that would not really be necessary, if I just kept the heads roughly as they are, it could be a 2 person wide chair".  So this became the plan.  It happened we had some 40 x 40 cm cushions from Lincraft and I used these as a template for making the double chair.

Working out what to do was probably the hardest part of the building process, and once I'd decided on that, the rest just sort of followed.  The bed rails were shortened dramatically, and the cut and drilling pattern of the head end of the rails were put into the foot end.  A few chairs were measured for height, and then I worked out how to replicate that height in the chair by sawing and drilling the head and foot.  Then it was all reassembled and the boss (my wife Christine) had said she wanted arm rails, so this was taken into account.

The arms took a bit of time, I used 12 x 20 dressed all round timber from Porta via Demar as a scaffold for the arms, and except for screws, this was the only part of the chair that didn't come from a bunk.  The whole thing is done now, including a cushion change from red and green to brown and blue dictated by Christine. 

So that is one chair done, but I picked up 2 bunks from the dumpster pile, so I plan to make another twin chair within a few weeks.  Our son Ewan made a small table in high school and he no longer wants it so maybe bits of that will end up in the MKII chair.  I will report on that when it happens.


Steve Nurse