This is an archive of Vintage Bicycle Information.
For current Discussions, go to our main site: OldRoads.com

If you are trying to determine the genealogy of your bicycle by it's features, go to our Vintage Bicycle Price Guide
which details bicycle features, wheel sizes, brake types, etc., as well as showing a price estimate for your old bicycle.

If you are trying to determine the make and model of your bicycle, go to our Vintage Bicycle Picture Database
which details bicycle features, wheel sizes, etc., as well as showing a price estimate for your vintage bicycle.

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

AGE / VALUE:   CHOPZILLA posted by: MEANIRISHMOFO on 4/6/2003 at 12:14:24 AM
Here is my work in progress. http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/kafer_d/vwp?.dir=/chopzilla&.src=ph&.dnm=Image-13.jpg&.view=t&.done=http%3a//photos.yahoo.com/bc/kafer_d/lst%3f%26.dir=/chopzilla%26.src=ph%26.view=t It will be flat black with red wheels and whitewalls.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   CHOPZILLA posted by JimW. on 4/7/2003 at 1:35:30 PM
MIM, you might reconsider that flat-black paint scheme. Black bikes are incredibly dull-looking, even in glossy black. This is especially true in photographs. And let's face it, the ultimate audience for your creation (aside from yourself) may only see it in photos. You wouldn't think it, but even red is muddy in most photos. Carl Hoots was so disappointed in how his latest kustom recumbent photographed in red, that he promptly repainted it in yellow. Of course, properly-lit and well-photographed, any color can be made to look good, except maybe flat black. But, most people don't photograph their bikes well, even after all of our ranting and bitching on the subject in BikeRod&Kustom.

Flat black is fine for ratbikes and the kind of choppers the CHUNKsters build, because it doesn't show up the flaws as much; but if you've put as much work into your bike as I suspect, it deserves to be given a paint job that shows off your work.

There's plenty of precedent for flat black and dark grey primer finishes in hot rod culture; back in the day, that's what we did to our '47 Chevys or whatever, until we got around to doing serious kustomizing on them, along with Moon discs, which used to be cheap. But as soon as we did serious work on them, we gave them real paint jobs. Slavishly following a trend without thinking about the rationale for it is a serious mistake.

So, if you think you have a great KustomBike, do yourself (and it) a favor and give it a visible paint job, and take the best photos of it you can. And if you only have a crappy camera, borrow a better one; don't send us fuzzy photos that make the bike look like crap, and apologize that you only had a junk camera to use. And, if you can't take a good photo, hire or ask somebody with skill and equipment to shoot it for you. It will be as worth it as spending a lot of money and time to build it in the first place.

And PS: If you post a URL, make sure that it works before you post it. (This from a guy who's been known to forget to actually paste in the URL, after posting the message announcing it. '-)

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   CHOPZILLA posted by pimpinlincoln on 4/7/2003 at 3:40:50 PM
Hey MEANIRISHMOFO, please post a URL that is accessible, THANK YOU

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   CHOPZILLA posted by MEANIRISHMOFO on 4/9/2003 at 2:48:01 PM
I can't figure out how to post a url. Any thoughts?

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   CHOPZILLA posted by JimW. on 4/9/2003 at 6:11:22 PM
You go to the exact web page you want. That lets you know that you have the right address. Then you highlight the URL in the address window, and copy it, using Control+C keys. Then, you paste it into the body of your message, using the Control+V keys.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   CHOPZILLA posted by MEANIRISHMOFO on 4/10/2003 at 4:55:19 AM
I cut and paste and this is what I get.


   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   CHOPZILLA posted by MEANIRISHMOFO on 4/10/2003 at 4:57:05 AM
It will only let me access it. Sorry guys, I am a computer idiot.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   CHOPZILLA posted by JimW. on 4/10/2003 at 7:33:16 AM
You know what they say, "When the going gets tough, the tough get pedalling."

