4 – Wheel Bicycle for Playa

4 – Wheel Bicycle for Playa

Postby toxic07 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:11 pm

Hello you, bright minds of BRS!!

I’m trying to go GREEN this year (not that I have been dirty all past years :wink: ); anyway I’m planning to build a 4-wheel bicycle. I know that it might come up to the same dollar amount if I would go and order one from any of the companies, BUT… I want to try my self and bring my art-stone to the GREAT WALL OF BRS!
I have seen some people on the Playa on such bikes -- would you mind sharing your thoughts about how to build it; tips, and tricks?
If you have any good (or bad) ideas about constructing a 4-weel bike for Playa – drop a line!!!


Thanks in advance!!!
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Postby Nick Collide » Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:30 pm

Take a look here:

http://www.atomiczombie.com/index.htm

It's all do it yourself stuff - although they do sell plans and the Evil Genius books.
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Postby Elorrum » Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:11 pm

Yes Nick! Atomic Zombie is very inspiring. I really like the fat wheel trike design.
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Postby BAS » Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:01 am

Yeah, I just found Atomic Zombie myself, and have already purchased three of their plans, two of the books, and joined the forums! :shock:

It looks like their stuff has answered all of my questions/anxieties about building my own transportation (I would like to make a fully enclosed velomobile for commuting to work-- parking sucks and gas prices are soaring...) Well, I still do have one small problem-- I live in a one bedroom apartment, and am none too certain about doing bike building there! :? (Maybe on the patio...?)
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Postby toxic07 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:37 am

Take a look here:

http://www.atomiczombie.com/index.htm

It's all do it yourself stuff - although they do sell plans and the Evil Genius books.

Thanks Nick. Pretty cool stuff.


Here is one more site that I have found with plans and parts. http://www.americanspeedster.com/
But the whole “ready-to-use-plan-thingâ€
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Postby Box Burner » Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:07 pm

Beer! How can you build anything without beer? It just wouldn't be right I tell ya'. :shock:
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Postby toxic07 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:09 pm

Box Burner wrote:Beer! How can you build anything without beer? It just wouldn't be right I tell ya'. :shock:


Actually… you are damn 100% right. When my bro and I were building an art car (Toxic Rose), we drank quite a few cases... adding it as a 7th point:

7. Beer - lots of it, depends on the weather. 8)
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Postby Elorrum » Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:17 pm

Beer - open ingredient then
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Postby AntiM » Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:34 pm

We cheated and purchased ours, but Larry had no time to work on it from scratch.

We have a fabric white canopy, very wind-resistant, aka sturdy but sail-like, it is like pedaling around in our own mini-camp. The shade frame began life as a child's shade canopy, Larry eventually replaced the uprights with sturdier pipes. We hang little net hammocks under the canopy to carry things we need handy like snacks and cameras and hats.

We have a back deck, a wooden treasure chest holding a cooler, a misting system (sprayer attached to a patio umbrella system), a milk crate "trunk", and 12V trailer lights. Larry constantly upgrades the lighting, next is switching over from our old deep cell to one or two of those little sealed cells. I have a cup holder (essential) and seat covers, some years we throw art on top, some years we have lace curtains. There's a hitch on the back to pull a garden cart or mobile art project. Handy as hell.

We have to bring it in on a trailer. It is bulky. Larry always brings spare parts; the bearings tend to go out on the playa, as do the brakes. He could provide more technical details if asked. Having one you could disassemble would be good for transport, a pain once you hit the playa and wanted to run off to the nearest blinky light.

Foster's oil cans, Larry's working fluid. (that's beer!!!)
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Postby BAS » Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:40 am

Hmm, yeah getting the vehicle out to the desert could be a problem... a trailer or some larger vehicle (big pickup truck, full size van, etc.) might be another ingredient. Of course, some folks might just ride it there! :wink:
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Postby BAS » Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:33 pm

Well, I am trying to work up the nerve to tackle Atomic Zombie's Street Fighter, modified to have front brakes along with the back ones, and cargo capacity. (My contribution to the creativity aspect, plus my plans to eventually make it fully enclosed.) I don't know if the weather will hold long enough for me to try out welding on my patio (doing so in my living room would not be a good idea, what with the carpet and all the paper products lying around...!) May be I will wind up just collecting the components over the winter, unless I can find a location.

How's your project going, Toxic07?
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Postby Sail Man » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:53 am

BAS, what about renting a storage unit?

