Front Wheel Drive build

Joined
Nov 20, 2019
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20
I've always been intrigued by front wheel drive. So I decided why not build one?

I started with a basic Mt. Bike frame (aluminium). I decided I wanted some sort of suspension, the Mt. Bike had a rear suspension system, so that would work for now.
Below you can see I started by attaching the rear triangle to the front. And attaching a seat post the suspension pivot (which would allow the angle to change if it was moved).



I have a mesh seat that was given to me, so I figured I would use that. And no matter what type of seat, I would have to create an attachment of some sort, for the seat. But, I can't weld aluminium, so I made a "bolt-on" attachment out of a partial frame from another bike, and 3/4 " conduit. So far it seems to be working fine!



Next I mounted the seat, using a handle bar in the rear seat post at the rear, and the bracket I made to bolt on the frame at the front. I also made an attachment to the steering goose neck, which I would later change.



At this point I sat on it, and it felt fine... So I started thinking about the under seat steering. I decided to bend some 3/4" conduit I had, and attach it to the top of the front fork. And I took the little handle bar ends (that I had cut off where the back of the seat is resting) and welded those on too.



I sat on it some more, and really liked the placement of the handle bars. But, I noticed that goose neck was too tall. I had to lower it to make it easier to get on and off the bike, because with the under seat steering, the only way to get on the bike is to step over the front wheel and back oneself onto the bike.

Everything seemed really comfortable. So I hooked up some brakes and installed the chain.



I pumped up the tires and went for a test ride. Now I've never ridden a FWD bike before, and two things hit me right off. One is I had to learn how to ride a bike all over again. I felt like I was steering with my feet! And two, my seat was too high. I was struggling with starting and stopping.



So I lowered the seat by about an inch (I don't have a photo of that sorry) which helped tremendously and added a bar end to hold accessories. And now I've ridden it about 32 miles on a bike path, and each time I ride it I feel like I'm learning how to ride all over again. Which I find exhilarating. I've ordered new tires (just riding what I had lying around, right now) and will probably make some tweaks here and there, but other than that it seems to be a success. And with each ride I get less and less wobbly.
I'm stoked, and thought I'd share my little build with you all.
 
Joined
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Hugh

Well done.

So I lowered the seat by about an inch (I don't have a photo of that sorry) which helped tremendously and added a bar end to hold accessories.
It may help the riding if you make the seat more upright ?
2 wheelers are a bit easier to control like that and it makes stop/starting & junctions etc easier/safer ?



And now I've ridden it about 32 miles on a bike path, and each time I ride it I feel like I'm learning how to ride all over again.
You may find that EVERY time you ride it :whistle: I though I had the hang of mine after about 11 miles , a moments distraction and I was having a close look at the scenery at the side of the bike path :ROFLMAO:

And with each ride I get less and less wobbly.
Hold that thought !

Also has it taken your shins off yet whilst manouvering it ?

Another interesting event is trying to change the front tyre , I will leave you to discover why that's not easy ;)

To reduce the height of the goose neck fastening you could always weld to your fork below the head tube and continue that to the pedals , it does make the whole front end easier to mount and unmount ?



all the best Paul
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
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Hugh

Well done.



It may help the riding if you make the seat more upright ?
2 wheelers are a bit easier to control like that and it makes stop/starting & junctions etc easier/safer ?
Thanks! I have been thinking of adjusting the seat. There are a number of "firsts" with this bike. One of them is how far laid back the seat is. My last ride (yesterday) I was getting much better at stopping and starting. But, I still might make the seat a bit more upright.





You may find that EVERY time you ride it :whistle: I though I had the hang of mine after about 11 miles , a moments distraction and I was having a close look at the scenery at the side of the bike path :ROFLMAO:
I have had that feeling as well. If I take my mind off of riding too long, I find myself getting wobbly. By the way is this your build? I'd love to see the final product. It looks great!




Hold that thought !

Also has it taken your shins off yet whilst manouvering it ?

Another interesting event is trying to change the front tyre , I will leave you to discover why that's not easy ;)

To reduce the height of the goose neck fastening you could always weld to your fork below the head tube and continue that to the pedals , it does make the whole front end easier to mount and unmount ?
I haven't had the shin issue yet. I have hit my heels on the chain stays, so I added extensions to the pedals to make them wider, and my last ride I didn't hit my heels.

I have thought about re-attaching to the fork below the head tube. I'm still testing to see if I need to or not. It would save another inch or so in height.


all the best Paul
Thank you!
 
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Sep 16, 2018
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I read this on my phone and when I looked ad the first photo, I didn't know how you wanted to do that. But as I see the result, it looks great.
I never tried a 2 wheel recumbent. Maybe something to build after my current build.
 
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Nov 20, 2019
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I read this on my phone and when I looked ad the first photo, I didn't know how you wanted to do that. But as I see the result, it looks great.
I never tried a 2 wheel recumbent. Maybe something to build after my current build.
It's definitely a challenge to ride, as in it takes some concentration.
 
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Hughes

My frustration with MBB shows in this thread :- Can I really live with MBB

I will relate trying to change the front wheel/tyre ?

So laying on it's side is hard as it rests on the pedals and they then won't turn so you can't feed the chain on and off ?

Easy I though upside down on the bars and seat back ?

Well no actually the weight on the pedals caused it to nose dive in-palling the chain rings in the grass.

Once the forward motion stopped the whole of the bike swung around the head tube , luckily away from me , and slammed into the lawn !

Spanners out and complete disassembly followed tout de suite :whistle:

YMMV Paul
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
20
Hughes

My frustration with MBB shows in this thread :- Can I really live with MBB

I will relate trying to change the front wheel/tyre ?

So laying on it's side is hard as it rests on the pedals and they then won't turn so you can't feed the chain on and off ?

Easy I though upside down on the bars and seat back ?

Well no actually the weight on the pedals caused it to nose dive in-palling the chain rings in the grass.

Once the forward motion stopped the whole of the bike swung around the head tube , luckily away from me , and slammed into the lawn !

Spanners out and complete disassembly followed tout de suite :whistle:

YMMV Paul
I've been just unbolting it while still upright... then with one hand hold the bike, and the other pull the wheel out (after undoing the brakes).

The only difficulty I've had is getting it all back together, which has made me think about attaching the chain stays differently, so I don't have to try and bolt them in at the same time.

But, walking the bike (I have had to walk the bike up a hill that is on the path I ride), I learned I have to hold the front bar that connects to the head tube/fork assembly. I have been able to walk behind it and slowly control it, but that is difficult.

Storage. I just built a bike stand to hold the bike, both for storage, and to work on it.

But, so far, like I said, I'm enjoying the experience. It's like learning to ride all over again. The sensation of steering with my feet is interesting to my brain (as long as I don't eat dirt in the process!).

Thanks for the thread link, that was interesting.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2008
Messages
2,715
Location
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Hughes

I don't think the frame I gave away is actually being used and about once a year I think of getting it back ?

2 things I wanted do/try with it would be :-

  1. limit turning to about 25' either side of centre with some fork/head stops
  2. add some strong centering springs
like this :-



from here :- MBB/FWD off road

Paul
 
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