Maybe you can try the thumbnail page just before the picture of the bike itself. Also, is that one of those deals where you have to be a member of the group and sign in to see the photo pages? Like if it's the photo section of a members only Yahoo group, that's how it would work.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   CHOPZILLA posted by MEANIRISHMOFO on 4/10/2003 at 3:21:48 PM
I'm done messing with this computer, Sorry.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   CHOPZILLA posted by JimW. on 4/11/2003 at 7:04:06 AM
Well, MIMF, when you've finished it and taken some nice photos of it, send them to us at BikeRod&Kustom, and we'll get them up on the web for you. That's what we're here for.

MISC:   Custom Chainguard posted by: Dev on 4/2/2003 at 4:15:26 PM
I'm in the process of putting together my stretch cruiser and want a chainguard for it. I was planning to make my own.
How would I go about bending the top of the guard? Or could I just make it in 2 pieces and solder them together then bondo the seam?
Anyone built a chainguard.

I never see Dyno Roadster guards for sale so think this would be my only option.


   RE:MISC:   Custom Chainguard posted by JimW. on 4/2/2003 at 6:27:59 PM
If you want it to be made of metal, you'll have to do it in at least two pieces, just for the basic shape. You'll have to lay out your side view incorporating tabs all along the outer top/side edge, to bend at right angles for soldering to the outside curved flat strip. The metal you use will need to be heavier than the gauge used to form factory chainguards, as you probably won't be able to apply rolled edges, which add stiffness. You'll also have to cut other pieces to mount it to the frame, and solder them in place to the basic guard. You can build up extra solder along the seams, and file/grind/sand the seam smoothly. This will allow either paint or plating to be applied. Brass is a lot easier to solder than steel. There are alloy solders for aluminum, but they're extremely tricky to use, and require a lot of practice to get right.

You could also make a chainguard out of fiberglass, but that's a whole other process; and I'm not even going to get into that one here.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Custom Chainguard posted by Dev on 4/2/2003 at 9:01:11 PM

thanks for the help Jim. I"m gonna give it a shot. thats all I can do Right.
IS there any place that make guards?


   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Custom Chainguard posted by JimW. on 4/3/2003 at 7:24:23 AM
I don't know of anyone who makes a practice of making metal chainguards for sale. Just about any capable metalsmith can make one, but it might be expensive.

One possibility is a tandem chainguard. You'd probably have to shorten it, if you found one you liked, but that's easier than making one. Also, BikePartsUSA has trike chainguards in chrome and colors. Those might be too short, though.

Finally, a guy named Bob Best was in touch with me recently. He's made a very interesting-looking kustom chainguard to fit the Dyno Roadster. I think he's planning to offer them for sale. You might check with him Obertt123@yahoo.com
His kustomized Roadster will be in the next issue of BikeRod&Kustom.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Custom Chainguard posted by Dev on 4/3/2003 at 7:21:31 PM
Cool can't wait for the next issue. When is that? I'll Check with Bob and see what he's got going.


   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Custom Chainguard posted by JimW. on 4/4/2003 at 7:09:48 PM
Barring possible delay factors such as World War III or something, the next issue will be up in early May, and it will be with our new web host. No more bandwidth hassles!

LOWRIDERS:   Lowrider Wholesale posted by: J. West on 3/31/2003 at 3:49:37 AM
I was curious if anybody out there knows of any lowrider part wholesalers? i have quite a few bikes im working on and i'm trying to get wheels and front ends and others without having to pay high retail prices for many bikes. any leads would be helpful thanks.

   RE:LOWRIDERS:   Lowrider Wholesale posted by Kim on 4/8/2003 at 1:55:29 PM
Ask vinny (the guy who owns this site) for a quantity price break. He gave me a great deal on a dozen banana seats, a dozen sissy bars and a few other bits for our club. His email is VVVintage@aol.cmo

MISC:   judging posted by: isaac ray on 3/30/2003 at 4:42:40 PM
i wanted to know what judges specifically look at when judging bikes. i know there are different classes. i say mine would be in semi custom class. i would like to be prepared for my first contest. its the go-lo lowrider magazine show. any info would be appreciated. also i could use some display ideas. my stingray is red mettalic with red seat and all twisted parts.

