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Archived: Customs, Lowriders, HPV, Recumbent, etc.

CUSTOMS:   frame work posted by: isaac ray on 12/20/2002 at 2:08:37 AM
i want to build a chopper out of a bmx frame. is there a way to cut the frame close to the head tube so that i can reweld it so the head tube is at an angle. if so can anyone tell me the steps on how to do this. thanks

   RE:CUSTOMS:   frame work posted by L. LUJAN on 12/22/2002 at 4:39:07 AM
Issac, you know what, talking from experince, these donot make good choppers. The frame is all wrong. If you want me too e-mail you a couple the pictures of the ones I built, I will. Let me know. You need too concider a cantilever frame.

   RE:RE:CUSTOMS: frame work posted by isaac ray on 12/22/2002 at 11:15:10 AM
if you would please, l lujan. i want to build one that looks like a harley chopper. any advice or ideas on making the frame would be greatly appreciated. my email: ikeaguirre14@netscape.net.

   RE:CUSTOMS:   frame work posted by Mike on 12/22/2002 at 12:15:00 PM
The best way to have a radical looking but very ridable
chopper is to stretch the front triangle alot, and build
some very strong extended forks. Surf into www.bikerodnkustom.com
and check out my blue chopper, it's based on a 24 inch
wheel mountain bike which is really just a big BMX bike.
I cut the top tube 2 inches from the seat tube and the
down tube 2 inches from the head tube; and flipped the
head tube, slipping the top tube into the down tube making
a really long down tube and a 45 degree head angle. I rebuilt
the rest of the front triangle by telescoping tubes into
each other. To see home built instructions go to
www.atomiczombie.com Well happy chopping, Mike

   RE:RE:RE:CUSTOMS: frame work posted by L. LUJAN on 12/22/2002 at 8:24:28 PM
Issac, i'm sending you some pix's e-mail. Look Issac, you have a wealth of information in your area; you may not know it. Its all around you, theres a very famous Motorcycle family who has been around for 50 years. They live and breath this style your seeking; talk too one of them they are good indivisuals. Tell them what you are trying to do. You haven't nothing to loose. Ask them where they have this and that done. Also where to buy this and that. Write everything down on paper before you talk too them, this way you are not wasting their time.

   RE:CUSTOMS:   frame work posted by James Donohue on 12/24/2002 at 6:45:14 PM
How are you going to attach the sissy bar?
That's what I want to know. Do you just drill holes in the rear dropouts?

   RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   frame work posted by Rif on 1/1/2003 at 7:15:18 PM
Sure, Why not just drill holes in it?!?!
Or you can do to it what someone did to a frame I found in a ditch up the street- Just weld it to the rear portion of the frame!
Actually I have found a use for that welded sissy bar frame... Too much coffee and time on my hands to think of projects I guess...
Rif :-)

AGE / VALUE:   SOS pads. posted by: L. LUJAN on 12/18/2002 at 4:34:02 PM
I seen your bike and it really cleaned up good. I stand behind SOS pads. They get the job done quick and easy. Some say these pads scratch your chrome; I have never had this problem. So clean away, the soapy pad makes cutting lite surface rust easy to remove.

CUSTOMS:   Changing Cruisers posted by: Larry on 12/15/2002 at 2:56:58 AM
Made my first "custom" bike today with my grandsons. We got a pile of "junkers" out the bike door of a local bike shop, and buried in the pile was a "Solar - Wind" from Solar Cycles. The frame (florescent lime green)was in greart shape and so eas the tires/rims except the rims are rusty (SOS pads tomorrow. We took the goose-neck and 13" 'ape-hangers' off one of the other bikes, cleaned them with SOS pads,,,look almost new now, Removed the goose-neck from the bike and installed the ape-hangers, added some samuri-sword handgrips (bright orange - black blade gards), then i took a dampened mountain bike seat post i had lieing around and put it on, then added a fat-butt(spring suspension)cruiser seat to cap it off. Put on a extra rear view mirroe and a tinkle-bell and it was "Fun at sundown". every one was "fighting" over getting to ride it up and down the block...even Grandps...tee hee...
Great Fun With The kids...
Larry (Will have some pics tomorrow to post)

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Changing Cruisers posted by Oscar on 12/16/2002 at 8:43:40 PM
Customizing bicycles is the most fun you can have with a wrench in your hand...especially if it delights the kids. Whether you are a grim-faced pain-punished criterium racer or a weekend trail-rider, there's a bit of kid in anyone who gets up on two wheels. Nice work, Larry. Get those pictures up.

   RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   Changing Cruisers posted by Larry on 12/16/2002 at 9:43:56 PM
The pictures can be seen at
Changed the 26"x2.175 front wheel for a 26"x1.75 today.
Makes her ride a little faster!

   RE:RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   Changing Cruisers posted by sam on 12/17/2002 at 2:09:23 AM
Larry,nice site,like those pics.You'll fine several here that do similar with there bikes.I like the idea of reto styling.Mostly I up grade old frames,but Retro should work great for new frames.Wouldn't it be cool to have a nexis skiptooth?--sam

   RE:RE:RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   Changing Cruisers posted by Larry on 12/17/2002 at 3:44:35 AM
Well Sam, I've gotten over the "mountain bike", back in the mid 1990s my wife bought me one for Christmas, and much as i appreciated the thought, i hated the bike. I had a Huffy-10-Speed i rode for years until i was run off the road (by some ink bottle tatoo white trash)on Pleasant Run Parkway(A designated bike route) in Indianapolis, went A-holes & elbows, bent the frame and got mucho road-burn. The MTN was a replacement. I just did not like the feel or the massive gears. For most of the riding i do 5(Schwinn Colliegate)gears to 7(Hampton Cruiser) gears are all i need. This little one speed coaster brake bike i made this weekend goes like the wind and gets smiles from the neighbours when i ride by...the ape-hangers must bring back childhood memories...The narrower front wheel increases speed a bit but i may put the baloon back on for the "comfort" ride.
Now i have to start lookin' fer more old bikes to to play with..tee hee...

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Changing Cruisers posted by sam on 12/18/2002 at 10:28:23 PM
Larry for a real reto style I like to get the 28" frames from ebay.Sometimes they go cheep http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=747924859 and the new 700C wheels fit them.I haven't done a greared one yet but planning---sam

CUSTOMS:   Report From The Art Gallery posted by: JimW. on 12/10/2002 at 2:16:41 PM
As I reported here before, our "2much!!!" kustom recumbent trike cruiser was accepted for entry in a mixed-media art show in a gallery at Louisiana State University. The show is almost at the end of its month-long run. Yesterday, Dave got a call from the gallery:

LSU called today to tell us that the trike had drawn more engineering and business majors to the art exibit than had ever been to an exhibit before. They went on telling what a fun piece it was and how popular it was, and how big a draw it was for the exhibit. Thought you would like to know.

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Report From The Art Gallery posted by Oscar on 12/11/2002 at 4:47:54 PM
I find it hard to get excited at art galleries. Modern art has gotten so ephemeral that there is nothing to for the viewer to relate to in his own experience. Three blotches and a squiggly don't mean anything to me.

However, to hear that engineering students were enthralled shows that you put the right mix of practicality and creativity into a work that pleases the eye and stimulates the mind. Well done.

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Report From The Art Gallery posted by L. LUJAN on 12/13/2002 at 5:18:54 PM
Why not? Art is a inner expression of one self. May it be a painting, or a bike, or fine peice of molded pottery. What they were exposed too was a differrent point of veiw; you may not see or expect at a show of this caliber. "WHAT! a Kustom Trike at a art excibit". What would Leonardo Da Vinci say about this? well "I would personally feel he would be WELL pleased with this". I can safely say because I read a little on this "Great Artist", and his intrests. Leonardo embraced mathematics, philosophy, artchiecture, engineering, and sculputre; science and music, as well as painting. So I am not surprised one bit if these students from the university find great passion with Kustom Building. Jim you are in one way or another carring the torch for us guy's out here who spend countless hours doing what we enjoy. Whether or not we have a studio like an artist has, I have my garage. Its a GOD given right of expression we all have as Kustom builders. Its how we see our world as indivisuals. Then we create ideas around an object and go from there. In other words; its just DAM good fun! "Remember" Share it, don't Spare it!

