Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Manchester Brox with sound system

I haven't posted too many pictures of my machine here, so here's one from the start of the Moving Planet Day, back in September.



And a couple of videos of it out on Critical Mass in back in May



Sunday, 11 December 2011

The New Firebrox Web Site

Firebrox has undergone a major overhaul, and you can follow its progress over at the new web site http://www.firebrox.com/.



More photos here, including details of those new brakes.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Sim Bamford's Brox Based Sound System

A Brox Compact was fitted with a sound system by Sim Bamford in 2002.

These photos from Sim's web site show the first version.








It was photographed at the big stop the war march in 2003 after it had been modified to lower the centre of gravity.



This machine is not the same as Firebrox as far as I know.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Firebrox (take 2)

Probably the most well known Brox Compact in the UK, Firebrox is the main sound system for the London Friday Night Skate.



I caught up with it at the original 2007 London Freewheel. Note the striking blue wheel hubs.

The machine is heavilly modified to help carry the 2kW PA system, with 52 gears and from odd forum posts it seems the hard work it goes through results in it needing a significant amount of maintenance, there is a detailed post covering the problems here.

Thanks to dan_b's comments and his photos on Flickr (below) I can now tell the correct series of events. The version of Firebox in my photo above, piloted by dan_b, was bought as chassis plus the aluminium flatbed load tray in 2006 from an employee of Brixton Cycles.

There were two versions of Firebox, the first was based on the standard tray (plus a repaint) and a steel support for the speaker:



And the second has the reworked back,



dan-b also sais that "Sadly it's currently off the road *again* as the drive axle snapped earlier this year and we've been unable to source a replacement. We're planning to take it down to Kingsmead to get the rear frame rewelded: I'm told that their newer design uses a plain axle instead of the complicated piece of machinery in ours, and they can fit mountings for Magura brakes at the same time."

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Back in Production

The Brox Compact is back in production at Kingsmead Associates.

The new machines will have Mangura Big brakes on all four wheels.

For more details contact broxsales@aol.com

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Back in Production?

from http://www.pedicabforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3255 3/10/2011


If anybody out there needs BROX COMPACT spares or service please email me at broxsales@aol.com.

We are located in Kent England, near the Channel port of Dover.

We are currently making a batch of BROX Delivery quads, and some advertising quads.

If you are interested email for prices and completion date

Happy cycling Clive


It would be nice to think we could get replacement parts, but sadly I think the front brakes are going to be a big chalenge. I assume this post came from Kingsmead Associates who manufactured the compact.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Veloblitz Brox - (2005)

Another Brox Compact found on Flickr, this photo from 2005 is a Brox belinging to a Swiss company Veloblitz based in Z├╝rich.



Photo by Bregan K Moving Target.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

A Motorised Brox - for sale

Seen on Gumtree - Dublin

Brox Bike - motorised - 4 wheel articulated bike

Motorised Brox Bike - 4 wheeled articulated bike with recumbent type seat and flat bed for load carrying. One of only 3 such bikes in existence. Heinzman Motor, Sclumpf mountain drive, 7 speed. Fairing for aerodynamics and weather protection. A truly unusual vehicle which is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face as you use it.


I'm not a fan of fitting electric motors to bicycles and the like, the result is a variation on an electric motorbike - albeit sometimes speed limited. In the case of a Brox you end up with somthing akin to a large mobility scooter.

Notice how the drive wheel has been fitted with a bar reaching round the outside so the motor can be mounted, making the machine slightly wider. The motor has been fitted to the non-pedal driven wheel, so perhaps the motor could be repurposed to generate electricity to power a sound system.

This Brox is also notable for the fitting of an HP Velotechnik Streamer fairing and the Sclumpf mountain drive.



It also has a bar-end mirror on the right, but I suspect it mostly gives a view of the load platform.



It is not clear wher the battery is mounted, possibly in the cage fixed to the front of the load platform.

All photos from the Gumtree advert.


-----

A bit more info on VeloVision.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Front Brake Repairs

The Brox uses many non-standard and (now) obsolete parts. If such a thing as a repair manual for the machine exists I'd be very grateful for a copy. Meantime I'll post any information I find.

The front brakes are a pair of Sachs power discs, these are now obsolete and owners of machines originally built with them like the older Greenspeed GTT, AnthroTech and the Brox Compact all face the problem of servicing them and finding suitable replacements. I have found the old parts list on-line, the brake is on page 59 and the service kit on page 135 - this dates back to 1999.

The newer versions of the Greenspeed and AnthroTech both now use the Mangura Big Twin (more info), however the mounting arrangements are different. Pedicab shop advertise them for sale in the UK.

The following is the story of the conversion of the Firebrox to the Mangura brakes. It is reposted from FireBrox Repairs - in case the original ever disappears.

This front brake replacement is one repair I am not looking foward to - I hope I can find a simpler alternative!

--------------------------------

Just about all the bearing surfaces have been changed, wheels, headsets (all 3 of them), gear cassette rebuilt, new custom chainguard fitted, chains replaced (both of them), repainted sound chassis, perspex panels cut and replaced, an overhaul, rewire and simplification of the sound system, speaker array mounts replaced, binding brakes fixed. I'm sure there are some things I've forgotten we've done.

