Collegiate remix

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My starting point for this year's RRBBO:
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Here's a little backstory on how I got here and where I'm headed, for those who like rambling bicycle tales.

For a few years now, my favorite old bike to find and ride and wrench on has been the XS-size camelback-style Schwinn Speedster/Collegiate. This Craigslist find got me started. It was rough, with bent handlebars, battered fenders, and non-Schwinn wheels. I still have the oddball 40-spoke British rear wheel in the shed.
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Around this time, I also picked up a girls' Collegiate in lime green (more on that later). I LOVED the way it rode, so I set out to remake this Speedster to be as close to a Collegiate as possible. After removing and replacing pretty much every part on the bike, I had myself an ersatz Collegiate 5-speed, built with a bunch of castoff Ross Europa parts and some chrome fenders from Niagara Cycle.
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It wasn't long before I found a mens' Collegiate in great mechanical shape with great patina. It has been my go-to rider pretty much since I got it.
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Since the Speedster was collecting dust, I decided it was a perfect candidate for a makeover. This is what it looked like at the end of RRBBO 15.
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My son really liked the way this one rode, so I decided to build another one from a Facebook Marketplace rescue.
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Then recently, I updated the aforementioned green ladies' Collegiate with an index-shifting 6-speed drivetrain for my daughter. It works great, and I got to thinking I wanted to update one like that for myself.
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That got me thinking about a buddy from our bike group, who shows up with this from time to time on our Thursday night rides. MTB wheels, custom shifter. He thinks of it as a sort of urban assault vehicle.
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From the first time I saw this one, I thought it'd be cool to build my own version of this type bike, and to incorporate bits and pieces of ideas from all the bikes above. That's the plan for this build-off. Here's what I've collected so far:
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Bars are off a friend's Felt 29" cruiser. He's well over 6 foot tall, so he decided to replace these with some Big Honkin' bars.
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Saw these at a swap recently and thought they'd be cool for something. Don't know if they're staying.
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Bought this for a Diamond Back BMX project, then found another with the DB logo on it.
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From the parts bin.
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Picked this up at a swap in Kutztown, PA yesterday.
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These are from the swap too. Don't be fooled by the single-speed freewheel; the rear wheel is dished for a multi-speed.
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Another find from months ago that I picked up because I knew it'd eventually come in handy.
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I can't wait to tear into this, but I'm a teacher and this is a crazy time of year... might take another few weeks till I can devote as much time as I'd like to it.
 

OddJob

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This is gonna be cool! I always like your build style, and great job on the history of your builds. It all 'fits in your lesson plan' ! :grin: As the product of two teachers, and an 'educator' in my own right, I can relate.

RaT oN~!
 
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I really like the curved top tube frames too. I think they are currently underappreciated, but starting to come up now. I'm seeing more custom builds in the BMX style lately, really seems to work for that frame style
 

kingfish254

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Looks like you have a whole POD of humpbacks. :D
I like the idea of the Urban Assault Camel.

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OddJob

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Has this build been 'Park-ed' ? Any progress?
"I'd walk all the way to page 2 for a Camel-backed" ~ '60s - '70s TV ad
 
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Spent a little while trying out a few parts for looks today. The first thing I did was swap out the bars and stem, and my daughter surprised me by having an opinion. "That looks dumb. Why are you trying to make it look like a BMX bike?"
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I tried to explain to her that she's seeing only a small part of the whole picture, and the bars alone look out of place because the fenders are still on and I don't have the wider tires on yet. She wasn't having it. She loves her '76 Collegiate and doesn't understand why I'd mess with the look.

However, peeling off the fenders and mocking up MTB wheels with 2.125 tires didn't seem to make her feel any better about it:
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She does have me wondering about getting some fenders back on it, but I think it'd require more fabrication than I feel like doing. The MTB-size wheels are smaller in diameter than the originals and this leaves a ton of daylight between the wheels and fenders. Not a great look.
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So anyway, the process has started. There's a little part of me that wonders if I will end up liking the stock look better. It may end up looking less BMX/MTB-influenced and more like a commuter or "classic" cruiser. One thing is for sure: the old derailleur is going in favor of an index shifting system.
 
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Spent a little while trying out a few parts for looks today. The first thing I did was swap out the bars and stem, and my daughter surprised me by having an opinion. "That looks dumb. Why are you trying to make it look like a BMX bike?"
View attachment 159407View attachment 159408

I tried to explain to her that she's seeing only a small part of the whole picture, and the bars alone look out of place because the fenders are still on and I don't have the wider tires on yet. She wasn't having it. She loves her '76 Collegiate and doesn't understand why I'd mess with the look.

However, peeling off the fenders and mocking up MTB wheels with 2.125 tires didn't seem to make her feel any better about it:
View attachment 159409View attachment 159410View attachment 159411

She does have me wondering about getting some fenders back on it, but I think it'd require more fabrication than I feel like doing. The MTB-size wheels are smaller in diameter than the originals and this leaves a ton of daylight between the wheels and fenders. Not a great look.View attachment 159412

So anyway, the process has started. There's a little part of me that wonders if I will end up liking the stock look better. It may end up looking less BMX/MTB-influenced and more like a commuter or "classic" cruiser. One thing is for sure: the old derailleur is going in favor of an index shifting system.
What's so wrong with the air space between tire and fender, if it has off road components?

It is kind of like following mountain bikes back to their origin in street bikes.

I get worried when there is nothing to feel uncomfortable about - because comfort tends to reflect familiarity, while originality makes the brain panic as it tries to resolve what it is seeing with what it is knowing ;)
 
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Tell your style consultant that she's falling behind on the trends, BMX conversions are all the rage this year! I think part of it is the fork though, a straight leg would really complete the look
I do have a nice chrome Akisu ready to go, just haven't gotten to it yet...
 

kingfish254

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details, details
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I love the look of this tire. I do NOT like that it's rated for 35PSI.
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Still trying to figure out how the ergonomics of this here are going to work out.
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In other news: Looks like I can use the stock Schwinn fork with the 1080 long-reach front caliper, or the Akisu BMX fork with the stock Schwinn front caliper.
 
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