When you think custom bikes, the first place that comes to mind is Des Moines, Iowa right? Well, actually, most of us would have probably said California or maybe even Amsterdam. Dan Koenig of Ichi Bike is definitely trying to change that perspective.
Back in 2010 Dan decided to open up a bike shop next door to his tattoo shop, Yankee Doodle Dandy. Sure, he could have opened a cookie cutter shop that catered to all things Spandex, but instead, he had to stick to his vintage roots. Dan’s shop specializes in building custom vintage bicycles and over the past few years he’s put a new spin on his work by creating electrified versions of these cool cruisers. This is where Dan’s recent muscle bike inspired creation comes in to the story.
Dan has a love for 24″ bikes, so when he got a hold of this vintage ’60s model Sears Spyder frame, he knew he had to build something cool with it. He was also a big fan of Torker BMX bikes of the ’70s and ’80s, so anything with multiple top tubes gets his motor running. If you’re familiar with the Spyders of this era, you’ll remember how they ran a wild double rear brake caliper set up. The two rear calipers are controlled by a single lever up front.We’re not sure how effective that was for increasing braking power, but it sure as heck looked cool!
Ichi Bike is known for creating these really cool seats out of old skateboard decks, so Dan decided to take it a step further with this build and recreate a ’70s banana seat totally out of wood. The striping that you see on the seat and frame panels were inspired by the K&M Kawasaki race stripes.
Adding some flying power was next on the to-do list. Dan used a 500 watt rear hub motor and a 48 volt battery to get this machine running an average of 25mph. Once the motor was added, a weak point in the build was revealed….the springer front fork. In order to stabilize things, Dan had to do some welding and fabricating to beef it up a bit. He also added a disc brake mount and a hydraulic brake set up for more stopping power. In spite of all of the fabricating work, the springer still functions as it should.
The rolling stock on this bike consists of a 26″ front wheel with a Thick Slick front tire and a 24″ rear wheel with a Jerald Sulky buggy slick tire to pay homage to the muscle bikes of the ’60s. Combine all of this together and you’ve got a seriously killer looking E-Bike.
You can tell that Dan loves what he does and it’s not uncommon to see him and his family tooling around Des Moines on these custom creations. Heck, he even built a bike for Talking Heads front man David Byrne! If you’re in the market for a unique custom vintage bike, you definitely should consider contacting the folks at Ichi Bike. You can also follow them on Facebook to see what they are up to.