Nov 1, 2013
Studio City, CA
Special thanks to everyone for your encouragement. I thought I had to step out a few times but things kept going right because I had to make a lot of concessions. Clearly, that had it's benefits. Sadly, I will never recommend DHL and only recommend UPS if there has been some sort of disaster where unlaiden swallows, Fedex, and the Post Office are not available. That being said, here she is, the aptly named, "Switch-a-roo."

I wanted a early 20th century style, which I am obviously fond of. My original concept was a tired board track racer that had been converted for street use. I wanted it to look well-used. I had planned on anodizing a lot of aluminum parts in a faded brass-like gold to match the "Switch-a-roo decals. I planned on adding an alternate set of Noleen fork, alternate bars, number plate, rear fender and tires. What actually happened was I realized that I usually put Girvins on everything, I had some on my pancakes this morning so that was out. I thought I had a fender that would be great for the rear other than what you see but I was wrong. I wanted to use my 3G adjustable handlebars but they were not disassembled prior to powder coating like I asked. I wanted to use a massive 255mm front rotor but it took a century for the fork to arrive instead of 5 days (thank you, UPS.) I would have needed a bracket welded onto the steel forks for it not to look patched together. I have to admit it that even the rims are tires weren't my first choices. "Switch-a-roo" indeed! The only four things that are in the original plan are the frame, decals, seat post and handlebars. Please be careful what you name your bike.

Somebody sold me their Panama Jack seat from their Huffy. Another person sold me a set of Schwinn OCC Chopper bike handlebars. They were terribly rusted so I ordered a pair that I was told were new. They arrived with the tag still on them, obviously not used and they still had rust on them. I took the first set and had them powder coated.

The number plate didn't used to be one. It was originally a face mask for a helmet. I thought it would look cool with a light behind it. What do you think?

For this shot I lowered my camera into the grass and really opened up the iris.

I had hoped to find a thick rich patch of grass in the park. There was a golf course next door. Perhaps I should've played through.


I prefer drop stands over traditional kickstands because traditional kickstands tend to fall out of Felt cruisers after they come out of the powder coating oven.

UPS had quite the snafu sending me the Firebikes forks. As a result I now own 3 of them. The stem is by Casket. The bolts are underneath.

The multi-cog Ziegler-Lam Supergear cranks were NOS units obtained from eBay.

3G Wheels are on this build complete with a "kick back" 2 speed hub. I used handlebar tape as a drop out protector so the chain won't slap the frame when the gears shift.

Here she is in all her glory and splendor. I had a leather motorcycle helmet and some goggles that I threw in for good measure.


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Jan 26, 2015
The Plus Bike! This bike is a custom designed frame, I wanted to build a simple bike, that means only what was needed. So I simplified the frame by make the down tube and top tube the same tube, I did the same thing with the seat stays and chain stays. I also builds the frame out do simple square tubing that is easy to find and affordable. Because I was reducing the number of tubes I was able to increase the wall thickness of the tubing and still keep the frame weight under 6lbs. It's a fixed gear/single speed, with a saddle and matching grips I made using cork leather. I also added a simple fender made of cherry wood. Along with a acid etched head badge. This is truly a one of a kind bike that rides and handles great. I have been using it for committing the past 2 weeks.

Build thread: http://www.ratrodbikes.com/forum/index.php?threads/wbo-the-plus-bike.89897/#post-898394
Jan 21, 2009
New Hampshire Lakes Region

1936 Hawthorne Deco speedster

This project stayed true to my original plan, I am very pleased with the end result. Thorn was a basket case when I received it a few years back, After putting it out of my sight for about a year I tried to sell it but nobody wanted the messed up frame with hack repair. After selling off or junking everything but the frame I was inspired to make something of it. It was fortunate that I had a few parts kicking around that fit the build. I was shooting for an art deco cruiser and I think I achieved that goal. Came out a bit sportier than I thought it would.

I tried to keep the Thorn looking really tidy by hiding the wire and shift cable as best I could, filled the unused holes in the chain guard with fender bolts (and a 1936 Indian Head Nickel) and made an aluminum sleeve for the seat post so it would blend with the frame.

Swapping over the drive train was a challenge as well as the handlebars and custom fender stays but it worth every hour. I have a couple of miles on it from scouting for photo locations and it rides great!

You will note from my build thread that a couple of things didn’t make it onto the Thorn, notably the wheel covers. I put a ton of work into them but in the end I’m kind of glad they didn’t work out for this bike, but perhaps for another project…

Special thanks to my wife for helping me with the color, rear fender struts and various other visual details. And a thanks to Renaissance Man for the rear seat/chain stay bolt idea.

Thanks to all for your encouragement and input. Enjoy the photos!

Build Thread: http://ratrodbikes.com/forum/index.php?threads/wbo-thorn-ok-really-now-its-done-pics.89305/

Dec 9, 2010
(2nd Semester Transfer Student the Builds Thread):blush:
l'm showing up fashionably late for the Build Off party because I didn't think I'd have anything to wear, but this little Half Fast get up came together in the 11th hour as weather and motivation co-operated.
I'm glad that I made it to the Shindig even if I am skidding in sideways near the end!:happy:

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Jan 2, 2012
Well a lot of great bikes,to vote for.
And a winter build off is quite a challenge when you are battling the weather.Between snow,cold,wind n rain I congratulate the builders who kept going.
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Double L's Steel Crank'n Vintage Rustorations
Oct 26, 2012
Anderson, Indiana
Man....some really cool stuff! Due to managing some health issues I was side -tracked from winter build-off...Definitely feeling stronger and looking forward to RRBO 10. Congratulations guys on some remarkable accomplishments!