The Scaffold (talltallbike)

I’d never built a tallbike before, and this design came to me.  I always had a tendency to line bikes up back to back, the only chopper I’d made before this used an entire frame as the fork for another bike, making it look as though two bikes had crashed into each other, raised up like battling deer or clashing tectonic plates, and you couldn’t tell which direction it would go.

Anyway, the plan for this bike was based around the structural soundness of connecting two bikes at their rear dropouts, around the same hub/axle.  That way you get some lateral triangulation, rather than just depending on shoddy welds to hold up to your crazy sideways vortex forces.

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Sadly, very few photos of this bike exist.  This was taken during early testing, pre brakes, derailleurs, or viable tires (note orange duct tape).

The first fork was far shorter, far curvier, and far shakier.  It relied on two extended fork legs, connected end-to-end at the dropout side, with a piece of bolt inside.  That primitive fork lasted for two or three test pilots, and less than ten blocks of distance.

Upon that failure, which almost left someone with non-trivial tissue intersections, we decided to go bigger.

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Two long pieces of 2″ square stock, which I had been saving for a fantasy trailer, were the only materials available.  No need to cut them, the frame provided plenty height.  Copper that tallbike out!

We wasted a ton of gas welding a full bead down their length to adhere them together.  Probably not necessary.  The fork ended up bending mildly at the steerer tube, an inch or two above the crown race.  Still worked.

The bike was completed in a mad dash to transport it’s riders to the fleeting remnants of the American Dream.

08 Alex Ragus resume

 

Over the next year it was refined somewhat to improve its traffic manners and commuter functionality.  It gained two derailleurs and two brakes, courtesy of tandem length cables on everything but the front derailleur.  It offered pannier spaces.  It was self stable and could be ridden no-hands at speeds over about 12 mph.  With Negative Trail, No Less!!  Having defied then-current (2009) known laws of cycle dynamics, it was retired to festival duty, and eventually wandered off under the daring feet of some reveler.