Arrival of the BE(a)ST

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Bolt-on extensions can go off road, however your design doesn't attach anywhere above the slot to the bike's dropout. The stress is in the area behind the slot. The sandwiched portion above is not enough of a clamp. You needed to make it longer. I'd have to cut a slot in the extension early. I'd probably remove the wheel 100 times trying stuff:arghh: But hey, it's the beginnings.
I want to see that Falcon. I get quite a few of my hub components directly from Poland, items impossible to attain in the USA. You guys got the good stuff! :wink1:
 
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Yes, it is certainly a beginning, and as the sketch shows a few posts ago, it is the Mk 1 ;)

Its main problem is the location of the bolt nearest to the open end of the cut out on the frame, with a reduced, incomplete area that doesn't make for secure clamping. However, all it has to do is survive one road test with me riding it. I will be sure to tighten the bolts well before setting out...

The aim of my project is to build a bike that meets the specifications, using the available materials where possible, and only purchasing essential sundries and hand tools. If it wasn't, I would just chop the original dropouts off, buy some steel stock, then machine and weld in some replacements. Hence the use of segments from barn door hinges which I found lying around in one of my barns.
 
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I took the dropout extenders with me to the city, along with a car full of bike stuff, and tried them out on my Best frame, where they fitted well. A bit crude, but I am not sure yet how well it is all going to work out as a rideable frame. Then we returned to the farm.

Other than cutting a length of barn-door-hinge-stock to size, I have done nothing to the fork mount, which could pose a bit of a problem as I have no vice in the city garage and today we will be leaving the farm until Christmas. I might try clamping it to the remains of the old vice, or get on with other things for the next five weeks or so until we come back - things like trying to build a tank.

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I know that I am never really going to ride this bike, and that it will be stripped down to parts again at the end of the build, but this is something I am very comfortable about. Back when I worked as an engineer in the automotive and aeronautical industries it was not uncommon for us to assemble an engine with no internals to test for packaging of the whole powertrain in the car or engine pod - why waste time fitting inconsequential parts and ending up with a unit that was heavier than it needed to be - and for the packaging tests that unit might have to go in and come back out several times. Be(a)st is my package test, and I hope that the data it yields will help on a later build that I have planned.

Over the weekend I did some frame straightening on Zenit, which is a lot harder on a folder than for a standard frame as there is not much lateral stiffness in the middle. Essentially you have the seat stay with one tube going forward to the head tube. For the future I am planning to get a big board on which I can clamp the BB, top of the seat tube and the head tube. With Zenit now straighter (and with a slight kink in one of the seat stays), it will be packed to take to the city to be ready to accept parts from Be(a)st as they come available. The racing numbers from the Ten Turing project will be going as well.
 
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Yesterday we packed up the last of the stuff we needed to take with us, and left the farm. Hopefully we can get back for the Christmas period, and maybe even for the odd weekend before that.

The trip was incident free, except the point where I dropped my nuts, they were rolling all over the floor, with me bent over trying to pick them up in the half light.

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Here is everything to go, including the Zenit frame and wheels. Now I need to get the garage space organised, and start on the spoke painting process before the weather gets really cold.
 
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Now I am officially operating out of my garage, but I can see that I need to do a bit of work on that as I will soon need to get the car in there as well.

As I have few bikes, parts from one end up spending time on other bikes. The bike upside-down is my Wigry, and the saddle is from the Zasada I used to test my dropout extenders on with a 24" wheel a few posts ago, but it spent the summer on my Ten Turing build off - now over on the right of the picture. The Zasada aluminium rim, 36 spoken front wheel is currently on my Wigry, as part of my summer set - as will the rear wheel once I get the new set of slightly longer spokes that the Velosteel coaster brake hub requires. For winter I will be using the spare set of tires that came with the Zasada, but on the Wigry's original steel rimmed wheels.

What is good about this picture is that it contains rideable versions of my three favourite Romets - Wigry, Turing and Jubilat (the 24" wheel folder on the left). These are the classic trio from the Communism era, and I still see them being ridden a lot in the countryside - although here in the city I generally only see Jubilats as they remained in large scale production the longest. You can still buy a 'Wigry' new, but it is not the same bike at all.

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After the tire change I need to do some minor stuff to the Jubilat, then put it in our basement until the spring.

Finally, see that green plastic bag? That contains the cardboard for my fuel tank on Be(a)st.
 
