UK newbie needs ALL the help!

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I would love to own a “low rider” beach cruiser style bike...ideally or eventually electric assisted. I go for very much a retro “bobber” style look. I’m not an ape hanger, twisted wrought iron, skinny front wheel, banana seat, huge raked forks kind of guy...deffo NOT a chopper man!

I like the stance of the old board / cafe racers. I like sitting back and low, legs out in front, a comfortable arm position, not crunched up and a big comfy seat...I’m a big guy! I like big headlamps, balloon tyres, springer forks, not a lot of chrome and very few modern touches.

I have no real budget to speak of but I am a VERY handy individual and not scared of crafting from a very rudimentary starting point. Second hand parts don’t bother me. I’d happily start with pedal power only and upgrade to electric later.

I live in Scotland (RIGHT by Loch Ness) I currently have nothing but ideas and wishes. I’d love any advice, contacts, leads etc. I need a frame, wheels, forks and everything else to begin my project. Does anyone know of anyone in the UK I might get in touch with who could help or supply? Are there DIY “plans” as it were. Do people “cobble together” these kind of bikes in a novice and DIY manner? Does anyone have an unused “starting point” bit of kit we might be able to do a deal for?

I include some images of the type of bike that “floats my boat”.


https://i1211.photobucket.com/albums/cc438/tomlauten/Bikes/07134C64-7292-4159-8BA1-6E06245E8C21.png

https://i1211.photobucket.com/albums/cc438/tomlauten/Bikes/230E1BB0-270D-4914-85B4-50E0FF862F7D.png


















 
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For some weird reason 2 of the images will not display for me. They are on Photo bucket and I copied the "IMG" link and I then tried copying the direct link and used the "add photo" tool but no luck either way. They show in the "edit" function even!? They are simple links now if you click them though.
 
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RustyGold

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Looks like the style you like is similar to Ruff Cycles (https://www.ruff-cycles.com/). But, the easiest way is to just peruse whatever classifieds you have available until you find a frame that intrigues you...and start adding parts that intrigue you. Search for 'lowrider bicycle parts UK' or 'custom bicycle parts UK' and the such and you will start accumulating websites with parts you like. Some trial and error...and your style will be born :thumbsup:.
 
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Rusty gold, Ive been doing a lot of just that. I see a lot of frames but it’s tough working out what the “basic” look of the bike will be from the frame alone...some have pics of the frame all fitted up but not all. Also the names of the basic type of bike style I’m liking seems to be different from maker and retailer... Do you think there is a more home spun way of cobbling together what I’m looking for. Do some makers start with certain types of frames for these kind of bikes?
 
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I searched "stretch cruiser frames for sale UK" on eBay and there were some companies in the USA that will ship the frames to other countries.
Yeah right. When I looked at stretched cruiser frames today here on UK eBay I saw a few Micargi-style frames listed in different colours by a US seller who was asking under US$200 each - but soured the deal by quoting a totally outrageous $400 for shipping to the UK. Let's not forget to factor in the 20% VAT and 12% import duty we Brits would also be charged on top of this. Outrageous? Check.

For a new frame, my tip would be to check out European bike shops who are dealers for Ruff cycles and parts, including frames. I know there's a dealer in Germany from who I've purchased some parts in the past - just can't recall their name.

For a used frame, keep searching UK eBay. I noticed a couple of really nice stretched Cruiser bikes and a rare Nirve Switchblade for sale on UK eBay today listed at between 250-350 pounds or best offer. No, that's not cheap, but they would have cost at least more than twice that new here in the UK.
 
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Yeah right. When I looked at stretched cruiser frames today here on UK eBay I saw a few Micargi-style frames listed in different colours by a US seller who was asking under US$200 each - but soured the deal by quoting a totally outrageous $400 for shipping to the UK. Let's not forget to factor in the 20% VAT and 12% import duty we Brits would also be charged on top of this. Outrageous? Check.

For a new frame, my tip would be to check out European bike shops who are dealers for Ruff cycles and parts, including frames. I know there's a dealer in Germany from who I've purchased some parts in the past - just can't recall their name.

For a used frame, keep searching UK eBay. I noticed a couple of really nice stretched Cruiser bikes and a rare Nirve Switchblade for sale on UK eBay today listed at between 250-350 pounds or best offer. No, that's not cheap, but they would have cost at least more than twice that new here in the UK.
Wow, last year at this time I bought a bike from the UK and it only cost a little over $100 for shipping. I bought a frame last year from Bulgaria and shipping was also cheap. I just got a whole bike from Romania and it cost $160 shipping. No import taxes either here. Too years ago I bought a new frame from China and the shipping was $25. I thought it would be the same as getting one here.
 
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I hear you. I purchased the vintage Wards Hawthorne step-thru frame used on my DECOLINER build from a US seller who shipped it to me in the UK for $70. The frame/tank/forks used for my Indian Tribute build came via airmail from China and they charged a nominal $30 for shipping. Ridiculously cheap, I know, but that's how keen the Chinese are for our business.
I really have no clue as to where some of these US retailers get their 'out there' prices from when it comes to shipping overseas to the UK. Off the top of their heads by the sound of it!
The seller's prices I quoted yesterday was in Florida. I just saw another on eBay today in California, offering to ship a $168 Micargi stretch frame to the UK for a mere $300. WTH! Dream on.....
 
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I hear you. I purchased the vintage Wards Hawthorne step-thru frame used on my DECOLINER build from a US seller who shipped it to me in the UK for $70. The frame/tank/forks used for my Indian Tribute build came via airmail from China and they charged a nominal $30 for shipping. Ridiculously cheap, I know, but that's how keen the Chinese are for our business.
I really have no clue as to where some of these US retailers get their 'out there' prices from when it comes to shipping overseas to the UK. Off the top of their heads by the sound of it!
The seller's prices I quoted yesterday was in Florida. I just saw another on eBay today in California, offering to ship a $168 Micargi stretch frame to the UK for a mere $300. WTH! Dream on.....
It might be cheaper to have one built in the UK if you look around. There is one bike shop locally that builds custom frames. You could use and existing frame, some used tubing from old mild steel frames, if non lugged frames exist in the UK, and stretch it yourself. There are a lot of examples where people have done that on this site. I would look on "How To" under the "How to Manual" and built from scratch here, but a lot of people just modify and stretch existing frames. I'm lucky, I can modify and build frames with my two welders myself but why bother when you can buy them so cheap here in the USA. I usually just modify frames here, like putting in new drops, fixing cracks or putting in new fork tubes. Years ago I built a hack bike for single and two track, which was tons of fun. If you don't weld you can use two twelve volt car batteries in parallel, vice grips on the connections and jumper cables where the wire on the jumper clamps have been replaced with scrap pieces of home solid wiring. You will need a welding mask. Use 1/16 inch 6011 rods and just tack it in place, then have someone else finish it. The 6011 are all I use, but they are not as clean welding as some others, but flow and penetrate very well. I'm an amateur so I don't have the time to learn how to use a bunch of different rods. I use the battery welding (look on the net of how to wire this up) for welding stuff where I can't take my welders or where there is no electricity. I haul it in a wheelbarrow to the site. Have built shelves inside one of my storage sheds using battery welding. My hack bike was welded up using battery welding and 6011 rods in my yard at my old house where there was inadequate power for a stick welder. I have a wire welder but seldom use it as I prefer stick welding. For a jig I use a piece of steel channel to clamp the BB and the seat post tube in there (kept together as the starting point). I use an axle or threaded rod to hold the fork and down tube into the front of the channel. I weld on a piece of flat steel onto the back of the channel and angle iron onto that to position and space the rear triangle. I use a long straight steel pr aluminum measure to make sure the the seat post tube remains centered. A lot of eyeballing goes a long way. If it's not right after tacking, grind off the tacks off and go again. You don't need a lot of practice but you need some to get a fee for how long to leave the rod in place so it welds without burning through.
 
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