Sumo Roller

A fun project conceived at the beginning of this year has just dropped its fruit. A fat tire bike designed by and made for myself, the Sumo Roller.

Fat-tired mountain bikes are in, with tire widths ranging around four to five inches. I see people around me hopping on the train too. I heard my inner jealousy whisper to me, “Go bigger or go home,” so I went for tire width of 12″, approximately 305mm. The outer diameter is also decently large at 25″.

The following picture shows a different angle view, assembled with some different, makeshift parts because this was the very first day that this bike rolled on the terra.

Components include those of bicycles, motorcycles, ATV buggies, etc., which are put together by adding some twist i.e. grinding and welding. There was no guarantee for this project that the concept would actually turn out functional at all, so there was some focus on avoiding costly processes and ensuring that most parts can be taken apart and reused if this whole thing didn’t work. But somehow, it worked.

So I hopped on it, and the impression was like, wow, this is absolutely and startlingly different from anything and everything… not. It’s large, heavy, good on snow, and can’t go fast. Just as it seems. Then is it fun, you may ask? Absolutely yes. It doesn’t take any special skill to ride it around, but there is no denying that the experience comes with unprecedented sights to see and unparalleled feeling to be had.

It’s been about 10 days since the launch, during which time I’ve done some 80 km in distance. I had to readjust the drive train to counter the initial stretching of the chain, but otherwise there has been no troubles, somewhat to my surprise. There actually are many parts I thought could break down anytime, partly due to the restrictions in the structural design.

Though there are some points to be fine tuned, it came out with a better potential than expected for the very first prototype. Also I managed to make it in time before the snow was gone, which made the project a great success overall. As is always the case, DIY is THE answer when you want to ride something fun and unique.

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