Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Bully bike returns

I had the opportunity to make a little time for something other than home improvement today. I've gotten quite a bit done on the ol' Bully bike. Unfortunatlely, like many projects the time spent is mostly on little details that go unnoticed in the big picture. With the new forks the front fender needed a new way to mount it. I added some tabs at the back of the forks and a bracket on the top. The original wheels had a lovely coat of white house paint so I used a pair of wheels from a donor mountain bike. I wanted to maintain the original syle, so it will stay a single-speed but due to the hub configuration will lose the coaster brake. I special ordered a BMX freewheel with the same number of teeth as the original. The front chainwheel was bent badly so I had to whack the crap out of it to get 'er back in to shape. I needed to add a mount to the frame to bolt on a caliper brake. Due to the geometry of the frame the brake fits real well mounted upside down under the seat stays. Looks a little odd but it's not distracting and should work real well and with brakes-function first. With a combination of sandblasting, sanding, and stripping I finally got all the paint off the parts today. The frame looks quite nice and I primed it right after taking this picture of my final mock up. I've been collecting parts and I should have a pretty cool lighting setup and if you look real close you can see my red crown valve caps. I got some nice chrome bits for here and there and some groovy red and white cable wrap stuff straight from the 60's. My flea market bike parts guy finally re-retired so bitchin old bike parts are going to be harder to find. I guess I'd want to relax if I was 75 and spent my free time selling bicycle parts at flea markets.
This picture here is from an early mockup in April. It had no brakes but I rode it a few times and it rides pretty nice. After tearing it down I realized the frame was bent a fair amount. With the help of dear old Dad we got the frame straighter than when Huffy banged this thing out back in '68. He also tig welded the rear fork ends to the tubes for a bit of rigidity. You can see that I'd changed the green grips to red. I've decided to paint the bike satin black and red. After some thought I think Gymi and Lucky were spot on with that reccomendation. Although the picture of the Schwinn Black Phantom sealed the deal. I had designs on building an American bike for along time and I'd been collecting red parts anyhow. The provenance is there for a bicycle paint job and still has the automotive rat rod thing going for it too. That big pie plate behind the rear cogs is gone and I will have the chain guard on her. I've changed the seat from the first incarnation, as well. It won't be much longer and I'll have the bike that will be perfect for that kid who wants to beat up Beaver Cleaver for his paper route money.

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