RattleCAD : Portable Bicycle Frames Design Software

When you visit the local bike store, the smiling salesperson asks you – “What kind of bike are you interested in? We have everything.” And then you start to stammer out the type of bike you need. The salesperson takes advantage of your lack of verbal explaining skills and you end up with the bike that you actually hate riding. But if you custom design your bike using RattleCAD on your PC, print out the designs and then slam them on the counter of the bike store, you are more likely to get the bike of your dreams. This time, it would be the salesperson who will stammer and gape at your bike design and you for a long time.

RattleCAD is a specialized open-source CAD software and is used only for the design of road and mountain bike frames. It does not need to be installed as it is portable and works on both Windows and Linux. It is based on a parametric bicycle geometry design. It allows you to export the effects of your work to SVG, HTML, PDF and DXF files. If you have a custom bike shop near your neighborhood, they will love to design a bike for you using your own RattleCAD diagrams.


The program contains extensive libraries of components that can be freely adapted to the user’s needs. Among the various components you can find, for example, saddles, steering wheels, brakes, pedals, and water bottles. During design, it is possible not only to select the individual parts, but also to edit the distance between the steering wheel and the saddle or their height. Some of these design details can be handled easily by any novice, but others make sense only to seasoned bike designers.

RattleCAD is only for basic bike frame designs but does not allow for custom bike frame designs something that you would be able to draw in a versatile CAD program like AutoCAD. Nevertheless, every bike lover will have some fun using this software and might even learn a thing or two about bike frame designs.

You can download RattleCAD from http://rattlecad.sourceforge.net/downloads.html.