Felt MProvements, New Saddle Bags!

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Re: Felt MProvements, Wheels On!

That jeep bike is pretty wild. It is a little bit too "fantastical" for my taste. I prefer the lines and proportions of a classic motorbike, but I can appreciate all the custom fabrication that went into it.

I just checked the tracking and the brake lever I ordered should arrive today so we'll see if I can get some time to finally hook up the front brake and install the new grips. Of course that is if I don't decide that the brake lever needs to be painted or customized in some way. 8)

Regards,
 
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Re: Felt MProvements, Wheels On!

I perfectly understand what you´re saying, if you look at my builds you´ll see I´m one classic builder my self, but I usually pick up ideas from bikes like this one, chainwheel is great for instance.

I would love to get my hands in one of those MP´s... I´d probably fade the paint down, put some bullet holes in it, like if it had seen lots of action in the field... ahhh dreams...
 
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Re: Felt MProvements, Wheels On!

I have had the front brake finished off for a while now. I thought I had better update this with some details on how I got it all hooked up.

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Front brake hub with cable connected.

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I modified an aluminum shaft collar clamp for the brake arm clamp. The stamped steel strap that came with the Sturmey Archer hub was way to puny to fit around the od of the triple clamp fork. The above picture shows how I sawed and filed the stock Sturmey brake arm clamp down then screwed it to the collar clamp with two little black stainless cap screws. Of course, everything was painted to match.

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The brake cable is routed behind the lower triple clamp. It then snakes back to the front and up to the lever.

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I disassembled the brake lever and painted it to match. Here you can also see the stitched vintage brown grips I am using.

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I found a piece of leather that was a good match to the brown. I made a cover for the twist shifter and stitched it on. The bell has been painted to match too.

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I also took apart the twist shifter so I could paint the top cover of the housing OD green to match.

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One more overall pic just for the heck of it.

I think the next task to tackle is the saddle bags.

Regards,
 

The Renaissance Man

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Re: Felt MProvements, Brakes Hooked Up!

This bike is awesome! You are obviously a stickler for the small details and it's because of this that I would make this suggestion to you that you may not have considered:

When I look at this picture, my eyes are drawn to the chain. I'm thinking that a black chain would flow better with all of the work that you have put into making the finishes right for the military look. I would also be tempted to remove the white lettering from the tires.

I realize that this is nit picking, but I felt like you would take it in the right spirit. Keep up the great work!!!

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P.S. I'm very impressed with the blackout light that you created!
 

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Re: Felt MProvements, Brakes Hooked Up!

The Renaissance Man said:
I realize that this is nit picking, but I felt like you would take it in the right spirit. Keep up the great work!!!

No pun intended. :mrgreen:
 
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Re: Felt MProvements, Brakes Hooked Up!

This bike is awesome! You are obviously a stickler for the small details and it's because of this that I would make this suggestion to you that you may not have considered:

When I look at this picture, my eyes are drawn to the chain. I'm thinking that a black chain would flow better with all of the work that you have put into making the finishes right for the military look. I would also be tempted to remove the white lettering from the tires.

I realize that this is nit picking, but I felt like you would take it in the right spirit. Keep up the great work!!!

No problem. I like "attta boys" but I don't mind a little constructive criticism as well. I think I have considered just about every detail on this bike and it's funny you mentioned the chain because I was shopping around for black BMX chain a few months ago. As for the tires; I'm not 100% convinced I am sticking with the bricks but I have considered removing the white logos and leaving the psi data only. Right now I am little distracted with other projects. I have some train projects going on, and a lot of stuff at work, there's my other bike; the FC-40 and my pickup truck needs work too. With all this in the hopper I have simply been riding the MP for now. Last week some business man guy chased after me so he could ask me some questions about the MP. I have never had a bike that people respond to quite like this one. It makes for a really fun daily rider. Speaking of which, I am headed out for a cruise right now... 8)

Regards,
 
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Re: Felt MProvements, Saddle Bags

Hey guys. Im bringing this thread back from the dead because I finally finished my saddle bags for the MP. These were some vintage style canvas ammo bags that I picked up at my LSS. I cut the shoulder straps off of them and stitched a canvas panel between the two bags so they could hang over the luggage rack. The matching canvas medic bag that I had in some of the earlier photos was put back in place on top. Pics:

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So just to recap Here is the tally of modifications so far:

Slowriderz seatpost painted O.D. green to match.
Electra XL saddle in vintage brown with black Felt hairpin spring frame installed.
Stock Felt brown cylinder saddle bag converted to semi hard case.
Working custom fabricated blackout headlamp mounted on custom aluminum bracket.
Amber fog lens installed in stock headlamp painted O.D. green to match.
Stem riser installed.
Vintage brown Electra cylinder bag with custom MP badge installed on bars.
Electra ergo grips in vintage brown.
Hand laced rear wheel, 2.5" wide alloy rim with 8 speed Nexus hub, 13g black stainless spokes, hoop and hub painted O.D. green to match.
Hand laced front wheel, same rim and spokes as above, Sturmey Archer XFD drum brake hub, hoop and hub painted O.D. green to match.
Custom brake arm clamp installed on fork.
Leather wrapped 8 speed grip shifter, shifter housing painted O.D. green to match.
Origin 8 retro brake lever installed, painted O.D. green to match.
Bell painted O.D. green to match.
O.D. green canvas bags for front and rear racks.

