Just in from the paint place.
Feel in love with this bike the moment I saw it. Not for it's looks, it's one ugly duck, not for it's fame, almost nobody remembers what it is.... but for its geometry, history and its custom handcrafted American frame. I'd actually given up on two other projects to devote time, effort and funds to what is probably my most involved restoration.
And it's all falling into place. I had a few technical issues regarding parts and the chain line when it comes to this frame that necessitated buying things from across the world. Not to mention that it took 3 hours with a 2 pound hammer, a punch and a saw to literally inch out two absurdly seized bb cups, after 5 days of soaking with Kroil.
As it is, havent fully decided what direction to take, but am inclined to turn this bad boy into a rigid all mountain VRC bike. That means shortish stem, longish bars, fat low pressure tires so I can take advantage of its exceptionally period slack 69 degree head angle. With a proper period suspension fork, this sled will be around 68 degrees (if I go that way)
Either way, its perfect for where and how I usually ride.
I know, white isn't exactly period, but the color scheme is black and white in tribute to the Endeavor shuttle, which recently flew over my house. And in the event that I do go with another color, the powder coat white will be a great base.
The decision to have the bike powder coated was a hard one. It's meant to stop large patches of surface rusting from progressing. The bike had a trail filled life, no dings and dents but the paint was almost totally chipped off on the front & rear drop outs and the bottom bracket section. When I decided to make it into a keeper, I thought it best to stop the rust dead in its tracks. The frame was treated with an acid soak that also is supposed to address externl and internal rusting and was also blasted with abbrassives. Very happy with the work over at Olympic PC, even the steerer looks new. I noticed something odd about the tubes on this bike. Some tubes were naturally chrome looking after the paint was stripped. Never seen that before.
For now, new decals are on their way and am going to start working on the various parts this weekend and order quite a few bits. Probably another week to go through the stuff, make sure everything in in tip top shape and have stuff come in thru the mail.
My fingers are crossed hoping I can stick a set of 2.25 Schwalbe Nobby Nics on the bike. With the modern rubber and 25 psi, this baby will be plush and sticky up in thar hills
More pics of bike details...
Hand formed seat stay bridge (?) and side shot of the airfoil top tube
Hand cut rear sliding drop outs and hg40 megarange freewheel, that 34t will see lots of use
D form seat tube with intricate weld joints, the rear brake cable goes through the D tube and wraps around the seat tube with a cable bracket.
Builder's custom front drop outs cut from plate steel
Some more info....
hat tip to mtbr and the guy who made the scans of the MBA review.