A Lengthy Insanity

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Captain Awesome

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I dropped my seat post down inside the frame on the mongooose, and it went down hard and wedged in. I could not pull it out with pliers or internal expanding pliers. I was yanking the bicycle off the ground.

I had to make a long rod that I could pull from my little slide hammer. Then Tappy-tap-tap
View attachment 193862
Only bummer was that I could not find a piece of threaded rod long enough and a coupling nut would not fit through the post. I took the 2 foot piece of 5/16 rod and threaded the ends. I put a small washer and a nut on the bottom.

As you can see I jammed it in place with an old screwdriver. Two smacks & she popped right up.

I found a bicycle shop in town that was sort of obscure but they sell fancy chrome plated Lowrider stuff and also I found a banana seat. It’s not a Schwinn.
View attachment 193863
It’s made by Lowrider of ShunFeng or somewhere close by. It looks faithful enough that I can use it. I would’ve made up the sissy bar by now but I spent hours fishing that stupid tube.

I really didn’t know how this fender was gonna work out but it appears to be pretty close to the size I need.
View attachment 193860I’m wondering what’s going to happen when I cut it into pieces. This is a roll formed sheet and it may try to un-form itself. Well if it doesn’t work out I’ve only wasted $65.
It will definitely spring once cut. I've had success with curling round bar to match the radius and tacking in place on either side of your cut. Leave it in place until you stitch it back together then trim the tacks and clean up 👍
 

Ulu

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. . . You have gathered a nice collection of bikes to work from, I have quite lost track of which bits will appear in the final bike, which is great!
It will get worse. I just ordered a bunch more used parts to work with. Should be here Saturday eve. Maybe even worse. I have two DC motors and a primitive speed control . . .

I am afraid my original design will change again and again as I develop new ideas about construction and learn about these more modern bicycles. Except for a KZ900, I've never cut a bike frame made after about 1960. All nice mild steel and a little brass maybe.

I wanted a long stem, but all my bikes except the Manhattan have short stems. Then I found the Centurion frame, which has the longest stem ever.

I think it would look cool, and I have no problems cutting up a 30 y.o. Chinese frame, even chrome molly, but I might like to ride this bike as-is and enlarge/mod the smaller Manhattan instead.

My current plan of action:

Transfer all the gear from the Manhattan to the Centurion, and see if I can ride this tall beast.

If I like it, I will cut the Manhattan instead. Whatever gets cut becomes the headframe of the Project bike. The Mongoose will supply the bottom bracket and possibly little else. I sure want to incorporate the swoopy stays from the mongoose and the fake Schwinn. The Huffy might contribute its hydro-formed top tube for a long thin1920's style tank.

Temporarily I will assemble a less complicated chopper-style bike from the Mongoose and ride it with the stingray seat, to figure out how much larger I want the seat, and how positioned. I may mock up some tall handlebars. I am pushing my CG way back on the bike, so it needs to be balanced.

Yet I may only stretch the chainstay dimension about 3". Enough to make the structural fender possible, and get the right leg positions without lifting the seat off the fender.

So many options! I have to consolidate some ideas or it's gonna end up like this:

6638E1B9-7FA5-48FB-824C-E8178A9F89A7.jpeg
 

Ulu

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It will definitely spring once cut. I've had success with curling round bar to match the radius and tacking in place on either side of your cut. Leave it in place until you stitch it back together then trim the tacks and clean up 👍

This fender needs to end up a structural tube from the bottom stay up to about halfway around the curve. The seat will cover a lot of the visible splice, but there will be much metal finishing.

My plan was similar: to bend 2 square tubes and weld them outside (and remove them later). Then I realized I don't have a ring roller. Something else to buy/build.

No power hammer or english wheel. I have a leather sandbag and some steel dollies. I don't have a shrinking hammer. This may end up looking quite atrocious.

I'm counting on the grinder and some thick paint.
 

