ELGIN TWIN 9

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I will start my build-off with the bike's name and the reason I have chosen it. This build's starting point is a set of wheels and tires that I have always wanted, and finally found. Because of this wheel/tire combo, I was very limited in what kind of frame I could use. As a rule, I only use vintage frames with original paint for my builds. I am one of those it's-only-original-once guys. After a lot of contemplating and measuring, I only had one frame that would be usable, and it's probably a very rare frame. It is a blue and cream 1950 Schwinn DX 24" S-2 (balloon tire) frame made on Friday, August 11th, of that year. Kind of an oddball, a "FREAK", if you will. I also have an original blue 50's "Schwinn Spitfire" badge that I am going to use, even though the Spitfire model didn't come out until 1951 (only a few months later). I am loosely modeling my build after the board track racers of the 20's and many of the racers of that era had bike names that ended in "special". I have been a car guy since I was a little boy. So I remember that the original Corvette motor was called the "blue flame special". So, the name choice was more than obvious. Then I googled the name to get a picture of that early Corvette motor to post, and I discovered that the term had been given a whole new meaning. It was a term used in a 1991 movie called "Point Break". Since I had never seen the movie, I was clueless as to the more recent meaning of the term. You will have to google it yourself to learn the "newer" meaning of "blue flame special". I might get in trouble if I post it here. Let's just say that it didn't discourage me, but it actually encouraged me to keep the name and use it for this build. "You're a real blue flame special, aren't you, son? Young, dumb, and full of ..........."
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I am a 'theme builder' myself, and appreciate a good back story, Tim. Looking forward to what you put together with this build!

RaT oN~!
 

kingfish254

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GO SPEED RACER GO!!!
You always have cool build parts to play with. Looking forward to the Blue Flame!
 
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Here is the wheel and tire combination that is the basis of this build. I have always wanted a set like this, and I finally found the tires last year and the wheels just a few months ago. They are NOS Felt cream Thick Bricks (24"x3"). They look like the board track racer tires of the 20's and they haven't been produced in many years. But what was even more difficult to find was the 50's 24" cream painted wheels in amazing original condition. I paid more for the wheels than I did the tires. They look very similar to Schwinn S-2 wheels, but luckily, they are not. These are probably CWC wheels. Schwinn S-2 rims are 1/4" wider than these rims and they would have made the bulge of the tires too wide to fit into the frame. Every millimeter counts when you are trying to squeeze a 3" wide tire into an original vintage frame (which you cannot modify). And I much prefer the narrow rim/wide tire combination.
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Here is the frame I will be using for the build. It has many unique features that made it the only frame I owned that would work for this build. It has the short 4" steering tube (more commonly found on 20" frames). It also is an S-2 balloon tire frame which means that the areas where the tires fit are wider than that of the S-7 middleweight frames. Since I am going for a long and low frame position, I had to choose a 24" frame rather than a 26" frame because the seat tube is much shorter and keeps the seat height below the top of the tire height and the ground clearance manageable. The 24" frame is also much shorter (front-to-back) than a 26" frame, which will keep this "lengthened " bike from looking too long. I am a firm believer that the sum of the whole has to be superior than the sum of the parts. It's not what components you use, it's what you do with them and how they work together that makes (or breaks) a build's successfulness. I'm even going to try to preserve the original paint and make it shiny again.
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I always like to use a tank on a frame that had one originally. This bike did not have a tank when I bought it, and I don't know if it had one originally. The tank for a 24" Schwinn DX frame is very difficult to find, and I really don't care for the shape of them anyway. They look like a cross between a 26" DX tank and a cantilever frame tank (pointed in front). So, instead of trying to find an original paint blue/cream correct tank (next to impossible), I was just going to build the bike without one. But I have fitted non-correct tanks to frames many times with some success. My original FREAK bike is a mid-50's Schwinn 20" Spitfire frame with a '51 Shelby 24" tank. The trick is making mismatched parts look like they belong together. So, I have a bunch of girls tanks in a box that I bought at a show. The one that looked like it might work is a 50's JC Higgins tank with original blue and cream paint that is very close to the blue and cream on the Schwinn frame. Most girls tanks are very curved, so they are the wrong shape. This tank is mostly straight and has a beautiful shape with a slight kick-up in the back. It fits into the frame without modification, and I kind of like the open spaces in front and back of the tank. Gives it a really unique look. I think I might use it. Maybe stencil the name of the bike on the sides of the tank.
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Here's a cool feature about Schwinn chainrings. The teeth are slightly offset towards the centerline of the bike. The cool trick when using really wide tires is to flip the chainring around so it moves the chain outwards and further away from the sidewall of the rear tire (thank you, Schwinn!). Also, when building a lowered bike, the cranks might be too long for the shorter ground clearance. So, I have installed the shortest Schwinn cranks I have (3 5/8") on to the original chainring and used smaller pedals to lessen the chance of contact with the ground. By my measurements, I should have about a whole inch of ground clearance! Wow!
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So now that the rear tire fits without making contact anywhere, onto making that front tire fit into the forks. I like the bent Schwinn-style springers. Especially on Schwinn frames. Their design allows them to be modified many different ways. Personally, I think that they look best with the steering tube flipped over. It really lays them down. But I have been experimenting with many different ways of assembling them lately. I bought a brand new 26" chrome bent springer for this build and I have parts from probably 10 different types of springers to use. I had to try a new combination of parts to use that 26" springer with the fat 24" tire, and that short 4" steering tube, to get everything to work, but it basically looks the same as many of my other modified springers (except this one is shiny). The basic stance has been established! Looks like plenty of ground clearance and a low seat height. A 26" frame with the longer seat tube would not have been able to make this all work like I wanted. I did a lot of measuring but you never really know until it is actually mocked-up. I like how the straight bars on the springer follow the same lines as the frame's top tube and the chainguard angle.
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furyus

