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This year, I wanted to build up a straight-bar type frame, possibly with a tank, in the spirit of salt flat land speed record cars. Not only do I want it to look fast, but actually be fast. Maybe not sustained fast like a road bike, but capable of a high top speed (assuming I can actually crank the thing) for short distances. Here's where I'm drawing inspiration:
Now, about what bike to actually use, I can go with 1) a Huffman Firestone:
2) a Colson Firestone:
Or possibly 3) a Monark Rocket frame that's just hanging around:
Ultimately, I have mixed feelings about hacking up either Firestone, since they've survived this long as is and are otherwise pretty complete. The Rocket, OTOH, not only sounds fast but is something I bought as essentially a partial kit. Someone previously repainted it (kinda poorly), so I have no heartburn about doing what I want with it. Here's my concept sketch of where I sorta see it going (although the design has already evolved somewhat from it in my mind):
Last edited by expjawa on Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
If a windshield appears on my build-off bike, let it be known that I stole the idea from you. Mine will have a red tint to it.
That is a great sketch. The shifter on the tank is pretty cool. The graphics all over are cool. Pedals are cool. Rear disk with front spokes look really cool. The entire layout of the bike is cool.
I tried being serious, but it was boring.
Based on your sketch I think you should look at the Richard Petty tribute bike from last year's build-off for some inspiration.
I know you can pull this off!
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I remember the Petty bike. I can see where you'd draw a connection from the sketch, but that's really a bit of a different direction than I see this going. Part of that, I think, is that sketch is really kinda 1-dimensional, whereas in my head I see the complete picture that I can't really convey well.
A few details that you wouldn't get from the sketch - the frame/fork will be a dark metallic green, whereas the scallops a medium shade. The tank is bare steel (except for the scallops) that's clear coated. I might do the same with the chain guard, I don't know yet. The filler panels are aluminum, again bare. I'm thinking of either a brushed or grinder toolmark finish on either, although if I'm real ambitious I might take a stab at engine turning.
The canvas tool bag is meant to represent, at least in my mind, a drag chute. But it would also be cool if I could find a spun aluminum tank about that size, although anything I saw like that was beyond expensive. I think the headlights will move to an axle mount, TBD. I'm thinking of a rear bumperette of some sort, the sort that a LSR car might have for a push truck (a push trike here?) to get them rolling. The stem, bars and windscreen will probably be different then shown.
I dunno. I might do something entirely different still. I still have the idea that I'd like to build a cargo bike that would answer the question "what would Santa ride?"
Either frame is cool! Like the theme too
Any frame would rock!
I'd go with the Monark, it has all the major elements of your drawing and will cause you less fitment issues when looking for the 'Monark' springer.
If you need some funds, I think Double Nickle is looking for that Huffman tank for RRBO entry.
Good luck with whatever choice you make.
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Actually, I the Monark frame was what I was drawing in that sketch. And I already have the Monark springer, the bike came with it. I'm not sure if Rockets generally had the springer, but this one did. It was missing the appropriate tank, but I found one from a similar Coronet on eBay. I also picked up a second chain guard, so I can modify one and not chop up the original.
A lot of the parts needed I already have, but what's going to be expensive is the wheel set. My plan is build a rear wheel with a Sturmey 8-speed drum brake hub. The front wheel will be a deep-V rim with 24 or 28 spokes. I have no front brake planned, the rear drum will have to suffice. But if we ran coaster brakes only forever, this shouldn't be much different...
Which one? Well, either one qualifies, I like them both as well. Given that I've just done a lot of work on the Colson Firestone (ahead of the start) and am not likely to change it much, I probably have to rule that one out. Admittedly, had I waited to start cleaning it up till yesterday, it would've been a great entry, even without a lot of further changes.
The Huffman Firestone Special Cruiser is interesting, but I can't do much to clean it without destroying the graphics that are still on it. I tried going over it with fine steel wool and WD40, and it started to take the white off of the decals. So, no more of that, at least until I can document it thoroughly. With this one, I think, I either leave it as is, which isn't really rideable, or I actually fully restore it. Either way, it doesn't lend itself to a build off.
So that leaves me with the Rocket. It's really a blank slate. Well, that is unless I choose to go with...
Nah, I think I'll stick with the Rocket. Seems like anything non-Schwinn is exponentially more interesting. Nothing against Schwinns, of course, I have a bunch of them. But they are very common...
Good choice! Kinduva shame to tear such a complete bike apart when you have one screaming to be built, but I guess you could call that "rat rodding", right?
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RRB BO#7 http://www.ratrodbikes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=56476
Clearly you are bike poor.
The Colson is a beauty just the way it sits. The first Firestone you posted, it would be a shame to repaint it, but it is your bike. I say use the Rocket, it could use some freshening up! Looking forward to what you come up with.
RRBBO # 8 AUNT FLOW viewtopic.php?f=75&t=72055
I guess I have a few, but I gave up keeping count. I figure I'm no different from a lot of the other folks on this site as far as that goes. They come, they go sometimes.
Believe it or not, that AMF is, for lack of a better term, a customer refurbish project. Someone's actually willing to pay to have it reconditioned...
I know, I'm real torn about what to do with it. I originally purchased to use for this build off, but when I got it home, I just couldn't bring myself to build some crazy project out of it. The bike itself is very complete, save for the top half and lens of the headlight. The decal all appear to be relatively intact, certainly enough to clearly see what they once looked like and what the paint patterns were. But they are decaying, the white color on the decals comes off easy. I'm afraid that if I use it as-is, I'll wind up leading to their total loss. On the other hand, if I restore, I wipe out all of the patina (if we're still allowed to use that word) that it's earned. It's kind of a loose-loose situation, unless I simply display it, which is generally against my bike belief structure...
Last edited by expjawa on Wed May 02, 2012 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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