Thursday, October 29, 2009

BICYCLE STEERING WHEELS!!!! How to build 'em !!!!!!!

Please read my previous post on bicycle steering wheels before starting this build. Okay,here goes!!!!!!!! STEP ONE-Find a handlebar stem that fits your bike.Just about anything will do,use one that you might not use otherwise. STEP TWO-Get a pair of handlebars from a cheapo BMX that are compatible with the stem you chose. STEP THREE-Mount bars and stem on bike. STEP FOUR-Cut the handlebars off just below the crossbar. STEP FIVE-Find some tubing that fits over the bar stubs.It doesn't have to be all that snug a fit,close IS good enough!!!!! Frame tubing is good,I used the leg from a display rack on this one. STEP SIX-Now get a 20" rim and check where you want it to be height wise.Mark and cut the tubing to suit. STEP SEVEN-Mark your tubing pieces 1 1/2" from one end and hammer them flat up to that mark. STEP EIGHT-Using a 1/4" drillbit,drill two holes near the end of the flattened section. STEP NINE-Put the flattened ends of both tubing pieces in a vise together.Bend them by pulling them toward you until they are at approximately a 45 degree angle.Test fit them on the bars. The flat sections should be straight up.If not adjust them until they are. STEP TEN-Coat the bar stubs and the inside of the tubing pieces with silicone and push the tubing onto the bars evenly as far down as they will go. STEP ELEVEN-Test fit your rim on the tubing pieces,you may have to bend the bars (inward or outward) to get a good fit.You must also rotate the flat surfaces of the tubing to fit the flat surfaces of the rim. STEP TWELVE-Find 4 sets of bolts,nuts,and washers to attach the rim.I use the studs from old brake pads.Just pull them apart with pliers and the studs fall out.I use only the ones with the oval heads.They are the right length for this job and you can also use the washers and acorn nuts that come with them.You can use whatever fasteners you like,I do this in the interest of recycling. STEP THIRTEEN-Test fit the rim on the tubing stubs with the valve stem hole towards the front wheel or towards the seat.Find the nearest spoke hole in the rim by the holes in the tubing.Using a 1/4" drillbit,drill out the spoke hole and install one stud,washer,and nut.Hand tighten. STEP FOURTEEN-Line up the rim on the other side,drill another hole and mount another stud.Make sure everything is even and drill the other 2 holes and install the other two studs.Tighten them all down making sure that everything is lined up and even. STEP FIFTEEN-Now remove all the studs and put silicone on all the mating surfaces and re-assemble.The silicone is used to make sure there are no pops and clicks when riding with the finished wheel. STEP SIXTEEN-Adjust the whole assembly so that the rim is at the same angle as the top surface of the head tube of the frame.If you don't do this it will feel strange while riding.It will lift up AND go down while turning,NOT GOOD!!! STEP SEVENTEEN-Get the seat post clamp and hardware from an old seat.Place the clamp as shown on the handlebar stem. STEP EIGHTEEN-Cut the rear stays and dropouts off an old frame as shown. STEP NINETEEN-Test fit the stays on wheel as shown. STEP TWENTY-Spread stays apart as shown.Cut off excess material if necessary. STEP TWENTY ONE-Mark stays directly across from where they touch the rim. STEP TWENTY TWO-Remove stays and mark one inch from the top.Holding the stays with the marks you made straight up,hammer the ends flat up to the one inch mark. STEP TWENTY THREE-Drill 1/4" holes near the end of the flattened area. Remount stays. STEP TWENTY FOUR-Position stays evenly where you want them,drill 1/4" holes in rim. STEP TWENTY FIVE-Repeat earlier steps,using the same fasteners and silicone.Tighten everything down. STEP TWENTY SIX-Drill 1/4" holes at the bottom end of the tubing pieces,all the way through both sides. STEP TWENTY SEVEN-Find some bolts,nuts,and washers to fit these holes. I used some brake studs from some old horse shoe type brakes with one side cut off. Install the hardware and tighten it down. STEP TWENTY EIGHT- Recheck all fasteners to make sure they're tight,cut off the extra length on the seat post clamp stud (both sides) and file down any sharp edges where the metal was cut. STEP TWENTY NINE-Install your rim liner,tire and tube and take it out on a test ride!!!!!!!!!!! Make any final adjustments,sand it all down and paint it (if ya want to that is!!!). Now go ride off into the sunset and enjoy the custom steering wheel you just made!!!!!!!!!! Any comments,criticisms (positive or negative) please e-mail me at I would love to hear what you have to say!!