The Ski Bike
Frame Materials: Steel tubing for the stays and a Steel Bedpost with back half of a ski inserted.
Weight as pictured: 36 lbs
What was I thinking?:
How to make a semi recumbent bike with a simple frame. (Compared to diamond frames, I combined the seat tube and top tube into a single diagonal backbone thereby reducing from 13 joints to 8 joints.)
How Does it ride?:
It is stable and well behaved from 2-25 mph. Its CG is near the back wheel, giving it a tight turning radius. The ski seat has plenty of bounce. The low seat provides confident riding with both feet able to reach the ground. The bike has a very solid feel. Thesat board sandwich slides easily for different sized riders.
What Changed before the photos?:
I first built it with a 20" rear wheel but the gearing felt too low and the position felt butt heavy (no weight on hands or feet or seatback. Later I changed to 26" rear wheel and the gearing and smootheness improved.
What may change later on this bike?:
I got nothing.
What would I do differently on another attempt?:
I would tuck the rear wheel in a little closer and steepen the seat tube angle, for compactness and to distribute a little weight to the feet.
What lessons were learned?:
It works well. The body geometry is at the laid back end of the comfort spectrum for backless seats. Bike design and execution are actually very forgiving if your expectations are low enough. It looks really simple and cool.
What are the keeper developments?:
Skis work well as shock absorbing seat beams. 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
A plywood wheelstay ski bike where the ski is attached to a 2x4 that has the plywood wheelstays joined to it.
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