(MBBO#04 Class 1) Grape Ape

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May 7, 2009
Tossing my hat into the ring at the last minute here. Not sure if I'll be able to get this one powdercoated before the deadline, but I'll at least make it into a riding bicycle as proof-of-concept.

I had this neat little piece knocking around. It's the rear bracket from a Schwinn Collegiate chainguard. Figured I'd build a bike around it.

I added this 1950s era Schwinn 24" wheel cantilever frame to the bracket. Hey, it's looking better already.

Since the bracket is for a 5 speed guard, I guess I'll have to put a 5 speed cluster on the back. We'll see how that works out in a bit.

Cheers, Geoff
May 7, 2009
This will end up being a pretty straight-forward build, bordering on predictable. Not messing with the frame other than to spread the rear triangle a bit and fill in a bent-crank frame-gouge with brass.

Since there's no way to mount caliper brakes on this thing, gonna have to run drum brakes. Was hoping I'd be able to run some flimsy calipers, but I guess I'll have to settle for some sweet alloy drums. Bummer. Luckily I built this wheelset a week ago and had it hanging on a hook in the basement. What are the odds?

I'll have to reduce the spacing on the drive side a bit to compensate for the shorter 5 speed cluster.

The rims are 24" Alienation Deviants. Was looking for the polished version, but came across the chromed (chromed alloy!) version on-line. I'm always weirded out about ordering stuff from new places, especially if I can't tell if they are state-side or not. But the shipping was only $9.99 for the two hoops (really, no lie) so I figured, cool, Chain Reaction Cycles must be out of Cally. Nope. They're out of the UK. $10 bucks shipping for two hoops from the friggin' UK! Amazing.

Supposedly these hoops are only intended for use on front wheels. I'm going to ignore that advice and run one on the rear. Just gonna have to remember to take it easy when I take this bike to the BMX park. I'm not gonna take this bike to the BMX park.

Drum hubs are the standard 70mm Sturmey Archers. Yup, predictable.

Going to be running Tioga PowerBlocks. Which, yes, predictable, I know. But the tires are nice and fat and super light. Was pysched to see them available in a 24". (They're also available in a 26", just FYI.)

Next step will be spreading the rear triangle so the new drum hub will slide right in.

And figuring out which fork to run. Have a stock HW 24", a Krate springer, and a 26" Ashtabula "repair" fork with threads cut down far enough so it would work on the short head tube on this bike. Will prolly run the stock 24" HW fork.

Cheers, Geoff
Sep 14, 2013
Bradley Illinoiz
Hmm... Tioga Powerblocks... fat and light you say....:39: and in 26" hmm...
I'm gonna need some treads for Dead Metal, my klunker build coming up...
Thanx for the info.

Sep 7, 2014
Columbus OH
Great looking setup. Powerblocks are nice. I was surprised how light they are.

I think the "front rim only" with the BMX rims is because they normally run a single rim brake in the rear so if the rim doesn't have a braking surface it's listed as front only.
May 7, 2009
Ran the cloth rim strips and installed tires. Re-spaced the drive side axle. Dialed in the dish. Will have to modify the pie plate. Can't remember what I did to the last one to make it work right.

Spreading the rear triangle to 128mm to fit the drum hub.

Aligning the drop outs. I should have taken a "before" picture as well.

Mocking up the chainguard. It's a 1960s Traveler flat face hockey stick. Going to drill a different hole in the front mount to get the guard center up better on the sprocket. And then trim the rear so it looks stock.

Want to run fenders on this, but of course there's no way I'll find production fenders that'll work right. Have two sets of 24" Schwinn heavyweight fenders. All are banged up or compromised in one way or another, so they are fair game for experimentation. Shown is a front with ducktail mocked up on the rear Sting-Ray style. Might blend the ducktail portion with the mounting portion of an original rear, and hide the brazing under the brake bridge. Can't / won't get the end result chromed, so the end result would be powder coated to match the frame. And painted fenders on muscle bikes usually signaled low-end. So we'll see.

Next step will be setting up the front wheel in the fork, which will involve doing some filing on the axle and perhaps re-aligning the fork.

Cheers, Geoff
May 7, 2009
Okay, it's been a bit, made some progress. Took a couple weeks to get a buddy to drop some brass into the crank gouge on the left chain stay. While removing the paint to prep for brazing, found that there was rust pitting on the frame. Removed paint on other top surfaces, found the same. Going to have to do a bunch of prep work before getting powder coating done.

Obviously not going to get this thing powder coated in time, but should be able to get it cabled up and riding.

Used some tin snips to cut down some 24" fenders. The tan piece on the rear was the lower portion of a front fender.

Trimmed tail of the guard, still have to attach it to the rear bracket. Re-drilled front mounting hole to get guard to center nicely on sprocket.

Going with a standard front fork.

Let's see if I remember how to attach photos.

Cheers, Geoff

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