Captain Awesome

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This fender needs to end up a structural tube from the bottom stay up to about halfway around the curve. The seat will cover a lot of the visible splice, but there will be much metal finishing.

My plan was similar: to bend 2 square tubes and weld them outside (and remove them later). Then I realized I don't have a ring roller. Something else to buy/build.

No power hammer or english wheel. I have a leather sandbag and some steel dollies. I don't have a shrinking hammer. This may end up looking quite atrocious.

I'm counting on the grinder and some thick paint.
Could you just do round bar and make a wooden buck using the radius of the fender? Should be able to very easily bend the round bar with a torch and if it messes up the wooden buck no big deal
 

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Oh I lie like a dog. . . . I’m dying to do some more torch work.

But remember that clutch I haven’t fixed yet? Errrrrrrgh.

Instead I’ve limited myself to planning and minor restyling exercises and adjustments in purchasing investigations search shopping . . . Basically anything to delay doing this clutch job over.

Meanwhile,
WHY THE FAKE SCHWINN MUST DIE!
9C88D34D-5E19-427B-8FEB-7F6E24CA4DFC.jpeg


It’s a snake! A twisty little tube welded to the frame.

There’s no pulley for the rear brake cable. Instead it runs thru this tiny tube, with little Teflon tubes as a guide. You can imagine how quickly the sliding friction would develop in that set up and you’d find yourself without a rear brake.
it’s all run through and then crimped at the factory so you have to cut the cable to take it apart and put it back together again.

No chance of that. This is a donor frame.
 

Ulu

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Whatever you call it it’s an abomination.

Fortunately, having disc brakes will get me out of this business.

I welt for a long ride today, then spent a good bit of my time today polishing up some leftover tube steel for a sissy bar, and trying to figure out how I was going to form it. Also trying to figure out how I was going to get out of making a bent seat post.

I really wanna cut this fender now, because I’m starting to have a bad feeling about how it will turn out. I’m hoping it won’t be too tough to do with the nibbler. My nibbler doesn’t leave a perfect edge, but it’s very fast.
 
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Let the cutting begin!

Because only then will you discover whether you have a plan or a bunch of unplanned misadventures ;)
 

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Let the cutting begin!

Because only then will you discover whether you have a plan or a bunch of unplanned misadventures ;)
Fortunately I can delay this exercise without pain because I have other bikes to work on.

You guys don’t know this yet but I bought 4 of those chopper forks from the classified section, and you’re going to see what I can cobble up.

At least one of them will be good enough to use on the project bike but I don’t know if I will be able to do the Earls fork business yet. In the back of my mind I’ve got a another bike concept based on the 20 inch Huffy frame I plan to cut. Not for this project build, but my wife expects me to turn some more of this junk into rideable bicycles.
 

Ulu

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They say no good deed goes un punished. Another delay that I didn’t need….

I was looking at the new crank set up for my bike and I realized that in 32 years I had never tightened my wife’s crank bolts, and I thought I should check them.

Well her cranks have never loosened because she’s not a strong peddler and she has a high-quality bicycle. The Manhattan bike however needed a little snug because I had just changed the bottom end in that one.

Then I went to the Mongoose and the left bolt was super tight. The right one was completely stripped off. It spun like a top with no pressure at all and when I finally pried it lose, it was fortunately only the bolt.
10A262A4-1869-46E7-8194-9596F16CBE17.jpeg

Stripped 100% This is one of the reasons I bought this bike is for the bottom end!

Fortunately I got the loose threads pried out of the crank, and I just need to put a new bolt in. I was sweating bullets there for a bit that it was broken off. It looks like I will ride the mongoose today.

But I’m gonna have to put the crank puller on here eventually and take it all apart so I’m hoping it’s not jammed on there. Whoever tightened this bolt really strong armed it.
 

Captain Awesome

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They say no good deed goes un punished. Another delay that I didn’t need….

I was looking at the new crank set up for my bike and I realized that in 32 years I had never tightened my wife’s crank bolts, and I thought I should check them.