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Tallbike project time folks !!!!! This one is X-tra FREAKY !!!!!!! I,m going to be using some tried and true tricks along with a few new ideas that have been rollin' around in my noggin !!!!! This is going to be a RUSTomized Rat Rod type of build,paint sripped off,metal ground down to PROMOTE rust!! I might partially re-paint some of it with red primer and light yellow satin,but I haven't really decided yet. This is going to be a WILD ONE with lots of very odd features, it might take quite a while and require many posts. Stick with me though,it will be worth it!!!!!! I love RE-cyclin' and will be using some damaged parts in this build ( I don't like throwin' away NUFFIN'!!!! ),which includes the bottom frame. It's a girls Huffy 26" MTB frame from an abandoned bum bike. It had been run into a wall so the head tube was crunched backwards so the wheel was hitting the frame. To most people this is scrap metal,but to me it's the basis for a new project!!! This bike will have a 26" rear wheel w/3-speed hub,a modified 12" front wheel,a chopped down MTB fork,a LARGE cargo platform w/bamboo slats, a banana seat w/tall sissy bar,and a steering wheel w/brake levers AND shifter !!!! There are 2 reasons for using a 12" wheel,#one-correcting the head tube angle and-#two-the smaller the front wheel the more room for cargo on the platform!! You'll understand once you see how the platform is made and attached.WHEWW!! Dat's a lotta work but here goes !!!!!!!!! STEP ONE- I stirpped down the HUFFY bottom frame and cut off the seat tube at the top of the rear stays. STEP TWO-I cut off the top tube and rear stays on the TOP frame,also stripping off the paint.I will show you how to determine which frames are compatible ( TOP + BOTTOM ) in PART-B. STEP-THREE-Find a MTB fork that fits the bottom frame. STEP-FOUR- find a BMX fork that has the same diameter tubing as the MTB fork.STEP-FIVE- cut down both forks so they are just long enough to fit a 12" front wheel. STEP-SIX-Cut 2 lengths of tubing ( frame or fork scraps ) that are the same inside diameter as both of the fork tubes.STEP-SEVEN- Tap the tubing chunks into the top part of the fork then tap the bottom fork pieces onto those. Mount the front wheel to make sure everything clears and fits properly,if not,FIX IT NOW!!!!STEP-EIGHT- Make sure everything's even and drill 1/4" holes in each section all the way through both sides.STEP-NINE-Attach bolts and nyloc nuts to holes to make sure it's strong and holds together.I used brake studs from old horse shoe style brakes with one side cut off. STEP-TEN-Squeeze rear stays and dropouts together until they measure 4 1/4",test fit the rear wheel to make sure it is straight in the frame,just take the time to adjust it "til it's right!!! This is done so you can mount a 3-speed and/or coaster brake hub.You will have to decide which you want to use and find the right type or lace one up yourself. STEP-ELEVEN-Assemble forks,wheels,and frame.Remember to mount the forks upside down!! STEP-TWELVE-Check angle of head tube with an angle finder tool, Ideal setting is 70 degrees ( + or - 3 degrees ) mine is 67 degrees.A longer fork makes more of an angle ( smaller # of degrees ),while a shorter fork makes less of an angle (larger # of degrees ),ZERO being FLAT and 90 degrees being straight up. OKAY that's it for now.This is the same basic setup for all my bolt together tallbikes ( except for the cut down fork and 12" wheel ),normally I would be using a 16" front wheel and a 16" or 20" fork. It is also a good idea to use a bottom frame that has a 4" head tube,that way most 16" or 20" forks will fit it. PART-B will cover finding a compatible top frame,aligning and mounting it and making the steering coupler.STAY TUNED!!!!!!!!!! Any questions,comments,critcisms ( positive or negative ) please e-mail me at I'd love to hear what you have to say!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

