"YELLow Belly!"

Discussion in 'BUILDS' started by gigmata, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. gigmata

    gigmata

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
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    Location:
    Studio City, CA
    As a kid I was obsessed with owning a Free Agent BMX bike. I saved my money and I finally got one. I remember praying for a chrome GT BMX bike. I saved my money and finally got one. I didn't like chrome after all so I had my mentor paint it white for me. Later, I took a razor blade and scraped all the white paint and primer off so I could have it chrome again. It sure helps to know what you really want. A few months back I visited Norm from Venicemotorbikes.com to look at a 1909 that he was selling (that bike became "Spinsane".) While I was there I saw a Felt tank frame painted in a dark miscellaneous hue of green. Amidst, other motored & flawless builds that Norm created, this traded-in motorless frog-skinned Felt stuck out like a sore thumb on a hand model. He offered me a good price but I went home without it. I wanted that 1909 for "Spinsane." I did not want another Felt cruiser. Sales had gone far too slow. Within a few days I was putting the money in Norm's hand and bringing home "Kermit the flogged."

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    Here is how the bike looked when I brought it home. It sat a while before I went to work on it.

    Before I took up a pen and begin to conceptualize "YELLow Belly," which happened months before I had a donor frame, I already knew that I wanted a normal sized chain wheel, black Project 346 tires, aluminum seat post and a sweet set of $150 handlebars from Sportsmanflyer.com. I specifically wanted to use the same wheels that I used on "Thunder Star" but Gary at bicycledesigner.com was sold out of them. No matter what was going to happen I would not be using Girvins nor would I be using a springer. I don't like springers. I was lucky enough to have a firebikes.com fork in my bike parts closet. Little did I know how often I would be visiting that closet and forum member, CoryKip's closet too.

    Unwilling to make any compromises at all, I got to work disassembling the incredible bulky hulk of a cruiser. I looked for a trash can to throw the springer into but then I figured I could get $50 for it but I sure was wrong. I knew I would have to get to work on the graphics package for it too. I thought there was a chance the at I could make the build-off. I stayed late at work searching for black 26" Project 346 tires which may not exist in 'Merica at all unless they are used. Strike one. Surely, I can use some of those great wheels from bicycledesigner.com - strike two! That is not a problem. While mocking the frame and fork up it appeared the forks wouldn't fit - Strike three. After a series of very colorful words being used to rid my body of stress I had to re-think the build using a series of "also-ran" parts including the forks because I was not going to put Girvins on this bike. To make matters worse the helmet face shield I bought to use as a number plate smelled like fresh puke! By the time you read this it has officially outgassed and I inhaled almost all of it.

    For rolling stock, I had the flawless 26" wheels from the 1909 that I bought from Norm. I can use those, right? I had the Felt Circuit tires left over from when I "ruined" a Slater by turning it into the "She's The Bomber" bike. I had a fenders left over from a Felt Baron that I turned into something - I don't even recall. I swallowed both pride and expectation and gathered together the parts of the "Jerry Springer" forks and tried to be happy about it.

    I paid a visit, just like I did yesterday, to the friendly folks at WAAG Automotive because they do an excellent job of stripping off old paint and powder applying some fresh and flawless finishing. I asked to see their yellows and what you will see in the pics below definitely tripped my trigger. A couple of days later I not only had the parts back but I had gathered together some other goodies to go along with the change of plans.

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    A ray of sunshine on my carpet makes me happy - except the springers.



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    Designing the logos went well. I found a font that could've lived in the boardtrack racer period and had DIYLettering.com make the decals for me.

    CorkKip sold me a massive chainwheel from an exercise bike. The 1909 seat was to be used in place of a leather seat that I pulled off of my "Project: Skip." bike. The grip tape and bars were ordered because the 5 pairs of handlebars under my bed were just not good enough or the wrong size. A motorcycle brake lever that I had bought a year ago gave up it's dust collecting duties to slow this puppy down. The stem was likely to be given to a friend or neighbor for an upcoming repair.

    YellowBelly Chain wheel.jpg
    The massive chainwheel is from an exercise bike. It is connected to a set of Rant 3pc. BMX cranks and has a sealed bottom bracket.

