More Suspension Than Necessary

The triangular frame of a traditional mountain bike needs to be the most rigid structure, and a triangle can be a very sturdy shape. So [Colin Furze] throws a spanner in the works, or, in this case, a bunch of springs. The video is below the break, but please try to imagine you are at a party, eyeballing some delicious salsa, yet instead of a tortilla chip, someone hands you a slab of gelatin dessert. The bike is kind of like that.

Anyone who has purchased springs knows there are a lot of options and terminology, such as Newton meters of force, extension, compression, and buckling. There is a learning curve to springs so a simple statement, for example “I want to make a bicycle of springs,” doesn’t have any easy answers. It is a lot like saying, “I want to make a microprocessor out of transistors“. This project starts with springs roughly the diameter of the old bike tubes, and it is a colossal failure. Try using cooked spaghetti noodles to make a bridge.

The first set of custom springs are not up to the task, but the third round produces something rideable. The result seems to be a ridiculous way to exercise your abs and is approximately a training unicycle mated with a boat anchor.

What makes this a hack? The video is as entertaining as anything [Colin] has made, but that does not make it a hack by itself. The hack is that someone asked a ridiculous question, possibly within reach of alcohol, and the answer came by building the stupid thing. A spring-bicycle could have been simulated six ways from Sunday on an old Android phone, but the adventure extracted was worth the cost of doing it in real life.

Thank you, [Bill] at PirateLabs, for the tip.

20 thoughts on “More Suspension Than Necessary

    1. Judging by the way the front wheel moved when he tried to brake, I’d suggest that if you hit a pothole at any speed it’d launch you half way to orbit. Mind you, it’d probably make an amusing _sproing_ noise when it did it, so maybe that’s ok.

    2. Rough roads… probably about as well as it does smooth roads, “not very well”. Pot holes, I imagine the entire frame compresses and shoots you back out of the hole backwards (or upwards)

  1. When I first saw this I thought…man…what a great idea. Then, when I watched his test rides it was quite obvious that it was not such a great idea. Oh well…only one way to know right? Nice article Brian.

    1. The newton metre (also newton-metre, symbol N m or N⋅m) is a unit of torque (also called moment) in the SI system. One newton metre is equal to the torque resulting from a force of one newton applied perpendicularly to the end of a moment arm that is one metre long.

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