The Schwinn Dixie Dreamcycle

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Well, this is the third build thread I've created for this bike. Hopefully, this time the thread will end with a completed bike.
BFtD_Schwinn_Dixie.jpg


If you haven't seen either the 2020/2021 MBBO thread or the second, separate build thread for this bike, here’s the backstory for this project: this is actually the very bike that got me into this hobby a little over 3 years ago. I won this bike at an auction for $65, and since then, I've been working on this bike on and off for over 3 years. I got this idea in my head early on that I would change this DX frame's appearance by swapping parts whenever I got bored with how it looked or rode. I was loosely inspired by the quick-change rear ends racers use on their cars to change how their cars drive, and by an old act of the same name I once saw on America's Got Talent where these people would quickly change their wardrobe and even their hair, hence the first half of this bike's name. Schwinn Dixie was just a quirky play on Schwinn DX and Winn Dixie, because why not? I gradually accumulated a stash of various forks, fenders, chain guards, wheels, you name it, all for this bike. Though I've never gotten this bike in a finished, functional state, I eventually come back to it and mock up different parts to see what direction I want to take it.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie1.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_MBBO_34.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_2021_Cruiser_Build_2.jpg


Earlier today, I took the bike apart (again) and shot these photos of the frame, and most of the parts I plan to use to put it together.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_start_1.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_start_2.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_start_3.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_start_4.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_start_5.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_start_6.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_start_7.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_start_8.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_start_9.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_start_10.jpg


Originally, this was going to be a bare metal bike with a satin clear coat. However, since I built my last Build Off bike as a bare metal bike, I decided I wanted to do something different. Instead, I want to have this bike sandblasted and powder coated/painted. I want the final look of this bike to say "fun." I don't necessarily want this bike to look too aggressive, and one of the ways to help keep it lighthearted is to do it up in some bright, vivid color or colors. Here's the challenge: I don't want to spend a ton of money on this project, especially after how much I've already spent on all the different parts I got for this bike, and the last two custom bikes I've worked on. I really want to keep as close to a $100 budget (on top of what I've already spent) as reasonably possible. I hope to achieve that by using mostly stuff I already have in my possession. That means using parts that may not look quite as nice as I'd like, as well as parts that require the least amount of tuning and modification needed to get this bike rolling. Most challenging of all, that means certain parts will determine the final paint scheme of the bike. The tires especially limit my options. If the whitewall tires shown above weren't reduced to flaky plastic, picking a color palette would be easy, but for the sake of the budget, I'm going to use the black tires that I had initially bought for a daily rider project.
 
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FULL DISCLOSURE: I actually started mocking up parts for this build a couple weeks before I started this thread. I didn't want to start the thread until I knew Dad and I could fix his sandblaster, as I wanted to be sure I stood a chance at finishing this bike by the Build Off deadline. I also didn't want to enter this year's Build Off until I had at least a good idea of what direction this bike was going to go. This was my initial idea:
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_1.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_2.jpg


I wanted to powder coat this bike a bright metallic orange, with metallic white accents and a chrome springer fork, and give it the nickname "Dreamcycle," in reference to one of my favorite summer treats. However, this design, as much as I love it, would be too expensive to build right now. The springer fork and seat are from another project, and it's the only one I have. I also don't have a good pair of whitewall tires (the tires pictured are dry-rotted, and are really only good for mockup purposes.) Those parts alone would set me back at least $120-$140, and that's not including the modifications to the rear fender! So, as much as wanted to build it this way, I needed to find a way to keep the extra costs down. That meant using mostly just what parts I already had laying around.
BftD_Dreamcycle_RRBBO_mockup_scaled.jpg

BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_3.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_4.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_5.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_6.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_7.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_8.jpg


This was about where I figured out the general attitude of this bike. Pretend that the rear fender is bobbed where the black line is, and this is almost how I'm thinking the final bike will look. One slight problem though: That fork is for a 24" middleweight bike. There's just enough room for a 26 inch balloon tire to fit, but there isn't any room for a front fender. I kind of want a front fender this time, so I need a different fork.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_9.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_10.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_11.jpg