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I am back to using my original 'vice' :)

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To reduce the amount of stuff I have to transport, I decided to weed out the really rough stuff, such as this set of worn out pedals. I was surprised that they did not have any ball bearings, just a plastic bush at each end that was moulded as part of the pedal. But at least they did not squeak no matter how loose they became.

The Wigry is now up on its offroad tires, and I have swopped out the hi-rise bars and the steering stem with the unusually forward position clamp from the Jubilat and replaced them with standard items. I bought three Jubilats of roughly the same age as a job lot at the beginning of the year, and two of them had a range of non-typical parts from the Romet parts stock. Good for me when I want to modify my bikes. I also stripped down the Zenit rear wheel, which means that I now have all the parts prepared and together, ready to begin some assembly work on the Be(a)st
 
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Here is the intended layout of the front suspension. All I need to do is connect the dots.

Maybe.

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I had hoped to have a plate at the top that connects the tops of the forks together, but I am no longer sure that there are quite enough threads on the main fork to do this.

Plan B would be to trim the headstock to create the required space.

Plan C would be to use the Zenit fork as the support fork and the Best fork as the front one, to keep things light as that yellow fork from Pigdog weighs a ton. The Zenit fork is currently on the farm, so is weeks away from picking it up as wifie has weekend classes (as the lecturer) in the nearest future.

Plan D would be to make some kind of front fork dropout extenders.

Plan E would be to not have twin forks

Plan F would be to say what the heck, so that fork weighs a ton and is bent, lets put the Zenit fork in, have a top and bottom plate to support the Pigdog fork and do away with the need for a rocker plate at the bottom.

Plan G would be to buy a welder, and weld the headstock from Pigdog on the front of Best's. This is the least likely, even though I can weld, as it is expensive and we have heating and insulation systems to purchase and fit next year in and around our cottage.
 
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I dug out the headset for Best, then realised I had left the headset for Pigdog back on the farm, which means I have no way of knowing how high or low I can position the fork. Without that, I do not know how long I should make the links at the bottom end.

So I broke out the cardboard and made a top strap. I wanted the Pigdog fork far enough forward that it clears the brake mounts on the Best fork, but not so far that the steering gets really weird. My worries about whether there was enough threads on the fork to mount the strap went away when I realised that the combined washer and brake cable mount were the same thickness as the bar I will use for the strap.

Plan A it is!

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I then made a link out of a strip of cardboard that I cut to the same width of some unused bar stock I happen to find stuffed in a bag in the kindling stack in our brick barn. 'Kindling stack' is a bit of an overstatement, it is a former animal stall thigh deep in twigs that have been trimmed off fruit trees. What else might I find as I excavate further, I wonder. I keep finding clothes, which is a worry.

Because I am trying to marry up two different kinds of fork I will need to use some spacers to align the links, unless I bend them somehow.

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When the fork goes over a bump, that link will move in an arc. This means I either need some compliance at the top mount, maybe by having a hard rubber sleeve around the fork stem, or something like a slot at one end of the bottom links. I cannot say either is ideal, but at the moment I prefer the slotted link idea because it at least limits the direction in which movement occurs.

You can see below that the way the fork leg expands makes it difficult to get the link in close, especially as the axle centreline is lower than for the other fork.

On the up side I found a really long rear axle plus a front hub shell big enough to take it. I generally strip all my unused bikes down to the smallest parts, so that I can select parts by simply shuffling through my store.

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Well that is how it stands at the moment.
 
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As wifie was working today, I was free to get on with the kind of thing where you end up cutting your thumb with your knife.

Part of the morning was spent scrubbing the spokes and nipples to help get them ready for painting. I took on board the comments I have read here about painting in cold weather, and moved my painting operations into the heated basement. It is a bit compact, and I had to fabricate a cardboard spray booth, but it was enough to get one set of spokes done, doing another coat or side every time I walked between home and the garage.

Following a bowl full of pierogi and a cup of tea for lunch, I shifted to the top of the bike.

I cut the remaining wooden parts for the seat and its support, but then couldn't go any further as I needed to wait for the wood glue to go off. So I moved forward to divide up the tank side view into the structural sections that will go across the tank. For this I used my new 60 cm, 24" rule, which cost all of 5 zloty. I cut out the set of sections, each to the required height but all the same, maximum tank width.

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Tomorrow I hope to cut out a rectangular section from each where it mounts on the beam, and then figure out what width each one needs to be.
 
