Tom Porter's Recumbent Bike Plans - SWB versions
Tom Porter's Recumbent Bike Homebuilder Plans

Material And Parts Suppliers
Steel Tubing and Material
There are really not too many businesses that supply steel in the relatively small quantities that we will be using. The ones I have used consistently over the years are:


I use Wicks because they have many homebuilders supplies for aircraft and have a lower shipping and handling charge than:


Dillsburg is the only place I have found to order 1.75” & 2.0” X .035 4130 TUBING in small quantity in the entire country ( I haven’t tried Fairing yet). Shipping & handling charge will be about 25% so I only use Dillsburg to order what Wicks doesn’t have.

There are some businesses that sell “metal by the inch”, these tend to be rather more expensive (you can usually buy a foot of material for the price of a few inches and always remember that a shipping charge will be added).

I know there are some recumbent supply businesses on the web that have some of the necessary pieces, I’ve never ordered any steel tube from them though. I usually try to order everything in one or two batches from my usual suppliers.

Bicycle Specific Parts
My advice is to build with as many used higher quality parts as you can. This technique saves a lot of money and used parts are still very serviceable. I’ve been using some parts for 15 years. Look for these at:

SWAP MEETS – such as the yearly one in Madison WI (Sat. before Superbowl weekend). All the tech weenies selling last years hot parts so they can indulge their bike parts lust for the new year.

A PRO BIKE SHOP – generally saves used high quality take off parts for the tech weenies , will be a bit higher but if you already have a good customer relationship they’ll treat you right. Downside is you will only find these shops in large cities and places like Madison WI.

NEW PARTS – Quality Bike Parts has virtually everything available but have reduced some frame builder specific parts lately. Wholesale only so only available through a dealer. So no dealer? INTERNET it, this seems to be the answer for all local businesses that don’t want to order/stock everything under the sun. I will have to order some things this way myself as my LBS doesn’t handle everything,

Materials Lists for Designs
This page contains the lists of materials for the 2004 plans. Most of the materials are the same for the 2005 plans.

List of Materials for FWD Lowracer 

Item  Quantity
1.75” X .035 Main tubes 60”
7/8” X .028 Front Der. Post  7”
1.25” X .035 Head tube
1” X .035 Seat/susp. mount 12”
1” X .035 Rear stays  48”
7/8” X .065 Pivot tube clamp  2”
3/8” X .083 Clamp nuts
1” X . 065 Bushing mount tee
Ύ” X .065 Pivot tube
7/8” O.D. X Ύ” I.D. Oil Impregnated bronze 
flange bushing
2” X 6” X 3/16” 4130 Sheet for dropouts 1
Ύ” X Ύ” X .049 Lower susp. mount 
½” X .049 Brake bridge
3/8 X .083 Sidepull brake mount  1” 
Braze ons  
68mm Bottom bracket shell  1
Cable housing guides  2
Cable housing stops 

Seat Mounts 

Item  Quantity
½” X .049 6" - 8”
Ό x 20 grade 8 nuts  4
5/8” X .058 6061  24”
½” x .120 6061 aluminum - Seat back adjustment 24”
1.75 x.035  - This is used for adjustable lower seat 
slide mount used in conjunction with 2 hose clamp.


Item  Quantity
1.5" wide polyurethane rod 80A or 90A durometer 
10/30 Double sealed radial (DSR) bearing -or- 2
½” / 1 1/8” DSR bearing 2

I will try both bearing sizes to see which one is easier to work with. The return side pulley is usually a skateboard wheel with 1/4" DSR bearing Any addenda will be noted later.

Dual 700C

Item  Quantity
1.75” x .035 Main tube 42”
Braze ons  
Cable guides  1
Cable housing ends 6
Deraillure cable ends 1

All other specifications as per the Lowracer design.

Tour 26/406

Item  Quantity
1.75” x .035 Main tube 44”
Pulley with DSR bearing
on return side only

All other specifications as per the Dual 700C design.

Back to Tom Porter's Recumbents