Here is a link to my design review for reference: https://www.aesdes.org/2016/03/01/design-review-report-swing-bike/
Due to my unique situation, time and resource wise I actually don’t have a lot of constraints on my project. Since I have a number of places and connections for welding (friends, coworkers, being able to use welding equipment off campus, etc.) I have flexibility. Therefore most of my constraints are related to the project itself:
- Designing the locking mechanism for the seat tube pivot: This is my biggest challenge. My idea is to attach two plates to either side of the pivot which can be rotated away when you want the bike to swing, but that’s a pretty crude solution. Making it aesthetically pleasing will be a challenge too. This is something I need to work on.
- Tolerances: Designing the frame shouldn’t be too difficult, especially since the concept of what you need to do is simple and I’m re-using steel tubes that were originally designed for bikes, making strength less of a concern. Tolerancing, and especially machining them, will be more difficult. Need to make sure the bike doesn’t turn out crooked or weak.
- Distinguishing it from other bikes: There’s only so much a paint job can do to make a bike unique. I’ll need to think of something else, such as adding lights, to really differentiate my bike from the crowd.
- Resources: Going back to the above constraint, bike parts can get expensive if I really want to customize it.
- Riding the damn thing: I’ve been racing bicycles for a few years so my bike handling skills are pretty decent, but controlling a bike like this will be a whole different animal.
As I remember the locking mechanism is a secondary goal for your project. I don’t think it should be number one on the list. I think you should focus on the actual function and aesthetic of your design. As for your aesthetic, go nuts! Since you are building the whole front half on your own you have full freedom on what you can do. What can you add do make you stand out, paint is one option, and you can get dome cool designs with paint. You could weld metal plates to the sides of the bike and rust the metal slightly to get a sort of mad max look. You could install random unnecessary bolts to give it an industrial look. I don’t know much about swing bikes, but I think its a really cool concept and I can’t wait to see yours.
Maybe look into how the mechanism for folding travel bikes work. That could give you some good inspiration for the locking mechanism. Best of luck!
Even some cheaper alternatives to adding light to your design might help to distinguish and personalize the bike – you can get like 16′ of EL wire for around $10 on Amazon. I think that would contribute a significant amount of color and embellishment, if you wanted that. It might also prove to interact with the motion of the bike in an interesting way, especially when riding it in the dark.