BO15 SPRING FEVER

Aug 26, 2016
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I'm typically a MBBO kind of guy, but I have some extra time on my hands so I dug out a couple bikes from the shed that might work for this. Not sure where I'm going yet but I love the springer on the front end of this old bike. No idea what frame it is. Does anyone know what bike this is? It's been painted over in black and the chainguard has the remnants of the word 'NOMADS' on it. Looks like a previous custom job. I never noticed it until now, but have a look at what was keeping the front wheel on. And.... that front springer is BENT AND TWISTED!!! The other bike is a previously unnamed build that I used to romp around on. I think the seat or the wheels may be of use. My problem with this type of build is the fact that much of my rusty old junk is gone in favour of storage for NOS parts that I have used for my other restorations. I tend to do powder before patina. Either way, I'm going to have some late night fun with this in my garage/bike shop. Stay tuned....

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kingfish254

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That is a Columbia bike with the springer. My guess would be mid 1950s. I don't remember "Nomad" as being one of their model names.
Great platform to build from.
Those springers are pretty solid and beefy, so you should be able to bend it back into alignment.
 
Mar 23, 2009
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Those Columbia built frames are sekzy!
 
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I think you're right. I wonder if the springer was added?
Not necessarily. From what I've been able to gather hanging around here and The CABE, it was a common practice for manufacturers to use the same frame or platform for many different bikes sold through different outlets. The closest pics I have found that show a bike similar to mine appear to be a more basic-level bike sold by Sears. But the same basic frame could have been used for more deluxe models with springer forks and fancy lights and horns and who knows what all else. Could have been sold as a Columbia, or a Sears/J.C. Higgins, or probably a couple of other brands that would have sold it under their own house name.
 
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Mar 23, 2009
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Not necessarily. From what I've been able to gather hanging around here and The CABE, it was a common practice for manufacturers to use the same frame or platform for many different bikes sold through different outlets. The closest pics I have found that show a bike similar to mine appear to be a more basic-level bike sold by Sears. But the same basic frame could have been used for more deluxe models with springer forks and fancy lights and horns and who knows what all else. Could have been sold as a Columbia, or a Sears/J.C. Higgins, or probably a couple of other brands that would have sold it under their own house name.
Goodyear sold a branded bike by Columbia as well. I have that same Columbia built springer off of a Goodyear Double Eagle bike.
 
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Mar 26, 2012
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Good to see you in this one man! Great frame and ideas to start from, looking forward to what you do with it.
RaT oN~!
 
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kingfish254

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Columbia/Westfield made this frame and fork for many years. It is just like my 53 Columbia Three Star DeLuxe that I built Firewing from back in BO8
 
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I stayed up until 2:30 last night straightening the springer fork. Didn't have much on hand to do it with. I just a had a small vice and a long piece of uni-strut for leverage. I got it to the point where I was happy with it, and I quit because as I kept tweaking it, I was occasionally making it worse.
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Went out for a bike ride and thought of a name for my build. I like the sound of "SPRING FEVER", to honour that cool springer on the front, the beautiful weather that makes us itch for a ride, and we won't even talk about fever.....
 
Aug 26, 2016
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Well, the last couple days and nights have been back and forth for me. I've mocked up different wheels, seats, sissy bars, shifters, and handle bars. Amidst all of those little experiments I somehow subconsciously ended up making another muscle bike. This is the part where I take feedback from the gallery. Have a look at my pics and tell me what you think.

I'm finding out each day that it's hard to build a rat when you don't have a lot of old ratty parts laying around. I'm wondering how all the newer parts will look on this cool old frame with lots of patina. I'm putting feelers out for more rusty parts, but I keep coming back to the beautiful red seat. It's the front runner for me. The shape of it nestles in between the back wheel and that seat tube just perfectly, and the lines of it flow effortlessly into the top tube.

I also have a huge collection of shifters. I like them in my display case and I like putting them on bikes. I've mocked up several different options, but unfortunately in this case, most of my shifters are NOS. I really had to dig to find a couple rusty ones. I've sold so many of them over the years at swaps. Some I have even given away. After this experience I'll probably never let anything ago again. I'll graduate to the next level of bicycle 'hoardsmanship'.

I spent a few hours looking up some tires for this build. There are some really cool options out there but it's difficult to find a matching set if you decide to go with a smaller front wheel. Most of the new tires you get are not going to fit the oddball sizes of some of these older rims either. The 24" wheel I mocked up on the front is a 24 x 1-3/8. I'm now looking for a 24 x 1.75. I also really want to do a 3 speed so I can add a shifter. I have a nice Sturmey Archer SRC3 coaster hub mounted in a 26" aluminum rim, so I'd be looking for a bmx or kids mountain bike rim to match.

I really like the painted rims that I pulled from the old ladies Stelber frame, but then I'm going coaster with 26" front and back. And... I really hate to leave that bike without its wheels.

This is also the first build I've done that I think might fit one or two of the strato-jet exhaust pipes I picked up at Ann Arbor a few years ago. I like the way the tips complement the red seat. But again, they are so shiny new, and I'm not sure if the fit the ratty frame. And.... I won't be 'rustifying' a nice NOS part like that. Just can't do it.....even if I have two. So that's what I'll sleep on tonight. Let me know what you think guys. Looking forward to your comments, concerns, and creativity.

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kingfish254

CHECK OUT MY SALE THREAD FOR COOL STUFF!
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I like the padded red seat the best.
LOVE the jet pipes. @yeshoney had some of those on his Paint It Black build years ago.
 
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I’m with every one above, loving the red seat and pipes!

As far as building a Rat, I think it’s forum rules not to try and define, so whatever you build, you’re good.

I enjoy seeing bikes from purists (restore to original), to “make the old new again, but not worry about ‘correct’ parts” to “make the new look old” to patinas and rustifieds to old frames/modern components to custom who-knows-whats, and all shades in between, and beyond.
 
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I like this one best, everything flows smoothly.

The seat follows the frame contour and the horizontal exhaust is beautiful. I think the chrome centered on the wheel axis makes it look like it's at Bonneville!
I tend to agree, however I have to find a different mounting option for the pipe in this scenario. Using the existing tab has the pipe pointed upward like in the other pictures. I like the pipe following the line of the chain stays.
 
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