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Thread: Frankenbike!

  1. #1
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    Default Frankenbike!

    I spotted this bike in Rockville this morning at a coffee shop. The rider has the option to use traditional pedals, hand pedals, or both at the same time. He mentioned something about kayaking and trying to replicate that motion. He happened to have a video of himself riding it on his camera - when using the hand pedals, most of his weight appeared to be on his chest against the big pad, feet still on the traditional pedals, butt out of the saddle a few inches.

    He found two bikes next to a dumpster near his apartment and built this from those. Said he puts about 100 miles a week on it. After seeing it in person and looking at the photos, it appears it is held together with a few metal brackets and tape(!).

    High Resolution (click on the image after opening the page):
    http://d.pr/i/bGLX
    http://d.pr/i/haR2

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    Does he have a big dent in the middle of his chest? You know, from riding 100 miles a week while supporting his body weight on his chest. Doesn't seem very comfortable or wise. Kayakers don't put all of their weight on their chest. Interesting that he came up with this, but I wonder how long he can keep riding 100 miles a week like that.

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    Except for the prospect of losing teeth in a wreck, the previously mentioned collapsed chest and sketchy assembly, I think it's awesome, but a small puerile part of me can't help thinking of Mr. Garrison

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  6. #4
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    I just came across this video:



    The Varibike is made in Germany. It's more refined than the pins, tape and gum version above. The idea that you get more exercise for your upper body is interesting. Could be useful for an indoor trainer workout.

    But I'm still seeing a few flaws with the concept. The steering can't be that great, with just the narrow-grip handlebars on top of the hand cranks. Looks like it would be difficult to make tight turns with the set-up. The bike is fairly heavy, about 33 lbs. Plus the back is placed in an awkward position. The video says that you can sit in three different positions: upright, aero or power. The upright position I get. But aero? No. That's not aero. It's in between upright and aero/road bike, without much support for the back. (The arms are extended too far forward, which means that the back will have to do most of the work, and in a semi-bent position.) The power position is when the rider is using the arms to pedal, alone or with the legs.

    I'd rather swim and do strength training to work my upper body. Interesting idea but I won't be buying a Varibike. A flying bike, maybe. Varibike, no.

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    Add a set of these for a real workout: http://www.powercranks.com/

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    When he's hand pedaling, what brakes does he use?

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan von Buckingham View Post
    When he's hand pedaling, what brakes does he use?
    Good question. Judging from the photo, I'd guess he would have to move his hands back to the handlebars and use the regular brakes.

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