Kreamsicle Krate

Jun 19, 2016
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1,453
Ohio
I am going to try this frame again. I didn't like it as a low dragster bike. I am going to make a more traditional muscle bike with an orange and cream color theme. Coaster brake to keep it looking clean and uncluttered. Cream painted and pinstriped Schwinn S-2 rims from the 50's. Cream seat, grips, and pedals also. A Krate springer with a 20" front wheel instead of a 16". And a solid mount high sissy bar. Maybe a couple of other cool ideas will be used to make it unique and more enjoyable to ride. All parts used will be vintage. Nothing outrageous like some of my other builds, just the way I wish Schwinn would have built the Krates back in the day. This is probably going to be a very quick build because I have all of the ideas figured out and all of the parts I require to complete my vision.
 
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Mar 26, 2012
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Maplewood, MN
....and...inspiration waits for no one!

I say strike while the fire is hot Big Tim. :cool2:

Dig your color scheme. RaT oN~!
 
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Jun 19, 2016
424
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Ohio
Just realized that I don't have the correct seat post. Going over to my buddies bicycle junkyard tomorrow to get one. Picking up another 50's Schwinn 20" while I am there. So, the Krate won't be finished today. Here's what I have so far:
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Sep 14, 2013
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Bradley Illinoiz
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Paint it red and put a 10 speed seat on it and it'd look like a bike I had in jr. high. I didn't have a springer though I had flipped over tube forks pounded onto blade forks to make a chopper with S curved forks.... it sat up high like yours. I liked it and I like yours too.

Carl.
 
Jun 19, 2016
424
1,453
Ohio
Paint it red and put a 10 speed seat on it and it'd look like a bike I had in jr. high. I didn't have a springer though I had flipped over tube forks pounded onto blade forks to make a chopper with S curved forks.... it sat up high like yours. I liked it and I like yours too.

Carl.
Thanks for the kind words, Carl. I still build bikes on my garage floor just like when I was a kid. Takes me back to being a young struggling bike builder. I never had the money for a "good" bike back then. That forced me to be more creative. I would use long seat tubes and 10-speed seats to make great wheelie bikes. I also like to installing 26" forks on 20" bikes for more ground clearance and then put long cranks on them to make it easier to generate torque when pedaling (for more control). I am going to put a set of 7" cranks on this bike to make it easier for this old man to ride. I don't know if I will be able to ride a wheelie forever like back then.......but I don't think that I will take this one apart for parts like I do most of them. This one is special.
 
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Aug 17, 2019
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Thanks for the kind words, Carl. I still build bikes on my garage floor just like when I was a kid. Takes me back to being a young struggling bike builder. I never had the money for a "good" bike back then. That forced me to be more creative. I would use long seat tubes and 10-speed seats to make great wheelie bikes. I also like to installing 26" forks on 20" bikes for more ground clearance and then put long cranks on them to make it easier to generate torque when pedaling (for more control). I am going to put a set of 7" cranks on this bike to make it easier for this old man to ride. I don't know if I will be able to ride a wheelie forever like back then.......but I don't think that I will take this one apart for parts like I do most of them. This one is special.
I DIG this bike. So this has 26” forks on it?

The geometry and colors are fantastic. Wheels; awesome. Tough to find in that shape.

-Larger crank super cool adder as well.

Look forward to seeing the seat added.
 
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Jun 19, 2016
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I DIG this bike. So this has 26” forks on it?

The geometry and colors are fantastic. Wheels; awesome. Tough to find in that shape.

-Larger crank super cool adder as well.

Look forward to seeing the seat added.
Thanks for the comments. I have always felt that the forks on 20" bikes were too short. I usually install 26" length forks. This is a stock Krate springer fork. It is the length of a fork from a 26" bike to offset the short 16" tire that Schwinn put on the Krate bikes. When using a 20" tire instead of the 16" size, it raises the front of the bike a few inches. This increases the ground clearance at the cranks allowing for the use of longer length cranks. Longer cranks increases the torque and makes it easier to pedal. I will use 6.5"-7" cranks. And I prefer a fenderless bike with painted rims which was not offered on the Krates (or any Sting Ray). This one is getting close. I should have this thing finished by tomorrow.
 
May 20, 2009
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Isle of Hope, GA
So, it’s ‘late’ on a Saturday night, but gonna try to do the math here....
A ‘26”’ fork on a 20” frame = a fork that’s -6” too long, so Schwinn puts a 16” wheel on the front... 20” frame with a 16” wheel or -4” too short......therefore 6” too long minus 4” too short =-2” too long for a slightly ‘nose up’ look. Makes sense...