   RE:MISC:   judging posted by sam on 3/30/2003 at 10:56:52 PM
Isaac,Go to the show,enter your bike,and have fun,by all means!--Just don't expect to win(right off)Bike(and car shows)are not blind taste tests.They have a good idea who will winn before the show starts.By going and taking part,talkin to the people,sharing ideas , etc, you will have a better change next time.And they will know you too.I just went to a bike show where the first place bike was not near as nice as the second place.But they were both members of the same club and second place won last year.So they cheeted a little to reward the hard work the other guy did and keep interest high.That's OK sometimes too.You will need to have a good to great bike--great paint--great details(smooth welds,correct nuts&bolts, tires with the lettering alinged with the steem)And remember in the low-rider class the "show" is most important.So go inter and tell us what you did right and what you need to improve on.---sam

   RE:RE:MISC: judging posted by isaac ray on 3/31/2003 at 9:41:00 AM
i kinda had a feeling that this happens. its about whoyou know not what you know. ill diffenetly have a good time. im 32 yrs old not looking for the glory but winning would be nice. just out there looking to met people with the same interests. to all my fellow bikers "RIDE ON"

   RE:RE:RE:MISC: judging posted by sam on 4/2/2003 at 1:56:49 PM
I got a feeling by this time next year ya'll be in the "in"group---good luck---sam

   RE:RE:RE:RE:MISC: judging posted by JimW. on 4/4/2003 at 7:32:38 PM
Isaac, even more important than being in the "in crowd" is creativity. Good detailing and paint can be taken as a given, for showing. But the best lowriders and kustoms go way beyond having a basic Schwinn frame with everything in the parts catalog stuck onto it. Everybody who builds a ho-hum lowrider bike does that. People who work within the lowrider bike format setting out to win prizes with their rides go out of their way to make theirs as different from the herd as possible, through interesting bondo sculpting and killer themes and graphics. Usually, something different doesn't cost any more than something ordinary, assuming you do the work yourself. To see some extremely creative examples made by people working "outside the box", check out: http://www.fickser.nl/wazzupphoto0205.htm
Most of their basic bits and pieces come from the lowrider parts catalog, but there's nothing ho-hum about them. Sebastian Anger's bikes are the same way: highly creative and different from everybody else's, with a style of his own.

CUSTOMS:   Extended Forks posted by: MEANIRISHMOFO on 3/28/2003 at 11:48:49 PM
I have my frame almost done and about ready to start the forks. The hardware store sells 1"od 1/16" wall pipe will this be strong enough? They also sell thick wall plumbing pipe that is about the same od but 1/8" thick i think. It is very heavy I don't want a 200lb bike. The forks are going to be about 4 feet long. Any thoughts Thanks

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Extended Forks posted by sam on 3/29/2003 at 3:01:41 AM
At 4 feet,my guess is no.4'is a lot of leverage.Bike forks are usualy ovel and tapered(for a reason)I've seen long forks on BRnK how did ya'll do this?(interested to know also)---sam

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Extended Forks posted by AviationMetalSmith on 3/29/2003 at 4:00:26 PM
One and a half inch Cro-Moly with a wall thickness of about .035 is what you need, my good man.
Your Hardware Store will not have it.
Contact your local Cropduster Builder;
as it is used in both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.

   RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   Extended Forks posted by MEANIRISHMOFO on 3/29/2003 at 9:44:23 PM
Can cro-mo be welded to steel or is special mig wire required?

   RE:RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   Extended Forks posted by JimW. on 3/30/2003 at 10:17:06 AM
We get our 4130 CrMo tubing from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty. http://www.aircraftspruce.com/index.php
You can buy any length from you want from them, and if it's in lengths of no more than 6 feet per piece, they can mail it to you. They're fast at filling the orders, too.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   Extended Forks posted by AviationMetalSmith on 3/30/2003 at 8:07:17 PM

There's the CrMo page.
Most diameters are available in .035 wall thickness.

