Felt Red Baron~MP Evo-mashification

Jul 27, 2014
44
15
Utah
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Hey there,

I got switched on to FELT bicycles after I saw PICTURES of the M.P. in 2006 while overseas at Kwajalein.

Recently, I walked into a sweet deal on a used aluminum frame Felt 'RED BARON' single speed that had been banged around by a teenage boy. I bought it for $180!

But, I NEED to customize it, as I REALLY wanted an aluminum frame M.P. - but they are fairly rare and the new ones are $800+ and have that new tank frame design (Deep 6) which I personally don't find as appealing as the more 'classic' look of the older frames.

So, I started customizing this bike.

First to go were the handlebars and grips. I bought some semi-ape hangers, grips and a bell from the local bike shop.

The worst dinged up piece was the chain guard. I hammered out the biggest misshapen dents and then roughed it up and painted over that beautiful Iron Cross that was damaged beyond repair.





I am planning on Replacing/Upgrading the following:
  1. Pedals with some refurbed DK Iron Cross pedals
  2. Fenders with some black full fenders from Felt
  3. A couple racks front & rear
    - Possibly some wooden panniers
  4. a front light and a tail light
  5. a Shimano 8 speed hub in the rear
  6. a SA front brake & dynamo hub
I am considering replacing
1) Front forks with something similar to the M.P. / el Guapo forks
2) Lay back style seat post
3) Seat
4) New Chain Guard ?

Here is the kicker: other than changing a tire, I REALLY haven't done much bike work! The relacing of the spokes looks especially challenging to me! But, I figure with the good folks here and maybe a YouTube video I can tackle it! If not, then the Local Shop is going to be getting some more business from me - not that I am against that, but I would like to DO THIS MYSELF!

I will be searching through threads and trying to gather info, if you have any recommendations or "You should Do THIS!" suggestions, please fire away! I am a middle-aged kid.

~Willie-D
 
Last edited:
Jul 27, 2014
44
15
Utah
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
(1 AUG 2014)

It was a good week. Busy at work and all sorts of parts started arriving!
I got in my Nexus 8-speed hub - MAN! That thing is HEAVY! Now I understand why multi geared bikes use cassette packs with external gears! It is friggin HEAVY!

I got in my fenders, and the struts are CHROME so they need to get rattle-canned or powder coated (I guess I need to find a powder coater!).

My rack order got cancelled, as they were out of stock so I will begin my interwebz search again! Good thing about sponsors and banners on here!
 
Jul 27, 2014
44
15
Utah
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
(2 AUG 2014)

I took my Nexus-8 and rear wheel up to the local bike shop and got reminded how little I know about this new again hobby: I need new spokes (duh!) and the hub might not fit my frame without some stretching!

SCHIESSE!

Woulda been cheaper to buy a 3 speed & wheel combo already put together from the get go! :headbang:

Hopefully next weekend they will have the wheel & hub put together. I started assembling my fenders and rattle-canned the chromed fender struts/braces - we will see how those turn out...

~Will
 
Jul 27, 2014
44
15
Utah
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
(7 AUG 2014)




Pedals & fenders are installed - but - can't go on a ride with no back tire, well, I can't ride it without a back tire!

I am planning on Replacing/Upgrading the following:
  1. Pedals with some refurbed DK Iron Cross pedals DONE
  2. Fenders with some black full fenders from Felt DONE
  3. A couple racks front & rear (Ordered - Still Waiting)
    - Possibly some wooden panniers (Working it! THis is the only thing I am really fabricating!)
  4. a front light and a tail light (IN - awaiting Racks to mount them to)
  5. a Shimano 8 speed hub in the rear (IN - at the Bike Shop getting laced)
  6. a SA front brake & dynamo hub (IN - contemplating lacing myself)


I am considering replacing

1) Front forks with something similar to the M.P. / el Guapo forks (IN - I don't want to add more weight though)
2) Heavy Duty Layback Seat Post (Ordered one through SLOWRIDERZ in the SWAP MEET )
3) Seat (Maybe not its comfy...)
4) New Chain Guard (Felt doesn't sell JUST a blank chainguard - I wonder what others will fit?)
 
