Wednesday, February 29, 2012

California recumbent trikes

San Juan Capistrano, California

Built by Ben Berry

Fritz's Warrior tadpole trike

"Just finished the fabrication of the Warrior.  We will be tearing it down after some more testing for finishing.  Many thanks to Radical Brad for putting these plans out for us to use!"

Fritz Schantz

Monday, February 27, 2012

AZ newsletter February 27

Feature article by Brad Graham: How to spoke a car wheel for your phat chopper
Quad bike in England
California chopper
Bike builders community
Puerto Rico "Penny fake thing"
Warrior tadpole trike

*** Only three days left to take advantage of this limited time offer. ***

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Quad bike in England

"Hi. Here is a pic of my quad for the gallery.

Chris West
Gloucestershire, England"

Home built quadcycle by Chris, England.

Nice quad, Chris. Thanks for sharing.

"Penny fake thing" in Puerto Rico

"This is the newest addition to the bike garage. It is a bent frame mountain bike that I cut the head off and welded the forks back into.

Inspired by Atomic Zombie and this thing gets more attention than my chopper build!

Jeremy's own rendition of a hand made Pennyfarthing.

Thanks for the great website - BUY PLANS people! They are full of great tips and important features of bike building.

Jeremy in Puerto Rico."

Cool, Jeremy, thanks for sharing and mentioning AtomicZombie.

Bike builders rock the world!

Cheap DIY snow tires for bicycles

Cheap snow tires
"Hey guys. Just ran across this cool DIY snow tire idea. Tried it our on our quadricycle this morning (we're in Gloucester) and it worked great!

Can't wait till summer to see if they work in sand too!

Here's the link to the DIY snowtires:

Works super well using the zip ties I got at the dollar store.

Cheers. Nat (aka botwi and amphidory)"

Thanks for sharing, Nat. That's a great DIY.

Time's running out on this special offer. Only one week left.

Monday, February 20, 2012

AZ Newsletter February 20

San Diego chopper
Indonesia recumbent
Virginia beach cruiser
Illinois recumbent
Builders forum chat
** Feature article: Evolution of the Marauder lowracer
by Brad Graham (Radical Brad of Atomic Zombie)**

San Diego chopper by Jeb

"Here's a pic of my modded Electra Ghostrider for your gallery.

It has a NOS Bendix suicide shifter, restored pre-war Mesinger long-spring saddle, double kickstand, Harley Davidson fork bag, Puch moped headlight converted to LED, custom Electra Stream Ride ape hangars, Electra mirrors, Nirve grips and BMX pedals.

I love this bike!
Jeb Haught"
San Diego, California

Bike builders rock the world.

Custom recumbent bike in Indonesia - AtomicZombie gallery

"Dear Sir/Madam. The picture is the latest upgrade since December last year. I have added light (front and rear), electric horn, mirror etc. Total cost overall $110 US.

Now, I enjoy ride this bike every morning at 05.00 am for half an hour before go to the office and in the evening on Saturday or Sunday.

Best Regards,
Gregorius Teguh Liem"

Time is running out on this limited time offer!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Black Lightning recumbent, Illinois

"Hi. I am sending a picture of my son Ray Schwartz on our latest bike, the Black Lightning. It is based on the Meridian, but lower.

He wanted the twin hand shifters so that the handlebars would be clear for the throttle of the next improvement, an electric motor. This has been a great hobby shared by my son, my best friend, and I. We can't wait to start the next one!

Thanks, Rob Schwartz"
Zion, IL, USA

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

OverKill chopper - archives

We're working on a new AtomicZombie web site and have been digging through thousands of pictures of our bike projects, some that we completed, others that didn't get finished for one reason or another. Here are some never before seen pictures of our OverKill chopper, 2005. Enjoy!

The young bikers love OverKill, even though they can't ride it yet.

Radical Brad uses a tube bender to make the OverKill frame.

Maybe a few more years, buddy!

OverKill is cool!

KoolKat tames the wild beast.

Baby got back!

You can't ignore an OverKill riding down the street.

5 DIY bike plans for only $25 until March 1.

Happy Valentine's Day

Warm wishes on this February 14th to all of our Atomic Zombie krew around the world. We truly have an outstanding group of people out there, most of whom we've never met in person. Sending you our love and admiration from up here in Northern Ontario, Canada.

Hug an Atomic Zombie today!

KoolKat and Radical Brad

Monday, February 13, 2012

Louisiana bike choppers

"Please put these bikes in your gallery! Thanks, Dewey Johnson."

Leesville, Louisiana, USA

Bike builders rock the world

Bike chopper in Turkey

"In this photo is a cycle lover guy from our group named "Thursday Night Cyclists" in Izmir, Turkey. I hope you like this photo. Best regards, Cem Yatman."

