Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mk. 3

     Well, the cartbike Mk. 2 did not work as well as hoped. On the first voyage of any real distance, the left wheel got taco'd, and the forks came loose. It was tragic, so I decided to rebuild as a bicycle. The tiny wheel from the stroller was used, and the more solid fork was attached to the front of the cart. This gives the fork a negative angle but a rake of about 100 cm, where as most bicycles have it measured in millimeters. It's ugly, and it's much harder to steer, as impossible as that seems. But once it gets to speed, and it gets better, and I'm getting the hang of it. That helps too.

I'm still keeping the 2, to commemorate the earlier model. And it looks cool.

Mk. 2 Finishing

These are photos that are long overdue, but here they are, the pictures of finishing up, and some of the first rides of the Cartbike Mk. 2.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day Seventy-Three

Yesterday, for three hours of work and having my hands look like the tin man's by the end of the day, I finally got tires! However, I am short one, maybe two tubes. The 27" wheel has a tire and a tube already, but the tire is rotted through, so there's a fair chance the tube might be as well. It is possible however, that the tube is in a usable condition, in which case it will be used. I'm planning on using the 700c wheel on my 10-Speed, as it is nicer than the 27" that's currently there. I'll then have both of the 27" wheels mounted to the front of the Cartbike, and have radness ensue.
I'm debating whether or not to just go ahead and set up the cartbike, assuming the tube is fine, and worry about getting a tube for my road bike later. I might just do that tonight, seeing as how wready I am for this project to be finished.
On a related note, I very nearly got a solid rubber tire for the rear wheel of the Cartbike. The bike shop was throwing it out because it weighed around four pounds, but seeing as I'm making a bike out of a shopping cart, weight is no issue for me, and it would be nice not to have the risk of popping the rear tube of changing it ever. If it's still there the next time I visit the shop, I will grab it for sure. The only risk is that I'm unsure of what size it is, so lugging it all the way home only to find out that it doesn't fit would be awful. I might just cry.

 The two tires! Oddly enough, the new and all-black one is the 27", and the old one with the yellow siding is the 700c. That tire is crazy thin.

This is where the other 27" would come from. I apologize for not having an aesthetically pleasing quick-release angle.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day Sixty-Six

 Today I finally got wheels! I sent out a plea on the Internets, and I got a reply. One super rad person had an old 27" steel wheel, and a 700C which had been crashed, and damaged. Luckily, he has much higher standards than I, so I jumped on the opportunity. And so it came to be that I traded a bag of Jet Puff Marshmallows and a bag of Grandma Utz's Chips for two bike wheels. I also discovered that the Shaw/Howard University Metro station exists in four dimensions, but that's another story.

The two wheels.

There's the bend in the rim. Luckily, I'm not using front brakes.

I need to sand off the rust. And for some reason, I suspect that the tires aren't very capable of high pressure.

Time for a new tire, but otherwise, wheels!

In an unrelated story, I have a corrugated plastic box that I found in the gutter, time to make some polo wheel covers!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day Fifty-Three

      I pulled a tri-wheeled stroller out of the trash today as a potential source for wheels, because this is getting kind of ridiculous*. The front wheel will work perfectly, the same can't be said about the rear two, they have a different type of axle, which only has a bar on one side. I will try to replace the axle or add a quick release to make them usable. If they aren't however, it's cool. the wheels are all somewhere in the 12"-14" range, and are tiny, but sturdy. I would rather have some 700c's, because they are sexy, or at the very least, some 26's.

* And I'm getting desperate.

This will work beautifully.

These, not so much, but they have potential (like Existential Hero!).

I did get a rad handle-bar bag, with cup holders and other-thing holders. It solved the problem I was thinking about, about how I should add cup holders. I may still add some purpose-built/more permanent ones, but this bag is pretty great.

I'm pretty happy with it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day Forty-Three

     Today I got some cable ties and u-bolts for attaching the forks to the cart. I believe this is the third trip to the hardware store so far, we'll see how it goes, I anticipate at least one more. I'm not going to attach the forks until I get the wheels, so that they'll be even if they're different sizes. I also grabbed a foot pump for $5.79, and finally pumped up the tires on my KMX (Website, mine's much older and much less nice.) and I partook in some drifting.
     Then, I finished spraying primer on the forks, and gave them numerous clear coats. I really like how smooth the matte primer is, but gloss protects it, and makes it look marginally more professional (I hope.).

The clamps and U-Bolts. Around $11 worth.

Tiny hose clamp holding the back of the cart to the bottom.

A better angle of it.

I found this old piece of belt, and thought it looked pretty rad. I wanted to incorporate it onto my bike somewhere.

Either on the headtube.

Or on the underside of the seat. I might just leave it off, I'm not sure yet.

The forks after the primer was dry.

After a couple clear coats, it's still wet.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day Forty-Two

     Today was a pretty successful day. I got down, and got to work. I cut through the non-drive side supports, which were significantly harder than the drive side, due to right-hand dominance and awkward angles. Eventually I got most of the way through the last support, and just turned it around until it came off. It was a feeling of pure victory. I then tightened up the hose clamps holding the fork to the cart, added two more at the bottom, and tightened those to near-dangerous levels, and I'm somewhat worried about it pulling the fork apart slowly over time, I think it should be alright though, if it's not, I'll just get an axle, or even a quick-release skewer, and put it through the front dropouts to prevent expansion, but I don't think that'll be necessary.
     Finally, after all that, I sprayed a few coats of Clear Coat (that sounded redundant) onto the seat to protect it a bit more. Ideally I'll be able to build up a plastic (Apparently Plasticine is a modelling clay...)  layer on top of the duct tape to protect it from wear and weather. I'm not sure if it'll be soft or rigid, we'll just have to see, I I honestly wouldn't mind a whole bunch. I also taped up the non-painted surfaces of the forks, and gave one side a coat of primer, albeit a thick coat. They were slightly different shades of black, and the primer I have matches the shopping cart well, and the more colors that match on this bike, the better.

For Science!

I got halfway through this cut, but then I realized that it was a bad place for a cut and wouldn't look aesthetically pleasing, and almost as bad, it might be dangerous.

Where the new cut was, much cleaner looking.

I thought that having a perfectly straight tube would be good for sticking flags or antennas or polo mallets in.

But then I took a break, and saw the ends of the forks... Realistically, they'll be covered up by some coin and epoxy-based mechanism to keep rain out.

Also, while I was taking a break from sawing, I took the plastic seat lid off, it was cramping my style. That said, I might put it back on, it completes the appearance of the cart.

The plastic seat lid.

Also, I saw this label, and very promptly removed it.

This is what Victory looks like. This is the kind of scene that Nike dreams about.

I'm so happy to be done with this stage, also oil is covering my floor...

The new hose clamps at the bottom of the fork.

This may pose some danger, it's kind of sharp. But it's also difficult to come in contact with, and the entire cart is uncomfortable... I'm thinking that adding pool noodle foam in strategic locations would be beneficial.

It's perfectly symmetrical. For aesthetic reasons mainly, though keeping equal pressure is important too.

The other side.

The forks after they've been taped and had a one coat of primer. (Still Wet)