Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Vital Statistics

Over the past two weeks or so, I've put another few hundred kilometers on the bike and I'm thoroughly enjoying riding it. The bike has proved reliable and I've only needed to tighten a single spoke so far. The motion of the feet is beginning to feel reasonably natural and easy. I've also tackled a few short but steep hills and while much slower than a modern safety, I'm able to plug away and get to the top without dismounting. I know through experience that I'm entirely unable to ride the same hills on an ordinary I have to get off and resort to my 24" gear.

I've finally found the stack of receipts that I mentioned last time, so here are some statistics on the build.
  • I started the bike on my lovely wife's birthday and finished on my mum's birthday, 2 years and 8 months.
  • I didn't keep accurate records but I spent about 750 hours in the shed over this time frame. Bliss.
  • Total weight is 43 lbs (~19.5 kg)
  • Cost of raw materials was $2687.25. I was surprised by this but I do have lots of left overs such as spare castings and lots of chromoly tubing
  • I spent $834.29 on outsourcing services such as welding, mandrel bending and heat treatment.
  • Here's the real surprise; the extra tooling I bought specifically for this project and excluding getting the mill over from England was $5290.75. Of course now that I have it, future antique bike projects won't incur thus cost.
  • In total, the bike owes me $8812.29.
  • During the same period, my lovely wife bought 12 pairs of shoes. I think I got the better deal.
  • I suffered countless cold dinners. Possibly my fault.
I also promised last time that I'd show you some better video of the gear mechanism.

You're welcome.

Here's a couple of videos, one from each side. I'm trying to illustrate how the sun and planet gear train makes the wheel rotate faster than the cranks. I've placed two bits of tape on the bike, one on the crank and one one the spokes initially lined up with the crank. I then cycle the cranks through one complete revolution. You can see that the wheel completes almost 1.5 revolutions for the single revolution of the crank.

The ratio is (driver teeth + driven teeth) / driven teeth = (18 + 37) / 37 = 1.49
So my 40" wheel become equivalent to a 40 * 1.49 = 59.6" wheel.

drive side.

non drive side.

I've had a bit feedback from people asking what will happen to the blog now that the bike is done. I'm sorry to inform you that it isn't over. I have many more projects to complete in the coming years so the blog will continue with a slight focus shift to other antique bikes and related stuff. First on the list is a cushion tyre racing safety that needs a lot of work, then I have the remains of a Singer 'xtraordinary to complete, then... Well, you get the idea. 

However, the whole reason that I've built this bike in the first place is because I want to do something before I'm too old. I want to recreate the 24 hour facile record rides of the 1880's. In particular the 1888 ride of Percy Nix when he set a new record of 297 miles (~475 km). More next time...


  1. Hi and congratulations on the completion of your bike. Your skills are astounding!

    May I suggest that you always remove the tick from the YT share/embed box menu which suggests additional videos? Then delete the old and reload the new YT share/embed code. You want to keep your viewers onside by not allowing them to be distracted.

    1. Hi Chris, all changed. Thanks for the tip, very useful

  2. Bob,

    I was wondering if you knew the origins of the name for Middlemore, Auckland?
    Being interested in the saddles I started this blog:


    1. Hi Stephen,

      I don't but I'll try and find out. You've piqued my interest now. I have a few Middlemores about the place somewhere, I'll try and find them.

      Love the blog.



  3. Thanks Bob,

    I'd be interested to see your Middlemores too,