** BILLET BULLET ** RRBBO#4

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Re: ** BILLET BULLET ** pics of all of your finished bikes here!

Looking at the competition and the scores, you've done pretty well, especially considering the use of a bike that was originally made with very little concession to style. :wink:
 
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Re: ** BILLET BULLET ** pics of all of your finished bikes here!

deorman said:
Looking at the competition and the scores, you've done pretty well, especially considering the use of a bike that was originally made with very little concession to style. :wink:

Heheh, but I really think that is just a matter of taste... I really kinda liked the bike once I cleaned and stripped it to it's bare essentials. It really has some nice touches. Like the semi-step-tru frame. I just have to get used to 'stepping through'. Yesterday I accidentally kicked my rack again. Since finished it really got some abuse...

The 3 votes I got are flattering. To think 3 people thought my bike was at least top 3 material out of so many really good bikes that shouted ratrod out loud is an awesome thought. If I didn't got a vote I would deffinately be dissapointed, but it wouldn't change my way of thinking on how a custombike should look like. The build of the bullet was a process of trial and error. All the experiments that worked (for me) are still on the bike. And I keep coming up for excuses to ride it every day.

8)
 
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Re: ** BILLET BULLET ** pics of all of your finished bikes here!

No excuses to ride, you should be proud. The bike is gorgeous and well presented.
And i like your documentation and the action photos! :)

What do you think of this? This is a finnish Nopsa Finlandia, women's 5-speed with similiar frame. It appears to be from 1980 or 1981.
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Re: ** BILLET BULLET ** pics of all of your finished bikes here!

2Fresh said:
No excuses to ride, you should be proud. The bike is gorgeous and well presented.
And i like your documentation and the action photos! :)

What do you think of this? This is a finnish Nopsa Finlandia, women's 5-speed with similiar frame. It appears to be from 1980 or 1981.

Thanks man! I really appreciate that.

That Nopsa is just another cool custom waiting to happen? Is it yours? If I've chosen a frame I try to use or emphasize what's already there. Where as my bike has straight tubes from handlebars to rear hub, your's has a bend at the seattube. I would probably try to incorporate the short almost horizontal tubes. Maybe for mounting the rearlights. Or maybe some skirts. Or racingnumberplates... Or maybe it's cool to bend the fork (or use a smaller front wheel to get those short bars really horizontal and level with the ground. It's so much fun to think about that sort of stuff.
 
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Sooo... Whatever happened to the BILLET BULLET..?

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Sooo...
Whatever happened to the Billet Bullet? Well, a lot. Since RRBBO-4 I had little time to check out RRB, and slowly but surely I'm coming back. I still don't have a new bike though... I find it hard enough to keep the ones I have on the street.

I'm sad to say that the BILLET BULLET is no more...

I've been using the bike all year round almost every other day when I'm not riding my Cartboardtracker. And I had some accidents. Some mild, some wild. The first 'accident' I had was while I was riding on a gravelroad to work. I didn't spot a can of white stuff right in front of me. The wheel of my BULLET sliced right trough the plastic causing the white stuff to explode on my trousers...

Luckily it wasn't white paint, but real sticky yoghurt.
 
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Re: ** BILLET BULLET **

Ouch! Good thing you "only" cut a finger, and not fell and got the bars in the leg or stomach or something! :shock:
 
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Re: ** BILLET BULLET **

Galtbacken said:
Ouch! Good thing you "only" cut a finger, and not fell and got the bars in the leg or stomach or something! :shock:

That is o-so true...
But beauty has it's price ;-)

I admit, it doesn't look that awfull, but it was a deep cut and didn't stop bleeding for hours. I was 'on tour' visiting lot's of galleries and none of them had a first-aid kit. Maybe something to think about on future build.

And wait! I wasn't done yet. There's stil more, with lot's of gore...
 
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Re: ** BILLET BULLET **

More gore...

