Tuesday, February 19, 2008

$6.97 Experiment

That's what I ended up putting into this contraption. I built it up for the fun of it, without a plan really. It's more fun to have a shell of an idea, a basic understanding, and just dive into it. Thanks to Varnum for his input on the centering of the rollers (28cm/83.2cm) and to Goodwill for selling used Rollerblades for $5.00, and to the Chinese for crating their furniture in solid lumber (usually better wood than the furniture inside of the crate) and to the guys in our shop at Redeker's for their tech support and just letting me use the tools and shutting up about how crazy I must be! They know...

Each roller is a pair of Rollerblade wheels screwed into the ends of a 12" piece of 3"i.d. PVC. I used washers as spacers because the wheels are only 77mm, short of the 3" inside diameter.

The two forward rollers have a granny gear bolted to a wooden spacer, which is then screwed into the solid center of the Rollerblade wheel. Added some Delrin spacers to take out the side to side slack and equalize the pressure.

Slipped the chain around the granny gears and DAMN! there's too much slack. Can't take out a complete link, so I fabbed up a chainwheel roller. Adjustable if I ever run a smaller wheel on it. Actually, there is enough off-center in the way I drilled out the wooden adapter for the grannys (like an ENO hub, kinda) that I could play around and probably get the chain tension to work, but I wanted to ride it soon, so I just did a stop-gap fix for now.

I "rode" it in my basement today and I don't know, it's pretty squirrely on this thing! I was not able to master it yet, but it works if I have something to hold myself up! I consider myself better than average in bike handling skills, and slippery mud/ice is no problem, but this is wild! I'll have to take it outside and learn to ride it where I won't brain myself on a water heater or stairwell stringer if I fall. Besides, my wife will kill me if I die in the basement!? If I master it, I will take it all apart and stain it up. Then hang it on a peg and forget about it! My next project is a replica of an 80's era "brick" cell phone shell that I can slide my Motorola into and take "Retro" to a new level (lower, but new) Later! Travel Gravel!


Travel Gravel said...

Used Rollerblades $5.00
1 section PVC, 12" $1.84
Solid Pine Framing FREE
Delrin Spacers FREE
Old Granny Gears FREE
Nuts & Bolts FREE
Wood Screws FREE
80.5" of Chain FREE
28" PVC found in street FREE

Carney said...

That is sweet!!! I'm willing to bet they even ride better than my ghetto pair from the mid 90's....the rollers are kinda sorta close to round so they simulate riding down a gravel road more than pavement. Nice work!!

Travel Gravel said...

Thanks, it was a fun build. I figured out my problem with the crazy ass handling. I was a full cm too long on the front roller, resulting in a chopper-like ride. Now in the midst of filling the old hole with a dowel and redrilling at the correct spacing. Ghetto fo'sho! Later!

bluecolnago said...

sweet! does that chain hum when you roll? i like it!

bontrag said...

very nice. all you can see is why the hell not!

Travel Gravel said...

Yes, Blue, it's a loud ride. Does the chain hum? No, it spits insults like Andrew "Dice" Clay on Holocaust Remembrance Day! Ohhhh! And yes it made a diff. by moving the front roller back 9mm. Much more manageable. Fun to build, fun to ride for short durations, and fun to tweak for a little cooler cred.! Later!

Squirrel said...

Been waiting for this one! Looks awesome Greg. Now lets get yer ass out on some gravel now that yer done dicking around with your rollers:)


Travel Gravel said...

I have actually been out a couple of times. Rode about 25 or so Sunday, on gravel, on one gear. Should have remembered to eat first. Idiot! Can't do a decent 25er on coffee and a Krispy Kreme! Looks like there were some hard-ass miles for you and company. Good onya! Later!