Mini Recumbent

CAD (Cardboard Aided Design) layout for design using a full size cardboard body cutout with brads at joints.  Yellow sticks show path of chain line.

Miter is made by drilling tube sized hole and sawing, filing


Strapped and clamped ready for tack welding, final allignment check/ adjustment and then full welding.

Full construction details available at recumbent


Mini Recumbent Bike

Frame Materials:  Steel Kid Bike and Steel donor bike Downtube with Bottom Bracket (BB) .

Weight as pictured: 28 lbs

What was I thinking?:

How to make a mini recumbent bike that large and small riders could sharewith a simple frame.

How Does it ride?:

It is stable and well behaved from 2-25 mph.   Its CG is near the back wheel, and the wheelbase is SHORT giving it a tight turning radius.   The low seat provides confident riding with both feet able to reach the ground.   The bike has a very solid feel.   The seat wood back slides with bottom edge able to move forward easily for different sized riders.  The slack run of chain is guided around the fork blade very simply in a length of (polyethelene?) black irrigation tubing.

What Changed before the photos?:

I first built it with a regular big cruiser bike seat for testing.  But it is much more comfy with a back support.

What may change later on this bike?:

I may put a bigger chain ring for higher speed riding.   Maybe wider bars (to continue to clear under the seat) bending up to be closer within relaxed reach.

What would I do differently on another attempt?:

I may make a no-weld version using a wood sandwhich around the kid bike frame to hold the BB and the seat.

What lessons were learned?:

It works well. The body geometry necessitates a back rest.   Bike design and execution are actually very forgiving if your expectations are low enough.     It looks really simple and whimsical.

What are the keeper developments?:

BB Boom recumbent conversions are simple and effective .   The rear dropout construction technique of flattening the tubes, slicing one and passing the other through, then welding them together and cutting a slot worked well.

Other variations in mind

I may make a no-weld version using a wood sandwhich around the kid bike frame to hold the BB and the seat.

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