This is an archive of Vintage Bicycle Information.
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which details bicycle features, wheel sizes, brake types, etc., as well as showing a price estimate for your old bicycle.

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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:    posted by: ziggy on 6/3/2004 at 8:53:06 PM
Has anyone used the gas welder that uses Mapp gas and oxygen instead of oxygen and acetalene? It sounds like a good deal, but I'm not sure if it works well enough for bike building and/or other fabrication. By the way my chopper is near completion. The frontend is going to be solid for the time being due to the lack of time in advanced metal class. It has to be tweaked and welded, the tank, seat, fender and handlebars have to be mounted, and the sissy bar has to be modified. Other than that, it is in rolling chassis form basically. Should be completed next week! >: )

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 6/5/2004 at 10:28:44 PM
Hmmm... to be honest, I've spec'd literally thousands of welds... yet as to if the technology you're referring would be suitable for the application, I'm not precisely sure.

However... if there's information to be had I would imagine if you stumbled around the following site, you may find it?


Hope that's helpful... Good luck!


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by ziggy on 6/6/2004 at 10:09:57 PM
As a matter of fact I saw this welder in Lowes. It has two bottles of gas that you light with a spark lighter, and it is supposed to work just like a oxy/acetalene welder. But it is A LOT cheaper. >: )

AGE / VALUE:   20days till Abita! posted by: sam on 5/31/2004 at 2:42:33 PM
Not much time left to get those kustoms ready!I'm building one to take to Abita I call "Cheap Shot".As the name implies,it's O.K. for a 10year old to hop-on and ride.It's based loosley on Tim Knights chopper(new BRnK)only with a double springer front fork.
On the topic of Choppers being slow,one speeds,I think that is an area you guys should work on.Choppers are really a modified version of recumbent(the fastest bikes built!)They were sooo fast they banned them from tour de france.We maynot have the ability to build with supper light tubing like a modern road bike , but why be afraid of derailers? the Derailers used on 65 schwinn breeses were very good and don't cause trouble--a top bar shifter(banned by our goverment!) would carry the chopper theme farther too.
So much for my ramblimgs today,got to go mount the peanut tank on cheap shot. Sram is USA based,with world wide plants.Used to be the same german company that built those old torpado 3 speeds.
See ya"ll at Abita!---sam

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   20days till Abita! posted by JimW. on 6/4/2004 at 4:31:32 AM
Yeah, Sam's right; I am a hot rodder. In fact, the third Z4 (Kandiru)frame we finish will be the hot-rod version. It'll have a shorter wheelbase and a triple-tree fork. It'll run on a set of 26" alloy rims, with a Nex7 rear. The idea on this one is speed, rather than promenading. But this one will still be pretty cool-looking, with a flamed "tank" occupying a third of the otherwise-bare frame center. The longer version of the CrMo frame only weighed 6.5 #, so this one should be pretty hot.

Poor Kandiru was blown over in front of our shop, by a freak gust of wind. It scarred the paint in several places, and that paint job is pretty much impossible to touch up, so it's back in primer. I suppose it'll be ready in time for Abita Springs. Unfortunately, I have other stuff to do before Abita, also, so it'll be tricky.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   20days till Abita! posted by AviationMetalSmith on 6/1/2004 at 6:03:28 PM
You brought up a very good point about deraileurs.
In '65, the deraileurs were made of steel.
It's the aluminium deraileurs that won't stay in gear.
Steel is stronger and more wear resistant than any aluminum.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   20days till Abita! posted by sam on 6/3/2004 at 2:22:51 PM
A/MSmith,I agree.Chosing a derailer for a chopper is a big step.A lot more than just adding one to a bike reddy made for one.Jim W pointed out that most choppers are for "leisurely cruzing"And he knows!But I know Jim,and he has the hart of a pure "Hotrodder" where going faster is never fast enough!Ha Ha!!Proto-types should start simple to work out the bugs.I do see Choppers getting more refined as builders like A/Msmith look for ways to improve on their designs---keep up the good work,all!---sam

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   20days till Abita! posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 6/4/2004 at 1:08:12 AM
Ah yes. STEEL. Back in the day, many Raleighs proudly wore the label: "The ALL STEEL bicyle". Great Britain on the whole was OBSESSED with steel for quite some time.

I would imagine that if one looks around. Tag sales and such (your local Salvation Army Thrift Store is also an excellent resource) you can find many older bikes with steel derraileurs on the cheap.


Larry "Boneman" Bone

AGE / VALUE:   Rat Fink (a product review) posted by: Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/23/2004 at 11:41:33 AM
Having only like 15 bikes in the basement, I had concluded that was of course, not enough. Also, having been a wee sprat in the 60's I was very much acquainted with Ed Roth's Rat Fink and other bizarre "charicatures". So... I absconded with an Electra Rat Fink on Friday.