    The sweet aluminum Velo Orange bars that I paid a million dollars for didn't fit either. If I wasn't at home I would've went home and just let it all collect dust like the brake lever. Once the graphics arrived I started to put this thing together. After the decals were applied to the rims they were sent off to Jeff Haze, the wheelwright that I hire. Jeff warned me that I might need spokes and I did. Argh!! I couldn't reuse the rear spokes because the Felt spoke didn't fit since i was using the massively flanged Sturmey-Archer 5 speed. Since I respect those details I had to order new spokes fore and aft. Also, because I always seem to know that I will have a problem fitting a dropstand to a Felt I sent two to WAAG Automotive for some local color and that worked in my favor. Once I got the wheels back from Jeff, I officially gave up on finding 26" Project 346 tires - whatever - I was so over it. I began bolting the bike together. On came the sealed headsets - yes plural - on came the "Jerry Springer" forks, on came the replacement handle bars, Rant cranks took their place because this was the wrong bike for me to be adding a Caramba "Double Barrel" crankset. My neighbor, Mark, brought my vision of a "dummy chainwheel Gig Mata-fication" to life. Things just kept working out. Pretty much, I was going to finish in time for the build-off and I was wrong. Just a few little tweaks and I would've been there, right? Right. Had I set up the brakes and set up the 5 speed I would've met the qualification of have a completely assembled bike that could be used safely. I knew that I still wouldn't be finished. There were little details that I had intended for this bike weren't on it yet. I bowed out of the competition which had a lot of really great builds. Screw it: Gig Mata's "YELLow Belly" is a DNF.

    I am happy to say, after numerous set screws, leather, an ear gauge, some skull valve caps, and my friend Howard tuning the 5 speed and brake for me the bike is now "F'd." It rides really nice too. I think that gives me an official "also ran" for the competition. Since this bike was inspired greatly by the "Show Me Your Cool Little Details" thread on this forum I wasn't going to cheat myself out of really having my vision be what I wanted it to be with the parts I actually could get.

    865b4252bf775a5c7654fdb1b9e200b7.jpg WAAG Automotive did a fantastic job on the powder coating. They had a variety of yellows but this was the stand-out color in my opinion.


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    Here she is in all of her glory and splendor.

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    I used magnetic clasps and leather to make the cable ties. A zip tie would've done it but that is no longer my way. Notice the "Gig Mata" logo on the tire and the tiny ring of cubic zircon stones inside the end of the handle bar. The grip tape was chosen for it's great stitching detail.


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    Wing nuts instead of quick release. Yes.

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    The "88" is because my Assistant was born in 1988. The brake lever came off the parts shelf of a motorcycle parts shop.

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    I am very fond of magic and half-link chains. The magic comes via set screws, nuts, and derailleur hangers which allowed me to use a drop stand as the kickstand bung was shaved from the frame. The shifter cable cover is not missing. The bike shop consensus was for me to leave it off to show off the mechanical nature of the bike to keep it looking racier. This time the consensus was correct.

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    I saw this summer's "Mad Max: Fury Road" movie which I thought was not worth my time nor money. I did take away the quote: "May you ride eternal, shiny & chrome."

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    Thanks to my friend & neighbor Eric for bringing my vision to reality with this faux chainwheel on the non-drive side.

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    I wanted to use another stem from Sunday but noooo I had to use this leftover stem from my parts closet. It had the perfect sized opening for a piece of jewelry - an ear gauge. Can you locate the second mustache on the bike?

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    I get a lot of questions about how I got my logo on the tires. There are two answers: glue & Tredwear.com. Michael and his crew can fix you up as well. Please note this was not cheap but it was oh so worth it.

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    Board track racers like the Cyclone that inspired this build raced on tracks that became know as "murderdromes." This bike features two skulls with cross bones. One is in the front number plate, can you guess there the other is?
     

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    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
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  2. deven_science

    deven_science

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    "Ride eternal, shiny & chrome."

    Nice touch.
     
