U-245 Hammerfish Folder

So the genesis of this build is a need that has to be filled. What you see on the left is a 10 pound Speed Graphic Camera and it's industrial weighted tripod. I need to haul this around the City and my back and arms will just give out if I carry this on foot. Hence the making of this ride.

The goal is to have a small yet capable cargo bike to ride around the city and bring with me on trips. The theme will be inspired by WW2 U-Boats. If you look up 245 on your phone dial: B I K, that's how I chose the name. Hammerfish refers to a camera being called a hammer when we "nail" the shot. :) The build will start off with proof of concept before any cosmetic steps are taken. I have to fabricate custom carriers for the photo gear and I intend to make it a derailleur bike, Montreal hills oblige. I have most of my parts but I'm missing some stuff.

I should be able to start Sunday since we are in for some nice weather.

BB conversion I got from Porkchop BMX some time ago.

My orphaned B66 Brooks will be used on this build.

Modern fork to allow alloy rims and high pressure Hookworms.

The bike was originally a 1975 CCM Folder.
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Mar 25, 2013
I'm guessing the bike might get folded for motor vehicle transport... otherwise why a folding bike? If you could make a version of a Schwinn Delivery out of it maybe that would be a good inspiration. I know Crown Graphics and speed graphics had a standardized case grey fiberboard - do you have that case or want one? Very important to consider will be the kickstand/ wheel stand you choose since you don't want the bike to tumble when you get off of it to scout around for where to put the camera.

That's why I wonder if maybe a camera case that comes off easily might be the trick -a box mounted over the front wheel that has some kinda quick release or a frame that a box sits in. The tripod needs to be sorta like the baseball bat carriers they sold as a sting-ray accessory, maybe - so the thing rides vertical and lifts out like an umbrella from an umbrella stand.

Just my 2 cents.

I've done a bit of bike/ camera scouting myself but not with a large format camera. But I'm a fan of big Wald baskets. The Schwinn deliver had a basket larger than the biggest one Wald sells, it's huge.

A folding basket would be cool, too tho just to stick with the whole concept.

Good luck and keep posting. Film is not dead. It's just filled with ghosts now.
Aug 23, 2012
Kansas City
Nice to see another photographer building bikes!

Right away I thought it would be sweet to see the tripod taking it's place as the missing top tube. Should be pretty easy to build a bracket around the head tube that the camera mount screw could screw into. Then it would just be a matter of giving the legs something around the seat tube to lay into.
Thanks for the input guys. I'll be going with the baseball bat approach for the tripod. I do have the fiber board case that came with the camera but it's way too big. The bike will stil be able to fold but I'm not planning on using the feature. I know I could get it welded but why make something definitive when you can have options. I hate to use one because they look awful ugly but I'll have no choice but to install a 2 leg kickstand.
Spent some time in the shed this evening with a flash-light and found the mother-load. Headset and bottom bearing cups, frame pin and seat clamp. That frame pin is kind of important and the BB cups are CCM specific so I couldn't move on without a set. I was thus able to check if the big chainring cleared the frame and it does. I'll have to widden the frame in order to jam in that multi gear rear wheel though.

Not much in the end but sometimes little things like that can really tie you down.

Weather and time finally permitted me to do some real work on this project. Installed the Porkchop conversion kit but i had to use the original bearing cups since CCM used a different size than provided in the kit. I also had to make the frame wider to accommodate the new rear wheel hub.

This is how it sits right now. Getting my hands on a long stem tomorrow.

Mar 16, 2009
Independence, MO
Cool build, but...I'm stunned to hear that someone's still using a medium format camera professionally. What sort of photography do you do?

For background, my first career was as a photlitho cameraman, using cameras that took up entire rooms. That end of the business went digital 20+ years ago.
I'm an artist/photographer, not a commercial photographer (Shooting babies and weddings is just not my thing and I don't care how much it pays.). That camera is a 4X5 large format that I'm still in the process of trying to master. I also do medium format and 35mm film on top of my digital work. Film is not dead, it has become an artform on its own the same as oil painting didn't vanish when photography came along.
Mar 16, 2009
Independence, MO
That's great! I was truly disappointed when printing went digital.

I worked for a specialty prepress trade shop that did jobs that were too complex or subtle for printers to handle in house. We did offset and also made letterpress dies, and the folks that worked there considered ourselves as straddling the line of craftsman and artist.

We gradually lost control of the process, as productivity began to trump creativity, beginning with the transition from trays to processors, and continuing to the point now where it goes directly from computer to plate or paper.

I left near the beginning of the transformation, 22 years ago, when I could see where it was going.
Sep 13, 2007
Northeast Alabama
Neat bike! Neat camera! My dad did a lot of BW photography back in the day. I still have his enlarger and developer stuff. I know it will be great to get a way to transport your camera stuff around because that gets heavy after awhile.Thanks!!!