Dirty 30

So... I've kind of just been lurking in the shadows of this year's buildoff. I have a '41 CCM I had planned on doing up, but I decided back when RRBBO8 started that I have too many other things that need to come first, and that I couldn't do that one justice. While on a mountain bike ride, my brother and I got to talking about the way we used to hack bikes together out of junk. I'm talking about just working as fast as your hands can move, and taking whatever the junk pile in the corner of the shop gives ya. My 30th birthday was last Thursday. I was going to be celebrating on the weekend, and my wife was laid up with a sore mouth after a dentist visit, but I wanted to have a little celebration of my own.... in the garage. With that, I give you "Dirty 30", a build that I have so far spent a whopping 4 (count 'em) FOUR hours on! One night only!

here is the starting point: a big ol' 26x1-3/8" Hiawatha, which I found abandoned at a job site while working a concrete finishing job. I think I grabbed it for the handlebars, which have long since gone to another project and been replaced with these. The Coca-cola crate is kinda scabbed on there just to see, but I never made it any further than that, and it has been sitting out my the fence since... a few years I guess. Kind of cool, but still just straight up junk. This is decidedly NOT being built out of the nice parts pile...

I wheeled it into the shop and grabbed a few other junk parts. Into the mix comes a plain modern sized 26" front wheel, which I combined with a worn out specialized fat boy tire that I have no match for. The wheel was selected as it was my best match to the rust on the rear, and the tire is about the same width as a 1-3/8. With that setup it's getting a decent big n little thing going, which I like. I was going to put steel mountain bike riser bars on it, but on my way to my pile of handlebars, these dirty old rusty apes grabbed my attention, as well as the SKETCHY stem off a Peugeot 10-speed. I mean it, these are known for snapping off. But, it achieves more raked-out looks, and DANGER. I'm definitely playing off the negative "rat" stereotypes - crude, sloppy, dangerous death trap.

I needed a different seat to improve the look. I went to my seat bin, and grabbed one that I don't like (comfort, weight and function-wise), but it's huge and I can use it up! (sorry I forgot to take a 'before') I looked at the structure and saw I could get some decent setback without even making a layback post. Start drilling:

Now the 'guts' sit way forward from the old location. I will also reverse it, so the guts sit behind the post. I went as far as the toothed plate would slide up into the bend. I used a step-drill, which works awesome for things like this.

again, my photos are sporadic at best (as was my process hahaha) so you have to wait 'til later to see the result of the seat mod...

I focused my attention back onto the front end. I need to curl the fork down, I want the tire to ride just below the fork crown. I have done this by bending over a round object in the past, with success, but this time I couldn't find anything appropriate, and also I couldn't get the headset nut loose. I came up with another way:

here we see the whole bike (sans front wheel) hanging from the bench vise. I did not clamp. it is just positioned such that the fender mount eyelets ride underneath the rear jaw of the vise.

I was really glad I came up with this method, as it seems pretty crude, and it involves FIRE. Heheheh yeah! Fiiiire!

So I fired up the ol' Ox-Acetelene torch, and got to heatin'. I would get a small patch red on each leg, and as I did, I could watch the hanging bike dip under it's own weight, and/pushed on the seat a little to help it along, then move to another location along the bend. If you've curled down forks before, you may know that you are often left with alignment issues if you do it cold/each leg on its own. this method had none of that. when I got to the drop I needed, I put the wheel back in and it sat straight as ever! It has only slight ripples in the back of the legs where the stretching happened, and best of all, it is scorched and ratty now.

here it is back on wheels. Stance - achieved! You can also see the finished seat here, and the really sharp eyes out there will notice I've swapped the old front tire onto the rear to hang onto that sweet vintage narrow white wall.

I found some old vinyl bar tape, and did a purposely sloppy wrap with it, and found some better bolts to put the coke crate on properly. also notice the brake lever on the upright portion of the bar - without re-cabling, that's all it will reach. So, your life flashes before your eyes every time brakes are needed, and then you remember to just reach over.... ahh yeah thats ratty! I found a fender to go on the back (the matching front went on my RRBBO4 entry), and just mechanic wired that bad boy on there.

I'm not sure I like the fender.... it rattled a lot on my test ride and I'm not really feeling it. But, for a solitary birthday party of 1, and 4 hours of thrashed out work, I can't complain! To be honest, this write up has taken nearly as long as the bike!