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Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2012 :  10:00:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, All-
First time poster here, just found this site/forum in studying recumbents.
I currently ride a Catrike Road, but am interested in a 2 wheel recumbent. I came across the issue of building your own, and am considering it. I can cut tubing, get it bent at a muffler shop if necessary- and have access to a guy who's a good welder. Heat treatment after welding remains a question.
My main question at this time, is I found this 2 DVD set for building a RB-SWB Recumbent Bicycle, which as the site says, is a cross between a Thunderbolt and the Vision line. The website for the DVD is here: http://www.recumbentbuilding101.com/rb-swb%20home%20page.htm
As a beginner to 2 wheel recumbents, I want a design that's fairly stable and not twitchy. I understand that the frame/front end geometry is all important in controlling this.
Anyone have any knowledge/experience in this bike??? Any insight/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Atlantic Beach, FL
2012 Catrike Road
2010 Fuji Absolute 1.0
2002 Ibex Alpine 450

tom porter
recumbent enthusiast

161 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2012 :  16:06:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, I've been building my own recumbents for 20 years and you will find a lot of information on the projects page. For a first time I would recommend using regular muffler tubing if you wish to bend any tubes, and as far as I know no one has ever had a steel frame heat treated after welding/brazing. Steel is much more forgiving and stronger than you realize it is. Any questions you have will probably get many responses from experienced home builders.

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Larry Lem
human power expert

South Sandwich Islands
2541 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2012 :  20:58:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Do you want to make your own because you can (with help), because it would be fun, because it might be cheaper than buying one, pride of making it yourself, because of another reason?

I ask because you're going to have someone else weld it, you'll want to "get it right" the first time to reduce the number of times you have to go back to the welder to change things.

With your first build, there might be a lot of trial and error.

If you can find a used (or new) bike such as a Bacchetta Strada or Corsa, it might make more sense to simply buy it and have the bike work properly from the outset.

If you're going to tinker, it helps to have all of the tools that you'll need to build it since there could be a lot of rework.

Larry Lem
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human power expert

3708 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2012 :  04:53:13  Show Profile  Visit alevand's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Tom is right, there is no need to heat treat muffler tubing because it is mild steel and can not be tempered anyway. The weld filler metal is stronger than the mild steel base metal. Even builders who use 4130 alloy steel tubing and most recumbents and trikes that are store bought are not heat treated either. The main things to look for, is make sure there is clearance for the chain and use a fixture to make sure the wheels and head tube are aligned. (Though, sometimes I have to cut a slot in the tube to align things as they move during welding.) Putting the seat, and weight too far back on the rear wheel will make a bike twitchy as well as a head angle that is too steep. The normal head tube angle as on an upright bike works well. And as Larry pointed out, there are always improvements and tinkering to be made.

Tony Levand
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Starting Member

6 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2012 :  16:57:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

This is my second time posting. I'm wanting to build a lowracer because it will be fun, pride, price, etc. I've spent hours going through the projects on the recumbents website and I'm about to take the plunge. Any other resources you think I could use?

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human power expert

6530 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2012 :  17:39:38  Show Profile  Visit warren's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The bike looks fine and if you are looking for a cruiser it should work well for you. If you are looking to go fast though, you should look for a design with more of a laid back seat.

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Starting Member

12 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2012 :  23:03:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I started building my first two bikes from Atomic Zombie plans and progressed to a combination of my own designs and clones. I would advise NOT using aluminum for the frame unless you heat treat it and be sure you put down a good weld as clean up of a bad one is a PITA. The Build/Tech area of this site has a ton of great plans and ideas that I highly recommend.

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