That's better... sort of. I like the balanced distance between the two tires and the frame, but the fenders are too long, and the fork, nice as it is, has a bad steerer tube, which is why I didn't mockup all the parts. The good news is my local welder can fix both of those problems. The bad news is I don't know how much that will cost off the top of my head, but I'm betting $40 to $60 is a safe bet. By the way, these mockups were from earlier this afternoon, after disassembling the bike for the "start" photos.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_12.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_13.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_14.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_15.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_early_mockups_16.jpg


So, what's next? Well, I need to revisit my digital mockup of Schwinn Dixie so I can figure out the final color scheme for the bike. I also need to decide which parts I'm going to use, how much everything's going to cost, and whether or not I'm going to modify anything. I wouldn't be surprised if this project goes over $100, but I really want to keep the cost as low as possible this time while making use of what I've got. Still, I might be able to justify modifying existing parts, if the final look feels worth it to me (and if I can sell a few more bits and pieces I don't need.)
 

OddJob

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Glad to see you are back in the mix! You have a ton of ideas for this build, like 3-4 RRB Build Offs worth! :wink1:

I like your big fenders on here. One thought is to use an extension on the tab where the rear fender attaches near the bottom bracket, and kick the fender back so the rear tip is about the same position as your front fender rear tip. That would bring your lowest fender brace in the rear in line / on the same plane with the front fender brace as well.

RaT oN~!
 
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Glad to see you are back in the mix! You have a ton of ideas for this build, like 3-4 RRB Build Offs worth! :wink1:

I like your big fenders on here. One thought is to use an extension on the tab where the rear fender attaches near the bottom bracket, and kick the fender back so the rear tip is about the same position as your front fender rear tip. That would bring your lowest fender brace in the rear in line / on the same plane with the front fender brace as well.

RaT oN~!
Thanks! You should see my parts stash; I got enough parts to rebuild this bike indefinitely!

The big fenders are okay, but I really want to bob them and make them the same length. However, I never thought about making the rear fender look longer, only shorter. I might try and see how that looks later today. I still prefer the idea of bobbing the fenders, but your idea is definitely worth exploring! The big deciding factor, though, will still be cost. I can't modify the fenders myself, so I have to pay someone else to do it for me.
 
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Glad to see you are back in the mix! You have a ton of ideas for this build, like 3-4 RRB Build Offs worth! :wink1:

I like your big fenders on here. One thought is to use an extension on the tab where the rear fender attaches near the bottom bracket, and kick the fender back so the rear tip is about the same position as your front fender rear tip. That would bring your lowest fender brace in the rear in line / on the same plane with the front fender brace as well.

RaT oN~!
Just tested your idea. Unfortunately, it won't work on my bike. The fender braces are too short, and the fender gets squeezed against the frame so bad that it starts to bow out in the middle. It was a cool idea, but it just won't work for this bike.
 
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Okay, I spent a LOT of time obsessing over the color scheme for this bike, no thanks to the limitations of using the blackwall tires I have, instead of the whitewalls I want. I finally based my new paint scheme on this little Hot Wheels VW I got a while back. It's got a sort of candy blue color, with white, gold and orange racing stripes, and a little race number on the roof.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_paint_inspiration_1.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_paint_inspiration_2.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_paint_inspiration_3.jpg


I chose to color over one of the photos I shot yesterday, instead of using my usual Photoshop mockup, as it was easier to figure out the fork and front fender that way. The results are far from perfect, but here's the general idea I came up with based on that little VW. The number, 165, is a nod to the fact that this is my first vintage bike, and 65 is the price I paid for it at auction 3 years ago.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_paint_idea.png


I like the design I came up with today, but I still like my earlier "Dreamcycle" design even more. I already have a blue bike I'm working on, and I already did a race-inspired build during last year's RRBO. I don't have an orange bike so far, and to have one colored after one of my favorite frozen treats would be even sweeter. Plus, it would be (hopefully) a little cheaper and easier to put that one together. This design, as nice as it is, says "fast" and "tough" to me. I'm not looking for "fast" or "tough" this time around. I want "fun" and "leisurely."

