When I fumbled into Recycled Recumbents’ open source plans for a long-wheel-base recumbent – I knew I had to build one.
My bike is the simplest version of 3 plans offered – the “Mach 1.”
I started off with old Lotus and Raleigh frames. After some early mistakes with a hack saw – I added an old repainted mountain bike frame of unknown brand to the mix.
After much hacking, jigging, brazing, sewing and assembly – I had something that resembled a bike. After some additional bending and filing of the fork ends – I even managed to get it tracking straight.
I’m using my own 3d-printed friction shifter with a Shimano SLX 11-speed derailleur and a Microshift 11-42t 9-speed cassette. The SLX’s clutch and a ‘Sharktooth” 44t chainring manage to keep the lengthy chain under control without needing an idler.
I finished the build several months ago – and at this point have something around 2000 miles on it. It’s not my fastest bike – but it’s a lot of fun and very comfortable.
For this project I was focused more on building than documenting – for construction tips I highly recommend Brian in Ohio’s Bespoke (recumbent) Bike Building blog.
One tip – get a proper oxy-acetylene torch setup with refillable tanks. I managed to complete the frame with a torch that uses disposable MAPP / oxygen cylinders. The problem is that the oxygen cylinders are expensive – and only last a few minutes (I lost track of how many I used).