50 Shades of Blue AKA HellCamino

Apr 12, 2012
This bike is so beastly it'll make children and hippies cry!

Everything about it is just right.....it actually looks like it was built by a pro shop sorta like a Gas Monkey Garage for bikes.
Jun 16, 2008
Kansas City, MO
A couple of more details ironed out. One of my concerns with the seatpost being so high was the extra space it created visually between the seat and the frame. Thought about adding another reflector or a taillight, but then I came across some bicycle license plates. Found a couple from 1955, but they were from cities I had never heard of and didn't feel relevant. I kept digging until I found this company in California that makes custom bicycle plates. Perfect--except they only use letters (no numbers, symbols, etc.) and you can only use up to eight characters. After playing around with some different combinations I came up with this:

Did I mention they are blue and white? :)
I used a stem headlight bracket, some flat steel, and miscellaneous hardware to create a seatpost mount:

One other bit I've been saving for this build were a set of FAKO dual headlights like these (not mine):

The paint on mine were really rough so I put a light coat of the blue I used on the rear fender over the housings. I enlisted the help of an engineer friend to convert these to a switch-powered, battery-driven light instead of the generator.

Found some nice low-profile on/off button switches on eBay that went in the holes on top of the lights

They will attach to a bracket that sits at the top of the fork:

I can see the finish line!
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Jun 16, 2008
Kansas City, MO
It's the old HANDLEBAR SWAPEROO! :D I've been keeping this one in my back pocket which hasn't been easy with the handlebar conversation earlier in the thread. The apes don't look bad on this bike (and they made a convincing decoy), but I already have a Spitfire blue Schwinn cantilever build with a set:

Perfect for that bike, but I wanted something a little different for HellCamino. I really did try the other bars I showed pics of, but they didn't do anything for me. I got the look I wanted with a simple set of chrome risers:

Since functionality is a key element for this build I needed the bars to be at least the same height or higher than the saddle. These bars give me a great riding position. No too upright, but not completely hunched over either. Adding the new bars also let me move the license plate off the seatpost and mount it between the springs under the saddle. It's much cleaner looking and now the seatpost echoes the chrome fork visually.

Next I installed both headlights which let me dial in the stem/handlebar height:

And then fired them up!

These lights are CRAZY bright! I'm really happy with how the fork integrates with the handlebar, and the lights are the icing on the cake.

At some point after swapping the handlebars (but before I moved the plate) I took HC outside for a daylight shot. I also had a chance to do a quick neighborhood spin and it rode flawlessly. I'm amazed at what a difference the 8-speed hub makes!

In the home stretch now!
Jun 16, 2008
Kansas City, MO
I dug the apes, but you gotta go with your gut. Maybe the apes visually pulled the eyes away from the meat of the bike too much. I think you made a great choice with these lower bars.
Not a bad choice,not my favorite. But I agree with KingFish,go with your gut. It is your ride after all.
Don't get me wrong, I liked the apes. It's also nice to know that if I ever sell my Spitfire I can swap them out and have two different feeling bikes. There was just something about these that clicked for me, and like Frank said, I gotta do it my way. :)

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