Who? Contact! ::: Disclaimer

How the BERZERKER was made. Scroll down for wheels, variations at the BOTTOM!
Click other links to see the other sections.

::: WHEELS :::

NEW NOTE: See the latest NEW machine The Evil Eye II built in less than 30 days here: The Kinetic Sculpture Lab. The wheels on the Evil Eye II machine will be rebuilt to have the eye bolts on the WHEEL instead of in the hub. They bent, making the spokes longer / sag and I could not tighten 'em because they were bent.. duh!... ALTERNATE WHEELS (by the guys who showed me how to make wheels) at bottom of page.

NOTE: Some modifications were made for the Kinetic Sculpture Race (2007)... weighed in at 730 lbs. on a truck scale. Only one tank of propane, no people. Still pedals pretty damn good for 1000+ lbs loaded! Weeeeeee!

Many people saw the BERZERKER at Burning Man 2006. While I am stoked that so many people LOVED the wheels, I cannot take all of the credit for the idea. YES, I BUILT THEM, but some of my friends who do the Kinetic Sculpture Race here in Humboldt County made wheels out of storm drain pipe a few years ago. Anyway, specal thanks to Ken Beidleman, Duane Flatmo and June Moxon for being great teachers in how to make crazy stuff out of everyday things. A great place to figure out your spoke lengths is here: (sorry, the link died.. do a search, you'll find one!) Many of the spoke calculators on the web are specific to bikes. A pain when you are making 4 foot wheels. Anyway, with all the ass-kissing over - here's how I did it....

I got car rims that were close to what I needed for hub size, 15 inch diam. Then got plastic storm drain material that was 4 feet inside diam. Used my computer to printout strips of paper with the correct spacing for my holes. Drilled the 96 holes in each rim on a drill press (thanks Ken) and then drilled the 96 holes in each storm drain.

Knowing the length of a 0x, 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x and 5x pattern by using Spocalc, I was able to see what a good length would be. Not too long, not too short, sure my 2 inch eyebolts would be able to tighten my spokes. Then I had to make all the spokes.

I welded all of my 300 eyebolts shut so they wouldn't spread under strain. Using 1/16 Aircraft cable, I attached one end to the eyebolt, using a thimble and aluminum ferreles. I mounted my "crusher" for one handed operation.

Here you have a photo of 48 spokes. This is enough to do ONE HALF of ONE wheel. All the spokes were made about 6 inches longer than needed and marked with a paint pen for their FINISHED length.

Once the spokes are half built and ready to connect the hub to the wheel, this is all you need! Washers of various sizes, Nylock nuts and aluminum stops.

Here are HALF (48) of the spokes in place, ready to have the aluminum stops swaged on at the finished length. A small washer was slipped on the outer cable to help reduce the risk of pulling through the drain pipe. The extra cable is also cut off before attaching the eyebolt to the hub. This rim is the rear (no drive) so it gets a straight pattern, 0x.

NOTE, all of the eyebolts have a nut and washer on them already to use as a lock-nut from the back once the spokes are tight. Start inserting the eyebolts and just keep going. Very repetitive, give yourself days to build your wheels. I used a Nyloc nut with a washer on the inside to make sure they don't get loose.

Once you're done with the first side, flip the rim and do the other side.

The spokes have not been tightened yet, but you CAN tighten them all to an equal length / snugness if you'd like.

The next spoking pattern is a three cross (3x) pattern for the drive wheels. They should have some cross over so they can handle tork. I only crossed one side of the wheels, and used a straight pattern on the other side. You will see this on some bike wheels, so it must work, right?

These spokes are a differnt length than the 0x spokes. Make sure you're using the right length. It would suck to do this twice! There are only 24 spokes placed for the first round of lacing, I thought this would make it easy to change the crossover if I made a mistake somewhere in my math. Either cross more or less to compensate.

Got 'em all nutted in place, get the next round of spokes "stopped" and cut, then twist the hub.

Your first spoke will cross 3 spokes to get to it's hole. A 3x pattern. See detail below.

Once you get the first spoke in, just continue the pattern around the rim.

3x side is done, flip over and do the 0x pattern!

You can place all 48 spokes on the 0x side since they all follow each other.

Lookin' good, they just need tread!

For these wheels, I'll need TWELVE 26" tires. Try to get a deal, tires are $$$$.

I cut the beads off the tires so they can spread to fit the larger circumference of the drain pipe, but that wasn't enough, I also had to slit the sides. I cut at marks on the tires so I didn't have to measure anything. Lasy, but easy! NEXT, I painted a layer of contact cement onto the wheel (a tip from Duane Flatmo), not really to glue the tire on, but reduce creep.

That bucket of screws wasn't enough to do all 3 wheels, about 1200 screws were used to hold the rubber on the drainpipe. Make sure you have DAYS to do this part. You can only put in so many screws before you lose your mind.

The right is the glue drying, the left is... 400 screws and 400 washers later.. A TIRE!

Finished wheels on the trike (which was built way after the wheels). Specs - wheels: about 4 ft tall, 15 inch car rim for a hub, REAR has straight spokes and the FRONT WHEELS have a 3x cross pattern for pedaling. Each wheel has OVER 1700 individual pieces of hardware. Not HARD to make, just REALLY redundant.

See the other sections of the BERZERKER build. Alternate wheels below....

Design by Ken Beidleman. Made a larger hub and used the longest bike spokes he could buy. NOTE: There is about 1/2 inch adjustment or LESS in bike spokes, so make sure you do your math right!

Design by Duane Flatmo. Rolled steel hubs, cable spokes with the eye-bolts in wheel. Pie pan hubcaps.

All images and content ©2005-2012, Scott Cocking & Department of Spontaneous Combustion