Columbia Convertible Commuter

The Renaissance Man

__CERTIFIED DIVER__ (Open Water & Open Dumpster)
Pro Member
Nov 24, 2012
The Tropics of Alabama
The bike.

The original frame is a girl's 1962 Columbia Firebolt.
Coincidentally, the bike and I share the same birth year.

The convertible tank.

The tank was originally produced for converting early 1960's
girl's Spaceliner bicycles into unique boy's bicycles.
It turned out that the tank fit's several different frames
from different manufacturers of the same era.
This Columbia is the latest discovery.

The concept.

The concept for this build was to create a sleek modern adaptation
of the vintage bike and conversion tank. The finished bike
would be very utilitarian and comfortable enough to ride anywhere.

In addition, all of the components used and all of the tools
needed to complete the build would be accessible
for any backyard builder and no physical alterations
would be required.

The parts.

1962 Columbia Firebolt frame and fork
'TRM' Convertible Tank
Huffy middle weight fenders
Origin8 1" alloy quill adapter
Porkchop BMX Potts Mod stem bolt
Origin8 URBAN PRO alloy stem handlebar combo
SRAM MRX Comp 3x8 Gripshift shifters and grips
Tektro alloy brake levers w/integrated bell
Alloy bottom bracket conversion
Shimano 73x107mm square tapered bottom bracket
SRAM DuelDrive Cyclone 175mm 33T crankset
XLC alloy pedals
SRAM DuelDrive 1:1 8 speed derailleur
Sunrace derailleur hanger adapter
SRAM PG-820 11-30 8 speed cassette
OCTO 8 speed chain
SRAM DuelDrive rear hub
(Unknown) alloy sealed cartridge front hub
Stainless spokes & nipples
Sun Rims CR18 700c alloy rims (matched)
Bontrager H5 700x35 tires (matched)
Campagnolo lateral pull U-brake (rear adapted for front)
Tektro R559 long reach rear caliper brake
Shimano brake & shift cables
FLEXROUTE cable guides
Custom alloy/steel seatpost
Alloy quick release seatpost skewer
TREK System 3 Italian saddle
SEM and Duplicolor rattle can paints


Thank you to everyone on this forum who have made this years build off competition a joy to be a part of. This is a very unique community of people who constantly amaze me with both creativity and comradery. Let's keep the bar raised!

Jim (AKA The Renaissance Man)


Click HERE for the build journal.

Ride Video.

Last edited:
Jan 2, 2012
Cool another beautiful bike,I think 2dawgs has said it all.
Interesting how your tanks change the shape of the bike,gives them a dynamic look.
Nov 20, 2014
New Mexico
Wow this looks amazing. If kit from night rider(before my time did I get his name right lol) was a bike this would be him. You got one of my votes I love this bike. Amazing job!!!!!!
Apr 14, 2015
Wow this is a sleek Black Beauty . She looks fast & old but yet so modern ! Those 700c wheels look massive a real piece of Rollin art ....

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Jun 25, 2014
Dude, seriously. This could be a cutting edge NEW design commuter bike from one of the big manufacturers! And they would sell like hot cakes.

Fantastic job...... again, my friend!
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Reactions: Bike Bum
Mar 26, 2012
Maplewood, MN
This is the Stan Getz of all bike builds....smooth, flows well, creative, a standard with a improvisational twist.... and a one-of-a-kind. Excellent work!