Terry Osell's Stubby 'Bent

Terry Osell brought his latest LWB (or CLWB?) backbone frame bike. It is about 10" shorter than the last one he brought to a meeting, since it uses a 24" (507) rear wheel and a 16" (305) front wheel and has the bottom bracket somewhat high up and just in front of the head tube. The main tube is .049? wall steel that has been carefully ovalized horizontally at the rear fork and vertically at the head tube. He says to use a good quality industrial grade vise for such a process and a form made from 2 pieces of angle iron..

This bike turned out OK, but it is frankly not one his favorite bikes for anything but short distance comfort cruising and errands. Even he is a bit too tall for it.

The crankset is a 155 mm Dotek BMX unit, which allows him to make the front end more compact by reducing front wheel interference. They have a flat area on the arms, which Terry drills and taps to allow a small chainring. With the BB on the front of the head tube, and the front derailleur mounted on the HT, the FD is too far back from the chainrings to shift to a 3rd ring. Not a problem with the wide ratio 9-speed cassette on the back.

The kickstand is rather cute, being a light aluminum tube that fits along the seat brace when riding and into a tube on the bottom of the backbone when parking it. There is another tube below the backbone that he explained is where he plugs in a home made tripod shop stand when he has to work on the bike. He uses Tool Caddy containers in two of the four water bottle cages to hold tools, wallet, etc.

The bike seems pretty flexible vertically, but Terry thinks a lot of that is in the seat mounts rather than the backbone tube. The rear is a set of tandem front fork blades with .049" walls, so that part shouldn't be as flexy as it might look. (Mark dissagrees, saying the blades have too much rake and the junction of the rear fork blades and the main tube is too high in relation to the chain. When pedalling hard, the seat rises disconcertingly.)

The seat height is about 26" but could be lowered with a few tweaks to the design. It is a Rans seat (one of about 60 that he still has in his stock!). The strange seat mount was needed to mount the Rans seat, with its tabs at the back, on a bike designed for a Linear seat, which has it's tabs at the front.

The corks are just to keep water out of the cross tube. (They are marked "L" & "R" because he has a warped sense of humor. M.S.)

Note the nicely finished fillet joints.

The front fork is an MTB unit that has been bent for greater rake and shortened. It has front fender braze-ons, which can also be used to mount a front fairing.

This is one of the few recumbents he can almost ride no-hands (Mark says it has little trail, so therefore little wheelflop, and the short, wide contact patch of front tire should have good self-aligning torque).

The tires he uses are cheap, fat, and low pressure, but they roll pretty well so they must have fairly supple sidewalls. (He can outcoast me on this bike, with it's cheap tires, but I outcoast him when he's on a similar bike which has an Avocet slick on the back at 100 psi. This either says something good about fat tires, or confirms my very low opinion of Avocet tires. M.S.)


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