Sunday, May 21, 2006


Well what can I say.
I haven't been out riding for a while... It's been too cold... too wet... I've been busy or maybe the truth is that I just haven't been that motivated of late.
Being a slob does have it's good points too just look how many people die when they are out running... and we all know how many cyclists get killed on the roads.
One thought I have had recently is that if alcohol is a factor in 15% of road accidents you should actually drink and drive because it's the 85% made up of sober people that are causing most of the carnage... Maybe that's not what it meant huh?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Road Bike Alteration

This bike was altered from a large mens frame to be a compact frame suitable for my teenage daughter. The head tube was shortened, the top tube removed, reshaped and fitted to the shortened seat tube.
The final stage was to bring the seat stays down to meet the seat tube, the ends were cut off and reshaped to make a good joint and the seat post clamp was re-attached.
A new coat of metallic blue paint... Some old transfers from a bike shop and the frame was starting to look pretty good.
The components are old Shimano 105 from back when the 105 group had a 6 speed cluster and downtube shifters.
Although the bike has only been used for short rides so far it performs really well and handles nicely.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Other Bikes and Projects

Along with the bikes featured in other posts on this blog I have built a lowracer bike which didn't turn out all that well so I dismantled it and reused much of the tube and components.
I built a tadpole trike which was a total blast to ride, I fitted a park brake that worked on the rear wheel which was good to stop it rolling off when left unattended, this I soon discovered was awesome for doing handbrake turns... If you were going fast enough you could spin a complete 360 without too much trouble at all.
I sold the trike before I had a chance to get any pics. The only downside was that it was a little bit heavy but with a 406 (20") rear wheel low gearing was no problem at all.

Currently I am sporadically working on another trike... This time I am taking much more care with the weight issue and expect to save a considerable amount.

The project I am most involved with at the moment is another lowracer bike, this is styled on the bike built by Atom Bikes.
This is my first attempt at a frontwheel drive bike and I am looking forward to trying this out.
The frame is pretty much prefabricated at the moment... Just a little bit more cleaning paint of tubing and I can get on to the good bit... The welding.
The bike is built around 406 (20") wheels front and rear and will have a low and laid back riding position.

Long Wheelbase Recumbent

This is the second long wheelbase recumbent that I have built. As with all of my homebuilt bikes it was made from old recycled bike frames. This time I was luckier than usual and found one with Shimano 600 components... I know these are pretty low tech by today's standard but they are better than I usually find. I drew a lot from the information on the "Recycled Recumbent" website (see links ->) as there is a whole bunch of great information and pics that explain how to build one of these great bikes.
I can honestly say that this is the most comfortable bike I have ever been on... It does seem to have a tendency to absorb road shock and the lazy steering seems to soak up any rider induced unsteadiness.
It is by no means a racer but the upright seating and relaxed steering position make it a pleasure to cruise with.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Homebuilt Tandem

This is the first bike I ever built and I consider it the best, not because it's anything special but simply because it is so much fun to ride.
My wife and three teenage daughters have all enjoyed riding this bike.
The bike is pretty basic... the frames are old no-name mountain bike frames and the components were taken from the same old bikes.
For more details on building check out the Backyard Bents website, you will also find links to other resources there.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

My Road Bike

This is my favourite bike.
It is the best bike I have ever owned and is a pure joy to ride.
It was produced by Reiker Cycles a small manufacturer based in Timaru NZ. It features an aluminium frame, carbon fork and Shimano 105 group set.
Whilst the sprinter is not Reiker's top end race bike it is a nice package for my type of recreational riding and the quality of the frame building is very high indeed.
So far the Shimano 105 components have proved to be solid and reliable and with the amount of riding I get to do I expect they will last for a reasonable time.
I have at present ridden around 2000 Kms on this bike and it has never missed a beat... Wish I could say the same about the engine. :)

Experimaental SWB

This was an experiment that very nearly worked first time.
It had a few new things I tried including my first attempt at building a shell seat.
The frame was loosely styled on the legendary Lightning P38.
The frame was taken from an old ladies tenspeed (the type with twin top tubes) and the seat post was cut below the top tubes leaving the section visible below the seat.
This allowed for the down tube and chainstays to be removed from the bottom bracket... these were shaped and bent up to be re-attached to the seat tube ( Note: the down tube needed to be cut and shaped at the head tube end to meet), the seat tube above the top tubes was removed.
By bending the seat stays up it was possible to use them for the seat brace... another set of twin top tubes was fitted between the seat stays and the top tubes making a support for the seat and securing the seat stays at the top end.
The bike has since been altered from the set up in the pic... the seat is reclined further and the steering was altered to compensate for the more laid back style.
I am not finished with this bike and will make further alterations to the frame to tidy up a few of the minor problems that still exist.
Although heavier than the bike that inspired it the performance wasn't too bad in a recreational riding sense and I look forward to finishing this project and using the bike as an all round commuter and fun machine.

Friday, May 05, 2006

My First Homebuilt Recumbent

This is the first ever attempt at recumbent building.
It weighed a ton and had rubbish components but you know what... Riding it was about the most fun you can have with your pants on.
It was kinda cool in that I made the front chainwheel set up a quad.
I built this from information found online, including making one of the cogs, it took some fine tuning and adjusting but overall it worked OK.
The seat is made using tubing from an old dining chair and some recycled webbing from seatbelts out of wrecked cars.
The under seat steering handlebar was taken from a disused exercise bike and the bar end shifters were fashioned from some old suicide shifters from a ten speed bike and a chunk of aluminium cut from a crank arm and shaped to fit into the handle bar and hold the lever.


I'm Terry Mitchell.

I live in a small rural town (pop approx 850) in New Zealand's South Island.
My nearest bike shop is over 30 miles away so I tend to buy most of my parts etc online.
I have been building bikes for a while and built my first recumbent by trial and error (and there was plenty of those) from a design I found online.

I currently own and ride a road bike, mountain bike, upright tandem (homebuilt) a Short wheel base recumbent loosely styled on a P38 and a Long wheel base recumbent built from a design found on Recycled Recumbent.

I remember the first time I ever saw a recumbent, they are pretty scarce in rural New Zealand, I thought "dork... why don't you get a proper bike" Kinda funny how things work out.

It was about six months later I started building the first of the 7 or so recumbents I have built so far.