Monday, June 28, 2010

Redneck Riders choppers -

Built by Eric C. & Jim H. from Binghamton, NY

Built by Dave W. & Jim H. From Binghamton, NY

The Redneck Swing Bike built by Dave W. of Binghamton, NY 

Chopper trike by Stead - builders gallery

This is my trike I've built from box section and bits of bike frames. I built everything from scratch including the seat that I spent 5 hours cutting and stitching.

It has a 26" front wheel and 2 fiat punto wheels at the rear. I will probably change a couple of things, but this is my first trike build, but won't be the last.

Sorry for the poor quality pic. I'll upload some more soon.

~ Kind regards, Stead.

The Gladiator Chopper is an over-the-top custom bike made from a fusion of bicycle parts, car parts and commonly available steel tubing. What surprises most people who stop me for questions when I am out cruising on the Gladiator is that the entire chopper was made from junk parts using only a basic AC welder, an angle grinder and a hand drill.

Yes, no other tools were used, and not one single part was machined or hard to find. This bike is proof that anyone with the drive to turn their ideas into a rolling work of art can do so without dropping down hundreds of dollars at a machine shop, or without needing many years of mechanical or welding experience.

If you are willing to put some effort into this fun hobby, then you can have a chopper that will easily rival any mass produced department store wannabes. The pride you will feel knowing you built it yourself from inexpensive parts is priceless! Even the radical rear wheels are made from nothing more than old car rims and some common hardware store parts, so anyone willing to sweat a little can build this chopper. The cost of the final product is extremely low, or may cost you nothing if you have some old bike parts laying around, and are willing to use what you have available, something I promote in these easy-to-modify designs.

Every step of the build is detailed using high resolution photos. You will be amazed at how simple it is to create the wheels and frame for this seriously sick machine. The Gladiator has full front suspension, a cool mid drive coaster brake system, and many other cool features that have to be seen close-up to be appreciated. This chop is a great machine to ride, and will get you more attention than anything else on the street!

Take a look at our Builder's Gallery to see other Gladiator examples, including many creative modifications to the plan. Our international builders community ranges from students to retired engineers, but they all have one thing in common - the desire to build their own stuff!

Dynamite Szaby OverKill Chopper - builders gallery

Hi! My third bike, OverKill  Dynamite  Szaby . Thanks, Szaby (Hungary).

OverKill Bike Chopper DIY PDF Plan - AtomicZombie

OverKill is appropriately named because everything about it is way over the top. With its ridiculously wide rear wheel, and ultra long forks, what else could it be called other than OverKill? Does a chopper really need a dragster tire on its rear end, or such a high frame? Not really, but does a roadster really need a Hemi? You know where I'm going with this. Actually, the main reason I built OverKill to such outlandish proportions was to retaliate against the mass marketing of big box store choppers.

Even though this sick chop has proportions that rival some of the petrol-burning street customs, it certainly won't bust your wallet or require you to spend the next year in a machine shop. The fact is, OverKill is built from nothing more than an old car rim, some scrap bicycle parts, and a few lengths of electrical conduit using only a welder and grinder. Yes, anyone can pull this one off using the tricks shown in the plan.. Every step of the build is detailed using high resolution photos, and you will be amazed at how simple it is to add bicycle spokes to the car wheel, and there is plenty of room for you to add your own evil modifications to the frame. How does it ride? Dude, look at this beast, it was made for cruising!

As you can see, OverKill not only rides well, but it dominates the road with its radical proportions and kicks dirt in the face of conformity. Choppers belong to us garage hackers, so let's take back what is rightfully ours and send a message to those who think mass production is the way to go. Get building!

All of Atomic Zombie Extreme Machines plans are downloadable PDF format. Multiple discounts, free tutorials, videos, gallery, newsletters, blog and more.

Plans, tutorials, videos and
Plans, tutorials, videos and
Plans, tutorials, videos and

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Marauder Warrior recumbent -

As a break with tradition for me I think this will be called the Marauding Warrior. Wow! I named a bike.

