DIY always gets attention

I’ve always had a passion for radical bike designs.

If you have been hacking things together for any length of time, then you probably know that your unique creations draw attention wherever you are. When I was in my early teens, I would string four or five scrap bikes together and my buddies and I would wobble down the street on my contraptions that often resembled bikes from Doctor Seuss books. Making it back home in one piece was a 50/50 chance because I usually only brazed my early bike hacks, but the one thing that was guaranteed was a lot of attention.  My intent was never to make something to draw a crowd, but I often found myself talking to a group of interested onlookers or even speaking into the camera on the evening news.

I took a long break from bike hacking after getting my first motorcycle (and job), but found myself back out in the garage in the year 2000 to rekindle my DIY roots and get my mind off the daily grind of living in the real world. I started collecting junk bikes and old power chair parts and concocted some cool bikes and robots out in the small garage just to have fun on the weekend. Oddly enough, I never took any photos or intended to publish these works. One day Kat suggested that I put some of the bikes up on my website AtomicZombie.com, which at the time was a home for electronics hacking stuff I was doing.

Getting youth interested in technology.

 

Well, within months I started connecting with some amazing people and realized I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed making art from metal, sometimes for fun, sometimes to be practical. It didn’t take long before the word spread locally, and we were dragging my creations to all kinds of events. The large video guided robots were always popular. I enjoyed inspiring young hackers to consider this great hobby. The robots were a natural crowd magnet since I controlled them from miles away via video link and could communicate to people by typing words into a speech synthesis station at the base, making the robot seem intelligent. Soon my remote robots’ main purpose was to draw in a crowd and baffle them with technology.

Photo op with some visiting teens from the USA after my World Record ride.

At one point, I decided to aim for a Guinness World Record, making the tallest rideable bicycle, and figure it would be fun and possible draw a bit of attention to the website which was now mostly dedicated to bike building. Well, I was certainly not ready for the storm that this thing generated once the word got out! I must have done a dozen live radio interviews, news casts and even a live spot on a a national broadcast of Canada AM . Tall bikes sure draw the crowds!

When the tallbike called “SkyCycle” made it to a full color page in the Guinness Book (along with my mug), I was shocked. I knew these crazy contraptions could draw interest, but I had no idea how far it could go. Even a simple recumbent bike like the Marauder would spend half the time parked as I explained the bike to interested people along a ride. No doubt, all you DIY enthusiast out there know what I am talking about.

When I think back to me pre-DIY days, I guess my inspiration did come from seeing others’ creations, although it was mostly in the form of photos from old Popular Mechanics books or the odd newspaper article. Now, with the internet jacked into our heads like The Matrix, it’s so easy to connect with other DIY folks and share advice, so the community is stronger than it’s even been. Back in the early 1980s I would have never thought that one day I would be saying, “Hey!” to a cargo bike builder in Africa and then a trike builder in Australia within a 15 minute span.

So, if you are a new builder just getting ready to roll open that garage door and head out on your new DIY creation, get prepared for the attention your work will draw.  You will now become the source of inspiration for a young generation of future DIYers, so make sure you pass along that attitude that drives us all, “Yeah, you can do this, too”!

~ Brad

Rob’s Warrior tadpole trike

“First build is a Warrior. So much fun I have not had time to paint it.” ~ Rob

Warrior tadpole trike


What is the Warrior Tadpole Trike?

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 eying 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!

All of Atomic Zombie Extreme Machines plans are downloadable PDF format. Multiple discounts, free tutorials, videos, gallery, newsletters, blog and more.

Costa Rica choppers by Tintasangre

Hola Atomic Zombie!

I want to present Tintasangre’s 2012 new bike projects and recycled bicycles public activities, and invite you to check Tintasangre5 YouTube channel handmade bike videos.

This summer has been very hot and sunny and perfect for bicycle outdoor fun:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTaaMUszudo&list=UU_WV9PO7zq1RFhSDld8z0iQ&index=2&feature=plcp

These are my new projects and bike experiments.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-w-8rNzGBQ&list=UU_WV9PO7zq1RFhSDld8z0iQ&index=4&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rW11i3zYr4&list=UU_WV9PO7zq1RFhSDld8z0iQ&index=8&feature=plcp

LA BANDOLERO RECUMBENT CHOPPER BIKE:

This is recycled bicycle, very fast to build. Combined a BMX frame with a MTB frame and Chopper Handlebar and tires (20″ front w-24″ rear w). My first attempt of this front transmission system. Built with garage materials for the test ride, but have to say this system is very stable (especially when compared with long fork choppers). The bike is very easy to ride. Most people of different sizes could drive it. This machine is a cross between a recumbent and a cruiser chopper bike.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6thytJAEBhE&list=UU_WV9PO7zq1RFhSDld8z0iQ&index=1&feature=plcp

ANNUNNAKI CHOPPER BIKE:

This is a 2 week project, the fourth version upgrade of the former Clownbike.

The objective was to create a long, but still very comfortable sporty chopper. I tried to be very careful with the design line, composition, and color. This has become one of the favorites because of the feeling you get while you riding it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7txpkZB2kkU&list=UU_WV9PO7zq1RFhSDld8z0iQ&index=7&feature=plcp

TINTASANGRE OVERKILL CHOPPER BIKE:
   

This Machine is totally inspired in the original ATOMIC ZOMBIE OVERKILL PHAT CHOPPER. A long time ago, I was dreaming to create this bike. This is my first experiment of the oversize car wheel drive system. I didn’t put bicycle spokes on it; just used the normal wheel, hacked the hub and centered with iron bars (this part took some time).

I made a 3 spoked front wheel, comfortable seat and handlebars, and cruiser-chopper angles combination. A very special thanks to Atomic Zombie for their web tips and motivation to go through this project!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQhi8wFqb-s&list=UU_WV9PO7zq1RFhSDld8z0iQ&index=1&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0KARETMgy0&list=UU_WV9PO7zq1RFhSDld8z0iQ&index=6&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akBEAjGEbA4&list=UU_WV9PO7zq1RFhSDld8z0iQ&index=5&feature=plcp

It’s very nice to be in contact with you and all bike builders. Best Regards!

Erik Kaskant

Thank you, Erik, for sending us pictures of your new choppers. Amazing workmanship, as usual! Muchas gracias, amigo!

Mini bike chopper from Russia

Mini bike chopper from Russia “Hello. My name is Aleksadr. I am from Moscow, Russia. I send you a photo for your gallery of builders. It’s a mini chopper I made for my son for school. I will be very glad if you put our mini chopper in your gallery. Viewing your photos has inspired me on construction of it.”

Mark’s Manitoba Warriors

“They’re finally done. When me and wife ride these down the street they generate a lot of second looks. She calls them our lazy-boy bikes because they’re so comfortable to ride.

While building these I looked around the internet for alternate ideas, but always returned to Brad’s design. I’ve seen other trikes that cost over $1,000 that don’t look as good as these. Well done, Brad & Kat.

Mark Storen aka Kindamental”

Awesome on both counts, Mark. You and your wife are certainly riding in style. Well done!

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Evening sky is alive!

the view from our mountain top

More:  Evening sky is alive!.

Joe’s custom Scout bike – Atomic Zombie builders gallery

“Here is my RD bike. I built it about four years ago. This is a four speed, two forward pedal gears and two back pedal gears.

“Scout” is a solid commuter/townie as well as an intrepid explorer. The transmission was patented in the 1880s,  so it’s nothing new. I’ve pedaled Scout forwards and backwards thousands of miles and it just keeps going (forward).

“Your new stomping grounds look great. I hope you fill all those acres up with new creations. Thanks, Joe.”

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Handmade bike building has many benefits – a builder’s story

A bike builder’s inspiring story:  Handmade bike building has many benefits – a builder’s story.

 

Tilting trike a cautionary tale

Ok, if any of you is planning to build a twist FWD like this. I have a story: I initially had welded the bolt that holds the power pulley directly onto the frame. It was not my best weld, but there was plenty of metal holding the bolt. However, I was really grinding after a full stop at a stop sign, when the bolt came off!

Read more and join the discussion Tilting trike.

What is your best dumpster diving find?

“I’ve got a couple. First one is came home from the big box store getting materials for a house project and a house that is rented out had 3 bikes sitting on the curb for the trash man. Went back and got them. Sold one for $40 or $50…kept the others for chopping.”

Read more and join the discussion: What is your best dumpster diving find?

 

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