News and Events

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

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Tilting Trike frame 2


Trike as finished last time - after riding it up a nearby gravelly hill, I found the frame to be too short which meant more weight on the back wheels and less on the driving front. The front wheel slipped a bit on the bigger hills but I used it to check out some testing sites for a model raft.

So I pulled the frame out of this trike and drilled out some extra holes to make

the frame compatible with the front half shown in the top pic.

Weight of timber-based seat and tailbox

Timber box

Weight of fibreglass based tailbox as shown in top pic, just the same!

Wheel Switcheroo

Trike as it is now. Frame is about 80mm longer  which means better hill climbing on gravel. 


Some more switching this week, I had found the new frame I had made to be too short and did a bit of tweaking on a slightly longer one to replace it. As well, on disassembly, I found a printed lug part of the fibreglass-based seat was damaged. 

So now my "fast trike" has both the frame and tailbox from my previous fast trike as shown immedaitely above.

There was hardly any weight difference between the timber- and fibreglass- based seat and tailbox combos, but I think the fireglass one was more aero. I think I know what to do to improve the timber based tailbox. 

* Remove a bit of timber where its not needed to make it lighter.

* Redo the coreflute at the back and make sure there are no sharp edges - minimum radius 75mm on lower and upper edges.

* Ultimately I might get all - new timber made for the tailbox. If I start from scratch, I should be able to make it better again. The original design was all timber without corflute at the back which is great for shopping, and what I have now is a lighter hack of that.

A few more things to do now!  Regards

Steve nurse

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Fixing Bike 48, Uptown

Cog swap done

The reaction arm holder, outside and....


Almost done, the back handbrake was later stripped away.

The old wheel. This clutch seemed almost impossible to remove, and there was a broken spoke on the clutch side as well as rim warping, so the wheel was well and truly a write off. 

The bike had been round the side of the house for a while and an edible weed had grown up through the front wheel.




This 99 bikes Uptown has been round the house for a while, and it came from hard rubbish in Ramsden Street originally I think. Its a single speed, and I looked at it when I got it and found the back wheel to be warped, then put it round the side of the house.

Wanting to move it on, I looked at again last week and found an unfixable broken spoke, so went looking for a new wheel to replace the broken one. I found it at Wecycle, and it had a small cog on it meaning the gear would be high on the bike. I swapped the gear over, and made a reaction arm holder for the wheel from galvanised steel strip.

So its on the road now and I'll take it up to Wecycle to be donated on in a week or 2. It still could do with a bit of a clean up.

Regards Steve Nurse

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Tilting trike frame

Bike frame has white parts and

new frame has red parts. I printed the brown part fresh.

Raw drilled hole for rear trike axle and holesaw.

Trike without seat

First trip, to a local takeaway for

Takeaway Thai food



As I posted last time, I planned to make a convertible section for the bike I had made earlier to convert it to a trike. So I have done this now, and the pics show details. It has only taken a few days, and today I rode the trike for the first time. It goes well but is possibly not as fast as the bike I made earlier. 

Steps to make the trike were: 

Remove seat and rear aluminium frame from bike. The steel rear wheelframe from the bike was broken but everything else is ok.

Gather parts. I had just about everything but printed one spacer. Complete plans for the trike are here on thingiverse, including the spacer.  

Cut aluminium frame, this was just 2 cuts, one at 45 degrees, the other square.

Fit printed parts at front. These hold the 2 front frame sections apart.

Holesaw holes for rear axle

Fit rear axle parts. This includes crush bars to stop the centre of the frame from distorting. 

Add wheels, attach seat . Go!

At the moment I'm not sure about the seat mounts, so I may work on that or swap the seat out. Soon I will repair the steel bike frame, and that is already in progress.


Steve Nurse

Fixing bike 47 at Wecycle: Shogun


Scene at Wecycle

Shogun with Canti brakes: Fixed at Wecycle

This gentleman bought the blue Peugeot and wheeled it home while riding his brown Peugeot. He had a small dog in the back of his bike. The blue bike was first reported on here


Last week was the first fixing session at Wecycle, and I took a few good donations including the vintage Shogun shown in the middle pic. The back tyre was flat, and during the week, I was able to visit the shed and fix that, which set me up well for finishing it off yesterday.