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Report From The Art Gallery posted by Mike on 12/22/2002 at 12:30:50 PM
Everybody likes kustom bikes/trikes!

MISC:   ID required for early 70s half bmx half dragster (not custom) posted by: jafo on 12/10/2002 at 1:44:14 AM
i recently purchased a Myers speed and the guy threw in this weird 20" bike. it has coil spring rear, motor bike style front forks. has a short sissy bar still attached but no bannana seat (he threw it) and plactic yellow fenders i have been told it should also have a plastic yellow fake fuel tank. i cannot find any info on it at all. it looks to say shweshn bicycles on the front. shwesh?? the last letter is hard to make out.

any ideas? anyone?

   RE:MISC:   ID required for early 70s half bmx half dragster (not custom) posted by JimW. on 12/10/2002 at 3:45:52 AM
That sounds like one of the old-school BMX variants which were styled to look like a motocross cycle. There's one in the picture database here called the '77 Venture. That wasn't the only one like that. Since you got this along with a Meyers Speed, does this mean that you're in Australia? In which case, it's probably also an Ozzie machine.

   RE:RE:MISC:   ID required for early 70s half bmx half dragster (not custom) posted by jimmy on 12/14/2002 at 5:04:32 PM
hello, I remember a bike that fits that description exactly sitting out in a junk yard. It has a black frame with yellow plastic fenders and a shock in the back? and i tihnk it says sweshing on it? I wasnt very interested in this bike when i was at the junkyard so i just steped over it to look at the stockpile of coppertone 5 speeds. this junkyard has all the old city stuff like stop signs and street markers, and they also have about ten newspaper bikes from the 50's when they issued all the employees a bike to ride for the entire time they worked there, i might seek into restoring all of these, i think it would be cool to get all of them togeter in a photo shoot like they were back in the 50's. well that about it, i might go check this bike out sometime soon before the snow gets here. thanks


AGE / VALUE:    posted by: Noel V on 12/9/2002 at 9:55:57 PM
i have a lowrider its a real Schwinn. i built it to go fast looking good which translates to chromalusion paintjob biggest Schwinn "MAG" i ever seen(scrapped the ground once) i can out run a stock bike but not 10 speed i was wondering if i can install a 5 speed stick and maintain the wire wheels in the rear and the MAG sproket

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by JimW, on 12/10/2002 at 3:54:03 AM
You should be able to keep the big chainring, but you won't be able to keep your original wheel. You'll have to use a wheel with a five-cog cluster on it, as on five-speed krates. That would be a spoked wheel, but not the one you started with. There are also wheels with multi-speed internally-geared hubs.

LOWRIDERS:   Brainstorming posted by: Oscar on 12/8/2002 at 6:23:28 AM
What would you get if you crossed a lowrider with an English roadster. To start with, I have a 1963 20" Schwinn girl's frame in a friend's hands getting sandblasted. A 28 hole dynohub has miraculously been found. A big huge drum rear hub sits on my workbench.

What remains are the cool touches. Fabricate an enclosed chainring? Paint the end of a fender white and bolt on one of those round reflectors? Make canvas wheel skirts? Maybe bent-wood fenders supported by twine like a turn of the century Dutch bike?

   RE:LOWRIDERS:   Brainstorming posted by Stacey on 12/8/2002 at 12:08:41 PM
Respect man, respect!

