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Building a PennyFakeThing
- Old steel frame bicycle with 20" to 28" wheel
- Front wheel and forks from childs BMX style cycle 12" to 16"
- Scraps bits of steel
- Welder. Prefer MIG, TIG, Gas or electric in that order
- Angle Grinder
- Landrover or bench, fence to clamp to while aligning frame
- Assorted bike tools
The wheelbase was made short deliberately in this case as it has the
advantage of improving maneuverablity, particularly at low speeds (it
makes turning circle smaller)
The bike will be safer at speed with a longer wheelbase. This can be
achieved by moving the rear wheel further away from the front.
Avoid the temptation to rake the forks
forward. While this may appear to improve matters, it causes two serious
One can achieve greater flexibility in design by starting with a smaller wheel than the one used. For example a 24" or 20".
- It greatly increases the cantilever bending moment applied by the
backbone to the headset. This can result in the backbone bending or
breaking at this point.
- It greatly increases the trail (castor effect) of the steering
making it heavy and prone to 'Tramlining' (follows the undulations in
the road. Have a look at safety cycles with a steep head angle. They
have the forks bent forward to reduce the trail. Safeties can get away
with this as they have a triangulated frame which can withstand the
extra stresses on the headset. Penny Farthings can't. (see point one