Fit and finish are excellent on the bike. The colour is outstanding, especially in direct sunlight and yes, the flames, transfers and in all liklihood the entire frame, etc. has been clearcoated. Chrome is bright and very smooth. The laser etched Rat Fink on the chainwheel is wild. Pedals are somewhat generic but nicely so and of course very functional. The seat is fantastic. Grips are "hand sewn" genuine vinyl and I added the white leather streamers.

Bolted on a bell (a MUST for the deer around here) affixed a computer, checked tyre pressure (rear tyre is like HUGE) and went for a spin. Seating position is excellent. Very laid back and with your feet flat on the ground you get excellent leg extension with the "forward control" pedal position. Only negative is the ape hangers are way forward. I think that's more my issue with the arthritic shoulders... they only need to come back a hair and will deal with that as soon as I FIND my doggone metric allen keys!

Not having a very radical rake on the fork, the steering is quite quick and you can actually countersteer at speed. Gearing is quite different ratio-wise than all my other three speeds. 1st is nearly "granny gear" in nature which is great on the hills here. 2nd a bit low as well and that's fine. 3rd is great on the flats as well. I did get the bike wound up to 28mph on a couple of downhills... which leads me to the coaster brake. VERY effective and I was pleasantly surprised. With your weight very much near the rear of the bike it stops very effectively. I did get a chuckle... product liability warning for the rear hub states something to the effect of: "WARNING: If during the course of riding the bicycle you use the brake frequently, the surface of the hub may be hot. Wait at least one half hour after riding before you touch the hub."

And I thought I was the ONLY one to jump off a bike after a hard ride and caress the hub! ;-)

As to the price of the bike... is it worth it? Well... it's made in the USA, and of very high quality. Yes, I'm sure, like in many cases, you're paying for the "name". But I think value for dollar is there overall.

I do very much like the Rat Fink. Very unique for a "production" bicycle.

Perhaps by August, when the Nirve Cannibal is due out, I will have cobbled together the dough for that baby as well.


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Rat Fink (a product review) posted by ziggy on 5/23/2004 at 5:15:46 PM
Does it have Big daddy Roth's "rat" on it anywhere? Also, does it have a front suspension? I can't stand riding bikes that lack a front suspension. If anyone has ridden on a rough road or trail with a bike with no front bounce you know what I mean.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Rat Fink (a product review) posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/23/2004 at 7:49:03 PM
Yep. Rat Fink is both emblazoned on the chainguard and lazer etched into the chainwheel. As to front suspension, there is none. Seat is very nicely sprung though. I've hit a few rough patches with it and it handles them well. Front tire is 26x1 1/8 rear is 24 x 3 (looks bigger actually) and I suppose if you ran them on the low end of the recommended pressure, that would soften the ride considerably.


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Rat Fink (a product review) posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/23/2004 at 7:50:07 PM
CORRECTION: Front tire is 26 x TWO and 1/8. Sorry....

MISC:   (new) Stingray Madness posted by: Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/18/2004 at 11:29:09 PM
Anyone else here been monitoring the insane prices the new Stingray is commanding on Ebay? Not sure about the OCC version, but the standard lists for about $180... yet these things are listing near $300 and the bidding wars are insane. I don't think you can find one anywhere at retail for the moment.

It will be a shame that once Schwinn ramps up production to meet demand, that many of these folks will have spent way too much... but then... ifya gotta have one and have it NOW... But still... these bikes are for youngsters. Reminds me, back in the days of yore, when I was a kid and to be the first one on the block to have a Stingrays, well you were "King of the Road". You can only bet that newer "improved" versions are in the works already.

This is truly a case of Marketing being spot-on with what the product... but way off on the sales forecasting. WAY off!

Purportedly, there will be an "adult" version forthcoming... THAT should be interesting. And if Marketing does there homework, one can only hope it will be available with both single-speed coaster and geared (please no "train wreck" ;-) versions as well.

It was mentioned before as to "roll 'em out the door, production "customs" being developed by many mfg.'s. And to that... might I add... "We live in interesting times!"


Larry "Boneman" Bone

AGE / VALUE:    posted by: ziggy on 5/18/2004 at 8:01:25 PM
Does anyone know when the new issue of Bikerodnkustom will appear?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by JimW. on 5/18/2004 at 10:03:34 PM
Why, yes I do. It'll be coming out as soon as the final paragraph of Aaron Bethlenfalvy's interview shows up. Everything else is ready to go. It may be tonight.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by JimW. on 5/19/2004 at 12:28:23 AM
The new issue is up. Whole lotta stuff in it. http://bikerodnkustom.cm

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by ziggy on 5/20/2004 at 8:11:29 PM
Awesome! The choppers are pretty hot this time. Speaking of choppers, I just finished my frame. The frontend is next. I should have my bike built and painted for the next issue. I have named my chopper Lucifer. You will see why in a bit. >: )

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Mike on 5/21/2004 at 10:19:15 AM
I think that's a hell of a name for a chopper! Mike

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by ziggy on 5/21/2004 at 12:13:24 PM
That name isn't to extreme is it? Well there are worse names for bikes. >: )

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/23/2004 at 11:39:49 AM
Hmmmm... I like the name. As long as the namesake doesn't "possess" the bike on ya, GO for it!