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Love the blue, pretty rare color, at least on a boys bike. Just a thought, what about flipping the tank upside down? Looking forward to watching this one progress.

furyus
 
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It's a FREAK! Careful planning, measuring, and parts gathering has allowed me to accomplish my goal of a day-one (almost complete) mock-up in just 6 hours. Since I was using mostly Schwinn parts, I knew that everything would fit and be compatible. The bars, stem, and grips are straight off of another build. They are apes that are 16" tall but can still sit below the top tire line if I lower them a little (so it will roll up-side-down). I don't know if they will make the final product or not. Same with the seat, which is bolted straight to the seat tube clamp, eliminating the need for a seat post and keeping the seat as low as possible. The only other addition I want to utilize is some kind of headlight. I think I know which one I want to use if I can get it mounted properly. But I am very please with the initial result. Now just to sit and stare at it to see what other refinements I can come up with. I like the tank and I think it's going to stay. It really follows the lines well. I just hope that I have the patience to clean up all of that original paint. That's going to be the most difficult part for me. That is a virtue I do not possess. Now for a beverage and to take it for a ride. Cheers!
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Love the blue, pretty rare color, at least on a boys bike. Just a thought, what about flipping the tank upside down? Looking forward to watching this one progress.

furyus
The tank was definitely a happy accident. It has a slow curve that matches the frame's tube curve nicely. It would not work up-side-down aesthetically. But I did have to move it forward for a better fit than in the last pictures.
 
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It's a FREAK! Sorry for the sunny pictures. The sun is now on my professional photo area. I will take better pictures this evening when the sun is below the trees. Anyway. Careful planning, measuring, and parts gathering has allowed me to accomplish my goal of a day-one (almost complete) mock-up in just 6 hours. Since I was using mostly Schwinn parts, I knew that everything would fit and be compatible. The bars, stem, and grips are straight off of another build. They are apes that are 16" tall but can still sit below the top tire line if I lower them a little (so it will roll up-side-down). I don't know if they will make the final product or not. Same with the seat, which is bolted straight to the seat tube clamp, eliminating the need for a seat post and keeping the seat as low as possible. The only other addition I want to utilize is some kind of headlight. I think I know which one I want to use if I can get it mounted properly. But I am very please with the initial result. Now just to sit and stare at it to see what other refinements I can come up with. I like the tank and I think it's going to stay. It really follows the lines well. I just hope that I have the patience to clean up all of that original paint. That's going to be the most difficult part for me. That is a virtue I do not possess. Now for a beverage and to take it for a ride. Cheers! View attachment 155774View attachment 155775View attachment 155776
Holy crap dude! Less than 24 hours after the Build Off starts and you've already got this bike figured out! At this rate, it sounds like all that's left is just greasing the bearings, fine-tuning everything, and you'll be done before bed!
 

KJV

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Those 6 cylinder where solid.
First year was 1929 known as Stovebolt .
Second Gen started
In 1937 adopted the name Blue Flame. Was used threw 1963.

The 1953 & 54 Corvette with the triple side-draft carburetors, and different camshaft those babies were pushing 150 HP.

Cool bike.
 

kingfish254

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That was a quickie
Love the color
Looks great!
 

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