Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Zombie inspired Front Wheel Drive lowracer

homemade recumbent lowracer
Ian posing on his homebuilt recumbent lowracer.

Homemade recumbent project in England


I'm sitting to write this a day after being paid a huge compliment. A friend upon seeing the bike for the first time exclaimed, "Wow!" and asked, "Isn't that what they call..." furiously searching for an appropriate descriptive, "...a C5?" And this, just a week after taking part in a discussion of that very machine on the Atomic Zombie Forum!

An insult to many quite possibly and whilst the lowracer may be one wheel, an electric motor and a sleek body shell short of a real Sinclair C5, having been a 9-year-fan of Sir Clive's creation back in 1984, to now have built my own recumbent cycle and have it even loosely compared...well, you get the picture.

I'd been toying with the possibility of owning a recumbent for a good chunk of the last decade after finding Velo Vision magazine. A chance online discovery of modern velomobiles led me to a Dutch company who sold the Alleweder velomobile in kit form along with plans for a 20/26 'bent.

Searching further online for bike plans led to Atomic Zombie's website and whilst none of the bikes at the time suited, the notion that people were building their own kept me interested. Every return visit to the site revealed a new model and when the Warrior was released, Atomic Zombie really had me hooked. Here was a serious bit of kit!  
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Monday, November 24, 2014

Building kids' chopper bikes - England

This is first ever attempt (more of a mess around than anything) by putting adult bike forks on kid's bike.

Building bikes isn't just for the young at heart. It's a past time that youngsters can participate in and learn some skills along the way.

 I built the one with my middle daughter using Land rover steering arms on forks.

Bike builder and forum member, Naughtyboy, of England shares more photos of his homemade bicycle choppers. Chopping up and re-building custom built bicycles a passion that he shares with his kids.

For this one, I used scrap air pipe from work (to build the) forks.

See more than 4,000 custom built rides: recumbents, trikes, tandems, choppers, electric, tall, cargo, motorized and fun bicycles at the AtomicZombie bike builders gallery.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Gravity Bike Racer - England, UK

Custom made Gravity Bike.

John "Doc" Warner shares some photos of his modified bicycle for Gravity Bike competitions. Named "Hee-Bee GB II", Doc built the gravity bike for a competition this past May.

What is a gravity bike?

A modified bicycle with a frame that's low to the ground to reduce wind resistance and the center of gravity. It has narrow handlebars, no pedals or chains, front and back disc brakes, knee rests and long foot pegs so the rider stretches out horizontally.

Lightweight and built for speed.
The goal is to descend steep downhill courses to reach insane speeds, often exceeding 90mph. This extreme sport has been gaining popularity worldwide for more than three decades and Gravity Bike races are held around the world.

Competitors wear helmets (some races require full-face), leathers, speed suits, gloves, footwear, and elbow and knee pads. According to Doc, "It's a great sport, very cheap (to build and compete), fantastic fun, and very accessible to all abilities and ages. Perfect for DIY/home-builders. You can build a competitive bike for around £60/$100 (but) you can, of course, spend less, or much more.

"This is my first Gravity Bike build. I made it earlier this year to enter the 2014 Penn House Gravity GP and finished second overall (Streamlined Buggy beat me by just over a second)."

See more pictures of Doc's Gravity Bike in the builders gallery.

To learn more about Gravity Bike racing, search for phrases such as "gravity bike competitions" in your web browser and check out these links: and .

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Making a pair of homemade tadpole trike mudguards using sink waste pipe

A bike builder shares her innovative solution

Riding a bike in the rain and sleet isn't fun when you're constantly showered with spray from the tires. Emma Wheatland discovered that finding mudguards for her homebuilt recumbent trike wasn't possible. So, in true build-it-yourself spirit, Wheatland figured out how to design and fabricate guards for her trike out of plastic pipes commonly used in plumbing. She shares details of the project and some of the challenges she faced along the way. The results are stunning. Read more>>