News and Events

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

Friday, July 31, 2020

New MBB Part 7

Made a new shim today, circled red here, and
Sawed open the gap in the 2 stems so they don't clamp together like this when they're on the bike.

Local scenery gathered on a walk.

Old aluminium shim.

New steel shim. Its thicker, so the clamps clamp quicker on the fork tube and are less strained when they clamp.


Some progress from yesterday, I've done some work on the steerer, hopefully getting the clamp pressure up enough to stop the pedals moving relative to the steerer or the front wheel.

So I can give it a go tomorrow again.  And I have a plan B, to make a sort of frame around the clamps to keep everything straight.

Regards  Steve Nurse

Thursday, July 30, 2020

New MBB Part 6


So here are today's pics. I finished off the bike so its rideable, but really its not great. The steerer isn't clamped to the fork hard enough and it waggles under pedalling, so its fairly ordinary. But that is something I can work on.  Might be a few days till I've fixed that and can post again. As well the steerer is too wide and I can't get it easily past the water tank at the side. That's a slightly easier fix though.

Regards  Steve Nurse

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

New MBB Part 5

Adjustable reamer....

was used to ream out the steerer stem for a.......

22mm handlebar. Central hole in bar is to allow gear and brake cables through.

So this is what it's like now, I borrowed the seat / tailbox from another trike.


Did a bit more on my trike today, made some handlebars, fitted them to the steerer, fitted some pedals, fitted the seat as it was getting dark. I'm interested in the stems for 31.8mm handlebars, they could end up making some interesting bikes.


Steve Nurse

With a stand in place, I should be able to set the front up quite quickly and get it on the road

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

New MBB Part 4

Close now!  I fossicked in the shed and found scooter parts which will be used for the steerer and ....

fitted the 20" wheels but I needed to make a few spacers to stop the wheels slining on the shafts.

Hi, Today's progress on my new mbb leaning trike. There is not that much left to do, fit the chain, fit the pedals, mount a seat, set up the steerer, set up the brakes. set up the gearchanger and I'm just about done.  Its really a proof of concept trike, once I get it going, I will decide what to change and improve.


Steve Nurse

Monday, July 27, 2020

New MBB Part 3

Fibreglass spacer struts in place.

Cleaning and lubricating the old derailleur I picked out for the job yesterday.

Back bottom bracket in place

Back wheels ready to go.
Progress on front. The steerer, cranks and front wheel all move together.

Only 5 pics tonight, there was a malfunction with the computer operator and I accidentally deleted a few files!  Anyway I've put most of the front end together now, and after drilling out the frame yesterday I have the rear bottom bracket bearings in place. A couple of 20" wheels for the back made up, not that far to go.


Steve Nurse

Sunday, July 26, 2020

New MBB Part 2

Matching Holesaw and bottom bracket shell........

all set up for drilling the set.....

of holes, 1 in each sidewall for the axis for the rear wheels

frame taking shape.

Gaskets for under the bottom bracket shells are made from bicycle tubes, the shells are traced around to get the centre hole and outside shape.

Mostly done, not much more to finish off the back axle now.

Spent some more time on this trike today.  This includes finalising the drivetrain, and I chose an old short throw rear derailleur which I fixed the limits on and looks good.

And the  frame is almost done, there is only a small brace for between the bottom bracket shells. Happy with progress.


Steve Nurse

Thursday, July 23, 2020


Original from 8 years ago
New trike to be like on this one with a new front end.

Stem for 31.5mm handlebars holds bottom bracket cartridge with threaded cups removed. I originally used this type of stem here.  You can do strange adjusments with it, like quickly change the bottom bracket height and sideways position

A few parts. White forks donated the head tube bearings for the new bike. Centre part is timber frame for front of trike with bearings. Black fork will be used on new trike.

Hammering the wooden bearing holder into aluminium rhs frame

All the parts

Parts in place, testing transmission.  The cranks moves with the steering.

Frame clamped to plywood board for testing.


Several years ago I, had a go at making a moving bottom bracket front wheel drive bike based on a fixed bottom bracket bike I had made. And now years later simple leaning trikes are my recumbent of choice, and I am going through roughly the same process, making a new trike this time, but with so many old parts lying around its not really all that hard.

Pics above show progress to date, I'm quite pleased!  With Melbourne in coronvirus lockdown more than the rest of the country, I have to do something to keep the brain ticking over. Will report more later.


Steve nurse 

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Avanti Illusion Bike

Avanti Illusion on the bike stand. Note hub brakes.

Tony's busted bike (detail)

Tony's busted bike (the rest of it)

Tony's replacement bike (foreground), Illusion (Centre)

Replacement shogun

Illusion at the weigh in - not bad!

Weigh in
And here it is from the horse's mouth, Nexave Derailleurs from The Dancing Chain edition 4  by Frank Berto. More information than you actually need to know.

For trainspotters: Nexus rear derailleur is unlike any I have ever seen and at rest sits over the largest gear. And yes, its got fiddly bits on it as per this report . But despite having a bit of wear the gears all work. So delicate but not too bad!


