News and Events

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tweaking the separating frame

A few bolts I made for my bike, the one on the right is the production model, made from.......

these bits.  The thin nut works better
My current trike with rectangular aluminium frame. The seat cantilevers off the fframe and doesn't need extra support.

Bolts that keep the trike together shown at right and in front of the chain, centre.

To split the trike, take the wingbolts off, and separate the frame halves can be slightly.  In that position, the custom bolt screws into the frame and then the plain bolt screws into that.   

From there, the 2 frame halves slide apart.

Bolts are kept on the frame and out of the waywhile the trike is transported.  A new bit of bling, a Speedo mount is in the foreground.
Hi, I have been working on my bike switcheroo for a while, and in the process have been upgrading whatever I can on the bikes.  This includes fixing small problems with the trike.  On country trains, I separate the trike like this and when I do, the bolts which hold it together have to go somewhere, and previously there was no good spot for that and it got a bit awkward trying to wrangle the bike halves.  And the bolts. 

And then Ta Dah! I had an idea and slowly set about turning it into a thing made from an idea.  The photos show the results.  I brazed a nut onto one of the wing bolts with holds the trike together, and hey presto, that makes a spot for the extra wing bolt somewhere out of the way on the frame.

Even though these trikes are a long way from being in production, I did my best to make the tapped wing bolt as best I could.  At first I made it using a standard wing bolt and a tapped plate, then progressed to an m8 nut and a standard wing bolt before finally settling on a narrow m8 nut brazed nut and a standard wingbolt.  (Despite having enough parts in the shed to make a rocket to the moon,  I didn't have any of the narrow nuts in my shed and my friends at Metro Bolts gave me a few samples when I bought some other fasteners there).

And I'll get to test it out next week, I will be getting up early on Tuesday to take the train to Bendigo to promote the ozhpv challenge which will be held up there in December.  Will report, all for now.


Steve Nurse

 30 Nov 2017 update.

This is not the first tricky design I have had for a removable front wheel assembly on an HPV.  Several years ago, I made a bike and called it the X15 (after its paint colour) , and while riffling through my old SD cards came across some photos of it.  I sold it to Brett in the ACT, and as far as I know he still has it. Details of frame split on that bike are shown below.

X15 has a round tube as a frame, this means the seat assembly can't cantilever off it and be secure and not rotate around the frame. There is a small amount of seat adjustment though, a couple of bolts sticking out of the back of the seat clamp into a seat post and the clamping length is adjustable.

Front tube clamp mech.  The Cool Tool was made at home from an allen key and chromoly steel.  It has 2 uses, to tighten the clamp screw as shown here...... 

And to act as a pin securing the bike halves as shown here.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Maruishi Leaning Trike


For the last few months I've been volunteering at the Wecycle bike shed and restoring old bikes so they can go to those that need them. Last time I was there I worked on an interesting leaning trike but didn't have my camera with me.  This time I had my camera and took a few pics.  Next (woohoo) time, I might even ride it and get some video.

So the pics are shown above.  The trike is a Japanese Maruishi Sunday Lovely Premium Leaning trike which is apparently still available in Japan today.  The tilting function can be locked out with a set of bolts under the carry basket and the gearing seems to be very low.  Probably a great machine for a quiet pootle to the local shops, but don't go setting off for a race or across the country.

In leaning trike terms the trike is 1F1T, that is a delta (1 wheel at the front, 1 wheel tilting) where only the front part of the frame tilts.  My trikes are all 1F3T.  I'm not sure how old this Maruishi trike is but its had a bit of wear.  This sort of trike may have provided inspiration for the Varna Leaning Trike which is also 1F1T but has a semi recumbent seating position and an electric motor driven front wheel.

Update September 2020, I found another blog from Ottawa Canada, documenting a similar leaning trike to "our" Maruishi. Pictures are better and there was a super duper retso done instead of a patch up. Here is the link.


Steve Nurse

Friday, November 10, 2017

Big Switcheroo Progress

My Daily Driver

Progress on the next machine.....

Maybe turning the forks around like this would work?

Jigging for v-brake bosses on the back of the forks.

Bike bling 1

Bike bling 2

There has been some good progress in the last few days on fixing up my trikes and making one saleable.  I swapped the frames over between the "fast trike" and the one I use everyday, improving the frame as I went.  To finish off the trike I designed some red plugs for the ends of the frame tubes.  One of these includes a couple of blinky lights.  The first versions of these plugs are on my own trike and the second, slightly improved parts will be on the new one I'm selling.

And the new trike's well underway.  Unfortunately, the rear brake bosses were getting in the way of the chain and I had to braze them on in a new position.  This has worked well though and I'm happy with the results.  Along the way I contemplated a different solution: reversing the fork and the dropout positions would let the chain clear the bosses.  This would make the bike shorter overall (good), increase trail (also good) but also put the front of the trike up higher, and gravity might make the front wheel want to turn through 180 degrees (bad).  Its something I plan to try but not right now.

More work on the trikes to follow.


Steve nurse

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Big Switcheroo

"Fast Trike" ready to be dismantled.

NLT7 ready to be dismantled

A 3d printed cap for the end of the frame

Part ready to install, a frame insert for pedal and steerer bearing

Parts Ready to install: Shutter Precision Hub Dynamo Wheel and fork.


For a few days I have been sorting out in my mind what to do with all the bikes and trikes that are lying round.  I already have one trike for sale , there is another one I use most days, but I have 3 others, and might as well do something with them. If I sell one for any reasonable amount it will be worth making more of them.

So I have started work on the top trike in the photos.  This has an experimental frame with several extra holes drilled in it, and I don't want to sell it as it isn't perfect.  But the frame on the trike I took to Bendigo is good, and the plan is * to swap over the frames of the trikes, cleaning them and doing them up as I go * to fit the seat and tailbox from the NLT7 shown 2nd photo down on a trike to be put up for sale.  Sofar I have removed the frame from the fast trike and started fitting it to my current trike.  The 3d printer is coming in handy and I am busy drawing up, printing and fitting bright red end stoppers and light mounts for the trikes.

The second project is to make a bike with dynamo lights driven from the rear wheel.  For this I aim to use the parts shown in the bottom 2 photos.  I haven't been on any long Audax's for a while, but it would be nice to have a bike with bomb-proof lighting just in case I want to have a go at one.  For the moment this project will not be a priority, and I am trying to store all the bits somewhere I won't trip over them! 

All for now, Regards

Steve Nurse