News and Events

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

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Rickshaws in "House of Love"


House of Love by Susan Terry
This one was another find, slightly wrecked but only $1.00 from an op shop. Didn't get through all of it, but repaired its cover so for now its a keeper.

Another one I've read recently. Both Round the Bend and House of love deal with minor religions, in the case of House of Love its Hoa Hao Buddhism.

Susan Terry. Cool hat!

Some ....

Pics... and


from the book.

And a few more pics which I

managed to

find on the



There are a few formal and informal Book Swap Libraries around our suburb and neighbouring suburbs, and I frequent them to look for books I want to collect or read or pass on to my wife, Mum or Dad or anyone else. Sofar I collect books by Spike Milligan, Sun Books, Virago Books, Nevil Shute, Kerry Greenwood, Arthur Upfield, and surfing and bike books. Whew! 

One is in our local resource and recovery centre, but that's closed due to covid  Anyway, my recumbent bike is quite good for sidling up to the libraries fitted into front fences. 

So anyway, a few weeks ago I picked up a copy of the 1966 book "House of Love", "Life in a Vietnamese Hospital" by  Australian Nurse Susan Terry, written during her one year tour of duty to Vietnam, near Saigon, during the Vietnam War. So not a picnic. Anyway, possibly not my usual fare, but it had pictures of rickshaws, cyclos and bikes in it.

So I had another look at it a few days ago, and thought hang on, these rickshaws look different, and they were a sort of bicycle with trailer rather than an all in one rickshaw vehicle.  Then I looked at Chasing Rickshaws by Wheeler and I'Anson , and they weren't there, or in The Rickshaws of Bangladesh by Gallagher either. Finally I found some similar machines on Getty Images.

So these Cyclo trailers are actually closer to the original human-pulled rickshaws than the current Vietnam delta cyclo, one of which my family owned for a while. They seem to have been pulled by bicycles or motorcycles. Around in the mid 60's, they had died out by the end of the century. There are advantages and disadvantages to the cycle  / trailer combo vs. complete cyclo machine, but the cyclo seems to have won out. By way of contrast, you see both caravans and motorhomes on Australian roads.

The cover of my copy of House of Love is completely wrecked and I plan to reconstitute it, probably with some extra rickshaw pictures.

Update October 4, 2021

On Saturday I took the book over to Mum and Dad's, as the book's author was most likely one of their contemporaries. I showed it to my 90 year old dad and he said he'd like to read it, he said he knew most of the doctors listed in the back of the book (Dad was a dermatologist, Mum a nurse).

We also discussed my bike book and he had been reading it and said he was halfway through. The chapter by Nell Sudano, he had been reading as written by Neil Sudano, so said he was greatly surprised to read about Neil's menopause, and then had to read the name again a bit more carefully. Oh!

As well as House of Love, I handed over Sue Grafton's "T is for Trespass" which was another one from a roadside book library, and we discussed the various letters and book titles in the series.

Anyway, finished reading House of Love now, I need to get on with the recovering and then I will pass it on to Dad next week.



Steve Nurse

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Fixing 50 bikes, Bike 29, Tourex



This was the bike I picked up yesterday after dropping off the Hard Rock Specialized. There's not too much wrong with it but the front derailleur is not working and the brakes and chain need attention.

(Update ) By October 10 I'd fixed it and dropped it off at Simon's, as bikes needing to be fixed were piling up.  I swapped the suspension forks for unsuspended forks from the shed. The suspension forks were wobbly, and the whole bike seems to go better without them.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

New Bike Part 8: on the road


Back of the frame.

Fork detail, the white parts are plastic spacers which slide on the inside of the frame and keep the fork in the centre of the frame. rubber blocks can be seen top and bottom.

Front derailleur, a large lower jockey pulley has been swapped out for a smaller wheel. That meant the chain wasn't being pinched when changing into low gears.


My new bike's on the road, and I took it on a 3-4k ride today, and took the opportunity to take a few photos. It was actually going on Monday, but it was really only limping, the brakes adjusting, gears and steering all needed adjusting, and I've finished that now. There is still more work to be done.

I want to design and print new rear fork spacers, bog and paint the fork and make a new tailbox. As well I want to weigh a few parts and compare them with eqivalent leaning trike parts.

All for now

Regards Steve nurse 

Update Sep 16

Designing MK2 version of spacer parts.
Solidworks has a nice mirror function so its not necessary to....

design left hand and

right hand versions from scratch

Printing on Cetus 3d printer.

Reassembled fork with new spacers. There are pins in the prong which stop them sliding on their shaft.


This shows today's work very happy with results and I went for a ride of about 10k up to Kew Boulevarde. Fun to ride!