Hmmm, in fact, what about renting me a storage unit, I'm running out of room for al my burner/sailing/camping/backpacking/beer bottle collection stuff :D
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Postby gyre » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:27 pm

Most deliberately have no power to make them fairly useless.
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Postby BAS » Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:15 pm

Sail Man wrote:BAS, what about renting a storage unit?

Hmmm, in fact, what about renting me a storage unit, I'm running out of room for al my burner/sailing/camping/backpacking/beer bottle collection stuff :D


Having helped a friend move his beer bottle collection TWICE, the answer for that part of your question is NO! :wink:

Anyway, I am trying to keep this as cheap as possible. I might be able to use my dad's shop up in the Baraboo area, but that gets into the problem of moving the completed project back down here.

Besides, I think gyre is correct about the power situation. (I think that getting rid of the power to the individual units was a reaction to people setting up crack/meth/other drugs labs in them.)

I'll just have to see how the weather holds.... Besides, I still need to get the equipment and parts.
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Postby gyre » Tue Oct 21, 2008 4:34 pm

It used to be normal.
Without lights they aren't useful even for storage.
We used to run a PA company out of a storage unit.
We only needed to do minor maintenance and organization there.
How can you do anything without lights?

I doubt crack is the reason.
Easy enough to make that stuff portable.
With their profit margin, why bother with storage areas?
It's probably just greed.

One near here spent a lot of money to pull out the power in a car dealership.
And they charge a fortune for the insulated space.
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Postby BAS » Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:12 pm

You're probably right about greed being the real motive-- I'd just heard drug labs used as the justification. Anyway, back to work for me!
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:42 pm

gyre wrote:We used to run a PA company out of a storage unit.
Was your Prince Albert in a can?
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Postby BAS » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:29 pm

I didn't know that the market was big enough to have a company which specialized in that service...! :shock:
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Postby gyre » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:50 pm

BAS wrote:I didn't know that the market was big enough to have a company which specialized in that service...! :shock:

Which service?
PA or Fishy's surreal sense of humour?
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Postby BAS » Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:48 am

gyre wrote:
BAS wrote:I didn't know that the market was big enough to have a company which specialized in that service...! :shock:

Which service?
PA or Fishy's surreal sense of humour?



Yes! :P

(Well, actually a service specializing in giving guys Prince Alberts....)
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Postby toxic07 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:55 am

BAS wrote:How's your project going, Toxic07?


BAS, reading your post, I really felt ashamed of my self and in great lack of creation’s spirit :roll: . You – with no room to work – trying to get something done already… and me – with backyard, side yard, garage, best friend who is ready to land his tools (Oleg8888, I hope you are reading it :wink: ) and leaving on cul-de-sac – have not even gotten the plan ready… Damn!!!!! I promise to straight my self up and get on the right track. But, honestly, hallowing party, that I’ll be throwing soon, set my creativity back from BM a bit.
But I’ll be back after it will be done. And the next big project will be this 4 – wheel bike stew that will be simmering till BM. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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Postby BAS » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:42 pm

Well, I have mostly done research thus far. Actually, my motivation comes mostly from need (poverty, which is exacerbated by parking tickets and gas prices), so maybe you are better off without it! :wink: A quad would be my long term solution (I should figure out how long before it pays for itself, to give me some extra motivation-- [last fill up cost about $30, a welder would be about $100 or so...]).

We'll see how much I actually get done in the near future!

Good luck!
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Postby oleg8888 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:01 pm

What tools???? :shock:
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Postby toxic07 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:26 pm

oleg8888 wrote:What tools???? :shock:


:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

I was just checking that you are awake :wink:
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Postby Elliot » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:18 pm

:D
[Wanders in, reviews original post.... Thinks to self "Hmmm..., I ought to know something about multi-wheeled human-powered vehicles...." Looks at his own avatar....]

Ah! Tips and tricks for a four-wheeled pedal-vehicle.

Here's one:
Google "Ackerman principle" and study until you understand it. In a nut shell, the front wheels must follow two different curves in a turn. If they stay parallell when they turn, the rolling resistance will be fierce.

An other:
I don't know how many people you plan to have pedaling, but make sure each rider has his own freewheel. Otherwise they have to pedal in perfect sync, which ain't realistic.

