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Stick bike wheelbase

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Freedom21tim View Drop Down
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    Posted: 19 March 2020 at 8:03am
Hi all, I'm in the process of building a stick bike and am after some wheelbase length suggestions before I drill the steerer tube.

I'm totally new to this (I haven't even ridden a recumbent yet) but have done quite a bit of reading.
I was hoping to go to Hillingdon in April to get some ideas.... it sort of looks like it is more todo with
What you need fit on the frame, size of seat and steering choice. But any clues would be helpful

I should say it is being built for General riding rather than racing, but would like to be able to get it on train if it works......

Forgot to say wheel sizes 26' 20'

Thanks, Tim


Edited by Freedom21tim - 19 March 2020 at 8:12am
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Woolly Hat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Woolly Hat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2020 at 9:05am
Hi Tim,

I also planned to build my own before I'd ridden a recumbent and everyone I spoke to told me not to. I was lucky enough to attend a race and given the opportunity to ride 2 completely different recumbents and it totally changed my view on what I thought I wanted. I'm still interested in building one but an opportunity came up to buy one and it was the best decision for me at the time. I've learnt so much from riding it about what I like and what I would change if building my own that makes many of my previous plans completely invalid.

When the racing resumes, do try to have a ride on a few so that you can consider your plans carefully. From a practical building point of view, your choice of seat and, rake angle and method of mounting it will probably have the biggest effect on the shortest possible wheelbase. However, when it comes to getting it on a train you'll want the overall length as short as possible and wheelbase isn't usually the limiting factor. It's more the length of the boom sticking out the front with the spiky bits attached that will cause you problems. Losing the 26" wheel in favour of a second 20" would certainly help in the overall length issues but it all depends on how low you want the seat and what the recline angle is, and of course, how long your legs are.

I can't find the photo Kim posted of her bike wedged on a train but if anyone knows where it is and can re-post it here or link it, it could be of interest for Tim's design considerations.

Do bear in mind that with tube frame recumbents, most variations have already been tried and the best ones are still being ridden so you could gain inspiration from both current commercial models as well as the vintage and custom bikes ridden during the race season. Have a look at the race posts for links to photos and you'll see what others are riding.

If you can get to a shop that stocks them you might be able to blag a test ride or at least sit on a few and measure them up against your ideas?
Ross Low Racer 77 - beware of unexpected changes of direction
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Balor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Balor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2020 at 10:39am
Your best bet is weight distribution as close to 50 50 as possible, steering angle as close to 90 deg as possible while retaining enough trail (will need to reverse your fork for negative offset) and try to keep tiller (steering axis to handlebar) within 10-12 inches.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote AlanGoodman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2020 at 10:49am
Kingcycles work very well... Wink
 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RoyMacdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2020 at 1:02pm
Originally posted by Woolly Hat Woolly Hat wrote:

Hi Tim,
I can't find the photo Kim posted of her bike wedged on a train but if anyone knows where it is and can re-post it here or link it, it could be of interest for Tim's design considerations.


It's on her Strava profile. If you access her profile and then her photos, but view them in reverse order and it is two photos back from the start photo.

I tried to copy it so I could post it here but Strava doesn't let you do that.
Access her profile http://www.strava.com/athletes/4694940 then scroll down and click on the grey square with +77 (photos) on it.

All the best.
Roy


Edited by RoyMacdonald - 19 March 2020 at 1:12pm
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Kim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Kim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 March 2020 at 2:12pm
This one?  (Optima Baron on a CrossCountry Class 220 Voyager)



Not something I'd recommend.  However, being low and narrow, the Baron fits nicely on the trains where bicycles are stored opposite the reveal-a-door accessible toilet (eg. Class 170), in spite of being about 2.2m long.

My Streetmachine (Pictured below on an Arriva Trains Wales service, hence being draped in sodden waterproofs) generally fits on trains without too much drama: It's 1.9m long from the rear mudguard to the front of the chainring guard, which means it will fit in those dangly bike spaces hung by the rear wheel (heavy lifting left as an exercise for the reader), and most other train bike spaces (it's about 10cm too long for the general-purpose space on some commuter trains, but can generally be wedged in diagonally).  The USS handlebars are about the same width as those of a mountain bike, which means it doesn't always tetris well with other bikes - on Voyagers I try to put it in the single-bike compartment for that reason.



In general, the main problem with recumbents on trains is the lack of a pivoting front end means that some shuffling is required to get them on and off, and that helpy men will sometimes try to grab the front end in inappropriate places while you're positioning your feet to Mind The Gap with a heavily loaded bike.  You sometimes get staff who won't believe that it will fit, or that it's somehow not allowed, but the only time I've actually had a serious problem was the time I tried to use a train with my disabled partner and her ICE trike (trikes weren't permitted, so we were going to dismantle and bag it as Luggage, but the train manager wouldn't allow us to wheel it on and dismantle it on board the train and neither of us were able to carry that much weight).

To the OP: If you can get the overall length to 1.8m or less, and preferably use tiller steering, trains will be much easier.  I appreciate that probably isn't practical on a stick bike unless it's for very short riders.  Some train-spotter knowledge of the cycle provision on various rolling stock is helpful.


Edited by Kim - 19 March 2020 at 2:29pm
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Balor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Balor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 March 2020 at 11:00am
If you want some 'pivot ability', go for MBB.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Woolly Hat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 March 2020 at 5:23pm
Wasn't sure what MBB referred to so looked it up and if it's useful to anyone else reading this:
MBB = movable bottom bracket such that it is attached to the steering element rather than the solid frame of the bike. This may give it more flexibility for getting through the doors of the train but whether it makes it any shorter for fitting into a bike space?
Ross Low Racer 77 - beware of unexpected changes of direction
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Kim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Kim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 March 2020 at 5:43pm
Some bike spaces (typically general-purpose flip-down-seat areas without much specific provision for bikes) will fit a longer bike if the front wheel's at an angle, so it could certainly help with those.  Not so much the evil dangly ones.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote atlas_shrugged Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 March 2020 at 6:44pm
Here is an example of a Moving Bottom Bracket recumbent. Designed, built, and ridden for WC2019 by a French rider - and she was fast. The bike is made of bamboo. 
 
 
 


Edited by atlas_shrugged - 20 March 2020 at 7:24pm
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