eCumbent – Welding Begins

This post is a little late in coming and the eCumbent trike is now a lot further along in development, as usual I find myself forever playing catchup.

The first step was to harvest some donor bikes for parts and build the rear forks. Every time I use my chop saw on steel I realise just how useful it is, this thing cuts through so easily and saves me from hacksaw hell. The forks were jigged up and some axle holding tabs fabricated to hold the wheel in place. These have been made from much thicker (5mm) steel plate: heavy but they should hold down the torque provided by the rear hub motor that I plan to add.


Once the fork came together I started building the spine of the frame. The pictures below show a crude setup using toolboxes of convenient heights to get the frame geometry correct to the plans. It took several attempts to get the spine of the frame true. After using a myriad of distinctly average measurement techniques I eventually settled on a set of tack welds I was happy with and managed to weld the spine together.

I also received the components to build my front wheels, 20″ with 20mm axles. I haven’t laced wheels in a while and the small rims with 3cross lacing proved a challenge but as always it all pulled true in the end. Lacing wheels is a very therapeutic part of building a bike and I would recommend it to anyone who has some level of patience.


More progress to come.

eCumbent – Intro

In September 2012 I began my first ‘grown up’ job role as a Graduate Engineer for Jaguar Land Rover. At 8 miles away I really should be cycling to work throughout the year but in cold weather the car is just too tempting. In an attempt to solve this problem by getting to work faster (less time in the cold) and have some fun at the same time I decided to build myself an electric bike.

For a long time I have wanted to build and ride my own bike from scratch, specifically a recumbent. Since I have never built a bike before I did some research and quickly found the joy of Atomic Zombie. ~£15 later and I had downloaded the plans for an Atomic Zombie Warrior Trike. I went for the trike for a few reasons:

  • More stable for a first time recumbent rider, especially when combined with electric power
  • Potential to more easily add fairings to the trike (to aid the cold winter rides)
  • Stable at low speeds will make the trike an ideal trailer towing vehicle

After buying some steel and borrowing a work mate’s welder (thanks Robin!) I got to work. I can’t go in to too much detail with the actual dimensions/build of the trike, if you want this go buy the plans (trust me, they are worth the money). Some build photos to come in my next post as well as some details on my electric conversion system.