Project "Firebolt" life after BO

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I've started by inserting the long nuts in the laser-cut rear dropouts. I am using steel plates of different thickness to level the nut in. It is slightly offset, so it won't come out too much on the inside of the dropout and won't interfere with the shifting mechanism of the hub or a roller brake.
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Welding in using lay-wire technique.
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Next stage is cutting the circles i have left to keep the drop-out stable and stiff when welding. I have also cleaned the thread with the threading tool, since a few small drops of steel got in.
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Then i have started with the fork. Cleaning up the remains of my previous unsuccessful weld.
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The next thing is a big one. I believe this should be taught in a bike school! No idea why i didn't think or didn't know about it before, but old used spokes are actually great to use as a TIG welding filler rod! Now i have practically unlimited stock of thicker filler rod for free! Great thing, i suggest everyone to use this ;)
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Here is the weld seam from inside. Only laid it on one side this time, since there is significantly more contact surface on the inside. I believe it should be strong enough, i've put a lot of filler.
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Then putting the fender mounting brackets and the roller brake mount and voila!
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This time the spacing and positioning is perfect! I did get some distortion because of welding on one side, but it is really not that serious, so it works fine and the wheel sits perfectly straight :)
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Here is how the mounting looks on the close shot. I still have to put the threads on those holes both on front and rear dropouts.
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So, now the front is done and it's time to weld the chain stays and new dropouts on the rear!
 
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Today i am starting by aligning the rear drop out at its place. It is held by a bolt to the old drop out that is well placed. I am using a few washers to not let the long nut i've integrated earlier interfere with the old drop out. Once i am happy i am tracing the cut on the stays with a marker.
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Since my friend have moved in to the basement i occupy two month ago and now we share the place, i have a few cool toys available to use now, and one of them is a neat welding table. Perfect for alignment of geometry. The photo is out of focus, but here i am placing a new drop out where it should be after grinding off the excessive material on the chain and seat stay.
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By the way, now with this table i am able to see an imperfection on the side tubes i've welded in earlier. But this i believe could be fixed just by slightly bending one of them in place once the rest of the frame is done. The new dropout is spot welded to place.
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And then it is welded all around. Also the chain stay that was spot welded is now welded all around. Looks good.
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Here is a close up on the drop out.
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Now i am aligning the left drop out and left chain stay in place, similar way like i've done with the right one. The difference is that now i have a disc brake tab there that i will try to save.
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Putting a couple of steel drops to the chain stay to fix it in its place temporary.
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I like the lines of it. One sweet lookin frame is coming along!
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What's left for now is to repeat all the operations i've done today but for the left side, and then the frame geometry is done. Only some cosmetic things would be left to call the frame and a fork finished, and finally start building!

Edit: actually when i thought twice, i remembered about the rear side tubes reinforcement also to be done :D
 
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Edit: actually when i thought twice, i remembered about the rear side tubes reinforcement also to be done :D

Oh yes, there is always something forgotten that needs to be done ;)

But is is coming together beautifully, and that is indeed a lovely table.
 

kingfish254

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Glad to see this moving forward! Killer frame!
 
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So, to start, i've cut the old dropout on the left the same way i've done it on the right. As you see, i've managed to preserve the disc brake tab quite well.
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So the next part will be way easier now, thanks to the disc brake tab mounting plate i've made earlier this year. This is a simple tool designed to align the tab to the frame i've designed and cut with a laser few month ago, when someone i know asked me to add disc brake support to his 90's MTB frame.
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Original purpose is to set the plane and a position of the tab referencing a dropout, but works perfectly well the opposite way too :)
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But as you see this time there is quite a bit more space left to fill in.
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Here the dropout is tack welded.
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But unfortunately when i've filled it in it started to look really ugly! :D The penetration is great though :)
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I don't normally clean my welds, but this time i couldn't stand from it!
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After that i've tapped all the threads for the fender mounts both on the frame and a fork and assembled the fork. For the first time the bike is standing on its wheels.
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Lookin' good i'd say! :) Though i've expected the tips of the side tubes to extend a little past the tire. Not sure if i leave it as it is or extend them a bit more.
 
