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84FSP
84FSP SuperDork
10/14/19 7:21 a.m.

Why not Ebike it?  The in hub motor setups seem like they would fit the aesthetic and might offset some of the weight penalty?

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/14/19 7:43 a.m.

Here's a small Monday update: 

The bolt for the seat collar has seen better days. 

No matter; found a nut & bolt in my scrap 'organizers' and replaced it. Naturally I have no photograph of the replacement. It's a small Allen headed bolt and a Nylock nut, you can imagine how it must look. 

I also re-installed the headset and repacked the bearings with fresh grease (don't worry I put more on after this). 

 

I also went to my dad's place and raided my/our stash of bike parts in his attic. I came up with a couple gem's I'm pretty excited about. 

Exhibit A:) This vintage Brooks leather saddle. I've been picturing this bike with a Brooks on it, but as they're expensive it was going to be a bit of a risk to take to buy a new one. Well now I can test the aesthetic with this old one, and I may even be able to bring it back to life with some TLC. 

I think I'm going to like the look; I'm guessing I'll spring for a new one when the time comes. 

I also unearthed an old set of Primo Powerbite cranks from the attic. This bike had a 1 piece crank and they're heavy, flexy, and just generally suck. Furthermore, the crank on this bike was a 165mm which is pretty short and would likely make the bike feel even slower. These Powerbites are 10mm longer which hopefully won't interfere with toe overlap too bad and allow me a bit more power in my pedal strokes. The real bonus though is the spacer that goes between the spindle and sprocket fits perfectly with the original Schwinn sprocket, so I can re use that. 

I think this looks super tough. 

Some other notes; I have a 1"  threaded to 1-1/8" threadless stem adapter coming from eBay as well as a new sealed bearing bottom bracket for the cranks. The stem adapter will let me use a "modern" 1-1/8" threadless stem which opens up a ton of options versus the original 1" threaded.

I was originally going to run a bmx-style handlebar but as the project is progressing I'm leaning more towards a more standard riser bar. I think the bmx bars would be too tall and funky on the bike, though I'm still not opposed to the idea. 

Hopefully parts will be here this week and I can keep bolting things on! 

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/14/19 7:49 a.m.

In reply to 84FSP :

That isn't a bad idea, I just haven't yet accepted the motorized bicycle as a thing I want in my life. I like the increased exercise I've been getting by playing with and ultimately riding bicycles. 

 

The hope is though it will be heavy it will be smooth, and the 3 speed hub will hopefully offset some of the weight difference between this and my every day 26". 

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
10/14/19 8:21 a.m.

there is only on ehandlebar choice for old cruisers. Ape Hangers.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
10/14/19 8:39 a.m.

Choose your bars carefully to be sure that you will have enough room between your knees and the grips. I think that's what made me pass on that original Schwinn Klunker a few years back. Toes to front tire clearance may have been another.

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/14/19 8:53 a.m.

In reply to ultraclyde :

I already have an old cruiser with ape hangers though - here's the before and after on that one. 

I love how this bike turned out, but from a cycling standpoint it's not great. Five miles is maybe the longest I'd like to ride it at one shot and it's pretty slow. Plus it's shiny still so I don't like locking it up at bike racks. 

The heavy-duti will be ugly and hopefully much faster than this one. 

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/14/19 8:54 a.m.

In reply to Woody :

10-4 sir. The toe overlap I can kinda deal with, if the bars are in your lap it's no fun. Going to the updated stem size means I can put a real long stem on it to push them out further if need be. 

I measured and the top-tube of this Schwinn is within 1/2" of the top tube of my every day Gary Fisher, so I have no doubt I'll be able to make it fit me in a comfortable way. 

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/18/19 11:34 a.m.

Plans have been changing; I got a drum brake front hub from a buddy and it is gigantic. It also requires a strap (like a coaster brake) to be attached to the fork. 

I'm going to scrap that idea in favor of a new fork with canti mounts and just run a traditional rim brake. I'm also planning on buying some weld on brake mounts for the frame so I can run a cantilever rear brake as well, due to the fact that the frame spacing is 110mm which is the more standard BMX size, meaning my hub selection is limited. 

