Sunday, July 6, 2008

Some interesting cycles

TIM HICKS of Barrie, Ont., was a first-timer at the 2008 Michigan HPV Rally, bringing with him two cycles that he built. Top: He warms up on his low racer, using rollers, prior to the Sunday morning races, while talking to Ken Scott of Muskegon, seated on Tim's tricycle (bottom photo). Tim uses mild steel tubing for all of his frames because it's cheap. The low racer uses 1-1/2-inch square, .0625 wall. The rear wheel is 700c (27 in.); front, 451mm (20 in.); wheelbase is about 50 in. In addition to making the frame, Tim made the seat frame (from EMT tubing), built the wheels, shortened the cranks to 140mm and made the oval chainrings. A clever feature of his tricycle is the boom supporting the bottom bracket is hinged at the axle, so it can be folded for easy transporting. Ken rode Tim's trike in the 5-mile tricycles-only race, while Tim raced and won on his modified Catrike. All the details about the many HPVs Tim has built, plus a lot of other information, is available on his Web site,

VINCENT ROBINET of Toronto came to the 2008 Michigan HPV Rally to spectate, but brought the take-apart front-wheel-drive bike he built with him. In two pieces, it fits in the trunk of his Volkswagen Jetta sedan. The rear section of the square tube under the seat fits inside the front piece. A clamp and pin hold the two parts of the frame together. The cable to the rear brake comes apart. The front wheel is 20x1.5; the rear is 26 in. A 24 in. fork is used for the rear stays. The bike has 148mm cranks and 15 speeds. The seat is from an old Rans. Robinet first rode the bike in 2007, but as of when the photos were taken, was still doing some tweaking before painting the frame. If it's not obvious, the cranks move horizontally as the front wheel is steered. Robinet said starting to move is the hard part. "It's a bit of a leaning curve, but I've gotten used to it by now."

DAN WILSON of Bridgman cut up two chopper bikes in order to take advantage of their very wide rear wheels and tires, to build a beach bike for riding over sand. Unfortunately, it didn't work as well as he wanted, his thought being that the tires, though wide, have a rounded tread, so they "dig" into the sand, rather than riding over the top. But it's still an interesting looking bike. That's Dan riding it. The only part of the project he didn't do was the welding, which was done by Dave Anstey of Stevensville.


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