ORBO What the klunk?

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.
Sep 18, 2020
Reaction score
While digging through my garage for old truck parts I came across these motorcycle bars. These bars are old. These bars are not nice. These bars are bent. I think they’re perfect for a klunker build.
Frame donor is my old CWC frame (Roadmaster?). I’ll use the frame, seat post and bottom bracket, maybe the seat.

I had built it up in the early Crested Butte style. I really wanted to use a Schwinn cantilever frame for that build so I picked up this one at a swap meet and I’ll get that one back together at some point.

This old Novara will donate it’s wheels and miscellaneous other parts.

Ok, enough jaw-jacking, back to work.
Digging out parts and bringing them inside as it’s currently snowing. This is going to be a (hopefully) quick build using parts on hand.

I forgot that I had this cool Suntour GT on it already so it will stay.
That's looking to be a great bike!

Your frame is one of those made after CWC left Cleveland and went to Arkansas but before they went cantilever style on the frames, probably 57. The serial number could be on the BB or dropout, starting with a "G".
More progress. Added some 90s Shimano cranks, got the wheels on. I tried to use some cool old Dia-Comp 986 canti’s on the forks but I’m missing some small parts. The slingshot stem and moto bars are stylin’. Truss rods are homemade that were thrown in with some other parts I bought a while ago. The weathered copper tubing looks great. Added some well used MTB brake levers and old Shimano EM thumb shifters. Pedals from the parts bike are on now too.
Sorry about the awful pics, the lighting in the basement leaves a lot to be desired. I still need to fit a front derailleur, cable it up and get everything adjusted but it’s actually rideable as is, single speed and no brakes. Took it for a very short spin in the basement and it’s pretty cool. Riding position is decent. Not too heavy. So far so good, hopefully I can get it done before the deadline.
You moved to the 'head of the class' quickly my dirt loving brother! CWC straight bar frame, moto - x bars, stem, those Panaracer 'shoes' ~ wow!

Got some time to work on the Klunk today. First up was the front brake. I used the cable stop on the stem. It’s designed to be a straight shot down to the straddle cable from there. But I put the truss rod bracket right in the way. I used a flexible brake noodle to route the cable around it. It operates smoothly and works great.


Next challenge was the rear caliper brake. This is from a 3 spd bike of some variety. It took some yankee engineering to mount it to the frame. I wound up tapping the small hole in the brace to accept pieces from a cantilever brake. Shaved down a washer and used some more good bits to get it on there. Mounted on top the caliper arms were too short so I mounted it underneath. It works which is fine by me.







I didn't get any close up shots of the completed setup but it shows in the full bike shots. I got the idea to mount it this way from LocoJoe:
Last edited:
I put a Compe-V derailleur on the front. The frame tube is too small so I used a handlebar shim to get it on there snug. I wasn’t sure if it would handle a triple chainring but it does shift all 3. If the rings weren’t so worn out it would shift even better. But I do appreciate a granny gear here in the mountains. I got everything cabled up and it shifts through all 18 gears and the brakes even stop. After a fashion. Best to plan ahead. The last addition was a sticker to cover the Specialized sticker on the forks. I polished the copper truss rods and they actually look pretty good.
After I trued the back wheel up enough to not rub on the frame I hopped on and went for a ride. I have to say, this thing rides really well, I’m impressed. I had really low expectations so I was pleasantly surprised. The bars, B72 and finger grips are very comfortable. The thumbies work great. Brakes are 3 fingers each and a hearty “whoa Nelly!” but they do the job. I didn’t have much time to throw at this bike and wasn’t sure I would get it done on time but we’re down the road with this one. Hopefully I’ll be able to take it out to the trails next week and have a longer ride. I don’t think I’ll be doing anything too technical or taking any jumps but this thing will cross country no sweat. Ok, maybe sweat. 😅

This was a really fun build. :cool2: :113:
Last edited:
Klunkers are the best! Especially for us mtb types, it takes us back in time to the roots of our favorite past time when off-road steeds were simpler.

This has all the makings of a fun and capable trail rider, witb just enough 'risk' mixed in ('whoa nelly brakes') to make it interesting!

DiRt RaT oN~!
Klunkers are the best! Especially for us mtb types, it takes us back in time to the roots of our favorite past time when off-road steeds were simpler.

This has all the makings of a fun and capable trail rider, witb just enough 'risk' mixed in ('whoa nelly brakes') to make it interesting!

DiRt RaT oN~!
Thanks OJ! It’s been a fun build. I really wanted to go bare metal on this one but with time and weather constraints that’s going to have to wait.

Latest posts