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^ After visiting an awesome concert of the Bellrays (check em ou tif you have the chance) I went home on my bike and had a full frontal collision with another drunk cyclist. I must have blinded him with all the luminating aluminum bits and pieces on my bike for he told me he had not seen me at all... I did see him but stupid as I am, thought to myself I could steamroll him out of my way. Au contraire... I got launched as well as my bike and landed flat on the floor. More in shock than in pain, I seemed okay. I was pissed at the guy but he was so friendly that I said forget about it and asked him to put my chain back on and he did. Well, he tried... His friends (from a group of eight) had to help him. I said thanks and we all went seperate ways. Ofcourse the bike felt wrong and I noticed my front wheel was way off... All bumpy and wobly. My handlebars were slippery and I noticed some blood on them... Then my foot, and especially my toe hurt.

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^ it felt a bit soggy in my sock. And when I pulled them off I saw why: Blood was coming from beneath my toenail. Again, it doesn't seem like much, but it was really bad...

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^ I kept on fighting the gruesome thought of loosing a toenail for some weeks with a bandaid, but finally lost the battle while I was putting on my jeans before I put on a new bandaid...

Back to the bike:
If you look closely at the pic of my rack you'll notice it bent out of shape and it looked really wack... And it is impossible to straighten out bent aluminum. For me at least... It just got damaged too much.

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^ wack rack and blood on my handlebars...

What to do, what to do...
 
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Re: ** BILLET BULLET **

...so...
I decided that after a half year of neglecting the bike it deserved a makeover. I didn't had an idea of which road to take but starting with some new used classic racing wheels was the right thing to do...

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^ Clean, straight, and tight. And man, the Bullet rides as good as it ever did before!

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^ You may or may not remember the bad shape the original paintjob was in... After a winter full of snow and salt (and not so eager to clean the bike after I'd ridden it) it got even worse.

So I bought myself some spraycans and sandingpaper...

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^ The color I picked is a very, and I mean VERY dark blue. Almost black, and therefor very hard to photograph. The cameraflash makes it too blue but If I don't use it, in the picture it'll look black... As always I tried it out on the fork.

Oh, and I hate bikebuilding in general ;-) so with most of my paintjobs I leave as much on the bike as possible and try to mask it all thoroughly. And as always it worked just fine.

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^ This is a more realistic pic of the color..

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^ Really, it works fine! I start with the bottom and make sure I've hit all the difficcult to reach spots. And believe me, there are a lot of those on a mixte... What didn't work was the use of plastic bags as masking. After unmasking, flakes of dry paint fell onto the frame...

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^ Time to turn it around and focus on the topside of the frame.

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^ Something I haven't done for years: Pollishing the paintjob. But really, it makes a huge difference. Not only makes it get rid of the matt spots caused by the overspray, it also makes the whole bike as smooth as glass.

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^ But I did get too enthusiastic with the pollishing compound and went right through the fresh coat of blue... So for the rest of the bike I was very carefull.

And here is the result. For now...

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Oh, as you can see, after a year the black paint is coming off of the reflective stripe on the backtire. It was just an experiment so I didn't clean it before painting. The otherside was cleaned thoroughly and that side is still perfectly black. Not a hint of reflection...

I plan to do the 'experimental'-side right next week or so...
 
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Today it was a perfect day to take some pics at the local park...

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^ I'm a happy man!

Finally came across 28" whitewall tires. Not too expensive. They had three of em at the local beachcruiser store. One pair had almost the size of Schwalbes Big Apple tires. They advised me NOT to use em on my skinny racingwheels. I discovered a third sample. A size used on most common bikes in Holland. So I bought, and installed it on the same day. It touches the fender every now and then so it must be slightly bigger then the previous blackwalls...

One day later I visited the bicycleshop in the citycentre of my hometown for the first time ever, to buy the modern-looking racingtire with two white stripes rather then whitewalls. And there it was! Next to those modern looking rubbers there was just one skinny racingtire with whitewalls!! Also Schwalbe. Couldn't be better for my bike.

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^ So, here it is.

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^ Did my cheap seat trick again: Upholsterynails into a cheap Halfords sportseat. It's new so it still has a rubbery-feel to it. After a month or so it'll look like black leather 8)

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^ Oh, and I bobbed my rear fender. Maybe a bit too short for my liking... Don't know yet. But it had a mountinghole for the fenderbrace/rack so I just used it and cut right behind. The fender was bent so I had/have to replace it anyway.