On page 16 of the Warrior plan it hit me. This is virtually the old Marauder with a new rear end. I was hoping to finish this by tomorrow but no chance now, other things took over.

Here's the new seat design. the pool noodles will be placed on the tubes and plugged. I'm thinking of leaving the gap in the middle to relieve pressure on my lower spine.

The curves of the central piece that the tubes are welded to follow my back shape. I tried it out and its comfy, but I don't know how it will feel on a long ride.

At last it's finished (no it isn't, the hand grips aren't on). This was the bike I was supposed to be riding at Christmas.

I started to make the Warrior, got the rear end done then realised it looked like a type of Marauder. As I needed a ride for the Christmas lights rides, I thought it would be quicker to complete it as a two wheeler.

I got the rolling frame done pretty quick. Then, I went off on a tangent with a strange seat design, cable steering with all that entailed, a new headrest and the smallest handlebars I could get away with.
So at long last its now done and rides fantastic. I am well pleased.

Some stats:
  • 700c rear wheel, home made disk adapter, front mudguard from a 27" racer as a rear guard, 8 speed cluster.
  • 20" front wheel with V brake pivots welded onto bmx forks, thread-less head set.
  • Quick release skewers on both wheels.
  • Under seat steering.
  • Shimano triple Biopace chain ring.
  • Index shifters, speed and cadence computer.
  • 2.78 metres end-to-end.
  • Heavier than I would like but it would be better if I lost the lbs.
So without further ado with and without me:

Another nice homemade bike, Savarin. Follow his bike build:

Friday, June 25, 2010

NEW DIY bike project - Tomahawk SWB recumbent lowracer -

The Tomahawk Lowracer is all about the speed! The extremely laid back seating position means that you will always be able to deliver your full energy to the cranks, as well as cheat the wind in ways that are impossible on a standard upright bike. The short wheelbase configuration offers agile and responsive handling characteristics that make it feel as though you are piloting a jet fighter.
The building process is designed to allow anyone with a Do-It-Yourself desire to finish his or her own version of the Tomahawk without requiring previous bike building experience or specialized tools and skills.

The plan is laid out in a format that makes customization or alternate parts usage a breeze, so you will certainly be able to include your own imagination in the process of building a fast lowracer.

With the adjustable bottom bracket and unique frame design, riders with shorter legs will be able to pilot the Tomahawk without dealing with crank interference with the front wheel.

Before you start cutting your frame tubing, it is a good idea to read the entire plan so that you understand how modifications may affect the rest of the build.

There is plenty of room for your own design changes, and the Tomahawk can be built using the parts you have available to you.

Each of our plans is created as electronic book portable document file (PDF) with high resolution color photos followed by detailed text. Our photos are print quality resolution of at least 1024 by 768 pixels. PDFs can be viewed using Adobe® Reader®, currently the global standard for electronic document sharing. It is the only PDF file viewer that can open and interact with all PDF documents.

Every step of the build includes one or more photos, followed by the text explaining in detail how and why. The length of our plans varies depending on the complexity of the project, with printed page count ranging from 80 to over 200 pages. A plan that includes 150 printed pages typically includes roughly 150 or more photos along with the included text.

Printing the entire plan is not necessary as you can usually read through the plan and then print out only the sections that you need to take into your workshop for reference. However, feel free to print the entire plan if you want to. To ensure consistent image clarity in all of our plans, we use a high quality digital camera and take our photos in a properly lit room with a neutral background. Read more...


Take a look at our Builder's Gallery to see some other Lowracer examples, including many creative modifications to the plan. Our international builders community ranges from students to retired engineers, but they all have one thing in common - the desire to build their own stuff!

Tomahawk swb recumbent lowracer - DONE!

I had a few hours of computer time, and made a little promo pic:

Not sure what takes longer, building a wheel or cutting around 72 spokes at 400x magnification in Photoshop!