Whew! It sounds like a lot of stuff when I list it all out. I still have in my head that I would like to make service and blackout tail lights and I may yet get those Electra diamond tires that Crash put on his son's bike. But I am more interested in my other project the FC-40 bike right now. Anyways, thanks for looking!

Later,
 
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I am literally brand new to this forum as a member, but've been tracking this thread for a short while. I am working with Scott Cason out of Dover Delaware to build a side car for my 2012 Felt MP. Here is some of his work . He does gas-bikes and pedal only bikes as well. Looking for some thoughts/lessons learned from the mods on your felt. Did you try to get with Felt for a direct buy on the paint? Would you have reshot the entire bike with a close match to ensure max uniformity? I am debating usage of ammo cans or ostrich bags http://biketouringnews.com/touring-...panniers/handlebar-bag/ostrich-handlebar-bag/ to max out utility space, and mounting the light up higher and refitting with LEDs powered by a Sturmey Archer drum brake dynamo on the front wheel. Thoughts there? I can post links/pics as the project unfolds. Appreciate any remarks.
 
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Hey adhoc, Welcome to the forum. Be sure to post something about yourself in the intros thread if you can. I would be extremely interested in seeing what you have going for the sidecar build. Please start a topic on that to show us your progress. I have kicked around ideas for sidecars so I would really appreciate seeing what you guys come up with. Scot Cason appears to do some real nice work. I appreciate seeing all the details he put into that bike.

I would be happy to share some of my reflections on the mods so far. I did contact Felt to ask about "touch up paint" when I got started on this. Felt never responded and as many members will attest this seems to be the way Felt operates. They are in the business of selling new bikes and not so much repair or customization parts. They have a limited selection of parts available on the website but beyond that, it seems to be a no-go. I abandoned the hope of getting any help from Felt and decided to search for a suitable color match. The Tamiya model paint in the small spray cans is actually a really high quality lacquer. I tested out five or six different greens. The Tamiya AS-13 USAF Green is a really close match. Now, in retrospect, I would have considered doing a full tear down of the bike and respraying the entire bike with genuine vintage OD green. This is a good source for military paints in gallons and spray cans: http://www.tm9ordnance.com/index.asp. But It would have been considerably more work and, like I said, the USAF green is pretty darn close.

For panniers, I have seen others mount ammo cans on Felt MPs. It looks pretty good, but a soft bag is more authentic to vintage military bikes and also lighter weight, so I went with that. The MP is SUCH a heavy bike already I was reluctant to pile on any more unnecessary weight. Those ostrich bags look real nice. Im sure they are much nicer than what I am using. I would be curious how the color would look with the green on the bike.

I remounted my headlamp slightly higher because I thought it looked better. I am planning an LED conversion as well. I don't have any experience with the SA generator hub but the drum brake hub that I used is a pretty nice unit. Using the dynamo hub is a cool idea though. The earliest aluminum framed MPs came with a dynamo from the factory. Please keep us posted. I would love to see you progress.

Regards,
 
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Question for you: Did you have any troubles stuffing that 8-speed into your frame?

I have a Felt Red Baron that I am thinking of taking into a similar assembly but a more Iron Cross motif and I got the Nexus SG-8C31 and its a BEAST! I am worried about stuffing that hub into the frame!

Its out being laced in right now.

Thanks!

~Will
 
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Question for you: Did you have any troubles stuffing that 8-speed into your frame?

I have a Felt Red Baron that I am thinking of taking into a similar assembly but a more Iron Cross motif and I got the Nexus SG-8C31 and its a BEAST! I am worried about stuffing that hub into the frame!

Its out being laced in right now.

Thanks!

~Will
Only thing I would tell you is to make sure you've done some gear ratio calculations. My Sturmey Archer fit fine for me but to make use of the range of gears in a useful way, I still have to get a smaller front sprocket. Check http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/ for some additional info on the technical aspects of gearing.
 
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Sorry to not chime in earlier. My wife and I just had our first kid so I am busy learning the true definition of sleep deprivation right now.

Concerning the 8 speed hubs, I personally think you made the right choice with the Nexus. You can run calculations and all that for other hubs but I can tell you anecdotally that the Shimano Nexus 8 is a perfect swap on this bike. The Nexus is geared differently than a Sturmey hub. On the Nexus your direct drive (1:1) is at the "five" position on the shifter. That means gears 1-4 are low gears. On the Sturmey 1:1 is at "one" on the shifter so there are no low gears. To compensate for this lack of low gearing on the Sturmey you need a much smaller front chainring to get the final ratio low enough. The Nexus 8 gives you some nice granny low gears and you can use the original stock chainring which is good on a heavy steel framed tank bike like this.

As for fitting it to the frame; the 8 speed is wider at the over locknut dimension by 12mm but I was able to spread the rear chainstays and squeak the hub in on my steel framed MP. Figure this; it's only 6mm of spread per side. I saw your project post on MPifying the Red Baron. My guess is that you can fit the hub but I'm not sure how much force you can exert on an aluminum frame when spreading the chainstays. Steel frames are more forgiving in that way.

The Nexus 8 is one of the greatest hubs I have ever used. It is quiet, it shifts nicely and I have heard they last a really long time.
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Regards,
 
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