Impractical Pedal: Max Chen's Twisted Bike

I found this Univega frame on the street. Someone had stripped off its paint and left it to rust so I took it home and made it the third in a series of five shrunken bikes (a series designed to appease an inferiority I felt for being too short to ride large bicycles.)

All five bikes began as very large steel frames, which I modified to suit my stature using a mixture of traditional blacksmithing and modern welding.

To retain the Univega?s frame geometry during modification, I welded the bottom bracket and fork to a steel table before cutting out the tubes a few inches from the lugs. I made the twisted replacements from two mild steel 1" OD (.125" wall thickness) tubes heated together in a propane forge. The ends were tapered and slid into the original tubing, then welded and ground flush. Because the new tubing is thick, the final bike is still very stiff.

I then forged matching bar ends. Only the middle section of the handlebar is hollow, the rest is solid and heavy. Many people see this bike on the Internet and think its maker must be a hipster. I'm not. I'm just a short, former blacksmith's apprentice, who wears reflective vests and reflective stickers on my helmet. I'm also a mechanical engineer, but certainly no hipster. If you are interested in my other various projects, please visit my website: