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Converted Bike to Compact Bike

Frame Materials:   23" frame steel 10 speed road bike

Weight as pictured: 27 lbs

What was I thinking?:

How to make a regular bike into a compact bike with a small front wheel.   The purpose is a simple alternative to complex folding bikes.   The design reminds me of the American Eagle reverse penny Farthing bikes of the late 1800s.

How Does it ride?:

It is stable and well behaved from 2-20 mph.   It has less than 1" of trail.   It has lots of tiller (12 inches) and narrow bars.   I think that makes it hard to ride standing up.   A normal bike has 3-5 inches of forward tiller.  The yellow bike has way too much tiller and feels funny to steer.

 

What Changed before the photos?:

I first built it with a straight seat post but I felt too compressed.   I changed to the extended seatpost to move the set backward 4".

 

What may change later on this bike?:

I may rebuild the stem for less tiller and less height.   I may reinstall the rear derailleur for 5 speed gearing.

What would I do differently on another attempt?:

I might se a 16 inch front wheel.   I might use a 20" back wheel.   I might try to build adult ergonomics into a 20" kid bike.   (Long cranks, tall post and tall stem)

What lessons were learned?:

It worked well.

Bike design and execution are actually very forgiving if your expectations are low enough.     It was an easy conversion.   It is easy to transport.

 

tomkabat@aol.com

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