A member of the Thursday Night Cyclists in Turkey

Virginia Beach cruiser

"Hi, my name is Allan Wunnenberg, I live in Virginia Beach, VA.

I like to build recumbents, and I also like choppers, so I went to a police auction and bought three bicycles: one was a three speed with a coaster brake, and that FAT seat  (thought that was cool) and decided to build a beach cruiser.

I did all the welding, and it has a chameleon paint job. I spent about $40.00 for everything."

Nice job, Allan. That phat seat is awesome!

Hurry - time is running out on this special bike plan offer.

AZ Newsletter February 13

Australia Tomahawk lowracer
Tandem ride report
Warrior trike in Greece
Builders Forum
Chopper in snowy England
Kenya Cruzbike
Newfoundland chopper
Chopper in Turkey

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tomahawk lowracer recumbent in Australia

Hi guys, this is my Tomahawk based low-racer recumbent bike I just finished and test rode today.

I have always been fascinated by recumbents, and on finding the Atomic Zombie website all those months ago, I knew I was ‘onto something’!

I ordered the excellent plans, but made a few changes during the build, with extra gussets here and there, and some different frame angles. I worked out all my dimensions and got all the frame angles calculated in CAD, especially since I used a composite moulded seat that I obtained from Ocean Cycles in the UK. This seat required different mounts on the top side of the frame to allow it to fit. The seat is really comfortable, and fits my back like a glove. Money well spent.

All parts on the bike are brand new, for peace of mind.

For parts like the derailleur hanger and caliper bracket, I drew the parts up in CAD, printed them onto sticky paper, then stuck the templates to 5mm thick steel to cut out and carefully grind and file to shape. The resulting parts look as good as CNC machined parts.

As it turned out on the first trial assembly, I had a chain rubbing problem on the underside of the seat. This needed another pulley to guide the chain around the lowest parts of the seat. The pulleys came from Hostel Shoppe in the USA, who specialise in recumbent parts. The drive pulleys have teeth inside, and the return pulleys are plain. The pulley ride on CNC machined shafts that are TIG welded to the frame.

The frame was all MIG welded from 1.6mm mild steel tube, and was put together by me in the workshop where I normally build rally cars! The front forks started life as 26” CroMo MTB forks (to get the caliper mount) but I chopped them down by 3” and sleeved them internally before TIG welding them up. The wheels are 26” rear and 20” front. The rear wheel was bought pre-built, for $75 delivered from Wiggle in the UK to Australia, where here, to just buy the spokes alone would have been $72! For the front wheel, I used a 20” Alienation BMX rim, and a Deore disc hub. I have built a few wheels now in my truing stand.

The alloy handlebars are from the UK, from a company that specializes in reproduction vintage bicycle parts. They work and fit perfectly. Brakes are Avid 160mm discs. All drive train parts came from a friend who runs the YellowBikeRoad eBay shop.

The frame was powder coated in Dulux bumpy paint. Close up it looks great!

For the test ride, I chose a closed road, to avoid traffic. Riding a recumbent is certainly different, but not particularly hard. I found the steering a little twitchy. I think I will get used to it. I managed a turn in the road on my first run up the road. I still have some clattering noises from the front and rear derailleur whilst the cables stretch. All that will be adjusted out. My legs ached a bit after my test run, but only because you use your leg muscles differently riding a recumbent. More getting used to!

I have also mounted some bases for my GoPro Hero2 HD camera on the front boom, and off the rear fork to look down the side of the bike.

It was a lot of work to build, but to stand back and look at it and say ‘I built that’ feels good. I take pride in anything I build, and if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. It will feel even better to tell others that I built it when they ask where I got the bike!

Cheers – Rob Greaves
Sydney, Australia.

Well done, Rob! What a feeling knowing that you built this yourself!

You can build your own Tomahawk lowracer recumbent just like Rob did.

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.

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!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Andrew's recumbent tandem

Hey Folks,

I 've ridden the new tandem enough to commit to the powder coaters.

I'm convinced the 2WD system is better for us than a linked timing-chain RWD like our previous tandems. Bron the stoker is much happier being in control of her cadence & I don't feel like I'm pulling her legs around. The jiggling from out-of-synch pedaling is novel but not a problem. It will get better as we pedal smoother. I have not noticed any pedal-steering tendencies & the bike is quite manageable even in granny-gear (19 gear-inches). FWD bikes draw some criticism for their potential to lose control when the front wheel slips (on gravel for instance). Under our 140kg weight I don't think it will be a problem & seems to be an advantage when piloting solo.