I started the day by swinging past Ceres, and talked to my mate Serge, who gave me a wheel I was after, and ended up picking up another wheel from Wecycle as well.

On the Shogun, there were minor gear adjustments, and also splits in the brake cable outers. Initially the canti brake cable arrangement phased me, but I  worked out how to disassemble them so I could replace the outers. I managed all that, just in time for some other duties. Another fun day at the shed with Gian, Marco, Peter, Mike and Gayle from Wecycle.

Regards Steve Nurse

Monday, January 10, 2022

Some bike plans for 2022


2021, and the start of 2022 have been a bit of a mixed year for riding with some successes (lwb bike on the road, article about the bike reaching the Hupi website, 50k Audax ride, made inertia brakes. ) and some failures (did not finish several rides, lwb bike broke) amongst all the Melbourne Covid chaos. I tried to sell atrike at the end of the year, but that didn't happen.

On the bike book publishing side, things have gone well!

Anyway, I already have 3 leaning trikes and one leaning electric trike, which is one or two too many. Here are my plans for them.

Electric trike

In the last year I haven't used this as much as I should have but I'm happy to leave it as is and use it occasionally.

Everyday trike

 This is the trike I was going to sell, but there were no offers. I'll continue to use it as is but may reinstall inertia brakes. The load carrying tailbox is sturdy and robust which makes it a bit heavy compared to other bikes but fine for shopping. The trike is still as fast downhill and on the flats as most bikes on the road.

Fast bike / for conversion to trike


This bike was the one I built last year as a faster bike for Audax rides. Unfortunately it broke for predicable reasons during my first Audax ride for this year, about a week ago. 3 mods are planned:

* Repair the rear wheel frame and hook up dynamo lighting.

* Make a small front fairing. This morning I found some light clear plastic that should at least be ok for a mock-up.

* Make a leaning trike rear end. I should have enough parts rattling around the house to do this.

Whatever happens, I will be very careful to inspect the bike rear end often until I gain complete confidence. Don't want it to break again!

Current faired trike

This one is for the chop. At the moment its tyres are flat. I'll be taking it apart and using some bits for other projects.

Regards  Steve Nurse

Monday, January 3, 2022

Buckley's ride 2022


Shim repair

At the start

A tandem was the only other non standard bike

In the train

Back home, .......
...... I was able to start ........

......... the autopsy / redesign / triage / improvement think process.


Quite often, I've started the riding year with this 210k Audax equivalent of Round the Day, and I had a crack this year as well. In other years, I hadn't really trained much, but this year put in some effort, doing a 90k hilly ride, and 2 50k relatively flat rides in the week prior to the event. The bike was going well and fast but occasionally the back tyre would rub against the tailbox. To fix this, I put a shim in the rear suspension and it seemed to work.

Anyway, I got to the 6:15am start no problems, and I stayed with a bunch of riders all the way to Werribbee, and was very happy to be doing 26kph when riding solo, or about 29kph and with less effort in a bunch.

Just out of Werribbee, the bike broke when I went over a not-very big bump. This was really just the straw that broke the camel's back and I'm reasonably certain that there had been cracks in the back of the frame for the few days before the ride. Some closer inspection when shimming the suspension would have helped!

So anyway, I walked to the station, and took the train home, and was able to ring home, and text Bryan the ride organiser.

The break in the back of the suspension was due to the way I built it, with light cromoly steel, and holes drilled all over the place causing stress concentrations. Pretty sure I can rebuild it stronger, but for the moment some "think time" is quite useful while I work out how to fix and improve the rear suspension. Certainly there will be less drilling!

A few things went wrong but I wasn't injured and got home easily by breaking down near a train station.

With apologies to Tom Petty

Breakdown, go ahead give it to me, 

Breakdown honey, take me through the night

Breakdown, near Werribbee station

Breakdown's alright.

Regards Steve Nurse

 So I felt fit