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I am continuing to build it up. First i've cut the thread off the fork converting it to threadless. The excessive length of the steerer tube had to go anyway, and there was not much depth to put a quill stem in because of the shock, so i figured out threadless is the best way to go.
The i've installed the motor and started to mount the battery. I've decided to go with the threaded rivets as i usually do.
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Unfortunately the curve on the bottom tube didn't allow me to put the battery in and out of the holder, so i had to raise the level of it a bit. Luckily i have a bunch of steel plates leftover from some job i've done last winter, and they work really well, since they are the same size as the battery mounting dock :)
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So after some grinding and drilling it have fitted perfectly! I've also put some other parts, such as a GT piston stem, 346 Indian Moon handlebars and a large Persons seat. The stem might be changed for a shorter one later on since i feel the bars are a bit too far away. The bars would need to be extended same way as i've done a few times on my other bikes. The seat clamp would need to be changed since this one slides a bit.
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Generally the basic electric components are mounted and the motor already works. After i put on a chain and shifting and braking cables i can go for a test drive.
 
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Didn't share the updates with you in a little while. There are some news. First is that when i tried to put the chain on, i found out that the battery is now colliding with the chain. After some time spent figuring out what is the best way to deal with the situation, i've decided to weld on a little plate to offset the battery.
Since my friend Simon who rents a part of the workshop from me got the new welding table recently, it was also a great opportunity to test it out!
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Put a plate on a few spots.
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After sanding the surface, extending the holes and making a rubber gasket the battery fitted well. Now it has almost 0 clearance with the left crank arm, so i'd need to change holes into slots next time i re-assemble it :) But the chain is on and the bike is ready for a test ride now, almost. It is missing one little thing, some brakes. I've also switched from the beautiful GT Piston stem to 346 stem, since i believe it fits the bike better.
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I was not able to easily install the brakes, since the brake lever wires were too short for such a long handlebars. I took it apart and it seems they shouldn't be too difficult to modify.
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So as soon as i solder the longer wire to the braking lever i would take it out for a spin!
 
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Now it is looking like a something ready for the road!

One of the things that discourage me from going electric is that the electrics often look a bit clumsy, but maybe I should consider building faux fuel tanks or something?
 
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Now it is looking like a something ready for the road!

One of the things that discourage me from going electric is that the electrics often look a bit clumsy, but maybe I should consider building faux fuel tanks or something?
Yea, that's one way to go. The other is rat it out and let all the wires just hang there :D
I will see how i can clean it up, but first i need to build it and decide on how many wires i'd have in the end. It should be one big wire coming from the display to the engine, one big wire from the battery to the engine, one small wire from the engine to the wheel sensor, two small ones from the display to the brake handles, two small ones for the lights. Then there would also be two cables for the shifter and two for the roller brakes. Quite a bunch of cables in the end. Some of them like the light ones can be guided internally, but for the others i am planning to guide them externally, possibly in some kind of cable wrap.
 
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So, today i have started by soldering a headlight wire instead of an original one on my right brake lever. Some precision work, but after a bit of time i've managed to do that :) Then the shifter and braking cables were installed, i threw some grips on and took the bike for a spin! Finally a test drive! Here is a photo of a bike next to a local supermarket.
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It runs well and soft as expected! Really excited to have it finally riding.
However there are obviously issues to address. The chain master link seems to be too wide and it rubs the dropout a bit. The braking cable is a bit too short. The speedometer doesn't work for some reason, maybe the magnet on a wheel is too far from the sensor. I didn't manage to power the lights, my led one just didn't switch on, and a bulb burnt because of a bit too much voltage. I would need to address those issues before i take it apart and continue working on it. Some of the coming things are welding the coaster tab, extending the cantilever tubes, figuring out some rear lights, making a kickstand mounting plate, building up a wheel set, cleaning up the mess with the wires. Maybe also moving the display from the handlebar to the top tube, but i got to think about this one.
 
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I need to build the wheels up soon, so first the rims have to be painted. Because of that i've made another quick sketch to decide on weather or not i do like the look of a color i am planning to use. What do you guys think? Should i paint the rims same color as the frame, or go for red? Or maybe you have your propositions?
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Awesome looking bike! Will look fantastic with either the red rims or the mono scheme. What about a beige or white color wheel?
 
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Yea, that's one way to go. The other is rat it out and let all the wires just hang there :D
Ah, with lots of blue Scotch Lock connectors, insulation tape badly applied and an odd mix of cable ties... that could work ;)
 

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