Current Projects 2
1953 Schwinn Green Phantom (B.F. Goodrich)
Dang. I did not need any more project bikes. But this was too good to pass up and the price was right. 1953 Phantom with a decent mix of original and period parts. Fenders are from a Hornet. No tank. Seat is junk. Bars, stem and grips are marginal. Missing tail light. Wrong pedals, rusty cranks.
On the upside, the paint is really solid, the guard is clean, there's a fore-brake, the fork lock works, the rims are still round, and the chrome should clean up somewhat.
I'm thinking about putting this bike together as a mild custom. It would be easy to just order up some bright and shiny repop fenders and tank, but then I'd have to start upgrading all the existing dull chrome, which is more than I want to do. Plus I like the painted fender look. The plan at this point is to keep the Hornet fenders and paint the white tips black (with white around the edges) to visually echo the paint scheme on the frame. (I mocked this look up with electrical tape, looks good so far.) Instead of a Fenderlite or Rocket Ray, thinking about mounting a pair of early 1960s Miller genny lights (modded to LED) on the springer truss rods. When I find a suitable tank, will likely paint in the same green / black scheme.
Lots of the other parts I should have in back-stock. Blackwall Typhoon Cord repops, check. Parts to build Persons Deluxe pedal clones, check. Phantom seat that needs recovering, check. Appropriately weathered tail light, check. Replacement springer spring, check. Stem and bars with less weathered chrome, check. Lots of free time to do all this, um, uh, maybe in three or four months. Until then, here's some pics.
Fresh from CL.
Vintage "No Riders" decal on rack, plus the weakest paint on the entire bike. Marignal parts removed. Front fender mocked up with black electrical tape. Fender mocked up with black tape. One of those chrome Whizzer fender tip accessories would really make this pop.---------------------------------------------------------Gah. The repop Whizzer fender tips are $120 (set of 3), so no-go on those.Installed red Grand Tycoons front and rear, and tossed on some better bars and a better seat. I'm liking the look quite a lot. Now that I've got the general look figured out, it's time to hang this one up for a while. -------------------------------------------------Nexus 7 with coaster brake. I'm gonna do it. That's what this bike needs, 7 speeds. And red pedal blocks, which I also have knocking around.Jan 2012 update. This bike is up and running. Not yet perfect, but close. Rocked the Nexus 7 coaster hub, laced it up to the original S-2. Used a '65 Schwinn heavy duty seat, black with small chrome rivets. Painted the fender spears black with enough original cream around the edges so it looks like stripes. Red tires and red pedal blocks. Modded some later Exerciser pedals to take repop red blocks. Dropped a pair of repop cross-bar handlebars on this bike to give it a bit more early post-war flair. Installed some dual headlights, still need to finish the LED install on these. And the fore-brake needs new linings. The Nexus provides plenty of braking power, so for the time being the fore-brake is just for looks. Will get a picture up once I get a good one. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Update, Jan 2012. Got it figured out. Dropping the tank idea. Definitely going to go with the tall pre-war springer. Remove middleweight fender brace from this frame, bend rear triange to heavyweight dimensions, braze in a heavyweight width fender brace. Phantom style guard. I have some super deep Monark fenders that I've been looking for an excuse to use, I think this bike is the excuse. Maybe some Fat Franks to fill up the fenders a bit better. Might well drop a repop Phantom style fenderlite unit on as well. Nexus 7 a possibility.----------------------------------------June 2012. Got this bike rolling. Locking pre-war springer. Deep Monark fenders. 6 hole rear rack. Phantom style guard. Heavy duty S-2s with Bontrager Solana 2.35" tires. Removed the rear fender mounting brace and spread the frame to take the wider fender. Rides nice. Still some work to do, but at least it's getting close. Need to finish up the front light situation and find an appropriate deluxe rear reflector.<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Schwinn 16" StraightbarHad the idea to build a miniature version of a Schwinn straightbar. Schwinn never made such a frame, and I thought, hey, why not. The frame most resembles a '37, in a general way. This bike is based around a second generation Pixie frame. I didn't document this build all that well. It sort of goes from built frame to finished bike, but here's the details:Frame is a later Pixie with the mixte bars removed and the very top of the seat tube removed. The top tube and the center tube were sourced from a wrecked Fastback frame (thanks to Sting-Ray Rick for the frame). The seat stay assembly and the top 2 inches of the seat tube were taken from a stripped Bantam frame, same thing as a Lil Chik. Seat stays were given a bit more of a tighter bend in order to achieve proper fit. Brazed it all together will a torch kit borrowed from Meticon bike shop, a shout-out well deserved.Wheels on this bike are S-7s. Long front fender constructed from two cut downshort fronts, they meet under the fork. Stealthy! Was toying with the idea of running a skiptooth Lucky 7 sprocket because it would give the bike more of a pre-war look. If I can find an excellent sprocket and an appropriate 24 hole rear hub, I just might do it. But it would be a significant effort, and for what. Paint is "Schwinn-matched" rattle can. Looks good but it's soft. Pink pin stripes are Sharpie oil paint pen. My skills leave something to be desired in the striping department. Pedals are NOS Unions from around '62 or so. They had 9/16" spindles, so had to switch out to 1/2 spindles from 1950s era tall cap Schwinn pedals. Dropped down two ball bearing sizes on the outer race and had to take a bit off the end of the spindle with the angle grinder, but now they look sweet. Grips are NOS from Memory Lane. Seat is NOS Troxel, might switch it out to a tan seat. Had drilled the head tube to take a "shield" size badge, but none of them looked right with the paint. So copped out and went with a stick-on repop tall oval badge. Chainguard is still up in the air, maybe it'll get one, maybe it won't. If Schwinn had built this bike pre-war it wouldn't have come with a guard, but if I find the right guard to work with I'll scale it down for this bike.
Here's the snaps, enjoy.
In theory I built this bike for my daughter Guinevere, although the reality of it is that it'll be a "special occasion" bike. The pink accent stripes give it a bit of girly flair, plus I really like the way the pink sets off the two tone green.