The limits of steering due to the twist-chain FWD set up are not an issue when riding, even in a U-turn. It is a small pain when we use a tight rail-crossing chicane on our commute. The short sections of chain-tube are crucial when using a mudguard & or fat tires - the chain will rub OK on a bare tire but it snags on the edge of the mudguard. The tubes make this a non-issue although they do lay against the mudguard when using the inner-most cassette rings. Under this condition some chain-noise is transmitted to the mudguard.

Despite the stronger frame & more efficient drive-train the bike is not order-of-magnitude faster like I hoped. It is noticeably easier to push but we don't seem to go much faster yet, maybe we'll get fitter with the resumption of our regular commuting. The stiffer frame makes the bike noticeably steadier going fast downhill. I think I did a better job with the steering geometry on this bike; it's lighter to steer - maybe the offset in the forks contributes here. I didn't calculate rake & trail, there doesn't really seem to be hard & fast rules as far as I can see.

The SRAM dual drive hubs are great, 27 gears each & all under our right hands. They are great for the 20" wheels, I'd have to use big (expensive) chain-rings if I used a regular front derailleur set-up. The just-as-expensive Dual Drives look neater & are nicer to use & maintain.

The other big improvement is the BB7 disc brakes, they are amazing especially compared to the V-brakes we had on the previous tandem. I went for the 203mm discs in case we decide to tour with this bike.

Hopefully I'll spend more time enjoying the ride on this bike rather than trying to work out how to improve the design.

Cheers, Andrew

Tradewinds Tandem combines a long wheelbase and short wheelbase recumbent together to form a speedy and comfortable vehicle for two. The Tradewinds Tandem frame is light and strong, and because the tandem is powered by two human engines, it offers many advantages over a single rider bicycle. Add to this the laid back aerodynamic seating position, and you have the formula for a very fast and efficient human powered vehicle.

The under seat steering is extremely comfortable as it places your hands in a naturally relaxed position, yet gives you confident control over the steering. The bottom brackets are placed lower than the seat, so you are pedaling in a relaxed position without having your feet obstruct the view. Because of the short wheelbase front configuration, the overall wheelbase of the tandem is quite short, allowing for easy maneuvering and responsive handling on urban streets. The Tradewinds is a bicycle for two, but it is completely rideable by only one, if for some reason the you have to fly solo.

Because the Tradewinds uses commonly available bicycle parts and some steel tubing, it can be built in a few days using minimal tools. Even if this is your first attempt at creating a custom cycle, you will have no problem following along since the steps are detailed along the way with 120 pictures and illustrations. You can also change the design to suit you own needs. The simple frame geometry is easy to modify. The cost of the completed tandem is not much more than the cost of a department store bicycle, if you decide to purchase new parts to complete the

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

Warrior recumbent tadpole trike in Greece

Built by Stathis Mikropoulo

You can build your own Warrior tadpole trike like Stathis did.

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!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bike chopper in snowy England

"Hi, my name is Rob, from Colchester, Essex, England.

I made the bike to learn welding. My welding is still really bad.

The bike is made from a kids bike front welded to a BMX back half. I extended the forks using old gas pipe. The handlebars were found in my nan's garage.

The whole bike has cost me nothing at all as it is all made from bits lying around.

Any more info wanted please let me know. Kind regards, Rob."

Five bike plans for 25 bucks. Time is running out.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A happy customer from Florida

"Hi Brad. Thought I'd send a quick note your way to say thank you for developing some of the best plans I've ever had the good fortune to purchase.

Last night I ordered 5 of 'em and was so impressed after going through them today, that I just ordered 5 more tonight.  I'm telling you Brad, it was worth the $50 just to see how you make those hub-axles. And wow - the content and clarity of the plans - excellent, my friend. 

I just had a shop built down in Homosassa Springs, Florida and will be equiping it with all the necessary stuff to do a variety of boat projects as well as bike builds I have in mind, so I've got my eye on a TIG welder to accomodate 4130 Chromoly as well as some aluminum work.  My biggest problem now though is deciding which of your excellent designs I'd like to tackle first.

Keep up the good work, Brad.

Kind Regards, Tom W."

Thanks, Tom, for your kind words. Glad to hear that our bike plans meet with your approval. We look forward to reading about your bike building adventures and seeing pictures of your projects in the builders forum.

Bike builders make the world a better place.

Kenya recumbent Cruzbike by Andrew

"My MBB FWB Recumbent (Cruzbike copy) from Nairobi, Kenya. Andrew Koros."

Nice bike, Andrew. Thanks for sharing.

Hurry - time is running out. Five detailed bike plans for twenty-five bucks!