50, Skinny, and Single

Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum

Help Support Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Staff member
Pro Member
Mar 26, 2012
Reaction score
Maplewood, MN
ss snowbound 3.jpg

This build was in honor of my 50th anniversary of getting my first geared Schwinn Varsity in 1971. Some kids got a car for their 16th birthday along with their new driver's status. My dad hauled me to the local Schwinn shop, R & F Bike Shop, and I rode my new Varsity the 3.5 miles out to our farm house. That bike took me all the way through college and beyond, over gravel road and down paved highway.

The Schwinn Racer that my skinny build was 'built around' is from a former Schwinn shop I frequented over 30 years ago, and was previously owned by my neighbor and founding father of the Park Tool company, Art Engstrom. So, when I found it in a dumpster bag outside another neighbor's house on moving day, I grabbed it. Over the past two years, the original fork went to @Dr. Tankenstein and the saddle went to @Jude Ephesus for builds they were working on.

Converted to a single speed, and sealed bearing 700c wheels with 38mm tires, this compliant steel steed rides as smooth as can be! The vintage Brooks saddle, early '90s Brahma Bar, custom BACK40 made wooden fenders and chain guard, 3-piece bottom bracket and lightweight track crankset combine to make this my favorite 'go to' ride for commutes and daily cruises.

The Skinny category was super fun! Our Triple Threat build off provided many avenues for new ideas and new concepts on what rat rod bikes are all about. RaT oN~!

Here's a link to my build thread:
And some process photos from along the journey.





310316244_589921732925051_4515786370055552807_n (1).jpg



ss snowbound 1.jpg
This bike reminds me of moving from Arizona to Minnesota when I was 13. I went from a world of clunkers to a world of light 10 speeds. I had never seen so many foreign bikes, but the lightweight Schwinn’s were very popular.
Clean build. Dig the fenders and guard too.

Latest posts