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:    posted by ziggy on 5/23/2004 at 5:17:41 PM
The name doesn't posses me. I just thought that the color combination of red and chrome should have a fitting name. The added details also hint as to why I chose the name.

AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by: Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/13/2004 at 1:19:55 AM
Just a question... being somewhat new to the "chopper" and custom realm, I'm finding it interesting that most of the aforementioned available for procurement are not geared. Usually single-speed.

I did procure one off Ebay that started life as a 26" ladies "roadster" and it is 3-speed (my personal preference), but that is pretty much the exception rather than the rule.

Just curious.


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by JimW. on 5/13/2004 at 5:48:06 AM
Most choppers are single-speed because of the leisurely cruising job description they fill. They're essentially cafe crawlers. They're a lot heavier than road bikes, and not really designed for off-road activity. So most people get along just fine with one-speed. If you feel the need for multi-gearing, it shouldn't be a big deal to switch to a geared hub, such as a Sturmey or Shimano 3-speed. Or, you could even shoehorn a Nexus7 in there. The Nex7 is wider than a 3-speed, but if the dropout spacing isn't 135mm, you can probably spread it a bit. Most new factory chopper frames are probably designed to accomodate the wider hubs, as the Nex7 is considered a desirable option by many people. If you'd be happy with 3-speeds, you can save yourself a lot of money. There's also the Nexus4, which isn't quite as pricey as the Nex7. Typical retail of a new Nex7 can hit $150 for the hub alone, but there's always eBay, for a used wheel with hub.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/13/2004 at 9:45:16 AM
OK, seems logical. As to 3-speed hubs, living in a most certainly NOT "flat" area of the world... and not being overtly "youthful" anymore... well, let's just say that gearing is the pragmatic choice. And that is the plan. ALWAYS on the lookout for yard sale "donor" bikes and English Roadsters. So, will keep my eyes peeled for the 20" 3-speed units. Though, anymore, they're becoming somewhat sparse.



Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by ziggy on 5/14/2004 at 12:53:55 AM
In order to keep it simple, chopper bikes usually are single speed. When choppers first originated, stock motorcycles (Harley's) were basically simplified in order for them to be different. I prefer single speed coaster setups, but to each is his own.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/14/2004 at 9:25:31 AM
Thanks Ziggy. There certainly is something to say about "clean and mean" as well. The single speed coaster setup certainly lives the bike un-cluttered by such things as brake and shifter cables!

Hmmm.... just had an interesting thought... anyone ever try to fit rod brakes to a chopper? :-0


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by ziggy on 5/14/2004 at 11:33:53 PM
I thank you for your comment, but what are rod brakes? Even I have never heard of them unless that is just a different name for a brake system I am familiar with.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/15/2004 at 12:23:31 AM
Ahhhh... "Roller" Rod Brakes, he asks! Well, I have a vintage 1974 Raleigh (DL-1) "Tourist" bicycle that is equipped with rod brakes. First, a little history on that design. Initially developed as mainline transportation around WWI. It has 28 x 1 1/2" tyres (yes TWENTY EIGHT) and was manufactured by Raleigh up until 1984. It was... and actually, just about anywhere else in the world but the US, is, THE bicycle for "commuting" and basic transportation. It is the quintessential example of the British "Roadster" bicycle. Ridden by commuters, "Bobbies" and of course also known as the English Postmans' Bicycle. You can check them out at:


"New" versions are still being manufactured by the thousands in India, China, etc. You can procure eastman versions through yellowjersey... but they are way too expensive for the quality.

The Rod Brakes are actually handbrakes, BUT... the major difference is they are actuated not via cable, but mechanical "rod" linkages.

BTW: Some mention choppers as being on the heavy side. The older DL-1's were equipped with fully enclosed chaincases. However, a certain year, the USA put a very heavy tariff on bicycles weighing in excess of 40lbs., so they "trimmed" the weight by using a standard "hockey stick" chainguard. Mine is thus equipped... and weighs in at a hefty 39lbs. nonetheless.

Chromed, rod-actuated brakes would be most cool on a chopper. Though, most choppers having very "curvy" frame components, I think it would be somewhat difficult to fit them with rod brakes. Still.... if you've a chopper with straight frame members, I think with a little enginuity, it could be done. Though you would be limited to either procuring a standard "roadster" handlebar / stem setup, or completely fabricating something from scratch.


