Some of the background information overlaps another post, but I wanted to have everything in one place so this update would make sense.
The yellow rope seat was meant to only be temporary. I bought another length of rope to use as a better temporary seat. It was way more comfortable but obviously still not a long-term solution.
In the end, the seat was just too messed up. The mounts are a great idea if you’re using stronger material, but this stuff just warped and bent, so I tossed the whole thing.
The pictures above show it at its best, and at its best it wasn’t great. When I sat down and applied some weight to it, it just got all loose and funky. The experience caused me a lot of heartache because the loose seat, loose headset, and bent-up handlebar assembly just made the entire bike feel like a piece of junk. I began to lose hope in the project.
My next attempt at a seat was a wood toilet seat. Heck, it’s already the right size for a butt, and with a little padding, it should work, right? Wrong! So wrong! See the pictures for all the details you’ll need.
Back to the drawing board! This might be “wood” in the legal sense, but it’s more like MDF. I was so angry after spending several hours building this, only to have it fail within seconds.
Disheartened after this failure on my rattle trap of a bike, I decided that I’m not going to try to reinvent the wheel anymore. I built a decent bike frame (it has its problems, but it’s solid), and I’m not going to decorate it with junky components to try to save money. You’ll see that come to fruition in future posts. The seat is likely the last DIY component for this project.
I figured I could spend a significant amount of time and money buying plywood and cutting it into shape, or I could buy something pre-fab. Lucky for me, Home Depot has some solid wood rounds for stools and small tabled. I bought one for my butt and one for my back. If you do this yourself, don’t forget to grind down the screws! 😛
I also reinforced them by using large sheetmetal screws driven through the wood and directly into the frame metal. You can see these on the backrest piece.
Also, following more closely to Atomic Zombie’s plan now, I bought some camping foam and a yoga mat.
The seat and back each have 1 layer of camping foam and 2 layers of yoga mat.
The cutouts aren’t even, obviously. The next step will be trimming them to shape and stretching some lycra over them.
After riding it awhile, I realized the seat is way too large. It’s not possible to put my legs over the sides – I can only move forward to plant them onto the ground. I drew some lines on the padding where my legs fit, and started to cut. A sawzall (handheld reciprocating saw) works this an easy task.
I also decided to add some reinforcements. After a trip to work, I realized that the back seat would be the first thing to fail because it’s only attached along a single plane. Also, it was crooked. The supports have fixed both issues. They’re made with 1/2″ conduit which has been hammered flat at the ends and then drilled with a press.
Nuts and bolts for now. Welding later once I’m sure it’s right. But it’s good enough for the time being.
I still have to stretch something over the seat to make it look prettier. That will show up in a future post. Looks are one thing, but this picture shows that I made the right decision.
Here’s both feet squarely on the ground. Safety first!