Old Red DFBO

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Here's my DFBO entry, Old Red. It's Red and most of the parts are Old (by mountain bike standards). It's going to be an urban single-speed kind of thing, hopefully not too mountain-bike-ee. I've been wanting to try out a single-speed, and the build-off is just the right excuse.

DAY 1
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This is what I have to work with. It's my very old mountain bike frame from 1992. It's steel, of lugged construction, vertical dropouts. It has been hanging around, serving only as a parts donor, altough not many were left. In its last incarnation, it was a 7-speed training bike. If I want a single-speed, I can't use the old Biopace crankset because of the oval rings(Shimano Exage 300, 1993). The ring is worn and there are no round substitutes, I need another crank. The modern ones use a shorter axle. I need a new axle. This is the one I got at the LBS, it doesn't use the frame threads to tighten: I need this feature because I have standard threads on both sides. The right side should have reverse threads but it doesn't!

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The right side cup didn't want to move, and I couldn't grip it well on the vice. So, I welded a piece of steel to the cup and hammered the piece of metal. Worked well, managed not to burn the paint.

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After a nice polish, here she is. The paint job was done in the early 90's. A friends friend worked at a auto paint shop and hooked me up. It's a tough Ferrari Red paint job, in good shape. I'm going to keep it and outline the lugs in white. I got the idea at http://www.oswaldcycleworks.com/gallery.php . It will match the white cups on the headset (original Shimano headset from 1991). The crankset is going to be an old Specialized one, from about 1996.

Hugo
 
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I can't use the old Biopace crankset because of the oval rings(Shimano Exage 300, 1993). The ring is worn and there are no round substitutes, I need another crank.

For your information, the biopace is only the chainring, the spacing of the biopace ring was 110m so yes you can get round rings for that cranset, they are still available, I bought one last week..any good bike shop can get one for you!...
I still have my old biopace cranset on a mountain bike and i have 1 round ring in the middle ring...

over the years 3 chainring sizes were developped for mtb, 5 bolts 110mm , 5 bolts 94mm(also called compact drive) and now 4 bolts 104mm
 
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DAY 2

I strated out doing the striping on the lugs, using an ink pen. It's the kind of pen that you use when you're writing on paper and you make a mistake, you can just paint over and write again. It didn't turn out spectacularly well, I rate it a 5: looks good from 5 feet away :) .

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So I put on the 32 tooth ring on the crank (the normal one for homebuilt single-speed conversions) and it looked too small, I wasn't feeling it. I looked at my yellow cruiser and it had a 20 tooth sprocket. If I used that, I could use a 42 tooth ring up front. Since I had been looking for an excuse to move the coaster brake wheel from my chopper to the yellow cruiser, I stole the rear wheel from the yellow cruiser and slapeed it on Old Red. It's a cheap hub and rim, but they work. I had to move the hub all the way to the right on the axle to get a nice straight chain line, and re-dish the rim to make it centered. I really like these flat cranks, I polished them up a bit.

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I started working on some sort of chain tensioner. I bought a 10 cent small plastic pulley and strapped it on the drill. Then I used a screwdriver bit to "lathe" the groove. I got a nice rectangular section that is deep and wide enough for the chain.

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I threw on a lot of old parts and this is what I had at the end of the day. I had to buy the setapost and a pair of pedals. The lug lines need to be cleaned up, there's no front brake, the bottom bracket only stays tight for 5 yards, and I need to finish my gueto chain tensioner. Mudguards or no mudguards?

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Hugo
P.S.: Tartosuc, I meant there are no round rings in stock on all the bike shops in my town.
 
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Thanks guys.

It's finished, I just have to test ride it and get some nice pictures. Here are the details of my chain tensioner:

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I cut a little piece of aluminum tubing, just a bit wider than the pulley. Also, I've drilled the center of the pulley to be just slightly larger than the OD of the tube.

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I found a piece of metal with a center channel. I fixed the tube to the metal bracket with a screw, giving me an axle for the pulley. I can adjust the height.