HOWEVER - this does present an opportunity for this thing to be moderately svelte, which is good as now the plan is to make it a singlespeed. 

The irony now is that I ordered a 21.1mm stem adapter, as my forks are the smaller 21.1 ID... but they're going to be getting replaced now it seems so I won't need that particular adapter. Oh well, it won't be bad piece to have around for future builds. 

 

In forward progress, my bottom bracket showed up and I was able to mount my cranks. I think it looks boss. 

Fun stuff! 

dropstep
dropstep UltraDork
10/18/19 8:51 p.m.

Even with the added weight I was happy to go modern fork, stem and bars on mine. I run a coaster brake rear because it fits the time period but I could certainly use a better brake on long downhills even at a mild angle. 

 

 

You planning to stick with the yellow? 

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/21/19 8:44 a.m.

In reply to dropstep :

Yep, I'm intending to keep the Yellow. It's so ugly and beat and it's perfect for the vibe of the bike. Plus the 'heavy duti' branding is too funny 

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/21/19 8:56 a.m.

Over the weekend I made some decisions that ultimately led to the 'completion' of this bike. 

I found some parts in the attic stash and hung them on the bike, and my 1" to 1-1/8" stem adapter showed up on Friday. With handlebars and a front wheel, the bike was essentially a rear coaster brake away from functional. I went on a night mountain bike ride with some buddies, one of whom mentioned an event called "homie fall fest" which sounds like a singlespeed specific bar crawl next Saturday (10/26/19). Well, considering this is almost together and seems like it would fit that group well, I decided to go for it and finish it on Saturday. The brake modifications all got thrown out the window (for now) in favor of a coaster brake for simplicity and cheapness. 

Saturday was gorgeous so I brought some of my bikes out for some sun, and some cannibalization. 

My friend was over cleaning up his Camaro for winter, my wife was working on some fall-theme upgrades for our planters, and I was messing around with bikes and helping where I could. It was a great day hanging in the garage/yard/driveway. 

A few minutes after this picture was taken the red Schwinn Corvette made its way to my dad's basement bicycle museum, and the white bike gave up it's rear wheel so I could test ride the Klunker. 

Here's the relative "completed" project. I ordered a black rear coaster wheel so the chrome one can go back where it belongs. I also think the chrome looks too 'cruiser' for this bike. But, for test riding it works. I haven't put too many miles on it yet, the plan is to make the commute to work on it one day this week and see how it feels. The little riding I have done actually feels good so I'm hopeful it will be an OK bike to put a few miles on here and there. 

I am still open to the idea of putting canti brakes on it in the future and all of that, but if I'm being honest this will probably be the finished product. I'll get the black wheel on it and call it done. Perhaps I'll change the bars at some point, but the likilhood is that this is 'done'. 

Fun! 

dropstep
dropstep UltraDork
10/21/19 12:33 p.m.

Looks a bit weird too me with flat bars because most people run Moto or bmx bars. Should be fun too ride, plus you can now kill back tires doing skids like a child again. 

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/21/19 3:21 p.m.

In reply to dropstep :

Yeah, I'm not 100% sold on the bars yet. Bmx style bars were the original plan and I may go back to that. These were just in the 'free' pile of things I already had so on they went. 

bigeyedfish
bigeyedfish Reader
10/21/19 3:35 p.m.

Not sure how much you want to spend on handlebars, but there are some pretty cool options out there.

http://www.defianceframeworks.com/new-products/arise-bars

 

https://surlybikes.com/parts/sunrise_handlebar

 

Moonmen make a super trick set out of titanium, but they are not cheap.

These pictures were pulled from https://bikepacking.com/gear/list-of-comfort-mtb-handlebars/.  There is a whole list of options on that page.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
10/21/19 6:22 p.m.

Very cool. I think the bars linked above would be perfect given the intended use. The mini apes I run on my zchwinn-esque frame are one of the many issues that make it a fun-cruiser not a get-somewhere bike.

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/22/19 7:15 a.m.

Yeah, those are definitely not out of the question. The bike ended up coming back to the BMX side of things a little more than the mountain side, so I'll likely get some of those. 

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
10/23/19 8:57 a.m.

