The low-rider bicycle is an extension of the low-rider car, most famous for its hydraulics. Low-rider bicycles are designed to be flashy while still being functional. Custom low-rider designs can cost thousands of dollars, but there's no need to spend that much money on a bike of your very own. All the parts you need are available online, and assembly is a clear process. With a little time and artistic talent, you can have an award-winning low-rider of your very own.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Bicycle parts
- Sheet metal
- Metal cutting torch
- Welding torch
- Anti-rust protection
Lay out the design of your low-rider. How low do you want it to be? Where do you want each part? Use a bicycle computer-aided-design (CAD) program to develop an idea of what you would like on your bicycle. Draw up your ideas for a paint job on the computer. Apply it to your designed bike as a texture. This will give you a rough idea of how the low-rider will look when fully assembled.
Visit a junkyard and look through their selection of bicycles and motorcycles. Strip out any parts you might want, such as handlebars, seats or gear assemblies. Also find the sheet metal that you want for any custom additions to the frame. Order anything else you cannot find online. Use the details from the CAD program to cut out your sheet metal designs. Lay them out carefully for easy access when you weld.
Weld your sheet metal additions to your frame. Go slowly and allow time for the welds to make a strong bond. Once that's complete, paint your frame. Be sure to paint even in the parts of the frame that won't be visible, for the rust protection. Let the paint dry then coat the frame with the anti-rust protection. Allow the anti-rust protection to dry for at least a day before continuing with assembly.
Assemble the front portion of the bicycle, the handlebars, front wheel, and forks. Once it's attached to the frame, test it to make sure you can turn smoothly. Attach the pedal assembly, chain and rear wheel, taking care to hook the chain firmly to the gear. Attach the seat. Lubricate all moving parts with the oil. Ride your new bicycle around the block and stop to make adjustments to the seat and handlebars as needed.
Tips and warnings
- Be very careful around welding torches. They can be extremely dangerous.
- Do not paint your bike in an enclosed space. Use an area with plenty of ventilation.
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