Miss Firebolt

Discussion in 'BUILDS' started by MojoK, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. MojoK

    MojoK

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    My entry in the "Underrated Bike Build-off", a 1961 Columbia Firebolt I'll put together for my wife. It had spent the last couple of years as a garden decoration which is so unfortunate. It's usually a joy for me to meet the people I buy these old bikes from, and I love to have the story of where a bike might have come from and where it had been, but this guy was so Martha Stewart and so NOT Sheldon Brown I just had to get out of there. IMG_1337.JPG IMG_1347.JPG IMG_1349.JPG IMG_1356.JPG IMG_1350.JPG

    At the end, I'd like this to be a low maintenance rider for paths, parks and picnics for my wife. It will get a set of modern wheels on a Nexus 3 speed hub. It may get more aluminum as we go, to bring the weight down a bit, but we don't want to change the flowy lines of the bike

    I always like to keep the frame un-touched if I can because it tells the bikes story, and I especially love bikes that have old license stickers on them and such. The back story on this one is neglect. The story moving forward is about us slowing down, but with as much style and grace as possible...this will get fresh paint ( I'd kind of like to see it in the same black and pink as her trail bike). I have an appropriate chain guard and a donor bike with some very pretty chrome fenders. We still need to figure what we'll do about a tank, but we do have some ideas. Ken
     
  2. ParkRNDL

    ParkRNDL

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    The way the rack is integrated with the frame is COOL. Don't think I've ever seen one like that before...
     
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  3. Duchess

    Duchess

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    Crazy, it's a twin to mine except I have the tank (missing the light portion) and chain guard. I also got it in CT. I'm also doing the same thing to mine except that I'm keeping it a single speed. I was going to mod it, but decided to do something with another bike instead.

    I also have a Spaceliner and the Columbia is better quality.
     
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  4. MojoK

    MojoK

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    Got a picture?
     
  5. Starnger

    Starnger

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    I love the color on this one!
     
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  6. Duchess

    Duchess

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  7. PeteMcP

    PeteMcP

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    I scored the exact same coloured Firebolt frame on eBay here in the UK. Super-rare find. Love it. Plan is to re-sex it using another of Jim's TRM convertible tanks when the build kicks off after we've relocated to Spain soon.
     
  8. hammer mechanic

    hammer mechanic

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    Very cool frame, girl's or otherwise.
     
  9. The Renaissance Man

    The Renaissance Man __CERTIFIED DIVER__ (Open Water & Open Dumpster) Pro Member

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    These frames are among my all time favorites simply because of the rack. I love'm!

    I've never been able to find one with the top tubes that extend to the back. The one that I converted is just like it but the top tubes stop at the seat tube.

    ______________________________________________

    Can't wait for this one!
     
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  10. Duchess

    Duchess

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    Does anyone know why there are two versions, the one with the truncated top tubes and the semi-mixte style extended-tube version? Different years? Mine's a '61.

    Also, and this probably won't matter to anyone, but I like to put solid retro reflective tape on bikes (looks like paint until light hits it) and I juts picked up JVCC REF-7 green tape and it's a near dead match for the green paint (as patinated as mine is). It didn't show up well without the flash, so here it is in its reflecting glory (of course, I could've moved it away from the window, but I'm lazy).

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Backnblack

    Backnblack

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    The double rails on the frame are awesome. Looking forward to seeing the final results.
     
  12. MojoK

    MojoK

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    I had to step away from the shop for a bit to deal with life....BUT...life almost never gets in the way of buying parts!!! IMG_1378.JPG IMG_1380.JPG

    I also got to work buffing the fenders out. They show some odd discoloring from the past (chemical splash ?), but not so bad that I want to send them out. I'll hit them with come auto wax and leave it at that for now. IMG_1381.JPG The tank and chain guard I was able to get were from a dark green bike, but mounted on a pink bike. The tank came with the wrap around light, but was completely ruined by the cheap wire basket that had been installed. We'll shoot them down with a pearly white for now and might embellish with further decoration after. IMG_1377.JPG

    My wife has agreed to leaving the frame unpainted for a season understanding that once it's been done, it can't be undone.
     
  13. MojoK

    MojoK

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    Paint and decals all ready for clear coat

    DSC_3024 (2).JPG DSC_3030.JPG

    The original chainring wasn't quite true...or terribly attractive. I picked the one with hearts.

    DSC_3035 (2).JPG
    I also started messing around with the 3 speed. The Shimano Nexus 3 comes with their Revoshifter. Besides the fact that it would be conspicuously out of place here, my wife , having had Gripshifters on her first mountain bike, has avoided them ( with the exception of a super cool full suspension Bike E recumbent) ever since. I did have a thumb shifter from an older Shimano internally geared 3 speed in the spares. I don't have the proper cable here, but was able to rig it long enough to get the sense that it should work for the modern hub.
     
  14. MojoK

    MojoK

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    Coming along...

    Stuffing the bigger tires into the fenders was a bit fiddly but I was able to pirate a half-link from my pathracer to get centered. IMG_1390.JPG IMG_1394.JPG

    All chained up I could confirm the vintage Shimano thumb shifter does work with the new Nexus hub. I found a NOS Shimano cable with white housing to use for the final assembly. Thank you Ebay! IMG_1396.JPG

    As she sits today. IMG_1400.JPG

    Thanks for stopping by. Ken
     
  15. SSG

    SSG

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    Nice looking bike. I never realized there was a frame with the extra bars, I had to find a photo of mine to see which one I had, but it has the top tubes ending at the seat tube.
     
  16. The Renaissance Man

    The Renaissance Man __CERTIFIED DIVER__ (Open Water & Open Dumpster) Pro Member

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    The tires look great on there!
     
  17. MojoK

    MojoK

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    If there's such a place as "built, but not finished", that's exactly where we are. I had all the mechanical put together a running as it should on the stand, but my wife took her out for a test ride up the street today. It is in fact a working bicycle...shifting, stopping, steering...and all without any rub or rattle. IMG_1438.JPG IMG_1435.JPG

    One disappointment was the kickstand. I was thrilled to find one of the Columbia stands in a box of spares, and I'm sure it came from a 26er, but it proved to be too short to trust. What I've fitted for now is practical, but unbecoming.
    IMG_1434.JPG


    The good part was that I was able to run the Nexus with the old Shimano shifter with the proper cable. I also got a little lube in there for final assembly. It all works together like new. IMG_1437.JPG

    Still to come is the saddle (already on order), and probably a basket of some sort for the rear rack. I'd love to find a picnic basket that fit neatly, but all I've found so far are gaudy canvas "going to the beach" coolers. Don't much care for a piece of plastic advertising Corona Lite. It's just not the aesthetic I'm going for here. I've got a couple weeks to go.

    Thanks, Ken
     
  18. The Renaissance Man

    The Renaissance Man __CERTIFIED DIVER__ (Open Water & Open Dumpster) Pro Member

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    Looks great! How does the missus like it?
     
  19. Duchess

    Duchess

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    If you don't have the right Columbia kickstand, then I don't either—it leans at a terrible angle like it's made for a smaller bike. I decided not to use it.

    Bike baskets are tough as they're mostly made for the handlebars. What about a regular wicker picnic basket and just zip tying it or something to the top of the rack?
     
  20. MojoK

    MojoK

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    She's very happy, but there will be an adjustment period for her. She's spent all her time on aggressive nimble trail bikes these past 20 years. There was a thrilling moment learning about coaster brakes again, but after that it was all smiles. The bell has a charming ring to it, and rolling on tires that whisper rather than buzz is appealing to her. The giant white walls make her giggle every time she notices them. It's all good.
     
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