Ratty Patty

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Jan 21, 2009
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Zambales, Philippines
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I'm in! This just what I was looking for to use my 26 x 3 inch tires. I laid some stuff out a week or two ago to see if it looked feasible. With big whitewalls and a bare metal patina frame (at least the front part) I think this will make a great stretch ratty fat bike.
Ratty Patty.
My pile of frames and tires:

Layed out on the floor is the plan. These two frames are old but have never been used. They are a couple from the dump where a shop threw out all the unsold frames when they folded. The main frame is an unpainted cantilever frame with lugs. It measures 20" at the seat tube, it's a good size. The red frame is a 24" cruiser frame from back in the 80's also. It will be cut up to provide the rear portion of the frame. As it is laid out, the rear tire will have clearance and I may be able to keep the cantilevers from the donor frame intact. Like a double cantilver frame.


I'll see when I lay out the parts if the 2 bars reach to the seat tube or maybe even the down tube of the main frame. The seat may wind up right on top of the rear wheel. I want the rear just low enough so the pedals don't scrape. I'll sand the red paint off and try to match the natural patina of the main frame.

With the whitewalls it'll have the rat look I'm after.

I need handlebars of some custom kind and wheels. I've got some stuff ordered through the local bike shop but they can't guarantee if anything will ever show up. But this build off is going until April, I'll just buy some old stuff as it comes along if I have to. There's a shop I've heard of that will custom make some bars.
The springer is all set to go. I made it wider and longer for the annual build off but parts never came to be, so it'll get used here. It's the common chinese springer with a couple plates added to make it longer and spacers added for more width. This is it on my other bike, Chrome Molly. That's also the seat I plan to use on this bike. The weight was too much for my daily rider so it's going on this big rat.

I've got an old cottered crankset to go on that looks just right for this build. Ratty.
My first step is cutting up the red frame. I'll use a hacksaw and see if I can separate the cantilevers without harming the tubing.
My new custom workbench showed up today and it occupies one end of our dirty kitchen. I have more to add, like a pegboard and shelf above, but this is what I've been waiting for. Seven frames, wheels and tires fit under there fairly easily. Now I can start cutting up the red frame that will be the back half of Ratty Patty.

new bench.JPG
While I'm waiting and hunting for wide rims, I'm going to try an idea I had awhile back. Use 2 rims together to get more width. I have 2 rims from a crappy new mtn bike.


The rims are rigid and are true. Together they are 44mm wide. The spoke holes aren't offset so I just will line them up with the valve holes opposite each other and lace it back up. One rim will get all the right spokes and the other all the left. This is where the idea might fail. The rims will want to separate from each other. The spokes won't hold both at the same time like a solid rim, and the inflated tire will want to pull them apart also. I plan on using two 26 x 1.75 inner tubes with the 26 x 3" tire.

Two valve stems opposite each other. I think if one goes flat the other will have enough air to ride on.
So, how to affix the rims together? I may use epoxy if I can find some that I can be sure is strong enough to hold them together. I'm open to suggestions. Maybe rivet the inner rim edges together?
If it doesn't work, no harm done. I'm still on the hunt for 50-80mm rims.
I used my new bench today and got some work done.
The red frame easily came apart with a hacksaw.
patty frame.JPG

Some spots were hard to get to, but the welds were minimal. It looks like thay tacked it and forgot to finish it up. This is where the cantilevers attached to the seatpost.


So I laid out the frame again to get an idea of the layout. It's seven feet long. I'm hoping to have the rear part just bolt up and not have to have anything welded or wreck the main frame.

11 oct patty lo.JPG

After I finished, my shop reverted back to a dirty kitchen after a quick cleanup.

11 oct patty cu.JPG
I managed to epoxy the rims and mounted the 2 tubes and tire. These wouldn't need truing if they worked out, theyve got no flex.
Then I noticed the rimstrips laying there! So after redoing it, I started to air up the tubes 10 psi at a time. It was looking promising.
dual wheel1.JPG

I had just gotten the second tube up to 15psi when the rims separated. "Boom!"