LOWRIDERS:   display stand posted by: isaac ray on 3/28/2003 at 4:44:24 PM
i have seen display stands in magazines, but im not quite sure what they are made of. does anyone have any plans i can use to build one. plans to hold up my bike with out a kick stand. thanks

   RE:LOWRIDERS:   display stand posted by sam on 3/29/2003 at 3:05:35 AM
I've seen several types for sale.One clips to down tube and cost very little.someone, maybe lightweight group, should know were to buy/order them.

FOR SALE:   We've added more inventory. posted by: VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc. at OldRoads.com on 3/27/2003 at 4:39:31 PM
Click on "Bicycles for Sale"
and "Parts for Sale"
at the top of this page.

Vin - VVVintage Vintage Bicycles, Inc.

CUSTOMS:   Kustom Cruisers Forum posted by: D Smith on 3/27/2003 at 2:16:32 PM
I Set up a MSN Group for Kustom Bikes. If you have any type of custom built bike, Lowrider, Stretch Cruiser Etc. Stop on by You Can Post Pics, Use the messageboard, Even has a chat so you can talk to other Bike Nuts.

It's free to join so Stop on by and check it out. http://groups.msn.com/KustomCruisers/_whatsnew.msnw

hope to see you there.

LOWRIDERS:   no more room posted by: isaac ray on 3/26/2003 at 10:31:45 AM
i have a little problem. i have a lowrider that has fender braces, continental kit, mufflers and sissybar which i mount on the rear axel. the problem is i ran out of room. its very difficult to put on the nuts. what can i do to make this a little bit easier. also im looking for a used hydrolic kit for this bike. thanks all

   RE:LOWRIDERS:   no more room posted by JimW. on 3/26/2003 at 6:38:29 PM
You have two choices. You can drill an extra set of 3/8" mounting holes in the dropout plates, which will allow moving some stuff to the other holes. Or you can just strip off some of that extra stuff. I'd start with those "mufflers" if I were doing it.

   RE:RE:LOWRIDERS:   no more room posted by Sebastian on 3/28/2003 at 7:39:43 AM
I'd try to find a longer axle. That should solve the problem.

Sebastian °LowStylez B.C.°

WANTED:   Cry for help posted by: Rif Addams on 3/22/2003 at 7:06:37 PM
Hi All,
As you may or may not know, I am involved in the George A. Wyman Centennial Recreation of 2003.
I am to be 'the man in the saddle' (or as Jim W. likes to call me 'the intrepid motonaut'); in which I will be riding a near replica of a 1903 California brand Motor Bicycle from San Francisco to New york City. We are recreating the first crossing of the United States (Coast to Coast) by motor vehicle. All the details can be seen at:
Our replica is nearly ready, but we have come upon a major roadblock. We have the wrong length spokes. Our spokes are just slightly too long. We are having a problem finding the proper length spokes in the proper diameter.
This wouldn't be an issue if we had a spoke thread roller, as we could roll the threads a bit longer then cut or grind the spokes back to the length we need.

Here are the spec.s for the wheels and spokes:
We are using 28" X 1 1/2" rims with a 1949 New Departure Model D rear brake hub.
Our current spokes are 3mm diameter (.105") and 305 mm length.
We need, for the rear hub, a spoke length of 299/300mm and for the front a spoke length of 302mm,.
This would be in a 3 cross pattern. We ran the numbers for a 4 cross pattern as well and that won't work either.

Basically what I am asking of you is this:
Preferably- if someone has a thread rolling tool that we could borrow just for long enough to do the minor adjustments neccessary to these spokes could we pretty please make arrangements for the use of the tool just long enough to correct this problem?
if that isn't a possibility- if you know of a supplier where we can get these in short order please let us know.
Thank you for your time,
Rif Addams

   RE:WANTED:   Cry for help posted by AviationMetalSmith on 3/24/2003 at 5:47:24 PM
Sorry...Don't have a thread roller.
I don't know if this advice will help,
but maybe use shorter nipples?

