Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What is SWB and LWB recumbent?

The AZ krew tackles this common question in the Builders Forum.

SWB = Short Wheel Base
Like the Bandito Recumbent
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LWB = Long Wheel Base
Like the Meridian Recumbent
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DIY bike, recumbent, chopper, trike, tandem, ebike and tallbike plans.

Custom handcycle trike from Hungary - AtomicZombie gallery

"Hello! This year's project was the making of a hand bike planned by me similar to the Viking tandem.

I am glad that more people are building recumbent bikes for themselves, and that we may share it with the others in the world with the help of this site (

Together we can make miracles happen.

With greetings, Gábor Pihokker from Hungary"

Santa issues challenge for Cyclists Fighting Cancer - England

"On Friday 2nd December a handful of “bonkers” charity riders will leave the Pier Head, Liverpool in the shadow of the world famous Liver Buildings to ride 155 miles across England to the less well known Dock Tower, Grimsby, a total of 155 miles. Nothing unusual about that you might say, however, the twist in this tale being that the handful of intrepid souls making the journey will be doing so astride the iconic Raleigh Chopper , dressed for the whole route in a Santa suit, hat and beard!

"We're going to be visiting Children's Cancer Units along the way where CFC bikes have been donated and to raise the spirits.

More:  Mike Grisenthwaite is fundraising for Cyclists Fighting Cancer

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kind of Vigilante bike chopper in Germany: AtomicZombie forum

"Hi zombies ;-)

"My first custom bike will be a kind of like the Vigilante chopper. It will have only one square tube from the rear wheel to the steering head and one from the saddle to the bottom bracket. Each one will be 40x40x3 mm."

Read more and join the discussion:  Kind of Vigilante in Germany

The Vigilante Chopper breaks all the rules and takes the law into its own hands! With its fat rear wheel and stealth bomber styling, the Vigilante is one ride that will stand out among all other choppers as a true custom. Even the frame is radically different, using only square tubing for that stealth bomber look. This project is built from the ground up, using the parts you have on hand, so there is plenty of room to alter the design and carve out a ride that suits your building style.

Take a look at our Builder's Gallery to see other Vigilante Chopper 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!

Building a chopper that oozes with attitude is a lot of work, but it's not rocket science! I only own a basic AC welder, an angle grinder, and a hand drill, so anyone can pull off the same kind of work with a little hard work. Because of the way the frame is built around the wheels, you have alot of room to experiment with your own designs to add your own twisted ideas into the bike with ease. This plan is a great way to learn the art of chopper building, even if you have something completely different planned since the ideas presented here can be used over and over again.

It's time to reclaim the word "chopper" and put it back into the hands of the builder where it belongs. A department store chopper with serial numbers is not a custom at all, and it is not worthy of the word "chopper", in my opinion! No assembly line chop will ever have a chance against something carved from your own blood, sweat and tears, so grab that hacksaw and get chopping!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Recumbent touring trike from France - AtomicZombie builders forum

"Hello everybody. I am very happy to join this community of bike's lovers! For the moment, I have built only one trike and I am thinking to make a next one, so I will love to share this work here with all of you. I hope that you will all share your experiences and knowledge with me.

"Here you will find some pictures of my previous trike called "mamalova". I made a ride of 2,000 km (France Reims to Portugal Lisboa) to test and enjoy it with a friend who was working on it with me."

Read more and join the discussion:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Starting my Loderunner recumbent trike

"What I meant by the opening comment on that last post is that I'm out there in that, working on my trike. It is nice though, to have a warm place to come in out of it once in a while. I am thankful of that! And also mindful of those that DON'T have that available to them.

Since I have been having trouble getting my hub disks wobble free trying to weld them to a horizontal shaft, it finally occurred to me that I do have extra pillow blocks. Clamp one to any surface to hold the shaft vertical, and let gravity help to keep the disk flat. I do risk heat damage to the bearing seal by using the extended face of the bearing to support the disk while tacking it in place on the shaft, it is a risk I'm willing to take for a better finish. I'm able to use the setscrews for the bearing to hold the shaft in the perfect position."

Read more and join the discussion:  Starting my Loderunner

LodeRunner recumbent cargo trike

The LodeRunner Recumbent Cargo Trike is a comfortable and rugged all-purpose human powered trike designed to combat the ever increasing price of gasoline, while at the same time giving its pilot a great low impact workout. Because the seat is at a height similar to that of an automobile, the LodeRunner is easy to mount, and puts you at eye level with many motorized vehicles on streets and roads. The LodeRunner Recumbent Cargo Trike weighs under 80 pounds fully built, yet it can easily carry a load of 500 pounds. Stopping power is smooth and complete due to dual rear disc
brakes, and the handling characteristics are predictable and smooth.

The LodeRunner Recumbent Cargo Trike is also easy and inexpensive to build, since it requires only a few small machined parts and common hardware and cycle components. You will require only a basic welder, an angle grinder, hand drill, and the usual hand tools in order to create you own LodeRunner trike. Thanks to the simple single boom flat frame, you can easily modify the width or length of the LodeRunner Recumbent Cargo Trike to modify it to your own needs. The
LodeRunner could easily become a fully faired velocar, pedicab, multi-rider vehicle, or practically any other human or electric assist vehicle you can imagine.