On the Atomic Zombie forum, there is some guy who sells adapters to mount a bicycle freewheel on a 3/4 inch shaft. That guy is me. I pass them along at my cost, mostly to my buddies in Kinetic Sculpture Racing, but happily to any other pedal-vehicle builder also. I'm almost out of them, but will eventually have another batch made. (No other connection with Atomic Zombie.)

I have seen several of the American Speedster kit vehicles in action, and they tend to have trouble with the chain falling off. Wobbly chain ring, crooked chain line, flexible mountings, etc. Still, there are a number of them in service on the Playa -- just plan on doing some improvements to the basic kit to make it work.

With a four wheeler, the issue of a suspension can be an... uh... issue. Essentially, on a flat surface, a four wheel vehicle needs no suspension. But when the terrain is uneven, a four-wheeler will be teetering on two or three wheels most of the time. In Black Rock City, this isn't much of a problem, but you should be aware of how it works. For example, you would not want to have most of your weight on the undriven wheels, as a driven wheel would then be unloaded -- and would spin -- when you ride over an uneven spot.

Many three- and four-wheeled pedal-vehicles have drive on only one wheel. This can work fine. But if you have at least two people on the vehicle, there is no reason not to drive two wheels -- which will give you much more positive propulsion in the occational spot of soft ground.

Do not be tempted to drive two wheels on a solid axle. Such a vehicle is impossible to steer on pavement, and not real easy to steer even on the playa.

I avoid differentials myself, but if you "must" use one, you can find one cheap under many an old lawn tractor / riding lawn mower. Be sure to use four bearings -- two near the diff and two near the wheels -- all nicely lined up. Otherwise, the diff WILL eventually break.

That help any?
:D
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Postby gyre » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:34 pm

Is a solid axle really a problem on the playa?
What about with only 3 wheels?
I've seen a few of those.

I've driven a car with a locked axle and it wasn't all that difficult on pavement, not that I would recommend it.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:38 pm

Elliot wrote:That help any?
:D
I know now that I can never do this. Sometimes that's good to know.
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Postby BAS » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:56 pm

'fishy-- I think one of the Atomic Zombie plans is for an arm powered vehicle. I haven't really looked at it, but...


Elliot-- AZ's Street Fighter is designed without suspension and to be a bit flexible frame-wise to compensate. In my case, though, it would be driven on streets and bike paths. Except for the aftermath of last winter, uneven surfaces should not be too much of a problem! :wink: Any ideas for putting disc brakes on the front wheels of the Street Fighter? I'd like to put a shell on it, and think that, with the extra weight, extra braking power would be nice. (The front end of that doesn't seem to leave any room to mount the "brake" part of the disc brake... :?) The "Ackerman principle" is why I went the buying plans route.

Darn, my break is over, and I haven't proof read this! :oops:
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Postby Elliot » Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:03 pm

:D
Gyre:
Quite so. I should have pointed out that it was difficulty with progress, more than with getting turned, that was on my mind.

I said "not real easy to steer on the Playa", and the key is that with only human power, you do want everything to work real easily. Forcing a solid axle to turn wastes precious muscle-power. With a motor car, you don't notice it so much. Come to think of it, ATVs have solid axles -- you just power thru and throw up a nice rooster tail of dirt in the process. Even I cannot do that with mere muscle power. :lol:

Commercial adult tricycles -- that I have seen -- drive on only one wheel. The axle may go all the way across, but then one wheel spins freely.
I'm pretty sure the Rhoades Car also drives on only one wheel -- although I have not looked at one lately.

I've been able to experiment with solid versus one-wheel on my "Pear County Chopper". It drives on the right wheel, until I connect the left wheel by putting a pin or bolt thru two flanges. As expected, the effect of locking the other wheel is devastating on pavement, less so on wet pavement, not so bad on a bit of sand, even less troublesome on lots of sand, (catch a breath!) and when climbing a steep sand dune.. well, it must be locked. So it is all a matter of degree. And the various design elements of the individual vehicle are probably more important than the exact condition of the Playa surface.
:D
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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:19 pm

BAS wrote:'fishy-- I think one of the Atomic Zombie plans is for an arm powered vehicle. I haven't really looked at it, but...
I'm sure that BORP has multiple. But um. It wasn't about that. It's about the fact that much as I'd like for it to be otherwise, I can't do that tech stuff. I love taking stuff apart, but putting it together is beyond me.
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