AGE / VALUE:   Super Rex Cabri posted by: Erik on 3/18/2003 at 10:49:11 PM
Hi Folks
A couple of years ago I baught at lowrider called Super Rex Cabri. Frontsign says "special made for Cuba". I think it is German made.
If you know anything about the bysicle, I would be wery happy to know. -Erik

MISC:   fir jim w posted by: metlhed on 3/11/2003 at 11:55:10 PM
hey this is for jim w. or anoyone who can help. i have to do school science fair and i am going to design a new bicycle rim. i was wondering if i could interview someone through email about what bike rims are made out of and things like that. if anyone can help please email me at: metal_head247@yahoo.com

   RE:MISC:   fir jim w posted by JimW. on 3/13/2003 at 8:23:57 AM
I'm actually the wrong person to ask. I usually only develop expertise in something I'm actually going to do myself; and I've never had much of an urge to make my own wheels. However, I'll go out on a limb, and give you my take on how certain types of rims and wheels are made. This is one notch up from guesswork, though, for most of it. Mike Watson probably has made more of a study of it. And I know that Sheldon Brown is likely to have, also.

Typical steel rims: sheet metal is die-stamped and formed to the cross-section, then rolled into a circle and brazed or welded with a lap joint.

Typical alloy rims: aluminum alloy cross-section is extruded, then rolled into a circle and welded.

Cast "Mag" wheels. One of the above rims is used with a sand-cast center and hub, using a split pattern made of wood. The rim can be part of the casting, also, I suppose, but it usually isn't. After casting, it's locked into a metal lathe and trued-up. Ferdinand Trautmansdorff shows how to make wooden wheels at http://www.stevproj.com/DelWagWheels.html
This basic method can be used to make more "mag" like wheels, if you study it and extrapolate. There are books with plans for making wooden wheels, also: http://www.windyhillwoods.com/wooden-wagon-wheels.html

None of these processes are what I'd consider home-building jobs, except possibly making a wooden pattern and having a foundry cast them, and to a machine shop for truing them.

Almost any other basic part of a bicycle is simpler to make, in my opinion. Any other opinions, ideas?

   second opinion posted by sam on 3/15/2003 at 2:41:51 PM
First off,I agree with everything Jim has said--But,what if you changed the rules.What if instead of making a mew bicycle wheel , you invented a new way inwhich people designed things?What if instead of getting people together face to face as was done in the past , you used the inter-net to put together a design team and gave them the chore of designing a "new bicycle rim"?Your team would be people from all over that have never meet.You would need to show how you put the team together,how they worked out the problem,what sucess or failure they had,why they were on the team.Your product will be how well they work together,You could call your project"Reinventing how we Reinvent the Wheel"The bicycle rim is the perfect problem to give because (1) everyone in the world is familiar with it(2)it's impossible to come up with anything "new" for it--and people always love to take on the impossible.You would need to show computer printouts of the different wheel consepts your team came up with,and why they were good or bad---sam

   RE:second opinion posted by Rif on 3/16/2003 at 1:30:11 AM
Great Idea Sam.
That concept sounds vaguely familiar *chuckle*
It worked pretty well with the 1902 California Replica. Many different people, from all different locales and walks of life, working together via the internet to build a bike was a great experience. That sort of teamwork and comradery is really what it's all about. Great things can be accomplished when we discover the things we have in common and that bring us closer together, rather than concentrating on that which seperates and divides us.

AGE / VALUE:   a moto posted by: sam on 3/10/2003 at 1:54:32 AM
I needed some of those cable guides and pump pegs for a bike I'm building,so I cut them from a couple of girl bike frames.Then I had a pile of bits left over.So I started a way ratical streched kustom.Streched,Raked,Lowered,Double bar-1" drop at the seat,full size 26"--Hay! I got a motobike!Didn't look too ratical when it all went together.Added a small penut tank.Need to clean welds add wheels and test ride before going to next step of paintin.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   a moto posted by JimW. on 3/10/2003 at 6:22:37 AM
You go, Sam! That sounds like a great use to put those leftover odds and ends of frame tubing to. What kind of motor are you going to use on it?

