Ulu’s Bike Update

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The front wheel is trued and mounted, but it still could use some polish.

16” frame with 20” fork and 12.5” front wheel.


That big horse shoe has gotta go!
White and chrome. Just need some cleanup. Those pedals were supposed to go on the leftover bits, but they’re only 1/2” (I bought some new white pedals for the Bits.)

Cleaning up paint and stripping stickers.

I painted the rear hoop but it looks too orange. I did it in the garage in a box with a heat gun. The finish is definitely utility grade.

That suspension fork is going to get major modifications, if I have a chance. I’d say there’s every chance. LoL
It’s too cold in the garage or the shed. I brought this inside to warm up and then I will hit those stickers with a heat gun and see if they will peel off.

I am afraid these have been baked in the desert sun a little bit and are difficult to remove. So far I managed to get off the Walmart barcode sticker, the made in China sticker and the Pacific Cyclery sticker.

Those 3 LOLs are next! The paint on this bike is actually still really nice, once I gave it some Maguiar’s polish. There’s just a few tiny nicks and scratches & a little rust at the drop outs.
It was clear that at one point this little bike sat in the sun for a long time, with one side pointed to the sun. The stickers on one side of the bike were easier to remove, while the stickers on the other side were fried & came off with great difficulty.

But every sticker is gone now and the bike looks ok, with only a few little scratches and nicks, and a bit of rust on the drop outs.

At this point I have it 90% rubbed out but it is not polished yet.

I need to spread the rear drops a little bit. (2 mm max) But otherwise the coaster brake is finished and ready to go, once I lace it and instal the sprocket.
The rear hoop got a quickie spray job. Here it is curing in my office after several hours baking in a hotbox.


It could stand to be scuffed and sprayed again but I don’t want to wait an extra week for it to cure. This kind of enamel stays soft a long time. It says 48 hours, but in this kind of weather it takes a week.

Here it is, coaster brake all assembled and wheel re-laced, but not trued yet.


I’ll let it cure for at least a week yet before I put a tire on there. The paint was just cured enough to do the lacing.
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Well there it is all mounted and true and ready to go.


I had to heat it up with a heat gun to get that tire on.

For some reason, the 14” assembly is actually wider than the 16” assembly which came out of this frame. Therefore, I am spreading the dropouts, and correcting them to be parallel again.

Threaded rods and ratcheting wrenches.

The stays are spread, the wheel’s mounted, a crank is mounted, and I’m fitting the chain.
View attachment 223668

Time for dinner.
I think that looks genuinely rad!
The fork is quite long and it seems you like choppers (or the stance) quite a lot Ulu ;)
I think that looks genuinely rad!
The fork is quite long and it seems you like choppers (or the stance) quite a lot Ulu ;)

I do. There is no doubt.
Thank you, Bart.

I still haven’t figured out the forks yet. They can’t be too radical. Lyanna is only 7 years old. She could barely ride with training wheels in November.

By April she will be an experienced peddler.
Beware of the Pink Puppy…

The stance is ok so far, but will depend on some tubular fork slugs. I didn’t cut them yet, but 3/4” EMT and some flatwashers will do fine to replace the springs.

But first, It’s time for the horseshoe to go. That thing was thin and the old Dremel rendered it off in short order.


The speed control & switch on this old Dremel was toast after 20+ years of grit. The brushes, commutator, bearings and collet were fine, and I just had to bridge it all with solder. Now it runs, at top speed only, reliably, from a foot switch.
Here I am filing off all of the weld scars, after I ground it down as much as I dared.

I stacked three little cutting wheels on the Dremel to make a small grinding wheel & this worked out quite well.

I’ve got about an hour and a half of hand filing so far and I’m not done yet. There’s at least another hour.

It’s gonna look pretty nice, but unfortunately there were some welding undercuts that I could not completely remove.

I think I’m going to do a brush finish on the lower legs and upper legs will be polished as much as I can stand to polish them.

I have to tell myself all the time that the kids are just gonna scratch this bike up, and it’s not gonna get a lot of use before it’s too small for everybody.
Midnite choppers R Us . . .


I did two full days of work on that little fork. I think it looks nice enough now although it’s not clear coated. I just hit it with some anti-corrosion oil.

There’s some faint die marks, minor nicks, and tiny weld undercuts that I did not buff out. Most of it came out pretty good after sanding with 220, some wire brush burnishing, and buffing with a synthetic wool wheel. White car polish compound.

And lots of filing by hand.

Of course it must come apart again. As I was just polishing it, I laid it on my desk, and discovered that the weldment is not straight.

Phooie! Why didn’t I check that before I polished it? I knew that cheap fake Huffy Fork wouldn’t be exactly straight, But it’s tweaked over 3/16” (5mm.)

My indoor vice was not big enough to attempt the straightening, so I have to wait till tomorrow and use the big outdoor vice.
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Today I made a run into Fresno for bike parts, and picked up some lamps, handlebars, seat, grips, pink dice, a sissybar, & I scored some free tassels.


These were the handlebars from the Sting-gray. The ones I bought today were too large to go on the baby bike, and the ones on the Sting-gray really were too small for it.


That’s just a loose mockup so far.
I finally straightened the fork on the baby bike with the big vise and a pipe. I also adjusted the lower legs to be equal in length.

I polished up the front rim some more.

I filed the logos and casting flash from the kickstand and buffed it out a bit.

I made a reflector mount from a plastic bucket lid. Stick-on truck reflector & stainless hardware.


I used the center of the lid to get the little dome in the middle for rigidity.
It only needed a nut, flat washer and lock washer inside the steerer tube to secure everything. I drilled an extra hole in the bracket to get it centered.

The fake bulb inside my fake lamp is just a chrome acorn nut.

There’s virtually no polish on the reflector of this lamp, and I might pop the lens out and polish it some more.

Unfortunately the rear innertube turned out to be garbage, and I will have to take it apart again. Otherwise the only thing I had left to do was put the streamers on it and add some stickers to cover up the divots in the paint.

It does not have a head badge, but I was gonna try and find some kind of a pink puppy sticker.

I was going to actually do some hand lettering and paint a puppy, but I decided it would be a bad idea, as I didn’t know anything about the paint I was working over. It appears to be thin, and not worth my trouble.