Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Why bolt together tallbikes you say???

There are several reasons why I started to build bolt togethers. The main reason at 1st was that I no longer had an appropriate place to do welding. We live in a studio apartment (that's where I build the bolt togethers ),and all that FIRE and stuff would be a real hazard!!!!!!!! I tryed a few different methods that worked but had some basic flaws that couldn't be overlooked. I even built a 20" wheeled,12-speed,double banana seat tandem bolt together ( known as THE BANANDEM )!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Then I came up with THE method that really really worked!! The key elements are the upside down bottom frame, and the small ( 16" ) front wheel. The upside down frame provides a solid place to join the top and bottom frames together. The bottom brackets join together , this is where most of the stress of the weight and motion of the rider is absorbed. Another advantage is that by mounting the cranks in the bottom frame,all the stress from pedaling is taken by the bottom frame in a normal fashion ( using it's factory welds undisturbed ). I join them by first aligning the head tubes of the 2 frames,then mark,drill,and bolt them ( the bottom brackets ) together with 1 bolt! Another advantage to the upside down frame is that it actually lengthens the wheelbase ( the distance between the centers of the wheels ),even when using the small fork and wheel. Using a 16" or 20" fork and a 16" wheel gives you several MAJOR advantages also. It corrects the steering/head tube angle ( generally 70 degrees on most bikes,but you can go plus or minus 3 degrees with no ill affects ),AND rotates the ENTIRE frame(s) assembly DOWN in front!! This moves the seat ahead of the centerline of the rear wheel AND makes the whole bike much more difficult to wheelie towards the rear involuntarily ( a common malady on most conventional tallbikes ). This way it has to rotate many,many more degrees to get to that scary tipping point. VOILA!!! You've got stock bike steering response AND excellent overall stability!!! I can even get away with using a banana seat, usually a BIG NO-NO on a tallbike that hasn't had the bottom frame extended in the rear. PLUS the appearance of the cut down handlebar steering connector and the big and little wheel combo ups the FREAK factor considerably!!!!!!!! Also adding a second rear triangle onto the bottom rear triangle ( I use 2 forks joined together by an axle and a piece of tubing ) ties the whole thing together and makes it very strong where it needs to be strong,underneath that HEAVY rider!!!! Some people have questioned whether the handlebar connector is strong enough, IT IS!! and i'll explain how/why. There is actually very little stress on the front/upper frame,most of it is taken up by that bottom ( un-cut!! ) frame and fork. You may have noticed I use step through frames on the top AND I can even get away with removing the top tube if the downtube is a large diameter , most modern frames,even the cheapos,are made this way now. AW YES !!! The HACKSAW is such a beautiful tool!!! Using it helps to build up my BYTHONS!!!!!!!!! If you saw me you'd know that that's a JOKE!!!!!!!!!! And, OH YEAH!! There are two other Mucho Importante reasons to do a bolt together tallbike!! #1- you can quickly and easily disassemble all or part of it for repairs,storage,or transport,or to use the parts on a new project. #2 You can build the whole thing with oh so common hand tools and a 4 1/2" hand held grinder!!! EEEEE--ZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!! This would make a great Parent/kid ( or kids ) project,don't ya think??!!!! Learn how to use those tools in the garage/shed and have a bunch "O" fun tooling around on the finished product!!!! YEEEEHAAAAAWWW!!!!!!! After all where DO little freakbikers/tallbikers come from??!!!! NOT JUST YO MOMMA!!!!!!!!!!!! Any questions,comments,criticisms ( positive or negative ) E-mail me at - I'd really like to hear what you have to say!!!!!!!

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