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Links to my bike related designs


This post is a place holder to start with, and I will gradually add more links. For now, here is a link to body inertia braking for recumbents and the summary of my new bike with frame-enclosed rear suspension . If you want a blow by blow description of the new bike building, start here .

Shelf / Glove box inside front fairing.

Inner trailer, fits between the wheels of a long wheelbase bike. 

Helmet mirror, links to helmet parts on thingiverse

Small at the back, a rant discussion about the merits of large tailboxes on recumbents for aerodynamics and storage.

Summary of making crate adapters for Peugeot NS22's

Typical steerer from scooter parts.

Helmet with visor mirror on thingiverse

Trike frame from single unmodified aluminium extrusion piece (beer bike

DIY front wheel drive forks for fixed bottom bracket bikes.


Steve Nurse



Sunday, September 12, 2021

Fixing 50 bikes, Specialized Hard rock

As traded but chain is removed


With handlebar extenders, they work well for this sort of thing, inverting the bike for service and repair

I didn't know what these do-dahs (Sugino Autex crank bolts) were but looked them up on the internet and 

found some new- old - stock versions on ebay. A solid steel bolt cover allows the cranks to self-extract. You just keep turning the crank bolts after they hit the cover, which then pushes the pedal off. Saves carrying a crank extraction tool.

Eveready light

Sharkfin frame protector and

gunk deflector.

Chain, nicely cleaned up after

dowsing in vinegar, then kero, then pressure spraying with water and finally running through a chain cleaner.

Concerned Off Road Bicyclists Association sticker, they are still around today in the USA. I think this sticker dates the bike to after 1987.

and this dates the bike as fter 1990, its from True Wheel Cycles in Mullumbimby

Cleaned up chainring

Handlebars stripped, cleaned, replaced.

Handbrakes were covered in a gunk-like substance which may once have been rubber. It had the llok and feel of licorice.


Progress sofar on resurrecting this Specialized Hard Rock bike which came from our friend Rita. A restoration would involve more work, polishing every part to a sparkling cleanliness. I'm aiming to get it working well and will be cleaning the bottom bracket soon.

Update September 15: Rita came round again and I asked her about the bike. She'd got it from a friend in Mullumbimby where she used it on trails and around town, then took it down to Melbourne. She was put off commuting by horrendous traffic on Sydney road and it fell into disrepair.

Regards  Steve Nurse

Handover to Wecycle. During the ride I had discovered the handlebars and bell were slightly loose so I fixed them. As well I attached the checking tag, and picked up another bike requiring attention, a Tourex.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

New Bike Part 7

How the bike is now.


Squaring the rear fork by placing a straight edge on the rim.

Aligning to the front part of the fork.

Bike with seat from this bike and rear fork in place. The seat is too far forward, and soon I'll be redoing the seat support beam (its from the same material as the frame) so its more vertical and the seat can go back.

Rear fork mech. I have put F clamps on the frame, and they are supporting the mech. I am still working out a few details.


This post is about finishing off the bike's rear fork. Its all brazed up and straight now but I still need to find a way of pinning it to the frame. As a bit of relief I've started working on the front derailleur, chain and seat and should have them in place soon.

Seat support mock-up. I've repositioned the seat support (its made from the same stuff as the frame) and clamped it to the frame.

View from top

Sawing to marked position

Drilling jig

And all put back together.

Update 12 Sep 2021

Good progress today, I now only need to connect brake and gear cables and I will be ready for a short test ride.

Regards Steve Nurse

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Saturday, September 4, 2021

New Bike Part 6

Rear fork with newly 3d printed spacers. These stop the prong of the fork from being loose inside the frame. They were my plan B.

Here it is inside the frame, and

with half of the spacer exposed.

Slept on it last night and decided to use these aluminium beams as frame jigs.

Here's the new jig on the bike, holding the back wheel  in position,

and as I left things at day's end, with 2 tubes braze-tacked onto a cross piece. Some parts are still bolted together. Next step

This was my plan "A", I had planned to cut plastic from these upcycled storage bins to make spacers for the rear fork. But it looks like 3d printing will be simpler and easier.


Here is today's progress on the bike and I am quite pleased! After thinking about it overnight, I decided to use an aluminium jig to hold the back wheel in place, and flattened the tyres before clamping it to the rims. This morning I designed and printed a few spacers so the rear wheel fork would not waggle inside the frame.

By this afternoon, I had all the bits together and was able to tack some of the rear fork together. Tomorrows job will be to finishbrazing the fork.  I plan to redesign the plastic fork spacers but am happy with the job my trial versions have done.



Steve Nurse 

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