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I couldn't find a nice bracket to fix the chain tensioner to the stay (like the ones that come with the rear reflectors on mountain bikes) so I just zip-tied the whole thing using a piece of hard plastic as a splint of sorts. It's pretty gueto, but I think it'll work. Besides, I can adjust it easily. I just reach down and tweak the position by hand. Zip-tie power!

Parts list:

Frame and fork: old national mountain bike, 1992. Paint job from mid 90's.
Bottom bracket: YST 110mm threadless, bought new for this project.
Crank: Specialized, original equipment in some 1995/6 (?) Specialized mountain bikes, traded another crankset for it in 1996/7. Original 42 tooth ring.
Chain: used basic Sram, was laying around, don't know where it came from.
Headset: 1991 Shimano, came on my very first mountain bike.
Rear wheel: stolen from my yellow cruiser.
Front wheel: my lucky wheel, laced it a long time ago because all the kids around got the craze for twisted spoke wheels and I had to try one too. 1994 Shimano STX hub with old Mavic 230 rim. Easy to lace, weird to true.
Tires and tubes: 26x1.75 slicks, stolen from yellow cruiser.
Stem: cheap steel one, bought used for 3 euros.
Handlebar: cheap mountain bike aluminum riser, free from junk box at LBS.
Levers: really old cantilever levers, free from junk box at LBS.
Grips: John Tomac ODI grips. Probably my first ever serious upgrade. Back then John Tomac ruled mountain bike racing, and I bought his grips. They still work after 15+ years.
Brakes: long arm Shimano LX cantilevers. Back in the day, I was running STX cantilevers. One day a friend showed me these long arm LX cantilevers he just got and I forced him to trade them to me. The long arms would give me superior braking power and make me irresistible to the girls. Didn't quite work out as I planned...
Brake pads: used Kool-Stop, they're red!!!
Seat post and pedals: economic mountain bike parts, bought new for this project.
Saddle: Selle Italia Flite with titanium rails and kevlar edges. A friend gave it to me in 1998 because he didn't need it anymore. It's quite unconfortable, but since it's red and makes the bike look fast, it's on there!
Mudguards: Zefal plastic, I've had them for as long as I can remember.
Cables, outer cables, and cable ends: fully recicled. I use only the best quality 10-year old M-System outer cables on the market.
Chain tensioner: Gueto-tek 3000.

Hugo
 
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...., your lucky hugo! here in germany we have about 15-18°C and rain since weeks :cry: . not so nice to cruise :(
how´s the wether in the netherlands, skywalker?
 
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oh and: nice bike hugo! i like the spokes in the frontwheel and the white stripes at the frame. but i would mount other mudguards...or no mudguards...
 
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Vote for me and I'll send some sunshine your way! :wink:

Well, I just went out on the test ride and got some pics. Everything works well, and she's smooth and fast. No parts fell off. She's a little unconfortable, but since I've been mostly riding the yellow cruiser, I'm bound to feel the difference. The chain tensioner is very quiet and didn't give me any problems.

Oh yeah, got rid of the mudguards. Good call, nickname. Also added little-plastic-bear and smiling-smurf-head homemade valve caps. I love my smurf head!

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Hugo
 
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Hugo, great job in breathing new life into this bike.

One suggestion - The zip ties holding the chain tensioner could break. Try using some stainless steal hose clamps.
 
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Thanks a lot guys.

cman, I won't worry about that for now because I'm lazy and the bike is rideable even without the chain tensioner. If it does break, I'll go "hhmmmm cman was right" and install a couple of shiny ss hose clamps. :wink:

Hugo
 
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Looks a lot better witout the fender/mud guards. Hine, clean look.

Like the striping around the lugs, too. :mrgreen:

Nice job!
Rat Royale
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Thanks Rat Royale. The whole thing built itself in a couple of days, I feel like a cheat because I didn't have to work hard on it. :)

Hugo
 

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