BICYCLE STEERING WHEELS!!!!!! For tallbikes/freakbikes...AND????

Yeah they ARE kinda freaky and goofy lookin' but HEY this IS a freakbike blog isn't it??!! Truth be told these weird lookin' thingamabobs work really well!! I have been putting them on my tallbikes for years and I just LOVE THEM!! You don't need a welder or any special parts to make one either ( extra bonus points there!! ),they can be made out of stuff YOU mighta' been thinkin' about throwin' away!!! FOR SHAME, FOR SHAME!!!!!!!!! This is my absolute FAV-O-RIGHT THING!! Looks wierd-Works great-costs nuthin"-easy to do.The ULTIMATE RECIPE!!!! I make mine out of: #1-the bottom half of a pair of 16" or 20" BMX handlebars,w/ standard or 4-bolt stem #2-2 pieces of tubing ( bike frame scraps or misc. furniture legs ) #3 a 20" bike rim ( steel or aluminum ) preferably a damaged one.( recycling remember!!!!! ) #4-6 bolts taken out of old worn out brake pads( MORE recyclin") #5-a seat post clamp and hardware (from the seat NOT the frame ) #6-a pair of dropouts w/attached pair of chainstays #7-2 long bolts w/nuts to attach the tubing to the BMX bar chunks. #8- an old 20" tire and tube ( don't throw away those old baldies!!!!! ).YES, it's just that easy!! ALL of the bikes I used these on were 1-speed coaster brake equipped,but I will figure out how to do one with hand brakes and shifters too.Another post another day. I saw a really cool black tandem tallbike with a car steering wheel that had Schwinn 10-speed shifters mounted in the middle and bike brake levers too,AWESOME!!!!!!!!! I have also tried one on my crusty old cruiser "SCUZZO" with x-zullent rezults!! It works well on the cruiser for the same reasons it works well on the tallbikes. You don't have to hunch over ( I HATE DAT!!! ),AND it doesn't interfere with your legs when pedalin' and manoooverin'!! VERY IMPORTANT ON A TALL BIKE!!!!!!! MOVEMENT IS YOUR FRIEND AND ANYTHING THAT RESTRICTS YOUR MOVEMENT IS BAAAAAAADDD!!!!!!! I have also seen articles on the net about small steering wheels for bike polo. These give you a variety of positions to place your hands for greater control, sounds like an equipment advantage to me!! Also much safer too, ya don't get gored with the end of the handlebar,OUCH!!!!!! STRONG AND SMART!!! A nice combo!!!!!! Anyhoo I,ll be doing a step by step how to ( W/ pitchurz ) later on this month so stay tuned to this BAT CHANNEL!!!!!!!!! Any questions or comments ( positive or negative ) please e-mail me at I'd love to hear what you have to say!!


Yessireebob!!! Added a few things on the old Scuuzzmeister,thought I'd share with you guys. The obvious one is the steering wheel,I've been putting these on my tallbikes for a few years now so I thought I'd try it out on a cruiser.MAN DOES IT WORK GREAT!!!!!! I hate being hunched over when I'm riding,it just isn't comfortable to me. Plus it always seems like the handlebars are in the way when I'm trying to turn AND pedal at the same time. The steering wheel fixes both problems!!!! You have an upright riding position like a "comfort" bike AND NO INTERFERENCE with the legmotors!!!! It's made from an oddball integrated bar/stem set I got from a 16" BMX,2 pieces of tubing from a store display rack,a 20" chrome rim,and an ugly old 20" whitewall tire. I also added 3/4 ths of a chrome dropdown handlebar set as a brace. Then tied it in with part of a small chainwheel from a kiddie bike. I added a plastic finger (a novelty wall coat hanger ),and an artificial "booger" made of hot glue,silicone and paint!!! MR.YUCK would LOVE IT!!!!!!!! Next on the list is an old single D cell horn with '50's style fins and about 1/3rd of the chrome rusted off. The horn button is on top of the curly handlebar brace.The wires are run under the fender,through the fork,through a hole in the "widgey" and out through the top of the stem near the allen head stem bolt.The wires then go back into the h-bar brace and come out by the horn button!! TWICKY!!!!!!! The horn sounds kinda sick half the time and annoying the rest of the time,PERFECT FIT FOR THE THEME OF THIS WHOLE MESS!! Next is a rusty old package rack on the back.I wanted to use one of the old stamped steel ones but I couldn't find one that was crappy enough!! Oh well...I guess I'll just keep looking.I ground off all the chrome on the steering wheel and the rack to make sure that the rust gets goin' REAL GOOD!!!!! I'm gonna leave him outside all winter too!! Notice the cool old rusty wrench between the rack and the fender? I found it on the free table in our apartment building. I just HAD to put it on old SCUZZ!!! How about that super high tech kickstand extension!! Seems like those old Schwinn kickstands are always too short!! BY GOD I'LL FIX DAT!!!!! Makes me proud to be a HACKER!! Goes well with the rusty chain and padlock too.I love this bike,a lot of other people do to!! It seems to attract a lot of attention wherever I ride it. Some people ask me if I'm going to clean it up and paint it!! I just say yes with a straight face,while I chuckle inside!! Some folks just can't grasp the idea that I WANT IT TO BE UGLY!!! One guy said "Your bike needs a lotta work". I just agreed and rode on> Any questions,comments ( positive or negative ) please e-mail me at I'd love to hear what you have to say!!