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Recumbent
Bicycle
Project
  

"Woody"


"TreeBike"


Recumbent
Share

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This portion of the ManyTracks site is now
in "Archive Mode"
 Content is current through the spring of 2010 but I will no longer be updating or accepting submissions. Too many other fun things going on.
A special thanks to all of you who have contributed to this site!

Updated - Update July 2012
I continue to receive information on home-built recumbents
and have posted photos on these bikes here>

A few years ago I decided that I absolutely had to have a recumbent bicycle but being a humble homesteader-type it was obvious that if I was going to ride a recumbent I'd have to build it myself. Since I am a wood worker with limited welding skills, it seemed logical to build my bike out of wood. What followed was the construction of two wood-framed recumbents; first 'Woody' and a bit later, 'TreeBike' and below you'll find links to the documentation of these two projects.


What is Recumbent Share?

Recumbent Share is a spot where recumbent bike home-builders are sharing their bikes with you!

Check it out


   


For now though, this part of our site is being devoted primarily to all those home builders who have sent in photos and stories of their recumbent creations. I hope you enjoy seeing and reading about these fine and very personal creations.

Recumbent Share

Updated 10/19/2012

Recognition for some of the folks who have sent  pictures of their homebuilt recumbents. Many are made of wood, all are great accomplishments for their builders!

 

Woody: This was my first adventure in wood bike building. This bike was  great! Fun to ride, and a real eye catcher. In over 2000 miles Woody never let me down. Because of its 'robustness' (weight) this bike was fast downhill, a bit slow on the climbs. This bike has been decommissioned (a decision I sometimes regret) to make space in the bike garage. I'm sure some of its parts will be reborn in an updated design. I've left the construction sequence for Woody on the site because the information is still as valid as when it was built back in 1997.


Measured drawing of Woody

TreeBike: This bike was built for my wife Sue and is quite a bit lighter and more responsive than Woody. At first this bike was not too cool. Looked great, rode crummy. It pretty much sat around and collected dust for a year. Much to my surprise, it  just needed to be adjusted a bit. I fixed front wheel alignment by filing a deeper recess in one dropout and shimmed up the rear triangle mounting to compensate for slight twist in the frame beam. This was originally to be Sue's bike but in the Spring of 2001 she got a Wizwheelz TerraTrike (check my TerraTrike Modifications page ). She has been riding the trike so I modified Treebike so I could ride it. Longest ride so far is 52 miles and although it handles badly on gravel (too much weight on rear wheel) it climbs and sprints like a champ. 

Background:
In the summer of 1996 I bought a used Maxam DL Reveille recumbent bike. The idea was to see if I really did want to either spend big bucks for a quality manufactured bike (not likely) or at least use the Maxam to see what features I would want to incorporate into a homebuilt recumbent.

The Maxam is not a bad bike. It is a little heavy at 44 lbs (including fenders and luggage rack). The components are not too bad; Shimano Alivio crank, derailleurs and RapidFire shifters. It took me a while to get used to the thing but by the end of the Summer I could ride farther and more importantly, more comfortably on it than on my Peugeot upright bike.

The Project:
The plan was to build two recumbent bikes before the Spring thaw; one each for Sue and I. The following factors were to determine the direction of the design and construction.

  • Comfortable to ride

  • Proper gearing to allow reasonable pedal effort in our rolling area

  • Re-use as much of the old upright bikes as possible (frame & components)

  • Durable enough to be trusted on extended tours

Click on one of the two links above to see how the projects turned out.

 

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