Kreamsicle Krate

Sep 13, 2006
957
2,044
50
southern PA
I am digging the discussion on fork sizes here; I became interested in this topic back when I bought a couple of the Walmart "Black Friday Krates" back in 2007. They use a 20" springer with a 16" front wheel and if I look at one too long in its stock configuration, I get an involuntary tic in my left eye. I ran one with a 20" wheel on the front for a while and it looked much better.

I like the idea of going a little longer on the fork to get clearance for longer cranks; I have a couple of old Junior frames that could definitely use this treatment.

My question: did Schwinn use a 24" springer or a 26" springer on Krates? I never had an original Krate myself, and I never took a tape measure to one of my friends' bikes...
 
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Reactions: Reallybigtim
Jun 19, 2016
362
1,248
Ohio
I am digging the discussion on fork sizes here; I became interested in this topic back when I bought a couple of the Walmart "Black Friday Krates" back in 2007. They use a 20" springer with a 16" front wheel and if I look at one too long in its stock configuration, I get an involuntary tic in my left eye. I ran one with a 20" wheel on the front for a while and it looked much better.

I like the idea of going a little longer on the fork to get clearance for longer cranks; I have a couple of old Junior frames that could definitely use this treatment.

My question: did Schwinn use a 24" springer or a 26" springer on Krates? I never had an original Krate myself, and I never took a tape measure to one of my friends' bikes...
The Krates used a 26" tire bike length with a short 4" steering tube size. Kind of a hybrid springer. I don't know if they put springers on 24" bikes. I would be interested if you want to get rid of one of those junior frames.
 
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Reactions: ParkRNDL
Jun 19, 2016
362
1,248
Ohio
Put a larger vintage tire on the front. Old pie crust side wall date coded 1954. It was on a '52 Schwinn 20" bike that I just picked up. Looked like trash until I cleaned it. It cleaned up very nicely. Now the front of the bike looks more balanced. Never cared for those 1.75" front tires (or 16" fronts) because I could always hear them scuffing when I turned (not getting traction). The back tire is an NOS Uniroyal Fastrack that I bought for $20 at a swap meet. A true smooth tread slick. It is dry-cracked but still soft. So, I will use it.
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Jun 19, 2016
362
1,248
Ohio
Which forks look better? Chopper or springer? I measured the trail length with the chopper front end, and surprisingly, it is within the accepted range of 2"-4" for being ride-able (3.5"). So, I can go either way. I think I am going to make an early 70's-style off-road conversion version also. That will make 4 versions of this bike!
 
Jun 19, 2016
362
1,248
Ohio
Thanks for your input. I agree with the springer set-up looking better. And it is obviously a better rider. But I always loved those outrageous choppers. So, this was more of a photo op. Just had to see what it would look like. I will attempt to take a ride on it today and then switch back to the springer. I will stick with my initial idea, which was to build my idea of the perfect Krate (fenderless, painted rims, and a 20" front wheel with a 2.125 tire). There might be a few minor enhancements to the build, but otherwise, it will basically be finished.
 
Jun 19, 2016
362
1,248
Ohio
How about this version? This is exactly the kind of builds I was creating in the early-to-mid-70's when I was a kid. I was kind of a fearless daredevil. I broke everything! Therefore, I had to find the most heavy duty parts to hold up to my thrashings. This is a good likeness of one of my early off-road conversion stingrays. Big knobbies, 10-speed seat, Wald tubular forks for a 26" bike (for more ground clearance), straight bars (no pull-back) from a 70's Schwinn exercycle (with adjuster to move bars forward for wheelie riding). Still need to install my old 7" cranks and possibly smaller chainring for woods riding and hill climbing. Also, still need to cut the bars down to be as narrow as possible for woods riding. This thing really brings back a lot of great memories.
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Jul 16, 2019
2,724
3,227
America's Friendly Hat
Naw, you don't need narrow bars for woods riding. Some new trail bikes have 800+ mm bars. That's around 32 inches! But if it's nostalgia, follow your heart! My trail bars are 200mm shorter than what's cool nowadays
 
Jun 19, 2016
362
1,248
Ohio
Naw, you don't need narrow bars for woods riding. Some new trail bikes have 800+ mm bars. That's around 32 inches! But if it's nostalgia, follow your heart! My trail bars are 200mm shorter than what's cool nowadays
While I love the wide apes for cruisers......the narrower, the better on a woods thrasher. I used to cut them down to around 20-22" as I remember. That's about as narrow as I could go and still maintain control. So narrow that the insides of the grips curved down as the bars curved down. I wanted to be able to ride through narrow, hilly walking paths as fast as possible.
 
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Aug 17, 2019
393
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How about this version? This is exactly the kind of builds I was creating in the early-to-mid-70's when I was a kid. I was kind of a fearless daredevil. I broke everything! Therefore, I had to find the most heavy duty parts to hold up to my thrashings. This is a good likeness of one of my early off-road conversion stingrays. Big knobbies, 10-speed seat, Wald tubular forks for a 26" bike (for more ground clearance), straight bars (no pull-back) from a 70's Schwinn exercycle (with adjuster to move bars forward for wheelie riding). Still need to install my old 7" cranks and possibly smaller chainring for woods riding and hill climbing. Also, still need to cut the bars down to be as narrow as possible for woods riding. This thing really brings back a lot of great memories.View attachment 107926 View attachment 107927 View attachment 107928
I hate to be a dud, but I really liked the version with the oversized springer, naner seat and apes. The crazy stretched chopper forks are cool, but your traditional muscle bike set up with unique parts mixed in is amazing.
 
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Reactions: Reallybigtim
Jun 19, 2016
362
1,248
Ohio
Hey Tim, is the Kreamsicle pretty much 'licked'?
:grin:
Sorry for the slow response. Haven't checked in on this build in a long time. December is just a blur because I am a postal worker. This one is finished. It will be entered as the Krate version. I want to get better pictures of it, so I will have to convert it back from the pre-bmx version. When does this build-off end???