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jwxr7 04-14-2008 12:35 PM

jwxr7's bent build thread
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I finally got motivated enough to start building the recumbent that I've talked about making for years. I'm following an EZ-clone design from here The bike started life as a black colored tall frame schwinn road bike and a white colored Belgium made Trak (not Trek) road bike that used knit style tires. I've pretty much finished fabbing the frame at this point. The bare frame weighs in at around 8lbs 8 oz. The schwinn was a pretty heavy frame. I still have a long ways to go before I can test ride it. The seat will be my biggest challenge. Here are some pics of the frame as I was finishing the rear triangle alignment and then adding the 2 bottom rails. All that's left for major frame work is to finish closing the joints for the bottom rails to rear triangle and bottom rails to crank mounts then weld em up.

Edit: I'm not a bike expert and I don't know all the proper nomenclature for bikes and thier parts so bear with me.

trebuchet03 04-14-2008 01:26 PM

Cool :D

Have ridden 'bents before?

jwxr7 04-14-2008 01:41 PM

Years ago I rode around on a home brew delta style trike recumbent that i owned for a while. It was very very heavy and only had one speed but was fun for around town cruising. It definitely takes different muscles to move around on but the riding position is nice. My neck and wrists don't agree with long traditional road bike rides anymore and I'm hoping this will keep me riding more.

jwxr7 04-14-2008 01:59 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I'm finishing the welding on the bottom rails today. I strayed from the plan a little on the rails. They call for two 3/4" emt rails and there is a slight bend near the rear, but I only owned a 1/2" emt bender so I used 1/2". I hope it's strong enough. Over the weekend I went to a local barn sale and found 3 different types of 3/4" pipe and emt benders (shown in pic to the left of the 1/2" one) for $5 each so I bought all of them :D. Now I can redo it with 3/4" if i have to :).

johnpr 04-14-2008 02:06 PM

looks like a great project, im working on designing and building a recumbent trike.
have fun with your project and have many safe miles of riding

jwxr7 04-14-2008 04:54 PM

thanks john,

I finished welding the frame, now onto all the parts that go on it.

I know I should try working on the seat but I don't want to get bogged down this early on something hard.

Next day I plan to weld a brake bridge to the front fork since I'm using a 20" wheel. Then clean up the old head tube bearings and install it.
Then clean up the crank bearings and install bottom bracket and crank arms. I've got my eye on a 3 ring "biopace" crank a friend has on an old specialized mountain bike, but I just want to get it road worthy first then upgrade components if it's worth the effort. Maybe put the rear wheel on and a kick stand so it looks like it could roll :).

MetroMPG 04-14-2008 08:45 PM

Subscribed. Looks good so far. Nice find - all those EMT benders!

And... whose MG is that?

jwxr7 04-15-2008 08:05 AM


That's my boss' MG. I decided to build the frame at work since I dont have a large flat work space in my barn at the moment.

jwxr7 04-15-2008 03:23 PM

got the head tube bearings cleaned, regreased and installed. Also did the same with the crank bearings.

Ran into a little problem with the bottom bracket though. I am using the crank and bottom bracket off a different schwinn because the original that was on the Trak was the old heavy pinned style. The tube that houses the bottom bracket must be a bit wider than the one on the schwinn because by the time I snug up the bearings properly there are only like a thread or two sticking out on the left bearing cup to allow the jam nut to thread on. Not sure what i will do about that. I could mill the face of either side to narrow the tube, but that would be a mess to try setting up properly with the long frame and all.

jwxr7 04-16-2008 12:03 PM

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I think I'll get by with the little amount of threads for the bottom bracket bearing cup jamnut for now.

I put the wheels, crank, and kickstand on and weighed it. It was 23.74lbs as shown in the pic below. Over 6lbs of it is from the steel rear wheel/tire assembly :eek:. I can upgrade to lighter stuff after I prove out the design, my goal is to be around 35lbs when done.

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