News and Events

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

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Fixing 50 bikes, bike 27, MTB


Simon with bolt cutters

Disc brake pad and pad mount screw

After: Handgrips, seat and bell were fitted. Tyres are still bald, and I have some (slightly) better ones to install.

As found, it was in a lane at the end of the street, brakes were shot.

Brake tuning. There was about 150mm of extra cable length which I removed.

This bike was at the end of our street, the brakes, seat and handgrips were shot when I found it, but it's quite a high end beast with 3 x 9 speed very low gears, mechanical disc brakes, and an adjustable fron suspension fork - which works!

After a basic fix up including overhauling the brake cables it was ready to try out and fetch a few extra parts from the shed. On the way past Simon's, I picked up a set of bolt cutters he wanted to be ferried to the shed.  Seat, handgrips and bell installed it has come up very well. Will return it to the shed shortly. This is the last bike I have for Wecycle fixing, and the plan is to finish it off then take it up to Wecycle and swap it over for another needs-resuscitation bike. Will report.

Regards Steve Nurse

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Fixing 50 bikes, 25 and 26. pedal pacers


Replacement right hand crank, Pedal Pacer 1

Pedal pacer 1

Replacement rear wheel shaft.

Broken rear wheel shaft

Thread stuffed, left hand pedal

Pedal Pacer 1 cranks with square hole for pedal shaft. Most holes are diagonal.

New and old brake / gearchanger on Pedal Pacer 2. I couldn't take apart or service the old combined brake / gearchanger.

Pedal Pacer 2

At a friend's, temporary storage for 23, 24, 25, 26 and another bike Simon is repairing.


A few weeks ago my friend Stu dropped off a few bikes he had found on the street. They looked quite new and were almost identical, so my thoughts were they are from a dealer, were swapped out after warranty claims and were then left unrepaired. Both bikes are Pedal Pacers .

PP2: Just the left gearchanger was faulty. Unfortunately I couldn't open up the part to fix it, and separate replacement parts were used. Parts came from the junk  extensive range of exquisitely presented bicycle components from my shed. 

PP1: The thread on the left hand crank was destroyed, so I replaced the whole crankset and removed the front derailleur and changer, and replaced it with a brake only. But a test revealed the rear wheel axle was broken. I stole one from a hub lying around and was able to fix the wheel.

A final test and the chain was falling off in low gear. Putting the front derailleur back on fixed that, its not connected to a cable, but the bike still has 7 gears and a reasonable gear range.

Over 2 days, I took 4 bikes over to a friend's place, I rode 1 bike right handed, steered the other one left handed, and then walked home each time. He has more storage space than me and the bikes are tarped up out of the rain waiting for lockdowns to finish (got 6 weeks or so?)  or some Wecycle customers to come and collect.

Very relieved to have some space at the side of the house!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

New Bike Part 3



Today I did some more work on my new bike which I have documented here and here. I've done the front part of the frame, have set up the front wheel and forks, and found a seat / tailbox combo which will do for starters. Now its just making the rear wheel frame and suspension, and adding a chain derailleur and controls. The rear wheel frame bit is fairly unfamiliar to me and the thing I'm most likely to procrastinate on.

Anyway, all the drilling and construction sofar are along the lines of this plan I made for a leaning trike. And if it were a leaning trike it would almost be over now, with only a wheelset on a crank to be added.

Compared to my trike, this bike will have advantages of common 20" 406 wheel size front and rear, and a rear wheel generator. Will keep plugging away at it and report later.


Steve Nurse 

Update August 29: Above is my mockup for the rear wheel position, I figure I need 50mm between the back of the main frame and the rear wheel, and 50mm from the tailbox to the rear wheel. So was quite happy to cut the frame to suit. As well I have started cutting cromo steel for the rear wheel frame.

Next Post

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Fixing 50 bikes, bike 24, Repco Mosaic


Repco Mosaic

This bike I'm fixing for Wecycle is a Repco Mosaic 26" stepthrough in MTB style. My friend Stu had gathered it up and left it at my place but not before relieving it of its tyres and tubes. The chain was also missing. Maybe because the bike was so dead, I started working on it before starting on 3 others awaiting my attention at home.

