A lot of great pieces of real technology were inspired (or, at least, look like) pieces of technology from science fiction of the past. Like the smartphones of today have a surreal resemblance to the Star Trek communicators of the 60s, [Steve] took inspiration from a story about a bicycle racing in space and set out to make his own.
In the story, the bicycle wheels are replaced by electrostatic generators that power a type of (fictional) ion drive. Since an ion drive wouldn’t add much thrust to a bicycle operated on the Earth, [Steve] used the electrostatic generator he built to create a sparking light show. The generator is called a Wimshurst machine and has two counter-rotating discs which collect charge. The charge is dissipated across a spark gap which is placed where the bike light would normally go.
We don’t know if the sparks from the Wimshurst generator are enough for a proper headlight, but it’s definitely a cool effect. [Steve] also points out that it might also work as a bug zapper, but either way you should check out the video after the break to see it in action! While it’s not quite a tricorder it’s still a pretty impressive sci-fi-inspired build, and something that’s definitely unique in the bicycle realm.
There’s quite a collection of these Wimshurst projects beginning to come together. Here’s one made using a trio of soda bottles, and another example which used 3D printing.
Continue reading “Bicycle-Powered Wimshurst Machine”
Inspired by [Michael Ubbesen Jakobsen’s] BauBike design, [Aaron Seiter] decided to try building his own.
The entire frame was made out of 1″ square steel tubing and welded together in no time at all. Actually intending to ride this bike, he had to make a few changes to the original BauBike design. Most importantly, he raised the seat up to allow for proper leg extension while pedaling.
The funny thing is most people on Reddit thought it wasn’t going to work, so shortly after posting the gallery to imgur, [Aaron] also uploaded a short video to YouTube to prove, yes, he can actually ride it. Stick around after the break to see it in action.
Continue reading “Building A Square Bicycle”
Spring is here and it’s time to pull the bikes out of the shed. One think that is often overlooked is bicycle maintenance. No one wants to be that guy walking his bike home after a part failure renders the bike unrideable. One portion of proper bike maintenance is cleaning the chain. A contaminated bike chain can wear quicker, not be as flexible, hinder shifting and increase wear to the drivetrain cogs. Tired of sitting there cleaning his chain with a tooth brush, [Ally] built a washing machine for bike chains.
This machine is quite simple, it’s a plastic box full of turpentine and dish detergent. The chain is submerged in the liquid and a lid is put on the box. At the local hobby store, [Ally] purchased a small gearbox and motor assembly. Powered by a 5vdc wall wart, the output shaft of the gearbox spins a crank that in-turn agitates the box, chain and cleaning liquid. After about 5 minutes the chain is free of grit and gunk. Not bad for a few dollars, spare parts and a little bit of time. Check out the video of it in action after the break.
While you’re waiting for your chain to be cleaned you should work on making your bike pedal in both directions.
Continue reading “DIY Automatic Chain Cleaning Machine”
It’s hard to argue that bicycles aren’t super handy. They get you from point A to B in a jiffy with little effort. Since these machines are so simple and convenient, why not use them for things other than transportation? Well, [Job] set out to do just that.
[Job’s] starts with a standard single speed bike and adds a few parts. First, a stand is installed to the back axle. When in the down position, it lifts the rear wheel off of the ground and provides support so the bike does not tip over. When flipped up into the ‘up’ position the stand creates a rack for holding goods and the bike can be pedaled around in a normal manner.
Next, a jack shaft made from a bike bottom bracket and crank is installed up front in between the top tube and down tube of the frame. On one side of the jack shaft is a sprocket and the other side is a large pulley. When converting to what [Job] calls ‘power production mode’, the chain going to the rear wheel is removed from the crank sprocket and replaced with a chain connected to the jack shaft.
With the rear stand down supporting the bike and the pedals now powering the jack shaft and large pulley, it is time to connect the bike to any sort of machine. A belt is slung around the pulley and connected to a matching pulley on a power-hungry machine. This dual-purpose bike has powered a rice thresher, peanut sheller, water pump, table saw and even a wood lathe!
[Job] set out to create a simple and inexpensive way to make a bike even more useful than just riding around town. We think he did just that. For more bike-powered stuff, check out this generator.
Riding around with headphones on is not the safest of things; those people
are trying to could hit you! [Victor Frost] was actually pulled over for doing it. Although the bicycle police didn’t ticket him, they did push him over the edge to pursuing a compromise that lets him listen to tunes and perhaps still hear the traffic around him.
The build puts 200 Watts of audio on his rear luggage rack. He used a couple of file totes as enclosures, bolting them in place and cutting one hole in each to receive the pair of speakers. The system is powered by two 6V sealed lead-acid batteries which are topped off by a trickle-charger when the bike is parked.
Looking through this log we almost clicked right past this one. It wasn’t immediately apparent that this is actually version four of the build, and these are completely different spins each time. The top-down view of plastic-tacklebox-wrapped-v3 is sure to make you grin. Video overviews of the first two versions are linked in [Victor’s] details section of the project page linked at the top of this post. The progress is admirable and fun time digging through. They’re all quite a bit different but bigger, better, and more self-contained with each iteration.
Okay, okay, maybe this isn’t going to shake the neighborhood… until he adds a Bass Cannon to it.
Commuting to work on a bicycle saves tons of dough, but sometimes storing your bike isn’t that easy. [Lewis] has been playing around with a few prototype bike stands and seems to have found the ticket, and it’s way cheaper –maybe even free, if you have the supplies. All you need is a single strip of plywood, and some wood screws, or wood glue! Well, that and a woodworking clamp.
The stand is designed to clamp onto 4×4 posts, or even a 2×4 stud. It’s great for storing bikes along your fence! It’s built purposefully snug, which allows you to add a small clamping force to make for a very rigid stand, suitable for even old steel-framed clunkers. Hooray for friction! Oh and if you’re happy with the location you could always get rid of the clamp and screw it in place instead.
Simple? Yup. Effective? Totally.
Oh and if it’s still crummy old winter where you live, why not beat the cold weather blues with an indoor bicycle roller?
There is certainly no shortage of bicycle builds out there on the ‘net. We’re not talking custom race bikes or anything here, we mean cool odd-ball bikes built just because. We’ve seen trike conversions before, both with single wheels in the front and in the back, but today we stumbled across something we haven’t seen before.
[Kong79] has built a reverse trike, with 2 wheels in the front. That by itself is nothing new but this trike has an independent front suspension, meaning each wheel can move up and down independently from the other. This particular build uses a double A-arm setup that keeps the axle of the wheel near parallel with the ground throughout its range of travel.
The trike started off as a standard mountain bike. The front fork was removed to make way for the new front suspension. There is a new box frame that was welded up and positioned directly below the head tube. This frame will support all 4 A-arms. Speaking of the A-arms, they certainly aren’t off the shelf units. Take a look, the uppers are bike forks and the lowers were welded together from bike frame tubes.
The spindles are where it gets a little tricky but [Kong79] made it happen with his resourcefulness. Bike head tubes, head bearings and standard stems make up the spindle components and are responsible for allowing each front wheel to steer. Each spindle is connected to the steering column by a tie rod scrounged from an ATV. The shocks were found at a motorcycle scrap yard.
This is a pretty unique build and it’s sure great to see people doing stuff like this. For more trick trikes, check out this wooden one or this no-weld-required recumbent.