So, here's the plan: I just found the receipt for those 2 blackwall tires earlier today. I'll call the bike shop I bought them from, and see if I can return them and get a pair of whitewalls instead. If that doesn't pan out, I'll put these tires up for sale/trade so I can get a pair of whitewalls without being out any cash. In the meantime, I'll see if I can disassemble my parts donor Schwinn so I can possibly use the fenders and anything else off of that. I can get the fenders bobbed, replace the steerer tube for the fork, and get everything else necessary to put this bike together, minus paint & primer. Best case scenario, I get my whitewall tires and build this bike the way I want. Worst case scenario... well, the above design will still look nice.

Let me know what you guys think! I'm always open to critique and suggestions!
 

OddJob

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If the dreamcycle design is still in play, I say go for it! And if that's the case, I say use those orange rims with the cream colored tires on them. Very vintage and the tires would represent the vanilla ice cream.....now I"m drooling.....
Reminds me of a video I shot one night while I was out on my back deck of the BACK40 a couple years back...

The orange push-up, my all time favorite ice cream treat!
 
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The little bug looks cool, should be a good look for a bike too. I'm a fan of blorange. Maybe you should use more of the accent color, some stripes or parts on the frame to tie it in
Thanks! I would love to put some stripes on the fenders, maybe even some scallops at the front of the frame, but here's why I won't do that for now: Most if not all the metal parts will be powder coated for the sake of ease and cost, and while Dad is great at powder coating, he doesn't do a lot of masking/two-toning with powder. Plus, I don't know for sure if it's a good idea to paint over powder. Dad has offered to powder coat my bike at no charge, which will save me a lot more money than buying spray paint and coloring the bike myself. Don't get me wrong, I want to learn how to spray paint bikes better, but the price of each can adds up pretty quick. I'm trying to stick to a tight budget, and even then, the amount of paint needed to complete this blue/white/orange version of the bike feels like too much.

It's very easy for me to fall into a bad case of "scope creep," where I get carried away with making my bike as wild and crazy as I can imagine it. I only have less than two months to get this bike done, and I only have so much expendable cash left to finish all of my bikes, so the plan is to build this bike as quickly and cheaply as I can, while still making it look good. Plus, I got burnt out pretty bad on the last 2 bikes due to scope creep. I'm trying to avoid that this time.
 
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If the dreamcycle design is still in play, I say go for it! And if that's the case, I say use those orange rims with the cream colored tires on them. Very vintage and the tires would represent the vanilla ice cream.....now I"m drooling.....
Reminds me of a video I shot one night while I was out on my back deck of the BACK40 a couple years back...

The orange push-up, my all time favorite ice cream treat!
I'm going to try to make the Dreamcycle a reality, but I feel those cream colored tires would look better with a different paint scheme.

Also, that's a sweet bike you've got right there! What's the story on it?
 
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that's a sweet bike you've got right there
You should see the finished product!
 
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You should see the finished product!
Definitely going to check out that thread later! I actually need to check out everyone else's progress on their bikes so far.
 
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I'll keep this post short and...
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_whitewalls_1.jpg


...because I'm now off to a...
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_whitewalls_2.jpg


Okay, puns aside, I was able to exchange those blackwall tires for a pair of whitewall tires. Now that that's out of the way, I'm going with my original "Dreamcycle" color scheme: orange and white. This will make finishing this bike much simpler and easier than if I went with the candy blue scheme I tinkered with yesterday.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_whitewalls_3.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_whitewalls_4.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_whitewalls_5.jpg


I'm not sure which exact fork and front fender I'm using just yet, but I grabbed the white fork shown above, and the 2 forks below out of storage just in case I need to splice a steerer tube onto that red fork I mocked up earlier. Odds are the bent red fork pictured below will be the donor, as the rest of it's pretty mangled.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_RRBBO_donor_forks.jpg


That's all for now. Stay tuned for more!
 

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