Back to the drawing board. I'm going to continue to look for rims, but if all else fails, I have another plan to use multiple rims on one wheel. These 2 gave me 44 mm of width; if I added one more, that's 66mm, pretty close to three inches. Just one inner tube down the middle and drilling holes to attach the rims together. They will be attached with brackets, nuts and bolts. Ratty looking if I do that but it will fit right in.
I laced my new 2 speed hub to a rim. It's a 32 hole hub and a 36 hole rim. I taped off 4 holes at equal distances and laced it up as usual, 3 cross. I'll have the bike shop true it up and tighten it up at the bike shop. It looks good and is straight as it is but I'll have it trued just for good measure.

Then it will get 2 rims attached. What is lacking from 4 spokes should be made up by how strong 3 rims bolted together will be. With the tire on will probably weigh 10 lbs or more but that's ok, the rim will be 3 inches wide.
If that works out, I'll do a front wheel the same way, only hub and rim will both be 36 hole. I'm hoping to find a coaster hub to use for front brakes.
If that wheel configuration works, I'll be able to fit two 26 x 2.0 tires instead of one 3" tire. The middle rim will provide 1" of space between the tire beads. But for this build, it'll be the big whitewalls.
I decided against the 32 hub on the 36 hole rim. it looks strong enough, but everything I've read says "Don't do it!". So, I have my SRAM Automatix 2 speed freewheel hub. I'll have to rig up handbrakes to the rear but that's ok. I'll make a mount for the rear frame for a hand brake. I'd like to find bolt on bosses for v brakes, I need the extra stopping power.
I tried to lace it up on 2 rims together. I taped off alternate holes and laced it 3 cross with spokes side by side. The spoke wrench wouldn't fit because the spokes were side by side and another downside was that I would have to do a lot of drilling to attach the rims.
rattypatty 25.JPG

My other idea uses 3 rims and uses the existing spoke holes to bolt them together with a lot of brackets. This wheel looked cool with the star pattern to the spokes, but I'm going with what I feel will be more reliable, lacing the hub to one rim 3 cross and attach two outer rims together to make a wheel almost 3 inches wide. I laced it up today. These spokes came from a 24" wheel that had the same ERD, the spot where the spokes sit. This is a recessed 26" rim. I used a website that has a spoke size calculator that has a list of hubs and rims to plug in:
Rattrypatty 27.JPG

The covid travel restrictions have eased up, so I don't need to wait in line all day to get a pass to go to the city. I'm going to the bike shop for the other rims, truing and a crankset. I'll take the rear frame sections to the welding fabrication shop to have them cleaned up and 3/8ths holes drilled for the extensions.
Then I'll make the brackets, 18 of them, for the wheel and see how it turns out before doing a front wheel. Aluminum bar 1/8th inch thick cut into 2 1/2 inch sections will be used to hold the rims together. I'll need 4 feet of bar. I plan to use 1/4 inch bolts with locknuts. The outer rims spoke holes will be centered between the spokes of the center rim. will Every other set of spoke holes will get a bracket. What could go wrong? LOL!
Ok, I can't lace wheels... But shouldn't the spokes on the right hub side bolt to the left rim and same on the other side? So they actually pull the rim towards the hub side where the spokes are? That way the spokes will hold and pull the rims together because once there is spoke tension the rims have nowhere else to go.
Also I don't quite get why or is it because of the cost? Because for 44 mm I don't think it is worth when you can trade or buy used 26 Felt (or moped) rims, which are even going t have a bit wider.
Ok, I can't lace wheels... But shouldn't the spokes on the right hub side bolt to the left rim and same on the other side? So they actually pull the rim towards the hub side where the spokes are? That way the spokes will hold and pull the rims together because once there is spoke tension the rims have nowhere else to go.
Also I don't quite get why or is it because of the cost? Because for 44 mm I don't think it is worth when you can trade or buy used 26 Felt (or moped) rims, which are even going t have a bit wider.
I just learned how to lace up a wheel in the last few months. It's easier than I thought it would be. I should have done this years ago. I lace them up and let the shop do the final truing and tightening. Here's a website that shows it fairly well:

The tire air pressure is too great for the spokes to hold two rims together. That's why I'm going to bolt them together in 18 spots.

I bought a few sets of the 3G 57mm wheel sets a few years ago, and they were great. They looked great and were a blast to ride being lightweight on my 47 and 53 CWC and 53 Schwinn, and on an Emory.




