COLUMBIA BUILT BAR HOPPER

Jun 19, 2016
422
1,407
Ohio
Found this cool little '56 Columbia Built 20" straight-bar frame, tank, and fork online a few weeks ago. Thought I might see if I could make something interesting out of it. All original paint with the original (and very unique) kickstand. This should make a cool little cruiser.
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Jun 19, 2016
422
1,407
Ohio
I already have a basic "Bar Hopper" vision for this bike. But as a stock bike, I feel that there are some visual and functional problems in the basic frame design. First of all, the tank does not sit level like it would on a 26" straight-bar bike. A level tank is very important for "the look" of this build. I installed a vintage set of wheels to show how un-level the tank sits originally. My goal is to build a modified springer fork that will lower the front enough to let the straight bar of the frame sit level. While it would be cool to use an original Columbia springer; it unfortunately would not accomplish the goal of lowering the front end without a major re-design to the fork. Therefore, I will probably go with some kind of highly-modified Schwinn-style springer. Another original design flaw is that the bottom bracket is designed to have too much ground clearance. This problem will also be solved by lowering the front end. And there will still be plenty of ground clearance for the cranks to swing-through without scraping. Hopefully, the kickstand will still be functional and usable also.
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Jun 19, 2016
422
1,407
Ohio
After some experimenting with some assorted mocked-up springer parts........using a bent springer with the spring removed gave me everything that I wanted. It leveled the tank. It lowered the bottom bracket just the right amount. It still allowed for the use of the kickstand. And it even extended the front tire forward in the same way that it appears that the rear tire is extended backwards (this is a long frame!). All the design aspects of the frame work very well with this combination (even the seat tube and steering head angles). It's almost like the frame was designed for this fork. Very cool!
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Jun 19, 2016
422
1,407
Ohio
This gives a good idea of "the look" I am wanting for this build. Small period seat and early wide apes with big red coke bottle grips. The white rims work well with the white tank. The black seat works well with the black tires. The red grips work well with the red frame. The whole front end is chrome. Simple and clean!
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May 31, 2019
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Anything you want to learn to do to a car or bicycle can be learned , except one. The eye. Having THE EYE. That instant knack for color combinations and contrasts , proportions , the vibe... You know what I'm saying. No art degree can teach it, mit can't teach it. But you sir, on this one and as always, have THE EYE! Very nice build sir
 
Jun 19, 2016
422
1,407
Ohio
Anything you want to learn to do to a car or bicycle can be learned , except one. The eye. Having THE EYE. That instant knack for color combinations and contrasts , proportions , the vibe... You know what I'm saying. No art degree can teach it, mit can't teach it. But you sir, on this one and as always, have THE EYE! Very nice build sir
Wow! Highest praise! Thank you, Ben! I consider myself lucky because I see everything as art. An amazing amount of research and development go in to my builds. I am always trying to think of ways to make cool things more visually appealing. It's always very flattering when others appreciate my art.
 
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Jun 19, 2016
422
1,407
Ohio
Now the original set up looks all "slack" to me, like a modern geo MTB. That frame was made for slamming
I can't imagine that the original design would have made a very good riding bike. Maybe that's why there's not many left remaining in existence. I would like to have a hundred of them.