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by ziggy on 5/15/2004 at 3:19:56 PM
I think that those brakes would be too bulky for a chopper. I don't like seeing cables and such on a bike because it takes away cleanliness. I think coaster's are perfect.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/15/2004 at 10:13:45 PM
Well, perhaps so. And they are not the most effective braking system to boot. It would depend on the execution. Being an avid motorcyclist as well... anything CHROME or LEATHER ya can hang on a bike is GOOD. :-D


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by ziggy on 5/16/2004 at 1:26:56 AM

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by Mike on 5/16/2004 at 10:47:25 AM
Hi Larry, I build multi-speed choppers and actually
completed a 1960's Raleigh 3-speed based chopper which
is pretty wild. I lowered the stock gearing from 48 X 18
to 40 X 18. The overall ratios are 44, 59, 78 gear inches,
respectively, which are better all around ratios for general
riding and climbing hills. I think rod brakes on a Bobby bike
or Union Jack themed chopper would be too cool if you have
the time and know how to pull it off. I also built choppers
from old mountain bikes keeping the 18 speed gearing. I have
a few examples in www.bikerodnkustom.com gallery. Mike

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by AviationMetalSmith on 5/17/2004 at 2:45:18 PM
Why is my current leading showpiece a single speed? Being that my bike is so totally unique (the lowider for 1980 , a BMX based on the motorocycles of the 1980's, all FIBERGLASS, which replaced chrome and leather in 1980)...
My bike is viewed as a first of it's kind,[prototype]
and first impressions are everything, therefore; i can not afford to have something go wrong with the "deraileur"(which is a french word meaning that which causes a train wreck-see "derailment").
Single speed bikes won't jam gears and make your work look bad. Think of all those hours you put into building your bike. A dumb kid touches your gearshifter and makes the noise "Ker-chink-a ka-chink-ker clunk", then you get the reputation as a bad bike mechanic.
just my two cents
Jim Donohue

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/17/2004 at 11:12:44 PM
LOL! I always thought there was more to the derailleur systems than meets the eye. They sure can SOUND like a train wreck at times! I for one, am partial to internally geared hubs. 3-speed have been around forever both S/A and Shimano. There are some serious 7 and 8 speeds as well. The Schramm [sic?] is to die for... and at like $800 (last I checked) a wee bit pricey.

As to gearing or not, like anything else, it's the preference of the builder / rider. Additionally, in my area, there aint no such thing as "flat". So, for me, gearing is pretty much a necessity. I aint a youngster no more... and at the ripe old age of 38 (more years ago than I care to admit) was diagnosed with a pretty advanced case of arthritis in the knees and shoulders. It don't get better... but can be managed somewhat with excersize and supplements.

Will check out the aforementioned pics as well. Sounds pretty neat. And yes... a "Brit" Chopper with rod brakes... well, that would be unique. Maybe even do-able for the likes of myself as British frames are lugged and brazed as opposed to welded. Though, to tear into an old DL-1... something a bit sacriligious about doin' that...

Thanks to all for the input. Far and away more valuable than the 2 cents as declared. :-D


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by AviationMetalSmith on 5/18/2004 at 5:21:48 PM
SRAM is the correct spelling.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by ziggy on 5/18/2004 at 7:59:57 PM
What is SRAM? By the way, my chopper is starting to look like a bike, The frame is about 95% complete. All that's left is a plasma cut gusset at the neck and the frame will be done. Then the frontend (springer) is up next. After that then all of the other parts will be installed. I will try to post some photos when it's done. >:)

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/21/2004 at 12:16:14 AM
Sram is, I believe, a GERMAN manufacturer? I could be wrong... cuz it's a bit of a nebulous recollection. They make a VERY high end 7-speed internally geared rear hub... amongst other things. I'm sure there are others here that are more knowledgable as to their offerings.


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Choppers and gearing... the dearth thereof posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/24/2004 at 10:54:29 PM
Mea Culpa on the Sram pricing. I was thinking of another internally geared hub (14 speeds!) that was extremely pricey. As it turns out, I could have walked outta the LBS in Lambertvill, NJ with a 7-speed Sram (with coaster brake, cable AND shifter) for $200.

Sorry 'bout dat!

Larry "Boneman" Bone

CUSTOMS:   1976 Town and Country Trike -need help posted by: Leah Urbano on 5/12/2004 at 5:40:47 PM
I just bought a 1976 Schwinn Town and Country Trike. Everything about it is in perfect condition, except that I would like to change the wheels and tires. Currently it has 24"x1/3/8" tires on it. What I want to know is can I change them without much hassle? I would like to go to 26"x 1.75" white walled tires with 72 spoke wheels. It is a 3 speed, and in talking to Vinnie, we were trying to figure out if this would be simple or a pain. The three spee unit's wire goes down the frame and connects into the are of the bike where the two chains turn on a cylinder. It is not connected to the wheels at all. I hope this gives enough description to get some sort of answer on what I can do. THANK YOU! Leah

   RE:CUSTOMS:   1976 Town and Country Trike -need help posted by ziggy on 5/13/2004 at 1:05:32 AM
First of all, that cable doesn't magically attach to the wheel. It connects to the derailuer which changes the gears. In order to go up in tire size, you need a bigger wheel. You can find those wheels at www.lovelylowrider.com. If you get the wheel+tire+tube assembled together, then that takes care of mounting. But that bike was designed to use a 24'' wheel. The 26'' wheel simply won't fit because of the larger diameter. You could always opt for a 72 spoke wheel with the whitewall tire that is 24'' in diameter. You could probably get away with the wider 1.75'' wide wheel in the 24'' diameter, but the gear cluster might touch the frame. You would probably have to switch to a coaster wheel at that point due to clearance problems. I wouldn't recomend spreading the rear triangle considering that the bike is a classic piece in perfect condition.

   RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   1976 Town and Country Trike -need help posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/13/2004 at 1:17:34 AM
Hmmm... Ziggy raises a couple of interesting points... thought methinks the "trike" part of the original post may have been a bit elusive. No offence intended sir (or madam, whichever the case may be)!

It sounds to me like, being a 3-speed, the gearing would be via internal "hub". Only in this case, the "hub" is actually a tranisition point from the front chain to the rear chain. That being the case, I don't see any issues changing the rear wheels over providing you can get wheel assemblies that will match the rear axle. Additionally, you would have to change, or simply remove any rear fenders to accomodate. As to the front wheel, and this is where Ziggy is sopt on, if it is also 24", obviously a 26" wheel would not directly replace the stock one. You would have to change fork. Since that would be a requirement, then quite possibly you could get one wide enough to accomodate the wide 26" tire as well.

Sounds like the idea is not beyond the realm of feasability. Challenging maybe. But certainly not completely impractical.

Good luck!


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   1976 Town and Country Trike -need help posted by Stacey on 5/13/2004 at 11:06:13 AM
On the T&C trikes, the rear hubs are 'unit specific' in that they are keyed to the axle shaft and held in place with a roll pin. To my knowlege, there isn't a replacement hub made (in any spoke count) by anyone which fits the axle shaft.

The easiest thing to do would be to strip the hubs out of the rear wheel and lace up some 26" 36 spoke rims. Finding a longer 26" replacement fork shouldn't be a big problem.

Of course, swapping the rear unit on to another, larger frame would produce some interesting results too.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   1976 Town and Country Trike -need help posted by ziggy on 5/14/2004 at 12:58:43 AM
sorry, I guess I did miss the "trike" part of your message, but I hope my tips are helpful anyway.

LOWRIDERS:   Newbie Needs help posted by: Cat on 5/11/2004 at 12:02:23 AM
I am interested in learning how to customize and built a lowrider anyone know any websites send my way... thanks :)

CUSTOMS:   Opinions please? posted by: Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/6/2004 at 11:29:02 PM
OK, I'm thinking about two options. One is I'm looking into procuring the Electra Rat Fink. A most interesting velocipede.

The other is that I'm pondering cobbling together my own custom chopper/lowrider as well. I have on extreme chopper that I procured off Ebay and it's a blast to ride. It's a "fun" bike... not a showpiece. Anyhow, back to the cobbling... I'm no welder (yet) so I want to start out with a pre-fab frame. The one I have in mind can be viewed at the following link:


Anyone have experience with this frame? I want to hopefully rig it up with 26" wheels and three speed rear hub. Not sure if I will go with a shimano or perhaps a sturmey archer. But three speed it shall be.

Thanks all in advance for you input!

Warmest Regards

Larry "Boneman" Bone
Dingmans Ferry, PA

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Opinions please? posted by JimW. on 5/9/2004 at 5:38:02 AM
Larry, I think that's a HogRider chopper frame, from http://bicycledesigner.com. The price sounds really great. If that's the same triple-tree fork they also sell, it goes for about $100 by itself. I got three of those forks recently, and they're nice, if it's the same one. My advice is, if you like the look of the frame, go for it. I'm not crazy about its looks, but that's what makes horse races.
Pretty tough to beat that price. A bare, unpainted Firebikes frame will set you back about $350, but that's a handmade frame, and most people who get them think they're well worth it.

   RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   Opinions please? posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/9/2004 at 12:06:54 PM
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, sure looks like the bicycledesigner frame. I'm not WILD about the looks, but it's still definitely far and away different than most bikes you see. I don't think I will be puttin a banana seat on it for sure. What I will be looking into is an "offset" seat post and put a standard saddle on it... get my tuchus over the rear wheel. Looking at the prices on everything I need, I will probably be able to complete the project for aroun $200. Not inclusive of wheels which I intend to scavenge from a "donor" bike along the line.

Thanks for the input.


Larry "Boneman" Bone

CUSTOMS:   opinion posted by: snabby on 5/5/2004 at 11:15:17 PM
Does anyone think 1'' tubing for a chopper frame is too small? I figured it would work because I plan to fabricate special gussets that will function as a strength factor and will also look cool. I weigh in at about 210.(about 7/8 muscle weight) The forks for the springer frontend will be 1'' tubing as well. The tubing is pretty stiff, is DOM tubing, and has a medium wall thickness. If the forks flex a little, I won't mind because it's a springer. The frame is what I am worried about. I only need an opinion. The bike is under construction as my school advanced metal tech project so I can't use different tubing.