Well her cranks have never loosened because she’s not a strong peddler and she has a high-quality bicycle. The Manhattan bike however needed a little snug because I had just changed the bottom end in that one.

Then I went to the Mongoose and the left bolt was super tight. The right one was completely stripped off. It spun like a top with no pressure at all and when I finally pried it lose, it was fortunately only the bolt.
View attachment 193957
Stripped 100% This is one of the reasons I bought this bike is for the bottom end!

Fortunately I got the loose threads pried out of the crank, and I just need to put a new bolt in. I was sweating bullets there for a bit that it was broken off. It looks like I will ride the mongoose today.

But I’m gonna have to put the crank puller on here eventually and take it all apart so I’m hoping it’s not jammed on there. Whoever tightened this bolt really strong armed it.
Big box store assembly horrors
 

Ulu

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It’s almost certain this bike came from the Walmart just 5 miles down the road from the seller’s house. Fortunately I got all the threads cleaned up and I think the crank bolt from the Schwinn will fit just fine. I’m pretty sure these bikes came from the same company.

In other news, the brand new cheapo crank set from the girls Huffy fits in the Centurion frame perfectly. Before I cut the Manhattan frame the 700c gear must go on the Centurion frame so it can be rideable. Otherwise it now has everything it needs except the wheels and brakes.
 

Ulu

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Well the Schwinn is using the crank bolt as part of my fixturing, so I stole one from the Centurion and it is still down, but I got to ride. WaaHoo!

Building this project bike is more about me having a bike that I really want to ride than about being part of a contest. People trying to read through my wordy thread have probably already figured this out,

I haven’t posted the obligatory picture of grinding sparks but I did make a couple little tabs that I need to drill. This is me and my fancy new welding helmet, but I’m working on my car.
03F8B900-4CD7-4878-B617-252CCFFC2489.jpeg

I’m adding tubing to the runningboard cross frame, And except for some practice bits this is the first bit of TIG welding that I have done with my new welder, and also the first TIG ever since about 1973.

I learned to stick weld in high school, but I learned to TIG while I was in college, working nights in a cake factory.

That was all stainless steel too, so this was my first on carbon steel. I bought some silicon bronze rod and I’m hoping to learn that as well.

I have been going through my limited selection of tubing, and I polished up a 10 foot stick last night that appears to be primo. It’s gonna wind up as a sissy bar.

I’m only able to find three of my benders so I’m gonna have to dig around some more in the shed.
9409737D-D594-43CA-9B96-6DA7C3C48D7B.jpeg


I’m afraid it’s going to get that primitive.
 

Ulu

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More sidetracking, disappointment and a couple twists today.

I found out that the Centurion frame is not big enough for the 700c wheels. That means they have to stay on the Manhattan bike.

I ordered a new crank and chain ring set for the Manhattan, and I ended up having some chain line issues. I need an offset sprocket on the rear to run this right, but the good news is that and I have a chain guard on the front and I have three more teeth on the front ring. 42 vs 39.

Also I got rid of the triplex chain gang and I eliminated 2 unused sprockets.

image.jpg

Of course I had to add to the chain but that’s OK and I get a good adjustment now.

So that means the centurion bike is fair game to cut up for the project and I love the long stem. It has possibilities other bikes do not have.
 

Ulu

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Well if I can’t manage to manufacture a Earles fork, at least I have a rigid chrome fork that will look ok.

I bought four sets of chrome forks and three of them are Rusty. Two are so rusty that they will probably end up as legs for a welding table, but the best I will restore.

The very best were these Jesse James Forks and I think they’re going to be quite appropriate
3F9B8CA1-7A20-42FA-A5BE-BC33D02D521D.jpeg


7187ABCA-22FB-49C3-9141-387AB56BB56D.jpeg


I picked up the two forks with wheels etc.

The Mongoose wheel, fork and brake (With no bars or gooseneck) Weighs a bit more than the Jesse James front end with the 20 inch wheel (and handlebars, and gooseneck clamp.) I will put them on the scale later and find out.