CUSTOMS:   Kustom Forks Available Through BikeRod&Kustom posted by: JimW. on 3/8/2003 at 10:46:00 AM
We're pleased to announce that BR&K is the exclusive North American source for Gary Silva's 3G kustom forks. His Triple-Tree, Imperial Extended, and Bouncer (high-tech springer)forks are all available at
The forks will be shipped directly from the factory to the purchasers, with full factory warranty and tech support. PayPal is the method of payment.

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Kustom Forks Available Through BikeRod&Kustom posted by Mike on 3/9/2003 at 3:21:17 AM
How cool is that? I'd say VERY cool. The world's leading
kustom bicycle site ordering parts by Gary Silva the world's
most radical bike manufacturer.

   RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   Kustom Forks Available Through BikeRod&Kustom posted by JimW. on 3/10/2003 at 6:35:27 AM
If this works well, we'll be carrying a lot of different parts. I especially want to offer those modern two-legged center stands Gary uses on his Hogg choppers, among other things. We're considering engine motorizing kits, too. We'll also be carrying complete bikes. Gary's very interested in our offering his S Rod bikes in the US, but we're considering the sale of one-of-a-kind fine kustoms, too.

Another bit of good news is that we have signed up for a new web-hosting service with unlimited bandwidth and three times the disc space. The next issue (May) will be on that host, with the archives and gallery migrating there soon.

   RE:RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   Kustom Forks Available Through BikeRod&Kustom posted by Stacey on 3/10/2003 at 8:49:43 PM

You go Jim! It'll be great not having to wait untill the bandwith resets

   RE:RE:RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   Kustom Forks Available Through BikeRod&Kustom posted by AviationMetalSmith on 3/11/2003 at 3:15:30 PM
That's good! Now, the next time I build a fiberglass frame,
I can find a fork.

CUSTOMS:   Extended Forks posted by: MEANIRISHMOFO on 3/3/2003 at 3:48:29 AM
I am about ready to build some extended forks for my chopper. I have not figured out the length yet to make it level, But it will be around 4'long. What is the best way to do this? Is it strong enough to butt pipe to old forks? Should I slip pipe inside at the welds? I want it to look uniform all the way down, and not different diameters. I think that looks bad. Give me your thoughts on this please. Thanks, M

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Extended Forks posted by JimW. on 3/3/2003 at 7:50:42 AM
I would definitely reinforce the joint with a tube inside. There's too much stress on the fork legs to go with a butt-joint, in my opinion.

As for the planning the fork length. What I'd recommend is blocking the frame, with rear wheel on, up against a big piece of cardboard, so that it has the attitude you want, trace its outline, then put the front wheel up against the cardboard where it looks right, then mark where the axle is touching. Use that for planning your fork length/head angle.

   RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   Extended Forks posted by Mike on 3/3/2003 at 11:00:51 PM
Jim has got it right,the only point I would like to add is;
the more laid back head angle will require more fork offset
(bend) to keep the steering from being heavy and floppy at
low speeds. With a 45 degree head angle ,4 to 7 inches works
for me. Mike

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Extended Forks posted by sam on 3/4/2003 at 10:11:05 PM
Haven't seen them on modern Kustoms ,but seems Truss Rods would or could be used to add strength and give that motorcycle look.

   RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   Extended Forks posted by MEANIRISHMOFO on 3/5/2003 at 7:56:12 AM
Thanks for all the input. Mike, Do you mean bend the forks back so when I sit on it the forks will be straight? I dont have the head tube on it yet, I'm not going to make too much of an angle.

   RE:RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   Extended Forks posted by Mike on 3/5/2003 at 12:44:24 PM
Build the forks strong enough so there's no bounce or bending
under your weight. Forks are weakest at the unicrown bends so
I like to beef up that area with a 1 1/4 inch inner diameter
tube slid over the fork crown at the steerer, with cut outs
for the fork legs. A trident effect, this third center piece
joints to a cross tube connecting the fork tubes. It works for
me and I'm over 200 pounds. See pictures of tallbike #1 in
BikeRod&Kustom Gallery, page 23 I think, it has this fork
modification. If there's any bandwidth left this month! Mike