   RE:CUSTOMS:   opinion posted by AviationMetalSmith on 5/7/2004 at 2:04:34 PM
1" tubing is a bare minimum. Maybe use a gusset? At 210 lbs you're heavy enough to worry about it. But as you said, your shop/welding class only has 1 inch.
You might want to build this bike as a showpiece, and not really plan on riding it in everyday use. Or you could build it as a gift for someone smaller and lighter than you.
I don't trust one inch tubing at all. In fact when I customize, I rig a heavy fiberglass gusset into the fake fuel tank. (I weigh 230+ lbs). Maybe you could try that aproach, but I don't know of anyone
who been successful using their tank to re-enforce the frame.
You should go to bikerodnkustom.com and look at Jim Wilsons' "Kandiru" and ask if that bike has a fake tank, or if the bike is a fake tank (like an M-1 Abrams).

   RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   opinion posted by JimW. on 5/9/2004 at 6:01:40 AM
Kandiru's "tank" is made of styrofoam, covered in a spandex/epoxy shell. You don't get much fake-er than that. Since the fairing is lined in fiberglass, I suppose it adds some stiffness to the frame, which is 1" CrMo, and about as simple as a frame can be. In test rides, the bare frame performed well, and didn't display any flex or deflection. But, I only weigh about 130 pounds soaking wet. My advice is to build the frame and road test it. If it feels OK, go with it as is, or if you think it's not stiff enough, add some gussets or whatever else is needed to make it feel right. You might keep in mind that a typical chopper is going to be used mostly for leisurely cruising on pavement. If it's going to be used for off-road downhill use, you probably wouldn't want a chopper anyway.

Brad Graham uses a lot of 1" mild steel conduit in his frames, and doesn't have any problems with it. But, from the photos, he's probably as lightweight as I am. Brad's book on bike building is a must-have in my opinion, for anyone who wants to build their own. There's a direct link to the Amazon.com discount sales page for it on the book's review page in BR&K. It's a real bargain, considering all the plans and information in the book.

   RE:RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   opinion posted by snabby on 5/9/2004 at 8:37:17 PM
Aviation metal smith, the tank is already made and it is made of solid wood. The gussets I intend to use will be at least 1/8'' thick, and the frame will be strong enough to hold me. I can promise that. I do only intend to ride it around where I live. No off roading. I have seen brad graham and his frames. He looks like he weighs in at least 170, and the highlander chopper in particular, only has one gusset at the neck. My bike will have strong gussets that add to the "devil" theme of the bike. I will post some pics when it's 100 percent done. And it will ride like a beast with structural strength.

MISC:   Example of the "Manta Ray" posted by: Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/1/2004 at 1:33:09 AM
NMA no relation to sellor. For those that were interested in the "larger" version of the olde Stingray, Bicycle Haven has a Manta Ray on Ebay at the moment.



Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:MISC:   Example of the posted by JimW. on 5/1/2004 at 10:37:34 PM
Manta Ray was the name of a Corvette concept car which toured with the GM Autorama in the '60s. It was really cool, and had a graduated paint scheme, which went from dark on top to a soft transition in the middle, and pale on the lower quarter. like a shark or a Navy aircraft.
It actually looked more like a shark than it did a manta ray, but of course the stingray was a member of the same type of sea critter. On the subject of car-influenced bike names, the CCM Mustang wasn't named after a horse, either. I came up with those without cheating and checking the Northeast Musclebike Museum gallery. How many bikes with car names can we come up with without checking there? The one who comes up with the most names wins a free subscription to BikeRod&Kustom. 8-) To keep it simple, let's just stick with musclebikes.

   RE:RE:MISC:   Example of the posted by Stacey on 5/2/2004 at 11:13:12 AM
Not to be argumentative Jim, but was that the Mako Shark?

   RE:RE:MISC:   Example of the posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 5/2/2004 at 5:27:55 PM
Just as an aside, the Mustang automobile was actually originally inspired by the WWII fighter plane.

And as an even further aside, "Yacco's" [sic?], the famous hot-dog stand in Allentown, PA was in fact owned and operated by Lee Iaccoca's family for many years. "Yacco" was about as close as the local Pennsylvania Dutch could get to pronouncing "Iaccoca"... hence, the name was born and is still in use.


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:RE:MISC:   Example of the posted by AviationMetalSmith on 5/3/2004 at 3:08:55 PM
Well Jim, while we're on this subject, what about "hybrid car" versus "hybrid bike"? There's a case where the term was used selling skinny tires on mountain bikes BEFORE the automakers came up with the gas / electric car.
How about Mazda Miata versus Myata Bicycle?
Jim Donohue

   RE:RE:RE:MISC:   Example of the posted by JimW. on 5/3/2004 at 7:56:56 PM
Maybe it was, Stacey. I remember the Mako Shark designation, anyway. But I'm reasonably sure that there was also a Manta Ray. Since I'm too lazy to check on it, I'll concede that you may very well be right. Whatever it was called, I was so impressed by it that I used the same paint scheme on one of my earliest scratch-built model cars.

