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Tall bikes, choppers, cargo bikes, freak bikes, art bikes, clown bikes…

THESE BIKES ARE much more than just two wheels, two pedals, and a chain.



About The Author

Hal Amen

Hal Amen is a managing editor at Matador. His personal travel blog is WayWorded.

  • Julie

    These are hilarious! I especially love the wheels made of sneakers– not quite sure how she rolls, but….

    • KIloseven

      #16? Why, its a (below)
      Di-ger-i-bike. (as in digeridoo)

  • Lola

    Muahahahahahahahaha *cough* hahahahahahaha!

  • Tom Gates

    I love that some of these seem positively normal when put against the others. I’m calling #16 a Bong Bike.

  • aya

    heh, these photos are amazing!
    that bike with the tail made out of wheels is pretty cute. i think it’s time for me to upgrade my bike.

  • revphil

    I think that 1st picture is outside Hollywood Theater at the Premiere of Veer. Gabe is talking to the filmmakers who followed him around documenting his absurdity.

    beautiful shots. thanks for sharing.

  • Christine

    Oh my god, that shoes-as-wheels one is amazing!

  • RJL20

    The shoes-as-wheels bike was part of the freak bike corral at last year’s Tour de Fat. I think #15, the training wheels one, was also.

  • joshywashington

    all of the sudden my tired old Haro seems well, ordinary… I saw a video where guys made a bike from a picnic table!
    My vote is for the shopping cart!

  • Carlo

    You could create a category called WTF?! and place #16 there.

    These are awesome…the creativity! The sneakers one made me laugh out. And that paddlewheel-pedaler is just downright brilliant.

  • Carlo

    And I see what you mean about #19. That will give me nightmares…what’s that Stephen King movie with those creepy kids…I never watched it, but the ads always frightened me.

  • cb

    #12 is Tall Pol, owner of the Bike Doctor in Vancouver. that must be a pretty old photo because his tall bike doesn’t look like that anymore. currently a part of the Velo-City exhibition at the Vancouver Museum this summer

    and Sailor Neale lives in San Francisco now and PedalPlay no longer exists (except in our memories).

  • Tommy

    I remember making some of the chopper bikes when I was a kid back in the late sixties and early seventies….

  • Michelle

    Wow! The shoe-tire bike is my favorite.

  • http://na dave

    Hey these are hilarious bikes.
    Love the two in the tank track like recumbent type bike thingy.
    Have a good one.

  • jowunger

    You gave me a sweet 20min =)

    Perfect !

  • Alan

    A lot of those look like they wouldn’t be very comfortable rides. Also, #20 is just pure win!

  • JOhnny CVash

    Wow, that is truly amazing! Cool stuff dude!


  • David

    A trailer for a video shot by a guy riding a tall bike across Africa. There’s some footage of the tall bike towards the end of the trailer. Excellent Stuff.

  • subcorpus

    need. to. build. a, bike. !!!

  • Del Cruiser
  • NC
    • Michelle


      I was gonna say you should check out NOLA bikes, but here it was at the bottom.

      We have more rad art/homemade (not to mention Plan B, YAY!) bikes than this in the Marigny/Bywater alone!

      Gosh, I miss home….

  • codyp

    #11 isnt an art bike.. its a low rider bike. They are all over the place. My friend has one.. Thats a very nice one.. But so is his.

  • joshywashington

    check out this picnic table bike!

  • whiskeytits

    LOL, check out Doc. Oh, I miss Portland and all it’s freaks. *siiiigh* Hi Doc. Hi Zoobombers. Hi Portland.

  • Chris

    I nominate my chopper for #23 or so.

  • -K

    #16 is an underslung chopper called Long Chainey

    was made by Johnny Payphone,

  • Spatch

    No.18 is right at home on the Westside of Bend , a crabon-fribe Cannondale Raven no less .

  • Hal

    Two of these I’ve actually seen in person. Great article!

    I hate to be one of those “how the hell did you forget blah-blah-blah bike” people, but there are a few I know of (built by people that I know personally) that are really at home in this gallery:

    Four-bike tall bike, built by RichToTheIE, who created the C.R.A.N.K MOB ride in Los Angeles:
    (sorry, tried to find a better photo, but that’s all I could find at the moment)

    Brassknuckle and Yetiman with their bike:
    (Photo is shot by my friend Sarah Sitkin, who can be found on

    And Yetiman again with a home-made (geared!) penny farthing bicycle with a rear disc brake:
    (also shot by Sarah)

  • Hal

    I’m loving the new additions, people. Keep ‘em coming! If we get enough we may just have to run a sequel…

  • Michael

    Oh man I love the tankbike.

  • BigD

    actually…both the sweet freakbikes in the first pic are gabe’s, the other was being piloted by his roomate, buffalo dave.

  • bdring

    Check out this one…similar to the tank

    Below is me trying to embed a yout tubee video

  • RTM

    I live near East Van, and there are lots more like this (though without the tank treads)…

    Not many tallbikes this far up the coast though…

  • Penal System

    What I loved about the Portland custom bike culture was how it was like a bike-fungus. Run in the right circles and these bikes started to haunt you. Go to a party at the Fridge, get drunk & ride a tallbike home. Wake up to find a few orphan choppers & bouncy bikes in the back yard days after your roomie had a private, er, party with some C.H.U.N.K. boys. Lurking from the roofs of SE Division businesses. Abandoned behind dumpsters. Ubiquitous as hell at Critical Mass and Last Thursday. An unescapable force of questionable transport. Oh to be young & alcoholic in that rainy city…

  • MX

    #14 is Michael X from Rat Patrol Chicago on his “G-1263 (V.1)”

  • Rk

    I fave the art bike… Then again I am a crafty person. :P

  • Bikejuju

    Some of those are truly awesome. IMHO Mutandem wins for best photo, and maybe reverse cowgirl for best bike.

  • JB

    These bikes are cool! And for some extra fun and bikes to add to the photo essay the authors should come check out the Kinetic Sculpture Race in Arcata, CA.

  • Ricochet-Rabbit

    The only thing missing is a submission from Red Green at the “Possum Lodge”.

  • Jen_Jackson

    hahaha gotta love Oregon for the bikes!!
    #18 is right out front this awesome bakery in my hometown. BEND!!!!

  • Quartz Watches

    It’s not callous to make decisions when you know what your values are.

  • MikeOxlong

    8=====================D ~~~

    • MikeOxlong


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