Last edited:
Jul 27, 2014
44
15
Utah
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
(7 AUG 2014)

Here is the inspiration for my pannier mounts for the back:



I looked at a rack from IMA and thought "I can make something like that!"

So I did. they are both in the raw in aluminum, and I pop riveted it all together instead of press rivet (I have pop rivets - I don't have press rivets!)

My intent is to use ammo cans as panniers.

But not just any old ammo cans. Something World War I.

I am using WW1 oak wood ammo cans!

They are in the process of refinishing and refurb now. They come with steel hardware (hinges & latches), and I would LOVE to use brass, but, there aren't any of those parts available in brass! Looks like I am going to have to fabricate them in brass!

The 'VICKERS' ammo chests had brass hardware, but THOSE are $200+ ammo chests... Versus my $20 each scores from an antique store! :dance2:
 
Last edited:
Jul 27, 2014
44
15
Utah
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
(7 AUG 2014)

Here is a pic from the interwebz that shows the type of wooden ammo 'chests' that I will be using:



I also managed to find an EXTREMELY RARE accessory box for the Browning Machine Gun that is in GREAT shape! Not as nice as shape as the one below, but, similar to the above chests, except more horizontal instead of vertical.

(It didn't come with that awesome linking assembly!)



I am thinking would look GREAT on the front!

~Will
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: deven_science
Sep 27, 2007
7,775
746
sac. valley
www.facebook.com
Rating - 100%
6   0   0
The relacing of the spokes looks especially challenging to me! But, I figure with the good folks here and maybe a YouTube video I can tackle it!
I will be searching through threads and trying to gather info, if you have any recommendations or "You should Do THIS!" suggestions, please fire away! I am a middle-aged kid.

~Willie-D
Great looking start and heres a very easy to follow vid of how to lace a 36 spoke wheel.
If you look on the sheldon brown web site and have a guitar tuner you can tension them just as easily. If not you tube has a ton of how too's for that also. Hope it helps and looking forward to seeing more.

*Just noticed you got a nexus 8. If you look around the how too section here you can find some threads on how to spread the stays for it and keep the stays centered.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Surfgeek33
Jul 27, 2014
44
15
Utah
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Only thing I would tell you is to make sure you've done some gear ratio calculations. My Sturmey Archer fit fine for me but to make use of the range of gears in a useful way, I still have to get a smaller front sprocket. Check http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/ for some additional info on the technical aspects of gearing.
I don't wish to appear rude, but, I have no idea what a lot of those numbers mean!

I just thought 3 gears would be better (I had a shimano Nexus 3 spd) so that must mean that 8 is even MORE awesome! Especially since its kinda hilly here in SLC Utah.

That and with having 8 gears there would be ALOT of shifting with a SUICIDE SHIFTER! (I have to add that to my list of upgrades & mods now!)

~Will
 
Jan 21, 2014
22
22
49
Rating - 100%
7   0   0
I've got a Felt MP, and I stuck in the Shimano Alfine 8 hub with the Sturmey Archer XL-FDD up front for braking, and I love it. The 3 speed it came with just wasn't very satisfying, and it was a bear on hills. I wound up putting a 52 tooth sprocket on the front and a 22 tooth on the back, and the ratio is great. It was a heavy steel bike to begin with, even heavier now, but it rides absolutely great. The 8 speed is pretty snug in the back, but I was able to just pull the dropouts apart by hand and slide it in.
 
Jul 27, 2014
44
15
Utah
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
(Aug 18)

I've got a Felt MP, and I stuck in the Shimano Alfine 8 hub with the Sturmey Archer XL-FDD up front for braking, and I love it. .
Do you happen to recall what size of spokes the front took with the XL-FDD hub?

I have 24" rims and the local shop is having a bit of a wait getting them in for the Alfine in the rear!

I am thinking I may need to learn on the front as it is taking FOREVER to get the rear hub done!

I want to RIDE. Maybe this winter I will lace the front.