Myth Cycles makes this bar which is fairly low for a BMX/moto style bar but it is a bit pricey ($120 chromoly or $340 titanium.

https://mythcycles.com/handlebars/

 

Fairdale makes this bar for $30 and I am going to use one of these on a klunker build at some point.

 

https://www.treefortbikes.com/Fairdale-MX-Handlebar-28-Chrome?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&adpos=1o1&scid=scplp333222430127&sc_intid=333222430127&gclid=CjwKCAjw9L_tBRBXEiwAOWVVCWmQcC5-Ykigv47qjmM8E-Kac5wyNNyeM2bOzr1nlJ26Ug4GOb-gIBoCuQcQAvD_BwE

 

The original klunkers ran moto bars so that could be an option but not a light one.

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/23/19 10:15 a.m.

In reply to 93EXCivic :

Oooh, those Fairdale ones are appealing, that price point definitely catches my eye. 

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/23/19 10:34 a.m.

This morning I decided to take the bike on it's maiden voyage to work. Made it just fine, strapped my frame bag to it and my lights and pedaled away. 

Some notes: 

Smooth. This thing is really smooth. I'm used to an aluminum mountain bike and man the steel feels nice. That decrepit old brooks saddle also feels really good believe it or not. 

The seat needs to be raised a bit, no problem just an adjustment. I'll do this before the ride home. 

Gearing. It's geared a bit too high for my liking. There are a couple of hills on the way to work and it takes some considerable effort to get up them. Granted, it's a single speed so there's no way it will be as convenient as my 1x10 Gary Fisher, but I think some sacrifices need to be made from the top speed to make it a little snappier. I want to muck around in the dirt with this thing and with this gearing it would be miserable. This can and will be fixed.

Those funky Cane Creek bar ends are actually kinda nice, especially when climbing hills with this hard gearing. For now I'm going to leave them. 

Verdict: 

It's good! I like it, today was probably the coldest morning of the fall and I rode this oddball thing in to work, and I wasn't miserable. Hills were tough and the seat was too low, but those are both easily fixable. I kind of dig the coaster thing for commuting because I can have big fat gloves on my hands and not have any shifting or braking to worry about. I was worried that it wouldn't be very practical, and I think today has put that worry to bed. It's never going to be as good as a modern bike, but it seems good enough to actually use, and that's good enough for me :) 

Woody
Woody MegaDork
10/23/19 6:09 p.m.

That's good news!

I have a friend who loves those Cane Creek bar ends. He keeps moving the same pair from bike to bike. I've never seen another set of them!

dropstep
dropstep UltraDork
10/23/19 11:16 p.m.

I tried 44/18 then 39/18 and finally 36/18. Since you plan to ride a variety of terrain try the 39 tooth front.

 

Ohh and the only bad thing I've found with coaster brakes is getting them hot on longer downhills burns the grease up fast and you have to rebuild them often or the brakes quit working 

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/24/19 7:42 a.m.

In reply to Woody :

I think a customer gave them to me long ago at the bike shop. They're kinda funky but they feel pretty good!

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/24/19 7:57 a.m.

In reply to dropstep :

Thanks for the gearing advice; from the looks of it the original Scwhinn sprocket on the bike now is probably a 44 or 45 tooth, I probably have a 39 tooth bmx sprocket in the attic somewhere I could swap out. And yeah, coaster brakes definitely have their drawbacks. I'm going to roll with it for now and see how it goes. I may still add v-brake tabs in the future. 

Sanchinguy
Sanchinguy Reader
10/24/19 7:02 p.m.

Nice! I dig it - my first bike rebuild was a 24" Schwinn Typhoon that set up as BMX-ish clunker and rode it for years. The braced riser bars are perfect and may be its just me, but that bike screams for a dynamo hub up front!

I agree that it would make a great e-bike - Check out Falco e-bike conversions...

Gunchsta
Gunchsta HalfDork
10/25/19 7:22 a.m.

In reply to Sanchinguy :

Yeah I like the riser bar idea; although it's quite comfortable as it is. And believe it or not I got a dynamo hub from a buddy of mine but I don't intend on using it. I have a decent set of Nite Rider lights that I'm pretty satisfied with. 

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