HiggiShelbSchwinnWesternFlyerJet Rat!

Mar 23, 2009
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So I cobbled this together with a Higgins frame, fork, and guard, Shelby ladies bars (With the crusty old basket rust welded on) and seat, Western Flyer Jet tank, and Schwinn Hornet fenders, and some old unidentified drop center wheelset I’ve had laying around forever.

I’m not sure what direction I’m going to go with it, but I honestly don’t hate it as it is. If I leave it alone, I’d like to find a Western Flyer guard with similar ‘Tina to the tank.
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Mar 23, 2009
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I had a plan on this frame and tank and then my daughter kinda threw a monkey wrench in the deal. I was going to use this the Higgins frame and the tank to do a sex change on my 24” Higgins ladies bike. I had already mocked it up. It actually looked pretty cool with the 24” wheels, fenders, and fork. My son and I rode it a few weekends ago actually, and besides the pedals wanting to scrub, it rode out nice. I bought that bike for my wife to ride, but she prefers riding her Huffy with the wide beach bars, cup holder, etc., so I decided to make myself a two tone blue boys bike out of it.

After I got it mocked up, my daughter (who has never shown interest in bikes) comes out was like “Man - I was going to ask if you could ride that old blue one”. Apparently her friends have started riding bikes during this COVID lockdown, so i guess it’s cool to do now. :)
Being that I know it might it be short lived, I’m going to enjoy some time with my daughter’s newfound interest in bikes as long as it lasts.

I promptly tore it back down and put the Ladies Higgins back together and threw this together yesterday. :)
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Mar 23, 2009
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I feel like this is what it will eventually turn into. I used washers to make up the gap from going to the 26” fenders to the blue 24” fenders. I love the proportions that it has like that.

I found a great match to both the dark blue and baby blue paint. If I eventually go that route, I’m going to paint frame the dark blue, and go light blue on the tank with a white cove bordered in the dark blue with the JC Higgins script and V decals. I found them for sale.

I would do the tank like the bike below, but in two tone blue.

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Mar 23, 2009
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The patina all matches up. It just needs a pair of handlegrips and it's ready for another 70 years of riding. Maybe a pair of these:

View attachment 117883
Restoration complete! :) :)

I dug out these old Flexigrip handgrips and popped them on there. I cleaned it up and lightly steelwool’d the sheetmetal and frame to bring out a little more red. After washing it, I can’t get over how good it looks wet!

A lot of my old rusty bikes just look real dark brown when they are wet, but the red mixed with the rust has an awesome look on this one. I’ve never clearcoated a rusty bike before, and I think this one work look fantastic that way.
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Mar 23, 2009
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So I decided to take the plunge and clear coat it. It really looks cool. I’m going to change out the rear fender strut and put on a better set of tires on it and put it in the rider rotation.
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Jan 21, 2009
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That finish will last for a long time!

Doing the rims in clear when you change out the tires?
 
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Mar 23, 2009
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That finish will last for a long time!

Doing the rims in clear when you change out the tires?
If I can get these rims trued up better, yes. If not I have set that is truer that I’ll clearcoat and use. They don’t look quite as good as the drop centers though.
 
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Mar 23, 2009
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I put the seat off my RRBBO15 Strato Flyer Build on this bike and it matches the black grips.

When I was putting the seat on it my youngest daughter says “Daddy - ya’ know what? - This bike looks one of those big bugs we saw at the beach!” :)
I stepped back and thought a minute and realized she was talking about one those big Florida wood roaches (referred to as Palmetto Bug by Florida natives).

I guess the shiny red and brown hue does kinda look like that!
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Mar 23, 2009
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After lightly steelwooling the surface, I initially put 2 coats of clear on this bike. It looked good, some areas were still kinda rough.
Yesterday I decided to wet sand the entire bike and I put 2 more coats of clear on it.

It is really slick now! I’ve got to get a good wheel set on this bike, and I’m going to ride the heck of it!
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May 20, 2009
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Restoration complete! :) :)

I dug out these old Flexigrip handgrips and popped them on there. I cleaned it up and lightly steelwool’d the sheetmetal and frame to bring out a little more red. After washing it, I can’t get over how good it looks wet!

A lot of my old rusty bikes just look real dark brown when they are wet, but the red mixed with the rust has an awesome look on this one. I’ve never clearcoated a rusty bike before, and I think this one work look fantastic that way. View attachment 118044View attachment 118045View attachment 118046
Love the look of this bike, very inspiring


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Mar 23, 2009
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Ok, ok - last time! I think it’s perfect now! More colors come out after every wet sanding, but it looks awesome now, so I’m leaving it alone!
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Mar 23, 2009
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This look of this bike is making me give one of my old Columbia side eye! ;) I’m not sure if I want to leave it like it is, clear it, or try the linseed oil.

I wet it down yesterday. I’m not sure if it will look as good as this one though.

Thoughts/opinions?

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Mar 23, 2009
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This is how it looks dry:
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kingfish254

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Aug 31, 2009
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Give the Boiled Linseed Oil a try on it. I'm not a big fan of the clear paint over patina. It looks GREAT, but is pretty much irreversible for you or the next owner. BLO can give you pretty close to the same look and it can be removed fairly easily.
 
Mar 23, 2009
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I like the dry crusty look more on this bike of yours.
I’m kind of in the same boat on this one. I steelwooled it when I got it, and nothing comes off when you touch it. The surface is actually smoother than it looks in the pics. It has a tint of the dark red that came back when I did, but that goes away when it is wet. It just looks dark brown.