Anyway, I found some tyres in the neighbourhood, some tubes and a chain in the shed, I cleaned and lubed the bottom bracket, and after a while it was ready to go. It still needs new handgrips and a front reflector. To me its not the greatest bike but I'm sure it will bring someone joy.


Steve Nurse

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Cycle Zoo Book is out! ISBN 9780648925248


To just get on with it, here is how to obtain the new book "Cycle Zoo" Bikes for the 21st Century.

Physical Copy

Australia: Through Booktopia or Dymocks or Amazon or  Book Depository

USA: Through Barnes and Noble 

UK: Through Blackwell's

Germany: Abebooks

I'm not sure about distribution elsewhere, but if anyone can recommend a good place to buy it, please let me know. Searching by book number (ISBN 9780648925248) within a bookseller's website produced hits for me at Booktopia, Dymocks, Blackwell's and Abebooks.

Ebook (Just out, September 21, 2021)

The ebook isbn is 978-0-6452623-6-0, and searching for Cycle Zoo Nurse within a bookseller's website produced hits for me at

Amazon, Australia

Booktopia, Australia  

Kobo, Australia

Barnes and Noble USA Nook Ebook with preview 

If you find any other good links, please let me know! 

Reviews, Links, Blogs etc.

Chris Starr's 3CR interview

Cycling Boardgame's discussion and links to free downloads

About the book as guest blogger for Working Type

Interview on laidbackbikereport video magazine with web links in description


And some sample pages.

In 2010 I started this blog to publicize the first edition of Cycle Zoo which had just come out. Things have moved on a bit since then, but a constant has been that I have continued to build, design and fix bikes. Part of this process was during an industrial design master's degree at Monash University. Along the way I gathered enough material for a new version of the book and in late 2019 supplemented this with a few interviews.  

So a new version of the book's out now, I have gone with print on demand through Ingramspark. This saves me dealing with a large print run of books and allows printing of books to be done near the purchaser. Ingrams have print facilities in Britain, Melbourne Australia and the USA.

I'm very proud of the result and that the book provides links and background to free leaning trike and cycling boardgame  plans on Thingiverse. Ebook versions of Cycle Zoo are coming soon, I am working on them.

Thanks to everyone concerned with making this book. 

It couldn’t have been done without: 

My family Christine and Ewan Nurse and Phoebe Venables Contributors Gayle Potts, Nell Sudano, Alyson McDonald, Adam Hari and Daniel Oakman 

Blogger and photographer Jun Nogami, 

Photographer Kim Aagaard, https:// bicycles_only/ 

John Hagan and Jeremy Lawrence, back cover photos 

Encouragement from Carole Wilkinson 

Editor Neil Conning and designer Luke Harris, and lastly technical editor and contributor George Durbridge.


Steve Nurse

About the cover: During my time studying for a Design Master's at Monash, postgrad students designed posters to brighten up the place and let people know about our research. The pic above shows one of them I still have. The design shows the NC routed timber trike described in the book, with a background of timber pieces used in its construction. Anyway, the idea worked well for the poster and lives on in the books cover design.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Fixing 50 bikes, 21, 22 and 23, Reids


At Wecycle on a Reid, #21, Photo Simon Batterbury

Next Photos all from 23, Chain soaking in vinegar

Extra- manky carrier basket. Cracked plastic over rusting steel  = carrier cancer.

Heavy, rusty and bent parts from 23 are now in metal recycling

#23, a lot like #'s 21 and 22.


Last Saturday, I fixed up 2 Reid bikes at Wecycle, a Beige step through and a Lilac step through. There was actually very little to fix up, just a bit of dusting and pumping up the tyres. The front tyre on the beige bike was a bit reluctant to seat properly, otherwise no problems. Both bikes were sold later in the day, the beige for $100 and the lilac for $90.

Then on Sunday on the way home from the grog shop I found another beige Reid which I have started fixing. Chainring and guard bashed in as shown above, and I removed the can-carry-stuff-but-crap-looking rear basket. I think the bottom bracket bearing is stuffed, but I won't know for sure till I remove and examine it. Will report more later.

Steve Nurse