As I reported before, a few weeks ago it was hard rubbish collection time in Darebin a few weeks ago. A few Wecycle volunteers dragged hard rubbish bikes to Wecycle and I have repaired some of them for refugees and others who need them. But one that came up seemed quite exotic, and as I fixed it decided I would put in an offer for it. About this time (last Wednesday) my friend Tony rang and said he was after a bike to replace his frame-dead one. He had commuted on the old one for 10 years, and today I heard his full tail of woe about busted welds and the eventual parting of the chainstay and rear dropout on the chain side.

So Wednesday I was at Wecycle, fixed a bike or two, and also negotiated to buy the Avanti Illusion and the replacement Shogun for $50 for both. I plan to do up the Avanti by fitting (you will never guess) a crate adapter at the front. Not sure if the Avanti will ever be a collector's item, but I got in when the price was low!

And for a while at least, Tony won't be picking up the bike due to Covid restrictions. The number of new cases in Victoria was 217, thank goodness down from about 450 yesterday. So stage 3 lockdowns are in place and will be for a few weeks yet and he shouldn't visit.


Steve Nurse

Sunday, July 12, 2020

V-Brake Mod


Frayed Cable Inner was replaced.

V-brake after.

Since getting back from Cobram, I've done a bit of work on my trike, cleaning off the artwork (ok, muck) on the side of the bike for example. A slightly bigger change has been to finally fix the V-brakes. I had a puncture in the Cobram Audax ride, and it was fiddly to reinstall the front wheel because the brake cable reaches the V-brake collar from below, and its meant to come from above. So I carefully removed the small pins holding the V-brake collars and replaced them with bolts.  Now it should be possible to remove the noodles from the V-brakes when there are punctures.

As well I got 2 new front tyres from the Melbourne Bicycle Centre. They sell the Byk bike which was the donor machine for much of this trike and so have a reasonable selection of tyres that suit the 450mm 20" rim. 

So quite happy to have the bike back on the road. Its got its fairing on now so is cabable of a reasonable turn of speed.


Steve Nurse

Saturday, July 4, 2020

South of the Murray Audax 100

Simon, Ian, Peter, Cobram pub

3 Gents and their bikes, Cobram Colonial Motel

Richard who rode with me on the Murray tour with and ride organiser Rodney at the start

Rodney announces the ride instructions

3 Amigos, Peter, Ian, Simon, coming in to Katunga and...

in Katunga.

Curious cows outside Katunga where I stopped to fix a puncture.

A stop for food and to peel off clothing where I..

picked up the sign on left which had been lying in the field.

This was a nice stretch, a bit of sun, tailwind and the tyre was holding up.

Nice roadside display.

End of the Paddy melon season, these were just rotting by the side of the road. They were fresher but useless, same as the ones we saw on the Murray tour.

Done!  Peter Matthews arrived a few minutes after me and signed my Brevet card.

The white trike sidepanel is "My impressions of the South of the Murray Audax ride", by Fred Bike. Facilitator Stephen Nurse. Back wheel mud and chocolate milk dribbles on white corflute.


A few times I've been up to Cobram to complete some of Rodney Cruz's Audax rides. The terrain is flat for many kilometres around. As well, the Murray tour rides I've been on have passed through Katatamatite in the area, so I know the district and rides reasonably well. So when Simon Watt posted that he was doing  one of the Cobram  rides, I booked up the time to go away and signed up on the Audax website and at the Motel where Simon and his mates were staying.  As well I rang my Dad's cousin Mary who lives just over the border in New South Wales and organised to visit her and her husband Geoff.

The South of the Murray ride was on a Saturday, and I drove up to Cobram on the Friday, checked in to the motel, then drove across the New South Wales border to Barooga and a few k's out of town to visit Geoff and Mary. That trip went well, and by the time I was back in Cobram, Ian and Peter had arrived, and it was soon time for our booked pub dinner. That went well too, despite a lost (Corona-virus compulsory) booking which was soon sorted out.

Next day it was cold and clear, and about 17 of us gathered at Mivo Park, and Rodney read out the ride descriptions, a 100k ride going into NSW, a 106k staying in Victoria, and a 206k combining both. I was on the 106k ride, all I really wanted to cope with on a short Winter's day.

 After riding for a bit with Simon, Peter and Ian, I realised I was slowing so checked my front tyre and sure enough it was going down. On stopping to fix it a herd of cows gathered around me but by the time I'd finished most of them had ambled away as I was old news.

Everybody had passed me when my puncture was fixed. Simon texted me at Namurkah where he was lunching with Pete and Ian, but I passed on lunch and rode through, a bit concerned about the flat tyre fix and able to carry on with the food and drink I had onboard. And I was right about being worried, by Katamatite the tyre was down again. But I had a foot pump to push air in to the tyre fairly quickly and I rode on, pumping up the front tyre every few k's but still managing to finish with 40 minutes to spare before the ride time limit. Now (Monday) I think I have finally fixed the tyre. By noting where the latest (3rd) puncture is, I managed to find and remove a tiny sliver of glass from the tyre.

Later on Saturday, I heard about increased Corona virus cases and lockdowns in Melbourne, and within 2 days, the escalating number of cases meant the border between New South Wales and Victoria was due to close. People like Mary and Geoff will be stuck over the border and unable to go to their nearby big town, Cobram, and some or all of Rodney's rides would have been cancelled.

Hopefully the whole Corona virus thing will be over soon but I don't think so!


Steve Nurse