LOWRIDERS:   frame question posted by: ike on 4/25/2004 at 5:59:40 AM
i got a hold of a schwinn style frame. the part where you put the crank is welded on. its like they put a solid bar with bearings and welded it on. at the end of each bar there is a notch.how do i attach the cranck and pedals. there is no hole to screw on the peddals or threads to attach the sprocket and cranks. stuck and dont know what to do. please any advice will help.

   RE:LOWRIDERS:   frame question posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 4/25/2004 at 11:17:02 AM
Sounds to me like you're describing a "cottered" crank? Typically the way the cranks are fitted to English bicycles, there is a shaft running through the bottom bracket and the crank itself has a hole for the shaft with a hole perpendicular to the shaft. A tapered cotter gets fit into the perpendicular hole engaging the "notch" in the shaft itself.

They do sell cotters here on oldroads, as to getting the cranks themselves, methinks you can still find them as well.

Of course, I could be way off base but that's what it sounds like.


Larry "Boneman" Bone

LOWRIDERS:   Rat Fink posted by: AviationMetalSmith on 4/22/2004 at 1:58:44 PM
I saw a lowrider at the local bike pro shop yesterday. It's called the Rat Fink. Has anyone else heard of this bike? It has the stretch I am looking for, plus a chopper fork. It only comes in green (with flames). It is a three speed and it costs $530.00.
I would like to see a review from someone else before I purchase one.

   RE:LOWRIDERS:   Rat Fink posted by JimW. on 4/23/2004 at 1:06:35 AM
It's not a lowrider. They call it a "kustom-style stretch chopper", or something like that. Most user reports I've heard say it isn't worth the money. For example, Nirve has a very similarly-proportioned 3-speed machine- the Cannibal, on the way for less money. Of course, if you want something with Ed Roth cachet, in spite of the fact that "Big Daddy" was dead a long time before anyone at Electra thought of the bike, go for it.

Product Development people at every major bike company, and many minor ones have been watching "American Chopper" on TV, and studying BikeRod&Kustom on the web. They all have bikes of this type coming out this summer and fall, including Schwinn's adult-sized new Stingray chopper. Unless I was totally without a bike at this moment, and was desperate to have one, I think I'd hold off on buying until I saw what else was available a little later.

As far as the bike industry is concerned "Kustom" is now the big trend to ride. This will be followed by aftermarket parts galore, as all the aftermarket people jump on the bandwagon. We're at the dawn of parts paradise for bike kustomizers. It's going to be very much as it was in the '60s, except this time around it's going to be stuff for adults, rather than kids.

The new BR&K will be out very soon. We'll have photos of most of the new stuff. The current issue's Off The Rack has been updated recently, with the kiddy-sized Stingray added.

Have fun!

   RE:RE:LOWRIDERS:   Rat Fink posted by AviationMetalSmith on 4/24/2004 at 1:53:45 PM
www.electrabike.com is another bike I've been considering, but the Townie's $820 price is more than the $530 for the Rat Fink.
A full size Schwinn Stingray for adults? Why didn't they think of that years ago?!?
I think the scooter craze is going to create a market for all those who ougrew their scooters and is looking for a real bike.

   RE:RE:RE:LOWRIDERS:   Rat Fink posted by Larry "Boneman" Bone on 4/24/2004 at 7:05:04 PM
They did. The Schwinn "Manta Ray". Similar setup to the Stingray but on a larger scale. They didn't sell well and hence are somewhat rare.


Larry "Boneman" Bone

   RE:RE:RE:RE:LOWRIDERS:   Rat Fink posted by AviationMetalSmith on 4/27/2004 at 1:42:11 PM
Thanx for the reply ,Boneman.
I want to state for the record that I had a Ross Baracuda when I was growing up. Baracuda was Ross's answer to the stingray.(there mustv'e been some allusion to that popular 70's TV series,"the undersea world of Jaques Cousteu"- In which divers from the ship ,Calypso, were photographing fish like STINGRAYS & BARACUDAS, for the enjoyment of millions watching at home on their color Televisions.)

   RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:LOWRIDERS:   Rat Fink posted by JimW. on 4/29/2004 at 12:38:16 AM
The Barracuda and Stingray names are allusions to car models- Plymouth Barracuda and Corvette Stingray. These performance-car labels and the stick shifters and other car themed components are why this class of bikes developed the generic term "muscle bikes", from the "muscle cars" of the same period.

   RE:LOWRIDERS:   Rat Fink posted by cbad16 on 5/26/2004 at 1:59:30 PM
I just recently purchased thie rat fink and am very pleased with the bike. It is basically the color that makes the bike stand out. Anytime someone has seen it they instantly smile. It may be a little over priced but worth the money in the long run

   RE:LOWRIDERS:   Rat Fink posted by Rustycat on 6/10/2004 at 9:04:59 PM
Rat fink was a muscle car comic strip wasn't it?

