Sunday, September 24, 2017

Tallbike finished

Lots of cable-stops, Mig-welded on despite the remaining braze material. Yes, I could have silver-soldered them but Mig is quicker and involves less cleaneryuppery afterwards and no painful shards of borax-glass which is the inevitable result of being too impatient to apply eyeball protection to front of head. And no, Mig isn't beautiful but I do lay claim to the view that my glorious Tallbike isn't quite as ugly as those affairs where the citizens of Portland in the county of Oregonshire in our colony of America simply weld a Walmart bike on top of another Walmart bike, much as that might be the best and quickest thing to do with Walmart bicycles.

Visible, if one can be bothered to look for them, are two cable joiners, and a quarter-circle sawn out of that headtube with the groove filed in, that persuades a gear cable to turn 90 degrees and get the front mech to work. Cunningly the front mech is missing from the picture, so deducing where it might be can replace tonight's cryptic crossword for one's brain exercise.

Handlebar from somewhere and combined brake/gear levers from somewhere else. Haven't diagonalised the parallelogram: riding round the garden hasn't stressed matters enough to feel the need.

It turned out to be easy to get on and off, much easier than the penny farthing. You put a foot on the pedal, scoot a couple of times, and get on just like a normal bike. Get off in the same way. And it feels just like an ordinary bike to ride too, even though you're higher up. Indeed you're higher than on the penny farthing though mine has but a 48 inch wheel, and is therefore a small penny farthing. The penny's seat is 52 inches off the ground, so five inches lower than this machine. (If I may dignify it with the title 'machine'.) And you don't feel that you're in peril of your life, as you do on the penny; nor do your arms have to counter the pedalling thrust which on a penny farthing tends to a slight side-to-side waggling of the big front wheel which is the case if you're a nervous penny farthing rider, which I am.

Tallbike vs Penny Farthing

Vital statistics:

Wheelbase: 58"
Seat height: 57"
BB height : 28"
Weight: 36 lbs
Wheels: 700 x 23c
Gearing: 14-28 rear, 28/38/48 front
Cost: £0.0s.0d. unless you count the Mig wire, gas and electricity
Time: three weekends

S'ppose I'd better take it for some rides up the valley before painting it. Bracing that parallelogram with a diagonal or adding carrier racks is best done while the steel is raw since it saves on wire-brushing paintwork off.

And then it can be stashed away until the Pienaars come for lunch and their teenage boys can amuse themselves riding it, along with all the other useless vehicles I've built, up and down the road and afterwards Lenny can come and tell me off vicariously for them not having helmets on.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home