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After Burner Chopwork Orange Firecracker Stinger Wizard Lion Granny's Nightmare Tour Carnage SkyWalker

SkyWalker - Section 2

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The two ladder halves are welded to the rear frame tube as shown in Photo 11 so that the brave pilot can go from the ground to the seat without needing a pole to lean against. The angle of the frame makes climbing very stable, and it is almost impossible to lift the front wheel, even if you lean way back while climbing. The filly trussed frame is also extremely rigid, and could easily take 500 pounds all the way to the top.
Photo 11 - Ladder completed.


The seat post is welded directly to the frame on the curved section of tubing as shown in Photo 12. An adjustable seat could also be made by placing the seat post through the frame and welding a clamp to the tubing, but adjustability was not a huge concern here. It's not like I planned to run the Tour de France with this beast!
Photo 12 - This is the captain's chair.


The large handlebar ring will travel from the top of the frame to the bottom, allowing the pilot to steer the bike will ascending the ladder, so it needs an upper and lower bearing to hold it in place. The handlebar bearings are made from a pair of recycled bottom brackets taken from some scrap bicycle frames. Bottom brackets include a very strong axle and bearings, so they were perfect for this job. Photo 13 shows the lower bearing welded to the frame just above the front triangle on the vertical tubing.
Photo 13 - Lower steering bearing.


The upper handlebar bearing is welded to a leftover length of bent conduit so that it adds to the artistic look of the frame. This tube (Photo 14) will then be welded to the open end of the long  tube that runs from the rear wheel to the top of the frame.
Photo 14 - Upper steering bearing.


SkyWalker needs a bottom bracket in order to allow the installation of the cranks, so the assembly shown in Photo 15 is made using another salvaged bottom bracket and some leftover 1 inch curved conduit tubing. This assembly will be welded to the vertical frame tubing at a position that allows pilots of average height to easily reach the pedals.
Photo 15 - The bottom bracket assembly.


The bottom bracket assembly is shown installed in Photo 16. The distance between the seat and pedals allows riders between 5'-8" and 6'-4" to easily pedal the contraption. Notice how the ladder stops just below the seat.
Photo 16 - Cranks installed.


SkyWalker's handlebars are actually a large loop made from 1 inch conduit. This allows them to span the entire height of the frame, allowing the pilot to begin steering from the ground and climb up the entire ladder while maintaining total control of the bike. Well, total control may not be the best term to use, but you can certainly make it from the ground to the seat without any real problem. I often ascended the ladder while riding down a narrow sidewalk, so the ability to steer and climb was certainly acceptable. Photo 17 shows the 4 factory elbows and length of 1 inch electrical conduit used to make the handlebar loop. The handlebar loop needs to be wide enough so that it does not interfere with pedaling while steering.
Photo 17 - Making the handlebar loop.


To mount the top and bottom of the handlebar loop to the bearings, a steel crankset is hacked up for the ends of the arms that contain the square holes. As shown in Photo 18, this small part is welded to the center of the handlebar at the top and bottom where they will connect with the bottom bracket axles used as handlebar bearings.
Photo 18 - Handle bar mounting system.


Photo 19 shows how the handlebar loop is installed into the top and bottom handlebar bearings. There is plenty of room for the pilot's legs and pedals, even when the handlebars are turned to a full 45 degrees in either direction.
Photo 19 - Handlebars completed installed.


One thing that did not show up on my 3D model is the chain interference problem. To solve this minor chain rubbing annoyance, a small idler pulley was installed as shown in Photo 20 so that the chain would not rub on the rear frame tubing. This pulley also helps to keep the chain nice and tight so that a derailment will never be a problem. As I have learned from past mistakes, a loose chain on a tallbike is not a good thing.
Photo 20 - Adding a chain guide pulley.


To keep the clean flowing lines of the frame free from the chain line, I added a pair of kid's bike sprockets to the top of the frame as shown in Photo 21 so the chain would run inside the frame rather than dangling in front of the frame. These small sprockets are actually what is leftover after hacking of the crank arms on the crank sets.
Photo 21 - Chain routing sprockets.


To make the impossible looking steering system work, a pair of spherical bearings (ball joints) are welded to the end of a control rod that runs from the lower handle bar bearing to the front head tube. The control arms are made using a bit of crank arm at the rear and a hacked up bicycle gooseneck at the front. Photo 22 shows the handlebar side linkage as well as the head tube linkage (inset). Because the front control arms is made from a bicycle gooseneck, it allows the alignment of the handlebars and front wheel to be adjusted so that the wheels is tracking straight ahead when the handlebars are in their idle position.
Photo 22 - Linking the steering system.


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