   RE:LOWRIDERS:   Rat Fink posted by terber on 6/30/2004 at 2:19:53 PM
I'm going to be 70 this August. Just got rid of my old 10-speeder after not having ridden in years and having fallen off twice. Read about the electric bike in an airline magazine. I need a solid, lightweight, affordable (under $350) like I can ride into the sunset with. Ideas

CUSTOMS:   Frame bending posted by: Harry on 4/15/2004 at 3:38:06 AM
Hey again, I have this JC penny bike and I decided to put a disc brake on the rear, but problem is that the frame isnt wide enoughto accomodate the disc. So I need to crush the frame slightly in about a 1in area, how can I do this without destroying my frame? Thanks.

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Frame bending posted by AviationMetalSmith on 4/15/2004 at 5:05:58 PM
First, check and doublecheck that you installed the disc on the wheel correctly.You wouldn't want to do that to the frame only to find out you had the disk on wrong.
Second, I would NOT recommend crushing in the tube, as this will weaken it.
You might need to add a spacer washer on the axle, between then hub and the dropout.Even if you have to use a little force to spread the frame triangles, it shouldn't be as bad for the frame as what you suggested.

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Frame bending posted by sam on 4/17/2004 at 2:26:35 PM
I'm told"have NOT tryed this" the bent builders make a specal tool to do this. They take vicegrips or a "C" clamp and weld a stright round solid bar on one side and a half tube cut length wise on the other side.

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Frame bending posted by ziggy on 4/22/2004 at 12:29:50 AM
Although this seema like an easy way out, it will work. Just get a narrower wheel with the correct hub for the disc. This way you won't have to risk ruining the frame. Also make sure that the caliper will fit so it is perfectly centered over the disc and isn't touching the frame. If you use my suggestion of using a narrower wheel, then this shouldn't be a problem.

CUSTOMS:   Getting started posted by: Dan Simmons on 4/8/2004 at 12:42:49 AM
I've got an old 26" Monacrh bike that I want to customize. Lower, stretch, and drop the frame. Banana seat, sissy bar, and monkey handlebars! Anyone out there giving free advise or instructions? Is it possible? I need a project for the summer. Thanks in advance, and e-mail me if you have info. Dan

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Getting started posted by ziggy on 4/9/2004 at 3:04:42 PM
This may be an extensive project. To stretch the frame,you can do it in two ways. One cut out the crossbar and the downtube and add new longer pieces. This is an oppurtunity to re shape the frame by using different pieces. once you get new pieces made, notch the ends with a hole saw so the tubes will fit nicely on the headtube and seat post. Then weld the tubes in place with GOOD welds. sloppy ones will take away strength. Two or you can cut the downtube and cross bar in the middle and add additional tubing. This method is ok, but you will have weld joints showing. It is pretty difficult to grind down welds to make them look like they aren't there.To lower it, simply add smaller tires and wheels or you could swap out the back triangle for one that will fit smaller tires and wheels. Remember, good welds. There are a lot of aftermarket lowrider parts available. To lower the front end, you can buy curved springer frontends that not only look cool, but add a front suspension.You can get these as well as the seat, sissy bar, and handle bars for pretty good prices at these websites. www.masterlowrider.com

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Getting started posted by ziggy on 4/9/2004 at 3:08:48 PM
This may be an extensive project. To stretch the frame,you can do it in two ways. One cut out the crossbar and the downtube and add new longer pieces. This is an oppurtunity to re shape the frame by using different pieces. once you get new pieces made, notch the ends with a hole saw so the tubes will fit nicely on the headtube and seat post. Then weld the tubes in place with GOOD welds. sloppy ones will take away strength. Two or you can cut the downtube and cross bar in the middle and add additional tubing. This method is ok, but you will have weld joints showing. It is pretty difficult to grind down welds to make them look like they aren't there.To lower it, simply add smaller tires and wheels or you could swap out the back triangle for one that will fit smaller tires and wheels. Remember, good welds. There are a lot of aftermarket lowrider parts available. To lower the front end, you can buy curved springer frontends that not only look cool, but add a front suspension.You can get these as well as the seat, sissy bar, and handle bars for pretty good prices at these websites. www.masterlowrider.com
www.megalowrider.com You should have luck with these sites. Anything you put your mind towards you can do. An advanced project won't just go together like most anticipate. Projects like a full blown custom or modifying the frame will require time,effort, and problem solving. Post some pics when it's finished. Good luck.

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Getting started posted by AviationMetalSmith on 4/11/2004 at 7:05:16 PM
You might want to check out this site;

ziggy is correct, you will need more metal tube to weld in to stretch the bike. A junker needs to be found with similar tubes. (same metal,steel;same diameter or slightly different so one fits in the other)
My stretch bike has a fiberglass 4"x6" lumber size tube five and a half feet long, with a quarter inch wall thickness. I don't do any welding, but most of the custom builders do.
Another site for custom built bikes:

   RE:CUSTOMS:   Getting started posted by kyle day on 4/18/2004 at 5:06:49 AM
man i need a dirt cheap drop bar for my new low rider show bike. im 13 and want the titest bike around and to get me attention. thanks kyle day

   RE:RE:CUSTOMS:   Getting started posted by ziggy on 4/22/2004 at 12:32:14 AM
What do you mean by a "drop bar"?