The LodeRunner Recumbent Cargo Trike frame is extremely durable, yet light due to the thin walled square tubing design. There is only a single machined part on the entire vehicle - a small freehub axle adapter. Even the wheels are off-the-shelf parts, so you will not have to searcy for exotic or expensive components to build your own cargo trike. There is plenty of room for modifications, and anyone with a welder and basic tools can complete this project.

Take a look at our Builder's Gallery to see other LodeRunner Recumbent Cargo Trike 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!

The White Warrior recumbent tadpole trike - AtomicZombie builders forum

"Hey guys, just thought I'd share my amateur attempt at a Warrior. Got a rolling chassis, seat and handlebars sorted so far. Made my own handle bars as I couldn't find any decent ones at a reasonable price.

Quite happy so far!"

Read more and join the discussion:  The White Warrior

warrior recumbent tadpole trike

The Warrior Recumbent 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 Recumbent 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 Recumbent Racing Trike 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!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Recumbent tandem trike: Croatia - AtomicZombie builders gallery

"Hello there zombies!

My name is Veno, and I am huge bike fan!

I live in baroque city of Varaždin, Croatia, which is also a bicycle city of Croatia!

This is my idea of a tandem bike! I call it VTB Tandem Bike! I always wanted to have one of those, so I built it myself.

I recently bought yours DIY plans of Viking Trike and I will try to build it!

Best regards from Croatia! Veno Martic"

Excellent recumbent tandem, Veno. It looks very comfortable. Well done!

Atomic Zombie Viking Tandem Trike

The Viking is a very unique tandem trike that includes an independent transmission system that allows one rider to stop pedaling without affecting the other. The Viking Tandem Trike uses commonly available 20mm disc brake 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 Viking Trike can be found at bicycle shops or hacked from scrap bicycles.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Wisconsin Solidarity Bike - Atomic Zombie builders forum

"The evolution... Started with this iconic image, which has become an easily recognized symbol in Wisconsin. As you can see, I greatly simplified the shape - I incorporated as many 120-degree angles as possible, so I could cut copy the same angle from one tube to many others. There were 45 pieces planned for the frame.

For structural reasons, I expanded the star to the outer edges of the frame. I ended up doing things a little differently for the rear end, putting two tubes together side-by-side. It more closely matches the original shape, and looks a bit more fancy."

Read more and join the discussion:  The Wisconsin Solidarity Bike

Down Under Fast Recumbent Quad F-RQ


"I did say I had some out there ideas for fairing the F-RQ, so starting at the front end, we have this..."

Read more and join the discussion:  Down Under Fast Recumbent Quad F-RQ

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

AZ newsletter Nov. 22 - New AZTV vid, The Lost Files

New AZTV video
The Lost Files
Zombie Feedback
Builders Gallery

NEW - AZTV bike builders tutorial - 3-Piece Bottom Bracket Bearings

3-Piece Bottom Bracket Bearings

This basic tutorial will demonstrate the workings of a typical 3 piece bottom bracket, showing the removal and installation of the various components that make up the bearing system. 

Although there are slight size differences between different manufacturers, the basic principles of operation and assembly are virtually the same. In this tutorial, the bottom bracket shell has been cut from the frame for later use in a custom bicycle project. 

The crank axle is a hardened steel rod that includes a pair of machined bearing races, tapered square ends, and either a bolt or internally threaded section at each end to affix the crank arms. 

There is some debate between "axle" and "spindle" as being the correct name, but most seem to use axle now, so I will as well. Why make things more complicated, right? 

More on this and other free bike building basics videos at: 

Ray's first recumbent trike

First attempt at building my own trike.  Ray, Cycle Tectonics,  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Atomic Zombie newsletter Nov. 18

In this issue:
steam punk chopper
zombie feedback
tall bikes
vintage Huffy meets ghoul
This and other AZ newsletters can be found here.

AZTV - where bike freaks unite

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Custom tri tandem - Atomic Zombie gallery

"Hi Atomic Zombie. Would you be so kind as to add my recent creation to your builders gallery in the TANDEMS section.

She is a 3 seater triplet I have called 'Tripletto'.

Many thanks, Dave Voller, UK

P.S. Great site. I love getting your newsletters. Thanks."

Thanks, Dave. Great looking tandem! A new AZ newsletter is coming online this week.

Atomic Zombie newsletters

Bike riding goul - AtomicZombie gallery

"Here's my vintage Huffy with bobble head rider- dowels, hinges, Snapple cap spine, plastic bucket and bottles.

He really does pedal. But when it comes right down to it, he's just dead weight. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!

Scott Anderson
New Bohemia ArtBikes Coordinator
Cedar Rapids, Iowa"

Dan's extreme tall bike - AtomicZombie builders gallery

"Attached is a picture of my recently completed tall bike for your consideration in adding to the gallery. Thanks. Dan."

That's a great looking tall bike, Dan. Thanks for sharing.

Handmade steampunk recumbent chopper

"BLACKBIRD steampunk recumbent chopper. 11 feet long. 36V with a 750W hubmotor. 13K miles so far commuting!"  ~ Cat

Very cool! Thanks for sharing.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

AZ newsletter Oct. 31 - New AZTV tutorial, builders gallery

In this issue:
head tube bearings AZTV tutorial
zombie feedback
bike builders gallery
tall bikes rule the world

This and other Atomic Zombie newsletters are here: