Painting under the stars

Yesterday I managed to get a full day in on the latest project “the Transporter Cargo Bike”. It was a hot one, but now that I have power running down to the old shack, I was able to stay somewhat cool by aiming a huge fan at myself as I welded and grinded away on the almost completed frame. My goal was to complete all of the welding and have the frame painted before the end of the day, but with all of those round tube trusses to weld and the fact that I had not yet figured out the kickstand, I knew it would be a late one tonight.

Since the Transporter was really turning out nicely, I decided to go all the way and add a front disc brake. Actually, this worked out well for the plan because I could now show the steps needed to remove the brake studs from the front fork and install them at the rear and then show how to make a disc brake mount for a front fork that had none. Since most of the stopping power is needed at the front of a bike, the disc option was a good one for a cargo bike that may see loads topping the few hundred pounds mark.

The cardboard template method of making a front disc brake mount went well, and was easy to do thanks to the “weld it in place” method of aligning the brake hardware. I will probably make this into a separate mini tutorial for the main page, since disc brake hardware is becoming very common and inexpensive these days, and is fairly easy to install.

Now, I was faced with how to design the kickstand. A good kickstand is a key feature on a cargo bike; it has to hold the bike stable while the heavy loads are moved on and off the platform. Obviously, a flimsy side kickstand would be pretty useless, so I worked out a stand that would raise the front end slightly off the ground and level the bike on both sides for maximum stability. This type of kickstand is called a “center stand”, and turns the bike into a trike, with three points hitting the ground (two stand legs and the rear wheel). After some testing, the stand proved to work very well and was made out of nothing more than some tubing and bits of flat bar.

When I finally finished all the welding and did a little sanding on the rough spots, the sun was already setting. I decided to paint the bike under the moonlight and brave the mosquitoes that were now coming at me in large waves.

I decided to use brush on paint this time since this bike would be taking a beating and living outdoors mostly. Instead of a perfect paint finish, I opted for a slathered on thick coat that would be easy to retouch as the bike was used like a piece of farm equipment. Under the dim light of the moon, I slopped on the paint as thick as peanut butter, painting the bugs right in as they landed on the tacky paint! I could barely see what I was doing, so I figured the paintjob would be less than pretty in the morning, but yellow is somewhat forgiving and the goal was durable paint, not a showroom finish.

Next morning, I took the frame out for inspectio, and wadda-ya-now, the yellow paintjob wasn’t all that bad! There were a few spots needing a bit of retouching and some runs near the joints, but at a distance of 6 feet away, it looked as good as a spray on paintjob. I may use brush on paint a lot more in the future since it requires no primer, and costs only $10for a can that would paint 3 bikes.

The only drawback to the department store rust paint is the selection of colors: black, white, grey, red, green, blue, orange and yellow. Knowing that I can make any color imaginable by mixing red green and blue, I have a cunning plan for my next brush paint job – mix ’em and see! By using the color picker in Photoshop to get the RGB values, I “should” be able to concoct a similar color by converting the decimal value to a volumetric mixing value.

Well, that completes the first official plan of 2013, so if the weather holds out today I may get the chance to assemble the Transporter Cargo Bike and show it off in tomorrow’s blog entry. I am looking forward to hauling that old freezer out of the bush and then loading a few hundred pounds of firewood onto the cargo bed to make some fun videos of the bike in action. Type y’all tomorrow.

~ Brad

Human Powered Transportation Projects

New in the Atomic Zombie builders gallery

Kyoto cruiser and velo

“Sociable dual velo project. Kyoto Trike rear was modified to fit into a double wide Stormy Weather shell. The Quad is just a fun thing to build in two weeks. One seat has been removed so the drive train can be seen. I have since changed to Sturmey 8 speed internal hubs as a mid drive to reduce my chain handling issues.This version of the Kyoto should fit into the Stormy shell we are building. You can see both the shell and the sociable at the Toronto bike show in March.”

cargo bike

“Seat cover idea made from an old work coat.” Pictures submitted by HPTA.

atomiczombie bike gallery

Bike builders news November 12

 

In this issue:

 Feature article by RadicalBrad of AtomicZombie.com:
Building a Velomobile – Part 1

Do you want to save money and leave the gas guzzler at home more often or for good? Do you want to learn how to build an eco efficient transportation alternative? Atomic Zombie will show you how!

This issue features our newest project, an electric assist velo for a delta trike similar to the Aurora Delta Trike. The build blog will include videos later this month. The velo build will be a regular feature in our newsletter and blogs. The brainstorming sessions have begun. Read all about it in this week’s issue.

***

Hub flanges and axle adapters for your bike projects
Bike builders community chat
Bike builders gallery – new additions: recumbents, trikes, choppers, tall bikes, kids’ bikes, cargo bikes & more

This and archived newsletters are here.

***

Thanks for your feedback, and keep those suggestions coming.

See you in the Builders Forum.

August 24 bike builder’s newsletter

In this issue:

 Featured article: “Build a Kids’ Electric Bike, Part 2”
Freewheel and disc brake adapters for your bike projects for sale.
More parts coming in September.
Aurora Delta Trike – new AtomicZombie bike project
Builders Gallery bicycles around the world
Builders community chat
AtomicZombie Facebook group
Summer special: 6 plans for only $36!
This and other AZ newsletters are here.

August 7 newsletter

  • Featured article: “Build the SideWinder folding bicycle”
  • Freewheel and disc brake adapters for your bike projects now for sale! 
  • The latest Atomic Zombie bike project:  FrontRunner Front Wheel Drive Recumbent, a unique front wheel drive bike that is fully adjustable and can fold in half for transport or storage.
  • Bicycles from around the world in the Builders Gallery
  • Builders community chat
  • Find us on Facebook
  • Summer special: 6 plans for only $36!
This and other AZ newsletters are here.

Atomic Zombie manufactured parts for your bike projects

Due many, many requests, we will be manufacturing some parts that are used on our delta trikes and quads.

We will be starting with the wheel and transmission parts, and hope to add more to our inventory in response to the demand. We may even offer spokes, bearings, chains, and many other common bicycle parts that are used on practically every project.

Some of the Delta Trike parts we will offer:

Part (A) is a disc brake axle adapter, and it will allow you to install a standard bicycle disc brake onto a 5/8 or 3/4 inch diameter steel axle. The part will be drilled and tapped for standard disc brake rotor mounting and will include a set screw for connection to the axle.

Part (B) is a threaded freehub axle adapter that will allow a Shimano type screw-on freehub to be affixed to a 5/8 or 3/4 inch diameter steel axle. This part will include a set screw for connection to the axle.

Part (C) is a threaded freehub axle adapter that also includes a disc brake mounting flange. This part is basically a combination of Part (A) and Part (B) so both a free hub and disc brake can be affixed in the same place using a single part.

Part (D) is a hub flange that will allow a wheel to be laced directly to a 5/8 or 3/4 inch diameter steel axle. These parts are sold in pairs and will include 18 or 24 drilled spoke holes for 36 or 48 hole rims.

AZ DIY projects that require adapters and hubs.

All of our DIY trike and quadcycle plans use one or more of these parts, and you certainly use these parts to design your own unique vehicles based on our plans or from scratch. Having these parts available means that you can shave days off your build time or possibly weeks if you have to wait in line at the machine shop for your parts to be made.

Because we will be making these in quantities, we can manufacture them for less than what a machine shop would charge for a single unit.

All of our parts are tested to fit on the axle and freehub, so there will be no guesswork or problems when it comes time to install them.

Our freehub and brake adapter will allow standard bicycle components to be adapted to any 5/8 or 3/4 axle so that transmission and braking can be included. A threaded freehub will screw on to the adapter and a standard bicycle disc brake rotor will bolt onto the included flange.

With these two components mounted to the axle, you can use a standard bicycle rear derailleur to add speeds and a standard mechanical bicycle disc brake to offer solid stopping power.

All of our plans that include two rear wheels make use of one or more of these freehub and disc brake adapters. With our freehub and disc brake adapters, you can add a pedal transmission to practically anything with an axle.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the parts we intend to offer, please let us know! Contact us on the main Atomic Zombie site. We will start off with a small batch of parts and then base our inventory from the response.

Here’s the list of possible custom manufactured parts again:

A.    Disc brake axle adapter, and it will allow you to install a standard bicycle disc brake onto a 5/8 or 3/4 inch diameter steel axle. The part will be drilled and tapped for standard disc brake rotor mounting and will include a set screw for connection to the axle.

B.    Threaded freehub axle adapter that will allow a Shimano type screw-on freehub to be affixed to a 5/8 or 3/4 inch diameter steel axle. This part will include a set screw for connection to the axle.

C.    Threaded freehub axle adapter that also includes a disc brake mounting flange.

D.    Hub flange that will allow a wheel to be laced directly to a 5/8 or 3/4 inch diameter steel axle. These parts are sold in pairs and will include 18 or 24 drilled spoke holes for 36 or 48 hole rims.

We are currently collecting names so that we can tell the machine shop how many parts to make in one run. That number will dictate the unit price, so the more people who are interested, the lower the price per unit will be and we can pass those savings along to you.

In terms of shipping costs, those will be determined once we have the prototypes back from the shop, (within a couple of weeks). Once we have tested the prototypes, we will determine packaging and shipping costs.

Stay tuned to the forum, newsletter, Facebook and AZ site for announcements.