I can't help it! A day off while Kat edits the plan leaves me with time to play with graphics:

A few more color variations. The plan will be online in a few hours...

~ Brad

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Choppers and trikes - builders gallery

Hi Brad. Bought your plans to learn how to do the back wheel everything else was design build. The bar in the middle is a back brake, the only brake. I have actually taken these two pictures and put them on a couple of shirts.

 My chop is built for 6'5" and took about 5 weeks. The little red one is my daughter's. It took two days, had to let paint dry (she just turned 2). I built another one, my first it took a week and used four mountain bikes to make one 9.5ft chopper with 5.5ft forks.  It had a 1X6 for a seat and I nicknamed it Frankenstein.

Way Cool stuff.  ~Steve, Camarillo CA

New Warrior Recumbent Tadpole Trikes - builders gallery

Here ya go.  Just got done last week.  Thanks for all your hard work!  ~ Steve Edwards

Here's a picture of my Warrior I built from your plans (nearly finished). ~ Peter, Preston, England

Warrior Recumbent Tadpole Trike DIY Plan - AtomicZombie

The Warrior Racing Trike takes performance and looks to all new heights. With triple disc brakes, under seat steering, and a general racing attitude, the Warrior would easily pass for an expensive production import. Built using inexpensive bicycle components and steel tubing, the Warrior weighs in at only 43 pounds, and has perfect handling and braking characteristics. There is not one single machined part on the entire trike, and everything can be built using only a basic welder, hand drill, and angle grinder!

The Warrior Racing Trike uses commonly available 20mm hubs, so there are no hard to find or overly expensive components needed. The frame is completely made of square steel tubing,and everything else on the Warrior Trike can be found at bicycle shops or hacked from scrap bicycles. The building process is designed to allow anyone with a Do-It-Yourself desire to finish his or her own version of the Warrior without requiring previous bike building experience or specialized tools and skills.

If you have been eyeing up those expensive imported recumbent trikes, but think $4,500 is a bit too steep of a price tag, then get out your tools and build it yourself! For thousands of dollars less than the price of a basic tadpole trike, you can create your very own racing trike that will rival many of the factory built machines available.

Take a look at our Builders Gallery to see other Warrior examples, including many creative modifications to the plan. Our international builders community ranges from students to retired engineers, but they all have one thing in common - the desire to build their own stuff!

All of Atomic Zombie Extreme Machines plans are downloadable PDF format. Multiple discounts, free tutorials, videos, gallery, newsletters, blog and more.

Plans, tutorials, videos and
Plans, tutorials, videos and
Plans, tutorials, videos and

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tomahawk recumbent lowracer bike done:

Well, we did look for a suitable purple, but did not like any of the department store offerings. This great color called "Burnt Copper" was chosen by Kat, and I really like they way the final product turned out.

Just have to add cables and then I will be showing off the back of my head to all of the wedgie riders out on the streets!

No chain or pedal interference at all, and it should fit riders from 5'-6" up to giants. Oh yes, I do like my old-skool shifters, and clipless pedals!

Oh, and the weight came out just under 30 pounds...not too bad! It's a sweet ride. Went zipping around the 'hood today. Very fast! I might just keep this one around for awhile. Video will be done tomorrow, as long as it doesn't rain.
The DIY plan will be available by the end of this week! Stay tuned...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Guess who thinks the Tomahawk recumbent lowracer is cool?

Our very own Prince of Dogness wandered in unexpectedly to check out the new Atomic Zombie bike project - Tomahawk recumbent lowracer. He insisted on getting his picture taken, too. Woof!

Tomahawk recumbent lowracer bike build:

New! The TomaHawk SWB LowRacer

It was a good day (and night) in the AZ garage!

Finished the frame, added the seat tabs, pulley bolts, and then tried a new way to cap the end of the main boom. A triangle piece is cut from each corner and then the flaps are hammed towards each other to form a diamond shaped end cap. This worked well.

