Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Clown Bike

This is my Clown Bike. It was my son's first bike, but he outgrew it. We were going to give it to St. Vincent DePaul, but I noticed just how sturdy the thing really is, and decided to keep it for fun. I raised the seat, added real pedals, and tightened up the spokes a little, but it's stock the rest of the way. He always cracks up when I ride it - maybe because I'm not exactly a little guy myself.

The CG seems a little far back, but by the time you lean over to grab the handlebars between your knees, it's just about right. I just wish it would go a little faster (which was always his complaint, too - his legs just couldn't spin any quicker).

Enter the $3 garage sale bike! I've been wishing that I had a smaller front gear for my recumbent, to give a little lower gear for hill climbing, and was pondering my choices this evening. The current smallest gear is 39 teeth. I looked at the (36 tooth) gear from the $3 bike, and decided it wasn't small enough.

Then I noticed the Clown Bike has a much smaller gear (28 teeth). I did some measuring and found that the crank and gear from the $3 bike will fit the clown bike, giving it the much desired boost in speed (due to more chain being pushed for each turn of the pedals).

It also lets me use the 28 tooth "clown" gear for my recumbent - which is more what I had in mind. I'll have to do some modifying to assemble the gears into a triple pack, but it'll be worth it.
This will change my lowest gear-inch value from 36.2 to 26.0. This translates (at 80 pedal revolutions per minute) to a change from a low speed of 8.6mph to 6.2 mph. Nice.

I cut and bent a few tubes for the seat tonight. I'm kind of nervous about the seat, because it is such a prominent feature. I guess I should just relax, and take the attitude that if I don't like the way it feels, I can always replace it very easily later on, improving upon my first design. The important thing right now, is to have something to sit on so I can keep moving forward.




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