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  3. Endlesschain

    Endlesschain

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    Location:
    Whangarei,New Zealand
    Im not into a lot of show bikes but this sir,has ticked all the boxes,good balance of paint/chrome,practical engineering,clean lines,great details,well done,what brand is that half link chain? love the covered links
     
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  4. gigmata

    gigmata

    Joined:
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    997
    Location:
    Studio City, CA
    The chain is a 1/2 link chain from DK.

    The bike isn't meant to be for show. I was riding this the day before I took the photos. My friend was riding it the day before that. I believe that if I am going to make something it needs to be done at the highest level of my abilities (except for videos). The quality and innovation you see if "YELLow Belly" is consistent with my other bikes but may be a bit better. I say that after spending this evening working on a klunker called "Spinsane," which used to be a near perfect Felt 1909 donor bike. That bike is meant to be as good or better than "YELLow Belly." The next build after the klunker, "Dreamcatcher" will be even more over-the-top in quality and attention to detail.

    No doubt the chain would be a great part of whatever great build you have in mind. Whatever you do, make it yours. I have never entered any of the hundred plus bikes I have built in a show. This forum is as close as I have come to that. As for you, "May you ride eternal, shiny, & chrome!"


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  5. Endlesschain

    Endlesschain

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    Location:
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    And you topped it off for me by saying you ride it even tho to me its show qaulity,I was just saying to my daughter yesterday that I have to ride every bike I build,it has to stand up to a decent a to b ride regardless of shiny or sketchy ratted

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  6. Endlesschain

    Endlesschain

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    May you ride eternal,shiny and chrome could be a rrb moto,it seems to fit well with what we do

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  7. gigmata

    gigmata

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    I agree.


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  8. Bike Bum

    Bike Bum

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    Location:
    Swellsville, USA. Where Everything Is Just Swell.
    This bike turned out great!! I'm amazed at all the details. Just like you, I've given up on Project 346 tires. I did find one but I'm not paying $75 bucks for one tire. The tires you used are very nice. I've just spent the last 2 hours scouring the internet trying to find a cool tire for one of my builds and I haven't seen the ones you're using. What brand are they? I'm also going to look in to half link chains. That's the best looking chain I've ever seen. :inlove: Again, I love this bike, great job!
     
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  9. gigmata

    gigmata

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    Hey BB,

    I am always happy to be helpful. The tires used on YELLow Belly are from feltbicycles.com. The tires are called Circuit tires. Junkyrustybikes.co had some Project 346 tires but not the solid black ones that I wanted. The chain is called a half-link chain. Mine was made by DK. You have a lot of color options and manufacturer choices. You can look at Danscomp.com, Pork Chop BMX, and eBay to see a variety of choices. Keep in mind that you may need to purchase 2 because your cruiser is larger than a BMX bike.

    Thank you for all the compliments.

    - Gig

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  10. Texas Pista

    Texas Pista

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    I've never been a fan of yellow until now. Your bike is superb.


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  11. gigmata

    gigmata

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    The wisdom of Texas has spoken. Thank you. This build had to be yellow for the same reason my "Lucky B@$+@rd" bike had to be satin purple: it wouldn't look as badazzling any other
    way.

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  12. Texas Pista

    Texas Pista

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    That's a nice build! Check out my Hiawatha Restomod I posted here in the build thread


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  13. gigmata

    gigmata

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  14. Falstaff

    Falstaff

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    central ohio
    Love what you do with these bikes.
    But, what the heck? I didn't realize your house was in a neighborhood. I thought you lived in the "country".
     
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  15. gigmata

    gigmata

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    The next time you and the wife are out this way come on over and stay. I have a rooms that I don't even go in.

    The house I wanted to buy slipped through my fingers - I just wasn't ready. I got a place that is near my dream house and the one I tried to buy back when you and your wife visited. This house has a considerably smaller lot than I wanted but the house is better built than the others I tried to buy which is why I resonated with it so well.
     
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  16. Falstaff

    Falstaff

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    We'll definitely be back that way at some point,probably spend more than a couple hours at each stop next time.

    Is this the house I saw on zillow? If so I understand not using some rooms.
     
  17. gigmata

    gigmata

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    I will PM you the address.


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