Free online bike design tool

Gizmag goes into some detail on the history and purpose of the free, online BikeCAD program and its designer, Canadian mechanical engineer and bike nut Brent Curry.

BikeCAD is part of the Bicycle Forest project. They’re the zany group in Waterloo, Ontario who cruise on the famous Couchbike since 2002. Other fun projects have included their Hulabike and the pedal powered Rhoades Car.

The crazy fun underlies their more serious mission of promoting bicycles and other human powered vehicles as a viable form of transportation. They want bikes to be practical as well as fun and encourage creativity in bike design. To that end, Curry created and released the BikeCAD program several years ago in a free version as well as a paid “Pro” version for use by professional bike builders.

The list of builders who use BikeCAD Pro is a who’s who of well known custom bike builders, many of whom will be at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show this weekend. You can try your hand at bike design, however, with the free, online version. You begin with one of several templates for traditional bikes (select among road, hardtail mountain, or kids), full suspension mountain bikes, recumbents or tandem bikes and select frame dimensions, angles and other parameters to view your bike design in real time. Both the online and installable Pro editions are Java programs, so they will run on any computer (Mac, Windows, Linux, Solaris) with Java installed.

This video highlights the features of the current version of BikeCAD Pro 6.5.

To try your hand at bike design, visit The Bicycle Forest.

For Gizmag’s profile on BikeCAD and its creator, visit Gizmag: BikeCAD lets you design your dream bicycle online, for free.

Tip of the hat to Cantitoe Road and Rick Vosper.

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