Though postulating the concept in reverse, An English 'All Steel' frame with wide sneakers, bent fork, and sky high ape hangers, all welded and bondo'd up stirs the creative jucies. It would certianly result in a permanent shun and banish from the English board. LOL

   RE:LOWRIDERS:   Brainstorming posted by sam on 12/8/2002 at 4:24:15 PM
Never know where those brainstorms will blow you ashore!

   RE:LOWRIDERS:   Brainstorming posted by Robert on 12/12/2002 at 7:20:58 PM
Oscar, you might try looking at this gallery page of BR&K.
There is a 3 speed lowrider at bottom of page. Kind of a dragster theme??


CUSTOMS:   has anyone ever made an adult one seat pedal car simular to the 1970's "pedicar??" posted by: lonnie hensley on 12/7/2002 at 11:39:37 PM
i was wondering if anyone has ever made a adult pedal car simular to the 1970's pedicar or had the plans to it ?? it was made by enviiromental corp. had a (usb?) body , five speed plus reverse and was fully enclosed , i would appreciate any help on this from anyone !! i would actually like to build one myself but update the body , etc. into somethinf sportiier with a convertable top, etc.

   RE:CUSTOMS:   has anyone ever made an adult one seat pedal car simular to the 1970's posted by sam on 12/8/2002 at 4:00:23 PM
Here's a snappy little conv. model http://www.microcarmuseum.com/tour/velocar-camionette.html also do a search on velocar.

   RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   has anyone ever made an adult one seat pedal car simular to the 1970's posted by JimW. on 12/10/2002 at 2:04:29 PM
More recently, in the mid-'90s, there was one called the AutoBike. It had seats for two, and bodywork which looked like a boat-tailed Auburn.

Probably the simplest way of building a 4-wheeled pedal-powered car would be to base it on a Rhodes Car chassis. These are still being made.

   RE:RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   has anyone ever made an adult one seat pedal car simular to the 1970's posted by JimW. on 12/13/2002 at 8:50:37 PM
Speaking of adult pedal cars, check this out:
The wheels are kind of small, but it's pretty tough to beat that price. It would be fun to build a radical roadster body on that, eh?

   RE:RE:RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   has anyone ever made an adult one seat pedal car simular to the 1970's posted by JimW. on 12/15/2002 at 1:11:57 AM
Speaking of adult pedal cars again. My wife was watching a movie last night, from the '70s, I think, called Bugsy Malone. It was a weird movie, kind of a musical parody of an old gangster film, played by adolescent children. Scott Baio and Jody Foster were in it. I don't care much for musicals, but this one had some very interesting details. All the cars looked like fairly authentic cars from the '20s, but they were all pedal powered, or at least were made to appear to be. You'd see a car going down the street, with pedals and feet going around under the chassis. It was pretty funny. I'm sure there
were sweating grips on the off-camera side pushing them, if they didn't have electric motors in them, because they were big cars, and must have weighed a ton.

CUSTOMS:   custome fenders posted by: R. on 12/7/2002 at 6:35:49 AM
Has anyone thought of making there owen fenders, like just to be different with crazy designs or somthing cool rather than buying some machine pressed one,

   RE:CUSTOMS:   custome fenders posted by a friend on 12/7/2002 at 2:57:25 PM
Yes, too both of these posts. When it comes too kustom work making your fenders has always been an option in building. It all depends how challeging you are. As for turning your todays kruisers into yesterdays balloners with all the added parts, thats been done, and then some. So when it comes to building a mild kustom, or a exstream full kustom its all up to you what you want out of a ryder. You guy's sound like your new here, so we welcome you too further share your ideas and your opionions when it comes to custom building. You might also want too check out a site that has some of the bike questions you were asking, its http//:bikerodnkustom.homestead.com/ or go too the bicycle links they provide here on Old Rodes and just click on and enjoy the sites.

   RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   custome fenders posted by JimW. on 12/10/2002 at 2:15:10 PM
shows how we made composite "Indian-motorcycle" style fenders

CUSTOMS:   Beach Cruiser gone "retro" posted by: Larry on 12/7/2002 at 2:24:42 AM
Has anyone bought a beach cruiser and tried through adding accessories giving it a retro 1940s/1950s type of look? Say adding mirrors, carrying racks, dynamo lights and mechanical speedometers and say a spring fork and if so how did it turn out? I am in the process of doing that to a Hampton Cruiser-Seven.

