The Newport

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Pondo

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I bought this frame and fork to build up for my partner a few years ago and have been picking away at it little by little. It's a '30s or '40s Newport, as best I can tell. It's a Japanese bike but there's very little info about them on the internet, just a few pics. I thought I'd start a thread to document the process. It's a really unique frame design. Here it is as it was when I got it.
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I gave it an Oxalic acid bath which cleaned it up a bit. It's got some neat pins and decals so I don't want to scrub it too much. Here's a look at the decals.
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Looking at the decals now I think the OA bath was probably a mistake.
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It takes a standard JIS (?) headset so the forks bolted right up. I’ve had it mocked up with some vintage handlebars, road bike stem and some truss rods that we like and add to the appearance. I recently found a good deal on a set of Nexus 3 speed wheels so I mounted some Fat Franks and this thing is starting to look really good.
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The fenders came off of this modern Trek cruiser in the back ground. The color is pretty close. I might try to tone it down a little to blend with the original a little better. That's my Colson loop-tail klunker in the foreground. I need to gear it down a bit for the hills.
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There’s a couple of things I need to sort out before I can make it a rider. The seat post is a quill type that I don’t have. I’m going to try to make one out of an old stem.

The bottom bracket area is very weird, I’ve never seen anything like it.
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The cups aren’t radiused inside, they are squared off. But it looks like they ran caged bearings in there that way. I can’t get a one piece crank through them. Maybe it will fit if I remove one cup, insert the crank and then put the cup back in. Or I can try to shim this press fit bottom bracket to fit the cups and use a 3 piece crankset.
 
That Newport looks awesome with the fenders and Fat Franks on there!

Is there any way for you to reach out to anybody else who owns one of these bikes and ask them what they did about the bottom bracket? Otherwise, I bet shimming in your own bottom bracket could work just fine, since this going to be a custom bike anyway.
 
That Newport looks awesome with the fenders and Fat Franks on there!

Is there any way for you to reach out to anybody else who owns one of these bikes and ask them what they did about the bottom bracket? Otherwise, I bet shimming in your own bottom bracket could work just fine, since this going to be a custom bike anyway.
I tried finding info/ other owners on the CABE a while back with no results. It's just a really rare bike I think. If it was all original I would keep it that way. But since I only have the frame and forks I think a resto-mod is the way to go.
 
I tried finding info/ other owners on the CABE a while back with no results. It's just a really rare bike I think. If it was all original I would keep it that way. But since I only have the frame and forks I think a resto-mod is the way to go.
Can't say I've seen many like it myself. I think resto-modding it is the best way to go about it. Besides, even if it's not "original," you're still preserving a vintage bike frame by fixing it up and bringing it back to life with the parts available today. That's all good in my books!
 
I worked on figuring out the bottom bracket situation. I tried messing around with this press in bottom bracket but even if I shimmed it to fit the bearing cups it would still be way too wide.
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So I popped the original bearing cups out and installed some BMX cups. The cups are 51.3mm and the shell is 53mm. I shimmed them and it will work. The bottom bracket shell is a bit narrow but it should be fine. I’ll add a spacer behind the sprocket to get a straighter chain line. Excellent. 1 step closer to being rideable.
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I also dug out this cheapo cruiser stem. It fits the seat tube. The wedge doesn’t fit the stem right but I should be able to grind it to fit. I’m hoping I can just grind the clamp assembly off, smooth out the top of the tube and use it like that. If needed I’ll make a lucky 7 out of it for more forward adjustment.
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