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To be continued...
 
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^ 'new' pedals...

Small progression. Just detailing the pedals. Trying to keep my builds as cheap as possible but still make it look good I bought the same set of blacked-out 'aluminum' mtb-style pedals at the local Halfords. On my primer-red Cartboardtracker they look good in black, but on my Blue BilletBullet not so... So I sanded the black off of the outside trim, plus top and bottom. I sprayed the inside the same dark blue as the bike. (because it would probably too much of a pain to sand the inside...) So now I have unique two-tone colorcoded aloy pedals that don't look cheap anymore.
:)
 
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^ Decided to shorten my handlebars even further...

Because of a slightly larger diameter than most common bars I haven't been able to find a bar to replace this one. I was kinda getting bored with the sharp ends of it so... off they came! I always wanted to try out handlebar-tape. I'm still planning to do some white graphics on the dark blue frame so the handlebartape had to be white. And ofcourse, as a designer I wanted to match the seat with the rest. The result?

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^ Don't worry guys, I'm not going fixie on you. I just like to try out a few different things. Mixing the old with the new... (I'd love to have a leather Brooks racingseat though, with matching grips. I'm just not willing to pay for it. Yet...)

I'm happy with the white. Although the seat is a lot less comfortable than the one it replaces, but it looks sooo good. The tape is VERY comfortable in absorbing shocks. It's just that I made them too short. I also used metalfoiltape instead of the black(!) tape to finish it off. That didn't work out as good as I wanted to, so tomorow I'm going to do it over. Making the grip-part slightly longer and buy some white tape to finish it off. Can't wait to design some graphics for the frame...
 
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I didn't find any good pictorial instructions on how to use handlebar-tape so I'll show you how I did mine.

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^ First try. Too short... But look at the metalfoiltape. It didn't formed around the tape as well as I thought it would. I used that stuff because I didn't want to use the black endtape that came with the white bartape... The next day I took it all off again and started over. My large diameter bars have an adapter to fit my even larger stem. So it has a vissible step. I managed to make it 'disapear' by using the metalfoil to create several smoother steps:

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^ I used white electrical isolation tape to keep the bartape in place, and on top of that the metalfoiltape. And it worked rather well, if I say so myself.
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^ before and after...

But I discovered I wrapped the lefthandside the wrong way around. I hate it when simple things go wrong...

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^ Luckilly bartape is relatively cheap so I bought some new and did the leftside over. They say 'third time is a charm' so I'll just keep on smiling :)

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^ Together with the new matching seat it looks great. It's a 'starter' racing/atb seat from BBB.

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^ The current state of my bike. Between work I'll try to come up with some graphics for the bike.
 
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The Bullet looks better than ever! Really sharp looking bike with the new colours and details. :D
You caught me with my guard down with that toenail photo, I must admit. Almost fell off the sofa! :lol:
 
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Thanks G!

I think so too... I still feel bad about the destruction of the original Bullet though, but I also knew that this bike could look good if I just cleaned it up. And it is still evolving as we speak... I relocated the frontlightbracket to the back, making it ofcourse a rearlightbracket. I also re-installed the BilletBullet fenderbracket and made a new frontfender.

Pics comming soon!

(sorry about the toenail. Pretty disgusting but I'm glad I can tell you it looks more painfull then it really was...)
 
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Looking forward to following further progress of the Billet Bullet build (say that 10 times really quickly! :lol: )!
Forgot to say, those tires look perfect!! :)
 
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I cannot tell you enough how happy I am with actually finding those tires. I feel kinda limited in tirechoice by the 28" size of the rims. Luckily the local beachcruiser shop started carrying 28" tires because of the recent retrobike-hype amongst regular bikecompanies. So it seems the 28" tire-aftermarket is blossoming :) But the whitewall front racetire was absolutely a lucky find. I didn't expect seeing one in real life or even being able to buy one...

I think wheels and tires really make or brake a bike. And big'n'little whitewalls scream 'instant hotrod'. And the two I got are just right. The difference in size is obviously, but not rediculously there.
 
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