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Dwarf Bike Design
Design Set-up Drawings
Dwarf Bike Design
Building Bikes for Dwarfs
By Steve Robson
The large bulk of the population takes for granted things we can do. Every day items one can buy are not readily avaibile to the dwarf community. Bicycles are one of the products the bulk of the people take for granted. For many people there are a wide range of bikes that can be bought. They range from very inexpensive models from department store the high priced models with the best of the equipment on them. The dwarf community lacks these options. They are restricted to children s bikes for the most part. I am new to look at this part of the population so bear in mind any errors I will have in this article.
Having been involved in cycling for most life, in the mid 1990s, I started to look into recumbent bike design. I also looked into bike design in general. It took me into a new world. I do not know anyone in the dwarf world at all but knowing the joy I get from being out on the open road. That should open to anyone. After doing a lot of work in other areas of bike design, I have started to look into the world of the micro bike design. I have a lot to learn but here are my first steps into this world of getting a higher quality bike for the dwarf world.
Having very little information to go on means another steep learning curve. After looking around the web a bit, I did find a site about a rider using nicely set-up Bike Friday to fit a dwarf rider. There was a pride in the rider and the freedom the bike gave him. He had two models to ride, the commuter model and a racer model. The you tube video showed him moving along a bike path a good pace. Seeing that they do make bikes in this size, I started my journey down this road to creating pint-sized, quality level bike. On another page, I saw an article featuring the same person showing a picture of him with his custom sized Bike Friday. This was the start of me looking at the design presented and looking for detail changes that could be done to it.
The first thing I did was to see about taking down geometry of the full-sized bike down to a smaller size. The major change was tire size. It was reduced down to around a 20" tire. I tried maintaining same seat and tube angles as I have on the Vision Orion road bike. One original concept wireframe drawing used a 39.4 inch wheelbase.
The more important measurements were taken from the rider I found on-line. The drawing of the bike was based on the only two measurements given. The measurements are his height, 47 inches tall and a 16 inch in-seam. Although this is very little information, it was the key to having a good start on my design drawing. I can make educated guesses from this very basic base to help in the design of the bike.
Once the original drawing was done, the look of the front section of the bike looked wrong. Sometimes you have to work with gut feelings to see where things go. Since the use of computer cad makes for easy work, editing drawings is very quick to make changes. One cannot get too attached to their work at this stage. The work of getting something that becomes a workable design is a long road.
After seeing that the wheel base was too long, I eye balled the shorting of the bike. It turned out to be 36 inches. It looked better in the drawing although at this time there is a lot of a detail needing to still be looked at before a final, built bike can come of it. It would be great to see this size of bike become more common to riders in the dwarf world. Cycling offers freedom to see the world. All should have this chance to be out in to world health permitting. I have just entered this part of the world of cycling and I think any help to these people would be most welcome. Having others try to offer design work to open this world to others makes the planet a better place to live.