Will
 
Jan 21, 2014
22
22
49
Rating - 100%
7   0   0
14g, but i don't recall the length. I have 26" rims, though, so probably not much help there. The shop that laced mine for me reccomended double butted for strength, particularly on the front since it/I make for well over 250 pounds and it's my only brake.
I hear you on wanting to ride. When I put mine together, a big part of the point was to learn how to do all my own repair work, but I got busy at work and more than a little impatient. I picked up another project, though, and will be learning how to build wheels on that one.
 
Jul 27, 2014
44
15
Utah
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
(21 Aug)

I got my hub & wheel back from the local shop, they did a bang up job!

Slipping it into the frame was a bit tight - doable but tight. Took me four goes at it though.

I also finally got in my racks for the front & rear. Rear installation was a breeze. Front is gonna take some doing.

I am not pleased with the current look. Its sort of a wheezy looking commuter look.






I am planning on Replacing/Upgrading the following:
  1. Pedals with some refurbed DK Iron Cross pedals DONE
  2. Fenders with some black full fenders from Felt DONE
  3. A couple racks front & rear DONE
    - Possibly some wooden panniers (Working it! This is the only thing I am really fabricating! Need to finish forming the aluminum braces to the ammo chests)
  4. A front light and a tail light (IN - awaiting Racks to mount them to)
  5. A Shimano 8 speed hub in the rear DONE
  6. A SA front brake & dynamo hub (IN - contemplating lacing myself)
  7. A suicide shifter of sorts


I am considering replacing

1) Front forks with something similar to the M.P. / el Guapo forks (IN - I don't know if this is going to work out - maybe though)
2) Heavy Duty Layback Seat Post (Got one from SLOWRIDERZ This thing is AWESOME! SOLID! )
3) Seat (Maybe not, this one is comfy...)
4) New Chain Guard (Felt doesn't sell JUST a blank chainguard - I wonder what others will/would fit?)
 
  • Like
Reactions: patman73
Jul 27, 2014
44
15
Utah
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
(31 Aug)

Its been fun putting everything together now!

I got my racks assembled and put on, as well as my front rack and lights all around!






I even decided on where I want my shifter, right in the center!

But what to use as a shift knob...?



I don't care to preserve the flying cross on the side of the tank, but, perhaps a bit of an overlay:





I am planning on Replacing/Upgrading the following:
  1. Pedals with some refurbed DK Iron Cross pedals DONE
  2. Fenders with some black full fenders from Felt DONE
  3. A couple racks front & rear DONE
    - Oak wood Ammo Chest panniers (Working it! Finish sanding, staining, lacquer coat/sealant & leather straps)
  4. A front light and a tail light DONE
  5. A Shimano 8 speed hub in the rear DONE
  6. A SA front brake & dynamo hub (IN - holding install until WINTER!)
  7. A suicide shifter of sorts (Center mount... Twist shift knob decisions)
  8. Chop down the shifter cable in length!


I am considering replacing

1) Front forks with something similar to the M.P. / el Guapo forks (IN - I don't know if this is going to work out - maybe though - Still deciding)
2) Heavy Duty Layback Seat Post (Got one from SLOWRIDERZ This thing is AWESOME! SOLID! )
3) Seat (Maybe not, this one is comfy...)
4) New Chain Guard DONE - Thanks to MOONBASE!
5) Paint ? (Hmmmm. I am not a RED BIKE kinda guy - subdued/ G.I. style not Gastrointestinal either - General Issue)
6) Decal (Do I paint or not is the REAL question!)
 
Jul 27, 2014
44
15
Utah
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
(Sep 8)

Still trying to fix the flats I collected a couple weeks ago!

In the mean time I have decided on the M-69 Baseball Grenade shifter knob! I got the base further hollowed out and spline notches cut into it, but, need another fuze/bouchon as I cross threaded the last one and snapped it! UGH!

I am also thinking of using a MTB straight BAR END to mount to me seatpost and then to attach the shifter to it.

I tried the improvised method, but, I just don't like the hose clamp attachment method.

But that's about it.

~Will