Chain routing worked out even better than I had planned, keeping the lost space between the front tire and seat to an absolute minimum. Being 5' 7" or so, I still have about 2 inches of room to move the boom back, so this lowracer fills a missing gap for many riders that would otherwise be stuck with crank strike.

I have not thrown the Tomahawk on the scale yet, but I can tell by moving it around that it is going to come in close to many factory lowracers. The seat is very laid back and comfortable, with room for a helmet just over the back rest.

Tomorrow, I will bring the frame to the state of the art painting shop, aka my backyard next to the rhubarb patch. We have not picked out a color yet, so Kat and I will just look on the shelf and see what spray can lid catches our eye.

One more installment to come!  ~ Brad

First bike build - recumbent tadpole trike

Project started:  March 24, 2010
Finished:  June 15, 2010

I am taking to my Local Bike Shop (LBS) about 16 miles away, that also sells the TerraTrikes, so they should know their stuff on three wheel recumbents. Only thing is, they want $39 for front & rear derailleur adjustment. That's twice as much as everyone else around this area.

I called a bike shop yesterday in Ann Arbor (college town, they also sell recumbent three wheelers) and they only wanted $19, but didn't know when they would have it back to me. The gear that I was in when this happened, I believe was second largest gear in back, middle one in front, and #1 on the twist shifter, but never will go into 1st.

I took it to another LBS yesterday thinking that he may be able to work on it, but didn't have time. Said that the derailleur had lots of side-to-side slop. I showed him another derailleur that I had off of another bike and he said that it was alot better quality than the one on the bike, so I will take that with me in a few minutes to the other LBS, have 10am appointment, so gotta go. Thanks for the feedback, and I will let you know what happened.

Got bike back from LBS. Was going to charge $38, and only charged $25 Changed rear derailleur, and adjusted, and tweeked front derailer. I asked the mechanic at LBS to critique the bike, and don't worry about being critical about things because I wanted his honest opinion about the bike build, what I may have done wrong, and some suggestions maybe for the next time. He said that he sees alot of homemade bikes come in and out of the shop, and this is the best one he has ever seen.  

SO, compliments to Brad & Kat on all the hard work to come up with this design.

I guess I will take a small pat on the back for sticking this out, when I had many doubts that I could do it. I have had nothing but compliments on the bike from everyone that sees it. It has become a neighborhood thing where neighbors beside me and across the street has come over quite frequently, just to check on the status of my build.

I threw in a couple pics below of the finished product. Thanks to all who pushed me onward to finish.
I want to see about putting on a wireless bike computer. I see that Wally World has a Bell Platnum Series one for 19.99. Just have to figure out how and where to mount everything.

~ Cheezy, AtomicZombie Builders Forum

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New! The Tomahawk Recumbent SWB LowRacer

I did not have a full day in the garage, but did manage to get the main frame completed and the seat has been painted so it can dry overnight.

As you can see, the clearances between the front wheel are tight. I pushed the envelope here so that those who are less than 5' 10" can still enjoy a lowracer. I have tried a few production lowracers that claim to be compatible with my 34" inseam, but what they failed to mention was that included crank-to-wheel interference!

I am guessing the Tomahawk will fit riders with an inseam down to 32" before you have to choose between mods for a 16 inch front wheel or the deadly pedal strike. For track racing, pedal strike can be acceptable, but don't even think about heading out into the public streets with a bike that may or may not be able to steer more than 3 degrees at any given time. Imagine trying to snake around a car door at high speed!!

Well, tomorrow the seat should be dry and I will add the hard foam and then get the front boom and adjustable bottom bracket installed. There are about 6 more hours of work to do before that initial test ride as long as Murphy stays in hiding.

This is what I will be trying to do next.

Just an ugly photo-chop to show the chain routing.


Some rules kids won't learn in school

Text By Charles J. Sykes

Printed in San Diego Union Tribune 
September 19, 1996

"Unfortunately, there are some things that children should be learning in
school, but don't. Not all of them have to do with academics. As a modest
back-to-school offering, here are some basic rules that may not have found
their way into the standard curriculum.