But here in the Philippines, I can't find anything but the 1 inch wide rims. I thought they would have plenty, as many people here ride bikes. In Manila they have specialty shops, but you gamble with the dealers and the shippers. 80mm rims would be my pick for the 3" tires. Using 3 of these narrow alloy rims still keeps the weight fairly good and will be much stronger than a normal wheel with 6 sides. The shops here all say they will see if they can find wide rims for me. In the meantime I'm experimenting.
I'm waiting on Saturday to go get some parts and get some work done. I laid out the frame again, this time with wheels on to get a better idea of where everything will sit. The cantilevers will reach the downtube, low near where the cranks are, so clearance there might take some doing. That still gives pedal clearance too, about 3 inches off the ground. The whole bike will be about 88 inches long. The rear part will have more stability with a brake bridge too. I still plan to have it all bolt on, without welding or changing the original frame.
RP mockup - Copy.JPG

I still haven't decided how and where to put the seat, but looking at this layout gives me an idea. A third set of cantilevers, originating where the the red ones are near the crank, then arcing up and over the rear tire like a rear rack. The two ends could have red reflectors or leds. The seat can be mounted to it, the rear springs may line right up.
They have more motorcycle shops than bicycle shops here, scooters and small motorcycles are very common here. I can get a brand new Honda 125cc classic looking cruiser for under $1200!

I almost did that back in 2014, but the traffic is just too crazy.
I'll check them out to see what rims they have, but I'm pretty sure the spokes are larger than the hubs for bicycles. I might be able to use a whole wheel for the front (and have drum brakes) but want to use the big 26 x 3 whitewall.The wheel size would be 22" diameter.
The shop was able to find some 30mm rims, so I bought four of them along with a lot of other parts. No crankset though, they "just sold the last one". I went by the DIY store and picked up their version of a dremel kit and some other odds and ends.

The bike shop also trued up my two rims so they are ready to go. My plan is the same, attach 2 rims to the outside of an existing rim to make a wide rim. These rims will now be 83mm wide and the 3" tires should look good on them. I can use the big 3" inner tube or two regular 26" tubes. Even 3 regular tubes is possible, maybe overkill.

The aluminum flatbar for the braces didn't happen, all I found was steel flatbar but that will work. I've got plenty to keep me busy for awhile.
The black rims were a little higher in the middle which made the braces a problem, so I'm going with just 2 of the new rims together, at 60mm. Unless the big inner tube works with the valve stem to one side, I'll be using 2 standard 26" inner tubes. I would have the wheel ready today but had to get steel for bracing, and that takes a lot more time to drill the holes. I've got the first one started. 14 more braces to go, then I'll lace it up to the front hub.
Some progress. I laced the hub using the spokes from an old 24" wheel it was laced to. I'm going 3 cross, it was 4 cross, that's why the spokes were the right length. They might be a tiny bit long, but after the shop trues it up, I can use my new dremel thing to cut them down. I was thinking of using 18 braces to hold the rims, but 9 looked like enough, so I tested it and no flex with the tire(s) aired up.
1 tube ww.JPG

Using one big inner tube worked, but the valve stem leaned outward a little. When I tried two tubes, it didn't work. The two tubes kept fighting each other and the tire was always bubbled to the left or right. Maybe I could leave one flat and let the other one do the work, but it would be stretched too thin, but a spare is at the ready if it went flat. I'll stick with the big tube.
2 tube ww.JPG

Then I tried two tires even though the rims are attached to each other with no gap between. These 2 tires say they are 26 x 2.125 but look barely 2.0. It's 3 3/4" inches wide. With no air in either tube, it might be possible to ride if you had to, or in mud might work well. I interlaced the tread nubs when I put these tires on to give the best fit along the middle. I think two Thick Slicks would be perfect.
2 tire.JPG

I aired them up 10 psi each side at a time to 40 psi each and they did well. It even stands by itself. Then I let all the air out of one side to see if it would still ride like that, and it looks like it will. The left tire is flat in this pic.
1 tire flat.JPG

Now I'm debating, 3" whitewalls or 3 3/4" knobbies for Ratty Patty?