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Old 10-22-2010, 12:39 AM
Sgt. Howard Sgt. Howard is offline
Motorized Bicycle Elite Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Okanogan, WA
Posts: 145
Default Re: The costs of building from a free frame

I suppose that I have not yet enough miles into my Cranbrick to cause it to fail- I HAVE had to hunt the high grass for the muffler pieces that fell off- a quick (proper) bit of welding cured that problem that afternoon. There was the time when vibration backed out the coaster brake torque arm bolt- it got caught in the power chain sprocket and was lunch. I thought I'd popped a spoke- tried to hit the brakes and the pedals shoved forwards! As I keep tools and some bolts in the tool roll, I found some shade and had it back on the road in ten minutes. But when my 132 pound twelve-year-old hopped a curb with it, no harm was done.
As long as you keep up on the mantainance, keep track of bolt tightness and do not try to set new speed records all the time, it seems to do quite nicely. Yes, I am aware that I am asking a cheap bicycle to go BEYOND it's inherit abilities... that's why I never push it too hard!
My next build will be a worksman, it will have monarch springers with disk brakes in the front, if I can figure out a four-stroke belt drive situation, that's what I am running. I will weld my own tank together and do the BTR routine, perhaps not any particular BTR of that era, but authentic enough to have people guessing... a fantastical story comes to mind- how in 1904 (supposedly) Thomas Fletcher and Edward Wadsworth combined resources to create a motorcycle. as they found their full last names would not fit on the tank, they decided to call it a "1904 FL#TCHW&D"... let's see if the Washington DMV buys the story and grants me a title as an "Antique and/or collectable"...
but I digress...
the cheap wallyworld bikes are what got a LOT of people into this hobby. Why not? I got mine up and running for less that $250, and that includes shipping on the engine and two cans of paint to make the gas tank and helmet match. I learned a great deal, both from this forum and from the build and still enjoy the silly thing, The front fender has TWO heavy steel tags holding it in place (I guess they heard about that fiasco) so I am not too worried there. The frame shows no sign of injury, the rims are still quite true. I might eventually put that motor on a Scwinn frame and wheels or keep it as is- they are only good for what? 10k, maybe 20k miles? Fine. When that mill wears out, I will remove it from the bike and give the bike to some kid for Christmas after I clean it up. But I will always remember it...
the Old Sgt.
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