Rule No. 1: Life is not fair. Get used to it. The average teen-ager uses the
phrase, "It's not fair" 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who
said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation
ever. When they started hearing it from their own kids, they realized Rule
No. 1.

Rule No. 2: The real world won't care as much about your self-esteem as much
as your school does. It'll expect you to accomplish something before you
feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated
self-esteem meets reality, kids complain it's not fair. (See Rule No. 1)

Rule No. 3: Sorry, you won't make $40,000 a year right out of high school.
And you won't be a vice president or have a car phone either. You may even
have to wear a uniform that doesn't have a Gap label.

Rule No. 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait 'til you get a boss. He
doesn't have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he's
not going to ask you how you feel about it.

Rule No. 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grand-parents
had a different word of burger flipping. They called it opportunity. They
weren't embarrassed making minimum wage either. They would have been
embarrassed to sit around talking about Kurt Cobain all weekend.

Rule No. 6: It's not your parents' fault. If you screw up, you are
responsible. This is the flip side of "It's my life," and "You're not the
boss of me," and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. When you
turn 18, it's on your dime. Don't whine about it, or you'll sound like a
baby boomer.

Rule No. 7: Before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are
now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning up your room and
listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. And by the way, before
you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents'
generation, try delousing the closet in your bedroom.

Rule No. 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life
hasn't. In some schools, they'll give you as many times as you want to get
the right answer. Failing grades have been abolished and class
valedictorians scrapped, lest anyone's feelings be hurt. Effort is as
important as results. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance
to anything in real life. (See Rule No. 1, Rule No. 2 and Rule No. 4)

Rule No. 9: Life is not divided into semesters, and you don't get summers
off. Not even Easter break. They expect you to show up every day. For eight
hours. And you don't get a new life every 10 weeks. It just goes on and on.
While we're at it, very few jobs are interesting in fostering your
self-expression or helping you find yourself. Fewer still lead to
self-realization. (See Rule No. 1 and Rule No. 2.)

Rule No. 10: Television is not real life. Your life is not a sitcom. Your
problems will not all be solved in 30 minutes, minus time for commercials.
In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs.
Your friends will not be as perky or pliable as Jennifer Aniston.

Rule No. 11: Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all

Rule No. 12: Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic.
Next time you're out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his
mouth. That's what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for "expressing
yourself" with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.

Rule No. 13: You are not immortal. (See Rule No. 12.) If you are under the
impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is
romantic, you obviously haven't seen one of your peers at room temperature

Rule No. 14: Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school's a
bother, and life is depressing. But someday you'll realize how wonderful it
was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now.
You're welcome."

His books should be required reading for all middle and high school students:

New! The Tomahawk Recumbent SWB LowRacer build update - builders forum

Radical Brad's Avatar
Default Re: New! The TomaHawk SWB LowRacer

Today everything went according to plan. Or as B.A. of the 80s TV show The A Team would have said with cutting torch in hand, "Ah, love it when ah plan comes togethah, hella good yah crazy foo"!

Yes, I have in fact been affected by burning paint fumes! Had to keep the doors closed after dark as the skitters are the size of turkeys around here now!


A good way to make a quality 20 inch fork with brake studs. Often, the kid's bikes that have 20 inch forks are of substandard quality, and the BMX forks were just too "beefy" for this project. BMX forks also have no cantilever brake studs on them.

Measurements are tight to avoid crank to wheel strike, which would make the lowracer unsuitable for street use. I am hoping that the Tomahawk will fit riders from 5' 6" and up. Shorter than 5' 6" will most likely have to go to a 16 inch front wheel.

I just have to add the head tube and front boom to complete the Tomahawk frame. The bottom bracket will be fully adjustable, and I am going to route the chain to avoid all front wheel rubbing.

I have to fix a client's network tomorrow, so there will be no update until the weekend...blah! Gotta do some "real" work to pay the bills. Reality sucks!