This has been a time consuming task as the Brox is very nonstandard. Bearing surfaces were very hard to source and eventually had to be machined to fit. Every time we work on it we hit an unforseen wall of some description or another. Work has also been delayed by my being out of the country for 3 weeks as I have been made redundant recently, but had the offer of work teaching freediving in Dahab, got to get the work no matter how unpleasant ;)

So all in all sorry it's taking so long, I want it out of my garage and back on the road too, but we have one major problem which is a show stopper, the brakes, these have to be bled (no, it's not at all like a car), but as a result of the calipers being obsolete, we cannot get the spares or the correct bleeding kit to get all the air out of the system. WOTNOBRAKES?!?!? Yes indeed, no flippin' brakes, so you can see, this has to be resolved before we can possibly use it on the road.

We are close boys and girls and no one is missing the Brox like me, as I have some truely killer mixes stacking up at home ready to play on the LFNS.

So watch this space, once the brakes are working safely we can reassemble the poor beast and bring it out again as a more reliable deliverer of music.



--------

The problem: The new disc brake calliper uses a completely different mounting arrangement to the old one, and because the old system is obsolete there's no standard adaptor available so a pair has to specially made. The other problem is that with this particular combination of hub, disc and calliper the spokes hit the outside of the calliper so a 5mm thick spacer is needed between the disc and hub to position the disc and calliper further away from the wheel. This in turn means that the disc is now too close to the frame and the heads of the disc fixing bolts hit it, so a longer spacer is needed on the axle to move the entire wheel assembly outwards. However this puts more stress on the axle bolt as it is cantilevered out from the frame. Although it's only a couple of millimetres any increase in stress is not good as the Firebrox is heavily loaded and inclined to go through potholes. The solution is to make the new axle spacer cone shaped so that the face that sits against the frame is a larger diameter than the original thus reducing the leverage and the tension on the axle bolt.



The raw materials: A couple of conveniently shaped lumps of aluminium and a length of steel bar from scrap metal the collection.



After playing with most of my favourite engineering toys we end up with these. Hope it all works...




All photos are by the Firbrox crew.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Brox Against the War

15th February 2003


South Bank - with guest rider...


22nd March 2003


Hyde Park

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

"Brox on Scrap Duty"

Somewhere in The Lanes, Brighton.



By GravityKarma


Can't work out any more details, but this machine has clearly been well used...

Monday, 4 April 2011

Moss Solar

Moss Solar created this modified machine.



A solar powered Brox Compact!

I can't help thinking that it's not the most elegant solar powered vehicle I've seen, but at least it solves the problem of mounting wing mirrors on a Brox.

The builder is also into electric boats...

Monday, 28 March 2011

Promobikes

Possibly the biggest current users of Brox Compacts are Promobikes



They've even fitted some out with TV screens!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Firebrox

Probably the most well known Brox Compact in the UK, Firebrox is the main sound system for the London Friday Night Skate.



I caught up with it at the original 2007 London Freewheel. Note the striking blue wheel hubs.

The machine is heavilly modified to help carry the 2kW PA system, with 52 gears and from odd forum posts it seems the hard work it goes through results in it needing a significant amount of maintenance, there is a detailed post covering the problems here.

This is version 3 of the sound system, I think version 2 was this one, built of wood, photographed back in 2003.



and this was the first attempt.








Firebrox on Flickr.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Gardening Brox

Updated - see comment from Robin - this machine is up for sale.

Found on the Hackney Permaculture Blog - bought secondhand in 2009, it is the former BikeFix shop Brox - see below.

brox recumbent quadcycle

and a lovely image of it filled with flowers

Brox filled with flowers from Columbia Road flower market

Strangely it only seems to have a single brake lever.

Monday, 14 February 2011

The Bikefix Shop Brox

This was a photo of the Bikefix shop Brox, out with a soundsystem and DJ on the back at a London Critical Mass ride in April 2004.



I was getting a bit of stick that day from the shop crew for turning up on my Brompton....

This is my Brox Compact

The image is from the Bikefix web site.



This was my Brox Compact at Bikefix before I collected it. I had to wait when I turned up to collect it because they wanted to take photos of the new design. Mine had turned up with the new fiberglass mudgards which are much more robust than the earlier ones, and give the machine a more solid look along with the striking blue wheel hubs.

It was built by Kingsmead Associates, in Canterbury, though I think it is no longer in production.

It's a great machine to ride, I just regret not having more excuses to use it.

I bought it back in 2002, just in time for Croydon Car Free Day, 22nd September, and ended up carting a trike home, in addition to the trailer - 8 wheels in total.



Carbusters published this photo...


It wasn't the only one in Croydon that day



Sadly world events soon took over and only 6 days later on the 29th the machine was pressed into service in the anti-war cause, involving a 20 mile round trip to central London and the fitting of a set of lights.



At the end of the march I met another Brox rider with his young familly who told me stories of taking it on the train to Cornwall, they just turned up with a cycle booking and got it on the train.