Tour De Hell FreakBike

An evil version of a road bike.

Tour De Hell - Part 1 of 6

Photo 0 - Tour De Hell – An evil version of a roadbike!

Chopper bicycles seem to fall into two distinct species - the traditional long-forked species and the lowrider species. The lowrider style chopper usually involves dropping the key components of a standard bicycle frame as low to the ground as possible and pressing the front wheel way ahead of the head tube in order to compensate. These bikes make great show bikes, especially when riddled with copious quantities of chrome and custom components, but overall rideability is not as good as with traditional long fork choppers. The front wheel placement and fork design makes the bike steer more like a front end loader than a bicycle, and only a true "choppacabra" can make riding these beast look easy.

Do a search for "lowrider bicycle" in your favorite search engine and have a drool over all of the show bikes - note the strange front fork arrangement I was talking about. For this project "Tour de Hell", my goal was to not only create an evil beast of a lowrider, but to poke a little fun at the spandex clad skinny wheeled race bike pilots at the same time. Race bike enthusiasts take the science of their sport to new levels, designing frames using space age components, and shaving every ounce off the bicycle. They love the design of the venerable "double diamond" frame, and will defend it to the death, one of the reasons why recumbent frames were banned from Olympic racing after blowing away all the other cycles, according to my extensive research on bikes and bike racing over the years.

Anyhow, the chopper I was about to build would take a speed bike and turn it into the exact opposite of what a true racing cyclist would desire - a dangerous chopped and lowered speed bike with handling characteristics similar to that of an angry blind mule on steroids. Yes, a lightweight low riding speed bike, with erratic handling, yet still capable of serious speed!

Photo 1 - Yikes - look what the cat dragged in!

The idea for Tour De Hell came to me when I was digging through the scrap pile at the local dump. With so many old speed bikes in the pile, it was too bad that I had no use for them. Because of the lugged frame construction, and easily warped rims, I usually had no use for the bike, or any of its components. I remember on day out riding with the chopper gang, and being snubbed by a few spandex boys on their $2,000 wedgie racers. Wouldn't it be a trip to hit the bike path on a chopped speed bike. Imagine the horror on their faces if I rode past them on a "chopper speed bike"!

So here you have it - an old 12-speed race bike found at the local scrap pile (Photo 1). The bike was in horrific condition, but that was not a problem, as it would soon be ripped apart and built back into something evil.

Click for DIY Plans!