atomic zombie bikes, recumbents, choppers, tandems, trikes, and more


April 13, 2011  


6 diy bike plans for under $30
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KoolKat and RadicalBrad

Atomic Zombie 

The Viking Recumbent Tandem Trike

The Viking Recumbent Tandem Trike

Vigilante Chopper

Vigilante Chopper

Atomic Zombie Extreme Machines SkyCycle tall bike

Atomic Zombie Extreme Machines SkyCycle tall bike

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warrior tadpole trike
Warrior tadpole trike

We have started packing for our big move. Unfortunately, that means no bike building until we get settled. But, Brad is working on some cool new designs, including foldable bikes. Once we get settled and the electricity hooked up, our bike building season will be under way.

If you have some suggestions for bike projects, head to the builders forum and join the discussion.

The Builders Gallery was updated this week. Check out the new additions to the Atomic Zombie family - choppers, recumbents, trikes, tandems, motorized bikes and more.

There are many free DIY tutorials on, from hacking bike parts to welding. Also, a number of free bike projects like Granny's Nightmare chopper, tall bikes and the Spin Scooter.

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Builders Gallery - New additions


kick scooter

warrior tadpole trike

See these and other awesome custom creations in the Builders Gallery. Submit your handmade bikes!

Warrior tadpole trike build has begun!

"After collecting a few parts I finally started the build. Started off following Brads plans fairly closely and got the rear forks and main boom assembly together. I made a simple template to keep everything straight & centered."

Read more and join the discussion: Warrior Build has begun!

Three Speed Hub with Coaster Brake

"So, I took my newly acquired (over the winter) granny trike out for its initial ride, and discovered that not only does it have a three speed hub, but that there's a coaster brake in there somewhere as well.

My other granny trike has a three speed derailer and a band brake on the rear axle, plus a caliper brake on the front wheel. So this was an interesting setup. There are no rear caliper brakes (nor fenders) on the new trike's 24" rear wheels, and only a dinky side pull brake on the 16" front wheel.

It will get me from A to B while the Delta Wolf takes shape (if it ever gets there), but sitting up so high and steering around corners is a very odd sensation. It seems to sit higher than the other trike.

The only really good part is the seat. It must have come off of a tractor or something, because even for my ample fundament it's really comfortable.

This thing would be ideal for a front hub motor, if one was inclined to pour that kind of money into an n-th hand used trike, because there's a huge area under the seat for batteries, controller and cargo.

First ride of the year and hey, it's nice to be on the road again, even if I have to dodge the snow drifts and the potholes."  ~ Trike Lover, AZ Krew member

Grinder Safety Tips

"I always leave the guard ON my grinder, and not just for safety reasons.

Whenever I'm grinding, the sparks fly everywhere and I need to constantly adjust the guard placement to prevent the sparks from flying directly at me and messing up my clothes or schmutzing up my welding mask.

I always wear a welding mask with clear glass when I'm grinding, but the glass gets wrecked pretty fast if the sparks come directly at me.

using a grinder for bike hacking 

A few rules will make grinding or welding a bit safer.

* No SYNTHETIC clothes (they melt - cotton is a much safer bet)
* No LOOSE clothes (they can get caught in the wheel)
* Clean up the balled up newspaper and greasy paper towels from under your workstation (I've set this stuff on fire on more than one occasion...)
* No loose jewelry or stuff hanging off - lanyards, drawstrings, etc.
* Wear heavy gloves, even if you just need the grinder for a second
* Don't grind things that can become dislodged and flung off (BRAKE/SHIFTER CABLES) (find that wire cutter instead!) Grinder+brake cable=horror movie weed whacker

I've broken every one of these rules, but I'm getting better. No serious accidents yet."  ~ Tree, AZ Krew Guru

Cables and housing: where to get some?

"I'm looking to get some cables and housing to work with my marauder as what I've got from donor bikes won't work (bummer). So I stopped by the bike shop yesterday. $5 for shifter and brake cable - not horrible...the housing - $2 per foot! OUCH!"

Read more and join the discussion: Cables and housing...where to get some?

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OK, I've got my AZ plans, my welder, my shop tools and my steel - now what do I do?

Actually I've decided to build two trikes at the same time this go around. The first one will basically just be a StreetFox straight up build with possibly a seat modification. I'll be using an unmodified stock rear triangle from a Walmart mountain bike.

I've draw out a full scale model for the second trike but I'd like to get some input from the group. For this trike I'm thinking that I'll use the stock rear triangle off a Walmart mountain bike but modify it by cutting off the suspension tabs and weld the bottom bracket directly to the 1 1/2 bottom tube.

Laying the rear triangle on the workbench I will then rotate it up to an 18 degree angle is formed between the bottom stay and the workbench (approximately 5" off the workbench). This will give me approximately 7 inches of ground clearance at the lowest point on the frame.


Read more and join the discussion

From the junkyard into the World Record books!  guinness world record bike

The "TallBike" has been around as long as the regular bicycle, and in the 1800s these sky scraping contraptions were referred to as "Lamp Lighters" because those who rode them had the job of igniting oil burning streetlights. These brave tallbike pilots would climb up their 6 foot tall ladder framed two wheelers and then ride from one streetlight pole to another, igniting the wick of the lamp fastened to the pole.

Today, tallbikes are only ridden by the thrill seeking adrenaline junkies, but the process of hugging a pole to mount and dismount the bike is pretty much the same as it was in the 1800s.

There is no real definition of what defines a tallbike, but most would agree that it normally is any two wheeled bicycle that has its crankset raised over the height of the wheels. Some tallbikes can actually be mounted from the ground as the pedals are just over 2 feet from the ground, while others require the pilot to climb up the frame and launch from a standstill while clinging to a telephone pole.

In the case of my over-engineered 12 foot tallbike "SkyWalker", the pilot can climb up the built in frame ladder while steering the bike using a built in steering rail that doubles as a handrail. SkyWalker is kind of hard to explain really, so check it out on our main page if you are curious. The tallbike presented here (The SkyCycle) is reminiscent of the classic LampLighter design, and requires the pilot to climb the frame and use a telephone pole to launch or come in for landing.

This is the story of how I took a pile of scrap tubing found at the dump and merged it with a few old bicycles in order to get my mug into the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records, along with about TV interviews, radio interviews, and several magazines and newspapers. Normally, I am not much into seeking the spotlight, and I had no idea how massive the media storm would be when I broke the world record in 2003. The journey to stardom begins at the city dump.

Read more about how a simple tallbike turned into a mega beast World Record here.


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