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The next stage was to figure out the plan view of the tank (white in the picture below) and tape it to the side view so that I could mark it up and take measurements that would give me the widths of the sections. Then with the use of a curved bread board and cup, I marked out the shape of the top and sides of the tank.

This makes it sound so simple, but there was a lot of messing around trying to figure out how the tank should look and then finding stuff that would give that. For example, should the tank curve in at the bottom to create a bubble shape, or should it have vertical sides at the bottom instead? I went with the latter, as I want it to blend into the vertical-sided bmx-type seat design I am using from the late 70s, early 80s.

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Once the widths were right I could trim the shape, and cut out the rectangular part to allow them to sit on the cardboard beam.

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I see that I made section J a bit short, so I will have to add some cardboard to fix that. Other than that, I have to cut and fit dozens and dozens of stiffeners between the sections, as I have started to in the picture, and almost every one of those will need to be trimmed later.

I have not fitted the front three sections yet as I still need to decide how long the front of the tank should be - which means putting it back on the bike and fitting out the forks and bars to see how much room I have available. Before I can do that, those sections need to be set firmly in position.

So that was my work for the weekend, other than the bit spent painting spokes.
 
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I am not quite sure how my bike design fits in with the description of the build type, because I did not grow up in the Americas but in Europe, and therefore much of what might have been happening on the west coast or wherever was not happening to anyone much where I was unless the magazines they were reading happened to have some articles on it.

At the time that I was building my C70t below I had already spent years modifying my Carlton Continental bicycle to go on and off road in a format that I can describe today as gravel-biking on narrow 1 1/4" tires. When I moved into motorbikes I did consider doing something similar to my bike - but by this time I was moving around a lot as my jobs changed and the opportunity disappeared.

But it is back.

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Today, when I can no longer physically build or even need those motorised machines, and several decades after leaving engineering, I am back with my design philosophy, in the attempt to create unique machines that do not have to owe anything to what other people are doing or have done.

Satin black is back.
 

metalchewy

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I am back with my design philosophy, in the attempt to create unique machines that do not have to owe anything to what other people are doing or have done.

Satin black is back.
To me, these builds are just that. What you want to engineer for how You want to ride it.

Offroad bike history in the states is way different by where you are. The little mountain town I grew up in the West, we had BMX. Someone in Appalcia, may have had some of the new fangled MTBs that came out with many gears to choose from. Someone in the Midwest would take that MTB and put not as agressive tires on it for their Hilly trails.

I had a Team Murray BMX that I got when I was 8 years old and had to repair it daily as I got bigger. Then had a predator with coaster and mags, because I was a big kid. Tires were 2.125 on the front and 2.175 on the back. We would push our BMX up the hiking trails on the mountain. Ride flat, slightly up, and downhill when we could.

My Bomber builds mimic that BMX feel. Others like the many geared Klunkers. Gravel Bikes on 1.5s are more common here now, where they weren't 20 years ago .

My point is, build it how you want to ride it. Lots of people here to offer advice. In Europe, you don't have the same parts as easily available, which is where the engineering comes in :)

I'm following along here to see what cool and different things are to be done.
 
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I remember finding a book in the reduced pile at a local bookshop in the mid-80s on how to build a bmx , and I read it from cover to cover several times - it was like unbelievable that something like that had been going on for so long and I never knew. Taking a bike, chopping a section out of the seat tube and rewelding was like a bucket of cold fresh water dunked on my head - crazy, but so much better than the staid things I saw. I love it when people like you actually describe how it was for you growing up :)
 
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I mounted the structural bar back on the bike for a test fit of a few stem and handlebar combinations, and I think we are going to be alright.

I had forgotten until this point that I would have to notch the front three sections to clear the top bar, and I can see that there will be not much gap between the front of the tank at the top, and the top bar itself. That is good, because it means I have mounted it as far forward as it would go.

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I then spent some time fitting more stiffeners between the sections. Usually for my cardboard work there is not much in the way of internal stiffening as the outer layer is usually a skin layer made from thick cardboard on which I bond square cardboard mosaic tiles. Here, though, the outer layer will be one thin pizza-box layer, which will have to withstand bike-type forces, such as having a knee pressed against it while cornering.

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There are always those unplanned incidents on a first build, and indeed it looks as if I got sections J and K mixed up while I was cutting everything out - the widths are right, but the heights are switched. Nothing that a bit of knife and glue work cannot fix.
 

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