MISC:   Paint posted by: L. LUJAN on 12/4/2002 at 3:19:25 PM
Thanks Jim Wilson for the added information on the Krylon paint technics.

   RE:MISC:   Paint posted by JimW. on 12/10/2002 at 1:59:24 PM
This is what Larry's talking about:
Hi Larry,
Yes, that's Krylon Sunshine Yellow acrylic enamel, from a spray can. I do a lot of prep work getting the primer really good and wet-sand it to 600 on the last primer coat. On those trikes, I hit it with Krylon flat white, because yellows don't cover grey primer very well,. And flat white is a harder surface than white primer. Then, I wet-sanded that white with 600. I laid on lots of yellow light coats, pretty much the way the can label tells you to. About five minutes after the last light coat, I give it a very
heavy wet coat, just the way the can tells you not to. The heavy coat bonds to the recent coat really well, so it's not as likely to run or sag, the way it would if the previous coat had a long time to dry. It gives a nice
wet-looking finish. I hit it with wet 2000 anywhere it might need it, but not everywhere. After about a day, I use a soft cloth and a polishing car wax on it, which gives it a nice shine all over, kind of like shining shoes.

I've had professional painters tell me that they didn't know you could get that kind of finish with spray cans.

The trick is to use spray can paint just the way you would gun paint, and not cut out any of the steps you normally would do. I don't use spray cans because it's easier or faster, although there's no gun cleanup, but because
spray cans are really a better tool for putting on bike paint than a car-spraying gun. And Krylon comes in lots of nice colors, and if Krylon doesn't have the right color, DupliColor usually does. (They're both made by the same company.)

We did most of the painting in a garage with the door open.

CUSTOMS:   Custom 6-speed with STIK SHIFT posted by: VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc. at OldRoads.com on 12/3/2002 at 6:45:14 PM

Have a look at our latest custom: "The Six".

It's a street custom:
- Six speed with Stik Shift shifter
- Brand new Gary Fisher "Shortcut" Frame
- "16 x 20" style (16 inch front wheel, 20 inch rear wheel)
- Shimano rear end and derailleur
- NOS Sun Tour stik shift shifter
- All brand new parts from our inventory
- Banana Seat
- Tall 36" Sissy Bar
- Tall Monkey Handlebars
- Long Front Chrome Springer Fork
- Ball headlight (batteries not included)

Price: $466 plus between $25 and $45, depending on how far you are from Boston.
US Shipping Only. US Funds Only.

Pictures and more info at:


or click on "Bicycles for Sale" at the top of this page.

VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc.

LOWRIDERS:   forks posted by: isaac ray on 12/3/2002 at 4:58:43 AM
I hope i dont sound dumb asking this question, but if i dont ask ill never know. i just bought a pair of 20 in. lowrider springer forks. i would like to make my bike lower than it is with this new pair. here is my question, are these type of forks adjustable to make my bike lower? should i return them and get a different style? if so what should i ask for? any advice would be appreciated. thanks

   RE:LOWRIDERS:   forks posted by MEANIRISHMOFO on 12/3/2002 at 8:38:21 AM
There is no adjustment. They are just bent more than stock springers. As far as I know there is no adjustable type made. Hope this helps.

   RE:RE:LOWRIDERS:   forks posted by isaac ray on 12/3/2002 at 11:14:11 AM

   RE:RE:RE:LOWRIDERS:   forks posted by Stacey on 12/4/2002 at 12:48:05 PM
While MEANIRISHMOFO is tecnically correct, you can still altere the ride height of the fork by plauing around with the spring length. You could even theoretically do away with the spring alltogether (for maximum drop) and just bolt the yoke to that tab that mounts on the steer tube.

