The Spin Scooter - Page 1 of 5

Figure 1

Once in awhile I get the urge to create a new wild and crazy cycle based on some idea from the many sketches I have collected over the years. Sometimes these bikes work out as planned, creating new and fun ways to move from point A to point B, and sometimes these creations fail, either in a huge flop, or a blaze of glory where the crash test pilot becomes acquainted with the pavement. This time, the plan worked out, resulting in a very unique and fun ride that is both challenging to master, and capable of some off-the-wall maneuvers.

Figure 2

The SpinScooter is based loosely on our SpinCycle Stunt Trike, allowing the front wheel to steer the vehicle as normal, but also allowing some out of control steering by allowing the rear caster to steer the rear of the vehicle. This front and rear steering gives the feeling of riding on ice, or doing a burn-out on a fast motorcycle. By shifting your weight around and controlling the front wheel, you can get the SpinScooter to do 360s, steer into a drift, or behave like a regular kick scooter. When you are first starting out, you will also learn creative ways to fall on your back!

As shown in the photo, you will require a pair of wheels - a standard front 20 inch BMX wheel and some kind of caster wheel like the ones you would find on the front of a shopping cart. The larger the caster, the more fine control you will have over the scooter, so choose the larger diameter caster wheel you can find. Also, rubber or air filled caster wheels are better than hard plastic casters for this project. The caster wheel shown has a diameter of 8 inches and was taken from an old wheelchair.

Figure 3

Just about any front fork will work for this project as long as the bearing hardware fits the fork stem. I wanted a bit more height on my scooter, so I chose a beefy looking 26 inch front fork as shown the photo. The bearing hardware includes two ball bearings, two bearing cups, a top threaded bearing race, a lock washer and a top nut. Notice that the bottom bearing race is slightly larger than the top, and when installing bearings, the balls go into the cups so that the flat part of the retainer is at facing up.

Figure 4

You will also require a head tube that will match the length of the fork stem. A matching head tube will be about 2 inches shorter than the fork stem to allow all of the bearing hardware to install properly. If the head tube is too long, you can always cut off a section, and may also be able to cut a bit of the threaded fork stem if it is too long. I hacked an old mountain bike frame for the head tube shown here and it looked to be about the right length to match.

Figure 5

When the fork hardware is installed as shown in here, you should be able to hold the head tube and spin the forks freely with very little friction. If the forks seem to stick, then either your bearings are installed the wrong way or some of the hardware is not of matching size. Yes, like all mechanical things in life, there are several sizes that look almost identical, yet will not work together properly. There is an underground committee of engineers that meet in secret to ensure that many similar standards exist in order to anger and confuse all those who dare to take things apart. Don't let them defeat you!

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You can build it yourself from our easy to follow DIY plans!