Barry's Tallbike

My friend Barry had a ton of fun riding around on my tallbike (James T. Kink) during the Scott Walker protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, so he soon was asking me to build one for him!

We went to Freewheel Bikes and located two frames that fit him (Barry is 6'4" tall). Freewheel is a fantastic resource for anyone needing to fix up a bike, build a custom bike, or just those of us who like to get grease on their hands. :D

Barry's bottom frame is a well-sorted mountain bike frame with good shifters and brakes, and an oversized head tube. The head tube size caused us a few 'headaches', but arguably makes it slightly stronger.

The top frame is an old French Gitane "Mixte" bike that required some modifications to make it work. It required an abnormally long crank axle. The original piece would have had a cottered crank, but we managed to find a more modern square taper axle that was long enough. It also required a shorter right bearing cup, because a standard one refused to thread all the way into the bottom bracket.

Instead of my "kinky" steering setup, we added a new tube to connect the two head tubes, and lengthened the fork to almost 5 feet! The new, lengthened fork passes through the entire front tube and uses only the two bearings from the lower frame.

The odd angles in this bike make for quite a 'wheelie machine' because the rider's center of mass is almost perfectly over the rear wheel.

We plan on moving the rear triangle back at least 6 inches to make the ride more relaxed, but Barry has been out riding it several times and is quite comfortable riding it as it is!

Barry's the one with the red pants. The other guy is my Boss!!