Take a look at that Six Speed Kustom that Vin is offering here. When I first saw it I thought "What's wrong with this picture?" Then it dawned on me... There's NO spring up top!

Can't say I recommend this approach coz I've never tried it.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:LOWRIDERS:   forks posted by MEANIRISHMOFO on 12/4/2002 at 2:53:14 PM
Good point Stacey, I did not think of that. I would not do that either.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:LOWRIDERS:   forks posted by D Smith on 12/4/2002 at 8:23:07 PM
You can get extended Fork crowns that will lower the bike even more and still use the spring. They are availible from any Lowrider place. I'm putting one on my 26" Cruiser.


   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:LOWRIDERS:   forks posted by Stacey on 12/4/2002 at 10:20:42 PM
There you go Isaac, a workable solution that will safely do waht you want. Thanks Devon!

While on the topic of springers. Has anyone come up with a 'Clean' way of keeping the fork legs from swinging back at full lock and whacking the frame, possibly damaging your big $$$ paint job? Would love to hear a few ideas.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:LOWRIDERS: forks posted by isaac ray on 12/5/2002 at 8:58:24 AM
thanks a lot all you guys.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:LOWRIDERS:   forks posted by D Smith on 12/7/2002 at 2:09:52 PM
Something I've seen that will protect your paint from the springer fork legs is, Clear Plastic tubing. Either slip it over the legs from the top or sice it length ways any wrap it around the leg. Make sure and cut it so it is longer than the top and bottom tubes of your frame.

There was also availible at one time a clear coat type of tape made for mountain Bikes but I don't know if you can still get it or not. I think it was rather expensive also.

another idea I've seen is cut a old grip and wrap it around the frame tube.

I like the plastic tubing idea the best.


   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:LOWRIDERS:   forks posted by Stacey on 12/9/2002 at 1:28:29 AM
What a great solution! (Slapping myself in the forehead) Why didn't I think of thet?!?! Such a simple and obvious fix... and cheap too. Thanks heaps Devon!

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:LOWRIDERS:   forks posted by dawn on 1/20/2003 at 9:33:07 AM
I found tubing a bit of a eye sore even though it was clear so I used small clear feet like you might see under a glass table you can pick them up at just about hardware store or crafts shop.

LOWRIDERS:   forks posted by: isaac ray on 12/3/2002 at 4:58:43 AM
I hope i dont sound dumb asking this question, but if i dont ask ill never know. i just bought a pair of 20 in. lowrider springer forks. i would like to make my bike lower than it is with this new pair. here is my question, are these type of forks adjustable to make my bike lower? should i return them and get a different style? if so what should i ask for? any advice would be appreciated. thanks

CUSTOMS:   A Show Circuit posted by: JimW. on 12/2/2002 at 3:22:58 PM
Once you build a full-bore kustom machine, you start looking around for places to show it. We'd been told that there have been bikes in the World of Wheels show in New Orleans in January, so I thought I'd check on it. Autorama/World of Wheels has a whole circuit of car shows all over the country, in addition to N.O. so, I got in touch with them, to get the straight dope. Here's what I got back:

"Yes, there are custom bicycle categories at the shows. Any show you would like to attend is available through the "Enter your car" tab on the web site and you can fill them out and send them in. Thank you for your interest in the shows."

They have an on-line entry form at the http://www.autorama.com web site.

   RE:CUSTOMS:   A Show Circuit posted by sam on 12/3/2002 at 5:45:30 PM
That art show thing you did got me to thinkin.The art group in San Antonio has what they call "first friday"wouldn't it be cool the have a whole gallery full of kustom bikes---art you ride!

   RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   A Show Circuit posted by JimW. on 12/4/2002 at 7:06:42 PM
I'm about to start shopping for an art gallery here in NYC, as the future home of "The BikeRod&Kustom Annual Bike Show".
I really hate the Javits Center here, where they have the NY Auto Show. It's in a terribly inconvenient location. My neighborhood (Chelsea) has lots of galleries; some of them are pretty large.