EDIT: I knew those forks were rusty when I bought them guys. I’m not complaining about the seller or anything like that. I knew what I was getting.
 

Ulu

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I put those Jesse James forks on the Mongoose, with the handlebars from the Manhattan, and rode it around with the 20” wheel.

The forks were too short to run with such a small wheel! The bike looked and felt extremely funny.

The handling was much better after I replaced it with the 700c. I rode it for a fast mile around the neighborhood and it was quite stable: both faster, and lighter than with the huge front tire.

82A8EE3D-83EC-45A1-A78E-641C0EA94DC9.jpeg

I was wishing for a slick rear tire right away though. I think I’m gonna take the nipper to those knobbies.
47251695-733E-44EC-AA6A-A81543D7F24E.jpeg



Of course without the banana seat I was sitting too far forward.

The handlebars from the Manhattan were better than the flat bars but still not tall enough.
458966AE-34F4-498E-BCE0-538BF861146A.jpeg

Anyhow it was fun to go play around and see what I thought of those forks, and actually I like them pretty well. I’d like them even better if they were 12 inches longer.

My current thought is: let’s build the sissy bar and adult size banana seat, and get some taller handlebars for this bike.
 

Ulu

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I needed my 700c wheel back for the Manhattan bike, because it is my daily ride.

Thus, I decided that my wife didn’t really need quick release aluminum wheels as much as I do.

Today the aluminum 26 inch Alex wheel from the fake Schwinn Got a full hub service and spoke truing and a new tire and tube. And I mounted it on the Mongoose.

.image.jpg

The bike looks about the same as it did before, but I can tell a little difference in the handling. It was a little more stable with the 700 C.

I’m going to put those forks out the last half inch And ride it again tomorrow to see if it changes.

Everything will of course change a lot when I lower the bike, so for now I can’t tell how this will all turn out.

After I took off the sticker, which concealed this seam, I found out this front hub was not only a brazed affair in two pieces, it was kind of a messy job.
image.jpg
I’m just gonna throw a hub polisher on there and ride the bike for now.
 
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Ulu

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I still need to do a lot more cleanup on these used forks but they work OK and I am happy about that.

I pushed the last half inch of forks down the trees and tightened them up.

I was also really sick of all the black hardware on this bike and I decided to take off the black steel crank set and put on the alloy Shimano bio-pace two wheel crankset.

I was surprised to see that this thing does not work your derailer hanger the way I thought it would, but it’s almost as smooth as a round sprocket.
C7E1AFE4-BF1C-44DC-A1E4-2B67FC96FCBD.jpeg

At least it is cranking it by hand on the rack. I haven’t ridden the bike on the road since the fork adjustment and crank change.
AE20C487-E40D-457A-AA13-A0E1BF9E30F5.jpeg

I was also sick of the black plastic pedals. I put on the rebuilt alloy toe-clip pedals from the canal rescue.
C5431C8A-EE6E-4884-8AA3-D8F2385C1C6F.jpeg

I’m much happier with the silver look, but the bike looks better with the 700c wheel.

I did a service on the bottom bracket set and it was abominable. There was about 1% of the grease that should’ve been in there and at some point in the past it had been run too hard, too dry, and actually galled the shaft.

I spent some time restoring the bearing surface by hand, and it is much smoother now but of course it won’t last.

I couldn’t believe it when I striped down that bottom end, how rough that crank shaft was.
 
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Ulu

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I keep looking at my last photo and thinking, “Gee, my wife really does need alloy wheels with quick release hubs.

And I need one of those skinny alloy 29 inch front wheels with a regular hub.”

Also it occurs to me that I should probably cut something or weld something so you guys will not kick me into class one.

I’ve got some big water changes an aquarium cleaning to do today, but I am going to try and build a sissy bar. Just bare steel, sanded with clear paint.

Also I’m going to try and get down to the custom bike shop and see if I can find some better handlebars.
 

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