Off on another tangent.... BSA custom long lean Path Racer "The Archduke" that turns into an Art Deco Roadster!!

Mar 1, 2011
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So I can't help myself..... got enough projects AS IT IS and I go and buy two cheap old BSA bike frame and now (of course) I have got carried away....
Here is what I started with... both 1950's
 
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And here are the three bikes that as my inspiration for this build.... looooong low and lean monsters... with wheelbase and style to spare!
 
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So I set to stripping them down to bare frames and considering the rust they came apart very easyly. Good quality steel.
Then I poked some 28 inch wheesl on the bike and did my first mock up to see what I was dealing with...
 
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Then with both frame being the same, I used bits of one to modify the other.... here I made a simple jig and added two inches to the chainstays...
 
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Then added some metal to the seat stays to fit with hollow bits tuned up on the lathe.... after that seam welded them in with the mig.
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The only yesterday I picked up another couple of bikes... one that will donate it's forks and handle bars and handlebar stem to the project... no idea what make of bike it is... so 1930-50's British thing. The other bike at the bottom is a nice original (apart from paint on the rims, rusty rear rack and no seat!) BSA from the mid 1950's.
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So this is where I got to last night.... loosely mocked up the front of the frame.... raised the BB up a lot to get the rake I was after.... Green tape is the new frame tubes... I am going to have to extend the fork to make this look work. A half and inch in a head tube extension below the bottom lug, at least half and inch in a nice curved built up top crown to the fork and an inch extra in the fork legs then selves... this will take up the two inch gap I have now. I think I am getting close to the inspiration bikes?
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Other specs planned at this stage are single speed coaster brake. No front brake. Clean handle bars. Chain wheel and cranks from a bike I got ages ago, no idea what they are off (attached), honey or brown Brooks B17 saddle, old and used if I can find one… the narrow Brooks seat on the bike is off one of my CCM bikes and must go back! Chrome or nickel have not decided... cream tyres and brightish blue paintwork.... I might even do some "additions" to the lugs to make them a bit nicer... blue painted 28 by 1.5 inch Westwood rims... might make some wooden grips on the lathe.... I will make a lugged "7" seat post that has the correct angle... re angle the handle bar stem to the correct angle... lots of detail work..... and it shall be called "The Archduke" partly to annoy Pashley "Gov'nor" owners... partly because I just
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like the sound of it.... all just a bit of fun with some old rusty frames!!! :)
 
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This colour..... (of an Ozzie Malvern star bike)
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I like the way you do. Your bike building is great, but also thread building. You really show your work well. Subscribed
Thanks for that. I like to show the way I do things so others can learn a few tricks... like joining those oval tubes.... not the "regulation" way of doing it I expect but simple and strong. :)
 
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Looking at the original vs the green "frame" I'm amazed by how much the bike changes with just a small shift of the headtube. I'm enthralled. And I wish I could weld.
 
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You know it's heavy if you need a floor jack to hold it up.
So heavy in fact that the floor jack could not take the colossal heft of solid British iron and kept dropping when I wasn't looking..... You will observe it being replaced with terocota pavers now.... That so far have not appeared to have moved or cracked!
But I am keeping a close eye on them for early signs of structural failure. :)
 
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Very cool. Path Racers are super cool. I look forward to seeing where this goes.
I think I should really call it a vintage custom rather than Path Racer as I am going so long that I am not only stretching the bike but the already VERY loose definition of what people see in there minds eye as there version of a Path Racer. At the end of the day its just some creative fun with a couple of rusty old frames that were heading for the tip when I got them!
 
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Now that I have the other short Path Racer to the painting, filling and sand phase (and the weather is wet and humid) I have turned back to the long path racer.... cleaned up a bit today and rebuild the mock up. I think this one will have a sloping top tube also, less radical... it just works for the look and I have the triple tube mock up I think could be interesting... with all three tubes being the size of the top tube, the lowest tube would not be bigger. It got 28 1/2 tryes and a 50 inch wheel base!
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I might look at shortening the fork legs to take up the fender room and get the front down and other inch to make the slope a little more radical..... I am liking the three tube look... someone has suggested a slightly small diameter for the central tube... might look good, not sure. Well, back to the workshop for a extra hot cup of tea and stare at it some more....
 
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More adjustments..... moved the wheel up in the forks about 15mm which gives me a 10mm drop of the steering tube..... I poked a seat on it and a set of bars, seat looks good but the bars will need to be different I think, they don't seem to work.
Thinking having the bars directly on top of the stem.
The top tube is 27 inches long!
The skip tooth chain I need has to be 69 inches long... :)
I think it is close to making in metal.... thinking three inch tubes at this stage, but I do have a 7/8th tube to hand if I decide to make the middle one smaller.
The drop in the top tube is very mild at 1.5 inches.
Hopefully this one will come together a lot quicker than the last one... :)
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