peter’s epic folding bike project
well this was a huge project .
Peter came to me with a couple of prototype frames that he had built him self (very nice work to) any way after talking to Peter and seeing his frames I took on the project of building him 2 frames one for him and one for his partner but i liked the concept so much i decided to make 2 more one for me and one for my partner. so now i had 4 frames to make
well after a lot of cad work i had all the fittings drawn up and then sent them of to get CNC cut buy John from cycleunderground, john did a fantastic job as always while he was cutting the fittings I had to design and fabricate custom jigs for each section of the frames 5 in total, This turned out to be a time consuming and fiddly job it took almost 3 months to complete them.
next process was to start to build each section again with 4 frames to do this was a long some times painful process but it was cool to start to see them come together .
whilst the building was going on I was working with Peter to organize the wheels , as the bikes use 12” wheels there are no options to build any sort of quality wheels with the rims that are available in the market so i organized to get some custom 24 hole rims made up for the builds ,but with the minimum order for custom rims being 200 units i have quite a few still under my house. next in the wheel saga was cutting custom spokes, peter used his cad skills to draw up the spoke lengths but what works on the screen does not always play out in the real world and lacing the wheels required several sets of spokes to be cut till i got the sizes right and let me tell you lacing and tightening 12″ wheels really sux . I was well happy to see them all finished .
As the design was not mine and every change that i had to make as i came up against them had to be checked with Peter to make sure it would not affect the operation of the folding , It was a big relief when i dry fitted the first frame together and it all folded as it was supposed to do.
I had Peter and his partners frames wet painted buy the master hand of Peter of star enamelers and as always they came up beautiful . for my frames I was trying out a local powder coated John at advanced abrasive blasting and powder coating with fantastic results he does amazing work and we are working on some very cool color options at the moment for the last frame that i will be displaying at the custom frame show in Melbourne in Dec.
one of the main faults with Peters original design was the handle bars the first time i rode his test frame the bars folded under my arms and i was only roiling around the car park so I spent a lot of time coming up with a simple yet very solid braking handle bar set up. the end result is very nice and i have no concerns about them letting go under me .
well the last thing is how do they ride, i have to say very well the design is very solid with very little flex threw the frame they fold down quickly and neatly and are comfy to cruz around on, the 12 ” wheels are not the best for holding speed and you dont want to find any deep pot holes but the frames will accommodate 20″ wheels but you cant fold it with the 20″ wheels in the frame. but I really enjoy riding my little bike and im looking forward to hitting up Melbourne on it in Dec .
All in all this was a monster project that took a year to complete and to many hours to count and though i have a lot of ideas to improve the design further I wont be going back to building these monsters any time soon.