Chicago has a long, tall history of innovation in the field of tandem tall bikes

Jan 8, 2010Posted by in Blog | Comments Off on Chicago has a long, tall history of innovation in the field of tandem tall bikes

Chicago has a long, tall history of innovation in the field of tandem tall bikes

El Arbol will not be the first tandem tall bike. Check out this lamplighting bike from Chicago at the turn of the 20th century. Read the Full story here:

http://www.rat-patrol.org/Archives/Eiffel.html

Or how about this family contraption, complete with treddle-powered sewing machine:

Thanks Flickr friend Whymcycles

More recent but also notable, from Chicago Critical Mass, via Georgeaye. The photo has been viewed 4500 times on Flickr.

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Climbing up El Arbol for the first ride

Aug 28, 2009Posted by in Blog | Comments Off on Climbing up El Arbol for the first ride

Climbing up El Arbol for the first ride

Rode El Arbol down the block with a pvc pipe instead of pedals. by you.

My dad’s been suggesting that I test ride El Arbol as soon as possible before sinking the hours into custom fiberglass work on the trunk, roots and branches. Not a bad idea. ¬† OK, so it didn’t have brakes or pedals, but at least now the frame has at lease now been heat treated.

The ride was great. Tall bike people know that a tall object can actually be easier to balance. The classic example: try balancing a ruler in your palm, then try a yard stick. As you can see in the photo below, El Arbol is about a foot taller than Jay’s tall bike, part of his BayView Space Agency fleet. This makes it easier to balance at slow speeds.

El Arbol scale comparison to Bayview Space Agency patrol bike. by you.

On my first coast, I mounted using the hood of a pickup truck and had Ydran and Adam give a running push in the slightly downhill direction on Channing. The ride is solid. No noticeable frame flex, and that’s before the added stiffness of the fiberglass trunk and branch. The balance was easy, even at slow speeds. I only one little adrenaline jolt on the whole test ride, when I took a roundabout and experienced rapid decellaration. By the end I was doing my own running starts and dismounts in both the uphill and downhill directions. It was Adam’s idea to jam some pipe in the captain’s bottom bracket. That was hope stepped up and down onto the frame, as you can see above.

I had been a bit concerned that the small wheels that originally came with the A2B would make the ride twitchy or sluggish, but it was neither. The traction was great, ans slow speed manuevers felt smooth.

I knew that Jay was leaving for his honeymoon yesterday, and that Tuesday would be our last work session. We welded in the cable management for the root-deployment system. I’ll post more photos soon.

Roots of El Arbol serving their role in stabilizing the rig for welding. by you.

On Wednesday I borrowed a truck to get the frame over to Garner Heat Treating in Oakand. The guys were totally pro and enthusiastic about the project.

El Arbol frame ready to go in the oven at Garner Heat Treating, Oakland. by you.

Apparently there are two ways to restore strength to an aluminum frame after it’s been welded. The more involved one heats the frame to within 30 degrees of liquid, which leaves the frame soft and succeptible to bending under its own weight. Typically at this point bike builders put the frame back in a jig to check alignment. Because El Arbol is a giant frame and a one off, there’s no jig. So we chose the other method, which brings up the frame only to about 300-400 degrees. This method stress relieves the welds but not to the full ‘T6’ strength of the aluminum. With the average wall thickness of El Arbol’s frame being much greater than that of say a Cannondale, I’m not too worried about the strength being compromised.

After bringing the frame back to Rock The Bike, I waited till about 6 last night before ditching the computer and throwing parts back on it. We tied the roots against the frame, since the deployment system isn’t ready yet, and I through an Envy Green Down Low Glow on the bottom tube. Lots of props from the neighborhood, a good omen!

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Jay Welding Anchor point for rear suspension on El Arbol

Jul 23, 2009Posted by in Blog | Comments Off on Jay Welding Anchor point for rear suspension on El Arbol

Jay Welding Anchor point for rear suspension on El Arbol

In this shot you get a clear view of the rear suspension of El Arbol. Note the extension of the rear swingarm. This both provided an anchor point for longer suspension coils, and a footrest for the rear facing passenger.

Here’s a cool video that shows how Jay sets up for a weld, then lays down a stack of dimes.

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Tall bike tandem pops up on Flickr

May 7, 2009Posted by in Blog | Comments Off on Tall bike tandem pops up on Flickr

Tall bike tandem pops up on Flickr

Amazing to see other art bike creators and customers thinking on similar lines at the same time. I love the concave downtube on this medium-tall tandem.

Very similar ideas here to El Arbol, my own tandem tall bike.

 


The Mutandem LIVEZ and Freak Tha Beach FUN!

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Tandem tall bike as seen during Critical Mass, Sept 2006

Jan 11, 2008Posted by in Blog | Comments Off on Tandem tall bike as seen during Critical Mass, Sept 2006

Tandem tall bike as seen during Critical Mass, Sept 2006

I’ve been thinking about building a Tandem Tall Bike. I like the up-down potential. This tandem shot at Critical Mass in Chicago, is an absolute stunner, and hints at the potential impact of a top-bottom tandem.

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