Am I close?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Jun 19, 2016
424
1,453
Ohio
So, it’s ‘late’ on a Saturday night, but gonna try to do the math here....
A ‘26”’ fork on a 20” frame = a fork that’s -6” too long, so Schwinn puts a 16” wheel on the front... 20” frame with a 16” wheel or -4” too short......therefore 6” too long minus 4” too short =-2” too long for a slightly ‘nose up’ look. Makes sense...

Am I close?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Here's how I think of it (and why): A fork from a 26" tire bike is approximately 3" longer than a fork from a 20" bike. Assuming an approximate 27 degree head angle, that 3" increase in angled length equates to a 2.75" vertical increase in height (vertical length) at the steering head. Since a 16" tire has a 2" less radius (axle height) than a 20" tire, a Krate was still about 0.75" higher at the steering head even with the smaller front tire (due to the longer fork). When I put a 20" front tire on a Krate springer fork (or any 26" fork), the steering head benefits from that full 2.75" increase in vertical height. That gives the bike a slight nose-up appearance (which I prefer). But it also equates to an approximate 1.1" increase in bottom bracket ground clearance. That allows the use of a 1" longer crank length than stock (6.5" vs 5.5") while still maintaining the same pedal-to-ground clearance as a stock set up. A longer crank increases torque (the same effect as using a smaller chainring). Most 26" tire bikes used 6.5" cranks. So, just switching forks and cranks from a 26" tire bike onto a 20" tire bike makes it look better and pedal easier. Win/win! I would use this trick to convert used up musclebikes into good off-road bikes when I was a kid back in the 70's (before BMX bikes were available). Here's an example: At least 2 of the bikes in this great old picture have forks from a 26"-27" tire bike and the front bike has a 10-speed seat for doing wheelies. The furthest bike in the front row looks like it has long cranks and shorter handlebars. A great illustration of the transition from stingray-style to off-road BMX-style bikes. These are what I was building back then.
 
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Jun 19, 2016
424
1,453
Ohio
I went over to my buddies house (bicycle junkyard) to get the long Schwinn seat post that I needed for the Krate. Started snooping around and found this all original curved-seat-tube bike. It's a '41 Western Flyer made by Murray of Ohio. I think it's a long tank bike. Basically the same bike as an Elgin. Just needs new tubes to be a rider. It was a very good day! I am pretty sure that this will be next year's summer build-off bike. This is "as found":
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Jun 19, 2016
424
1,453
Ohio
Here is the Krate with the seat and the sissy bar installed. The seat is white with an offset black stripe. Unknown origin. The sissy bar is very strange. It only has one set of mounting holes at the axle. And it didn't have any holes to mount the seat. It had one set of punched holes on the inside only that I had to thread to actually mount the seat. It had never been used before I got it. Don't know if it's a one-off or what??? No height adjustments. Very tall. 34" seat height at the lowest point of the top surface. Because of that, only a taller person can ride this bike. It is one of the coolest sissy bars I've ever seen because of having no bolts or screws showing at the seat. Again, origin unknown. I have had it for at least 30 years.
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Last edited:
Mar 26, 2012
7,930
15,560
Maplewood, MN
With the seat that high, the front end doesn't look jacked up at all anymore! :rofl:
 
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Jun 19, 2016
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Ohio
I am looking at the pictures and the front tire looks too thin for this build. I think that I am going to try a vintage 2.125" balloon front tire with a narrow tread and a pie-crust side-wall. It will actually look more correct on these 50's rims too. That's why I always like to put together a mock-up of a build quickly, so I can stand back and look at it to see where it can be improved. I already have about 4 or 5 more refinements. It's really starting to come together. I have wanted to build this type of bike for a long time.
 
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May 31, 2019
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So, it’s ‘late’ on a Saturday night, but gonna try to do the math here....
A ‘26”’ fork on a 20” frame = a fork that’s -6” too long, so Schwinn puts a 16” wheel on the front... 20” frame with a 16” wheel or -4” too short......therefore 6” too long minus 4” too short =-2” too long for a slightly ‘nose up’ look. Makes sense...

Am I close?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yep. I used a 20 inch frame and 26 fork with a 16 wheel. The lift or drop is only half of the diameter difference however. 26 fork adds roughly 3 inches and a 16 wheel versus a 20 will remove 2 inches. ( The difference in height from lug nut to ground) so 20 frame 26 fork 16 wheel came out to about plus 1 inch on mine in height love the build on this thread !
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