Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Down Low On The Down Low

Squirrel asked how I did this mod for my Schwinn cruiser, so I am putting up a brief explanation of how I did it. Actually, it came to me in a kind of accidental way. I had chopped a Huffy frame apart to make a door handle for my firewood box, and since I used only the headtube, I was looking at the rest of the frame and thought, "What else can I make from this?" So I just started dinking around with it, trying this and that. I kept thinking I wanted to make what would look like a girder fork. Then I "saw" what could be done, and in about 20 minutes had this roughed out and fitted, ready for a little paint, and wah frikkin lah! Low riding action was achieved. I put the double brakes on some time later, just as overkill. I only have this one pair of cruiser rims that have enough sidewall for brakes, so they're on it most of the time. I have a killer chrome set that looks nice with some old Goodrich tires too, just have to remember not to use the hand brakes:)

Top Tube, Seat Tube, Seatstay of Huffy donor.

Stem and bars go into seat tube.

Front wheel bolts on per normal location, then the rear dropouts bolt on to the outside of that.

Grab an old, sturdy front brake wire hanger, flip upside down, and bend the end to fit inside of the center of the top tube. I had to Dremmel out about an inch by inch and a half section of the tt to fit the hanger.

Lastly, to strengthen everything up, I pounded a star nut into the tt section, ran a bolt down to it, and cranked it down. Did exactly what I needed it to. Stayed tight over the years too. The only problem I have had is sometimes the stem wants to twist inside the seat tube. I could section a small piece of seat post and re-do that, easy fix. Or hit it with a weld or two, but then it wouldn't be all bolt on, now would it?

To get the seat back and low I simply left the seat post in the clamps, slid it between the top of the seat stays, (wedging the end point of the seat rails around the collar of the seat tube) and made a little block of wood into a spacer to line up with the angle of the seat tube. Finish with a stainless clamp for some extra security, and you're ready to ride!

What else? I would not cut tubes until you get a good feel for how long they need to be to line up. You can always cut more off, you can't cut more on! The whole reason I had to use the star nut was that I cut the tube a little too short to just go straight down through the tube with a bolt. But you know, I think that part is the stealthiest part of the whole mod, so whatever! That's the art of "ratting" on something. If you mess up, fart around until you make something work, right? Later!



Travel Gravel said...

Use the search box in the upper left corner to search for "overbite" and you'll see an early picture of the concept, in profile.

MrDaveyGie said...

Cool ride.

Squirrel said...

Seeings I have a welder I'll be adding my own touch:) I will tell everyone whom asks where the idea was birthed though my Brutha:) Thanks! Now to find a worthy frame for lowride'n! I also think I'll attempt a long rat bike, I really miss my long bikes:(

Travel Gravel said...

Squirrel, I cannot wait to see what you produce. I'm sure you know about through Ichi Bikes, but if you don't, check it out!

Matthew Moggridge said...

I was just wondering where you store all your bikes. I was reading on your post about ISU's mini Velodrome that you have, what, nine fixed wheel bikes? As my mum would say, 'you can't ride them all at once'.

How's it going? Did you try the mini velodrome?

Travel Gravel said...

Matt, all of my bikes, (43 overall) are jammed one way and another, into my garage. It is easier to store multiple bikes if I take the pedals off, and turn the handlebars in line with the top tube. Much narrower profile that way. True, a person cannot ride them all at once, but the fun is in trying to ride them all over time. I think my most urgent fascination with them is the patina on the paint. I just love the story that each tells. Weird, right? You'll want to call me when the Mad Max scenarios play out, I'll hook you up with parts or complete bikes:) The mini velodrome scene played out like most other fun things in my life, I missed it by half an hour! I was trying to leave work early to get home and change, grab a bike or two and head over, but some customers (##@^&&**!!!) kept me at work for an extra 45 minutes, so I just drove over to look. It looked like a lot of fun, and a little bit dangerous. But alas, there's only so much standing around -watching other people have fun -that I can take, so I left before they were done with the pursuit races. Maybe next time:( Other than work sucking my soul out and time's eternal march, things are great! Keep on the sunny side! Later!