Making a balance bike?

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  • Making a balance bike?
  • Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Nope but looking forward to seeing this develop.

    brack
    Member

    Yeah me too …

    Fancy making two ? I’m cradling my 2 week old baby boy at the mo..

    STATO
    Member

    There was a thread a while back showing a few examples people had made…

    here.

    Sure id seen a fully machined version somewhere too, cant find it tho.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Should be easy. My kids balance bike frame is simply two sheets of ply wood. You could either mimick this design with two sheets of aluminim shaped you your CNC miller, or go flash with a Aluminim billet with isogrid pockets milled out with a singe sided rear.

    An interesting project but a bit of over kill though for something that is only going to see a little bit of use. I think the balance bike I bought for my kids was about £30 from Amazon.

    Or you could just take a conventional kids bike and remove the crank and bottom bracket.

    natrix
    Member

    I toyed with the idea of making a wooden one, but by the time you’ve bought the wheels you might as well buy a proper one from Decathlon, they’re only £35. The time that you would have spent in the workshop, you can then spend with your child………..

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    So..
    My little girl is starting to get to that age when ‘proud dad to be’ is looking at getting a balance bike.
    Thing is I’m a CNC programmer by trade and have access to mills (with 5th axis) and lathes and was wondering how difficult it would be to make a frame (maybe wheels/forks) and put it all together myself.
    Has anyone built a metal balance bike for their little ones that might be able to give ma bit of an insight into what’s needed..
    Cheers
    Steve

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    Thanks for the tips guys.
    I do think buying one would be the best option BUT I really like the idea of making one. Toying with the idea of billet lugs that I can bolt the tubes into. Should be fairly easy to do on my CNC’s and the best thing is I’ll be able to do it for free as my boss is pretty good like that…so I won’t lose any time with MiniD and we are planning on having more so would be able to pass it down 🙂

    Like the idea of a single-sided swing arm..

    Does anyone have a basic geometry plan for one?

    tinsy
    Member

    I can copy our Hotwalk for you & drop it onto a 2d drawing of you want.

    It needs a few tweeks to get it as long lasting as the Isla Rothan though but that would be contained with the parts you would probably buy anyhow like seatpost etc.

    You in a rush?

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Subscriber

    I made a balance bike for my grandson out of this monstrosity.

    I chopped off the seat tube and made a flat wooden saddle that went onto the rear rack thing. I chopped off the pedals and about 6″ of steerer. Then I cut slots into the dropouts to mount the wheel higher up to lower the whole thing. I lost all the stabilisers, back mudguard and superfluous plastic bits

    He started pushing about on it just before his 2nd birthday and was flying along by 2 1/2.

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    @tinsy: That would be awesome mate. Not in any great rush, got a few months yet. Don’t know how long it will take so would like to get started in the next month or so. Might take a while to get the drawings and programming done but would be great to have a starting point.

    my email is: steve_dees AT hotmail.com

    Cheers
    Steve

    Premier Icon buck53
    Subscriber

    What would make it really worthwhile IMO is if you could make it modular so that it can grow with the kid. I bought my nephew a quality bike but he’ll be too big for it soon. If you could add pedals at the appropriate time and design it so that it has enough adjustment to be used as balance and pedal bike, you’d be on to a major winner.

    jamiea
    Member

    I’ve thought about this too; I’ve got access to a CNC woodworking table and a 14 month old daughter, and at the rate I get round to getting stuff finished I better start soon!

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    If you’re gonna go nuts on it rather than ‘Just’ machine it it out of billet, use your 5 axis machine to make up some mold tooling and laminate something sexy and composite…
    I’m assuming of course you have infinate resources and time…

    Our ~£45 Bright pink, chunk of Chinese steel, balance bike was great, and is just piquing the interest of daughter No 2 now at ~18 months…
    The older one loved it but has basically un-learnt two wheeled balance since, as her mother never takes her anywhere on her bike and so she’s demanded stabilizers be fitted… Money well spent eh?

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    At the moment I’m thinking custom machined headtube/bottom bracket section/forks-steerer with wooden main frame & chainstays….
    Got some nice ideas floating around in my head 🙂

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    I did see your mate. That’s what gave me some inspiration to do one for my little monkey..not sure it’ll be as posh as yours. Loving all the machining on the wheels and forks. I’d like to do some forks like those 🙂

    Premier Icon househusband
    Subscriber

    (Nothing to add other than I’ve just marked this thread as a favourite!)

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    They are awesome D-D. Did you make them?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Toying with the idea of billet lugs that I can bolt the tubes into.

    You want to glue them surely?

    doof_doof
    Member

    They are awesome D-D. Did you make them?

    The Yeti was made by a Yeti employee, not sure about the Chumba

    More on the Yeti here:

    http://www.yeticycles.com/blog/?p=1031

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    I’d like to be able to alter the size so it would be ideal good to be able to remove the main tube. Was thinking of making the lugs so that they clamp the tube similar to how a stem clamps the steerer (but keyed so that the frame tube can’t rotate)…

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    Hey guys
    Thought I’d post an update on this as I’ve been able to make a start.

    Got all the info needed now and done a mock up on my CAD package to get everything in the right place.
    Got the downtube started (cut out the location for the head tube) and got the swingarm, basically, finished. Will need to do some fettling on the SA when it’s all welded up to remove any sharp bits.
    Will be turning the head tube today or tomorrow and then waiting for the forks to arrive. I’m going to use an old fork CSU as it’ll make things a little easier to do.
    Pics of progress:




    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    So I couldn’t find a stem the sizes I wanted so I thought I’d make one. Just need to split the clamping areas:


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