New life for old bones

Discussion in 'Motorized Cruiser Bicycles' started by Bill in Oregon, May 7, 2010.

  1. Bill in Oregon

    Bill in Oregon New Member

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    So I was all set to stop at Wallace's World and fork out for a Chinese Cranbrook, when I passed a little bike shop that was still open on my way home from work.
    I step in the door, and there's a real, working Penny Farthing leaned against the wall.
    I'm liking this place.
    There are bins full of old seats, pedals, cranks. Older fella looks up from his paper and says howdy.
    I say, "Got any old American balloon-tire cruiser frames?"
    He thinks a moment and says, "Yup, got an old Coast King you can have for $20."
    I look at the frame, and wonder what smile crossed the face of what kid circa 1965 or so when this was a Christmas gift and all complete and brand-dang spanking new.
    I ask what it would take to put together a bike, and we rummage around the shop picking out a stem, bars, old beater pedals, a new chain, a crank set ("That's an old Schwinn, actually.")
    "Do you have any decent wheels with good hubs and strong rims and at least 12-gauge spokes?"
    I pick out a set, carefully laced and already trued for $50 the pair.
    He gives me discounts on everything. I get the bones for $100 even, and decide to pay $50 to have it all put together properly.
    I'm at $150 for a mongrel American cruiser to be assembled out of a patchwork of old parts, built at a time when pre-Nixon China was merely a Communist enigma and ally of the menacing U.S.S.R.
    I don't have anything against China, or $84 Cranbrooks from Wallace's World. ****, I'll be putting a Chinese engine on the thing.
    But I'm gonna get some satisfaction from this homely old relic that most folks wouldn't understand.
    Will post photos when I start my first build ...
     
  2. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Can't wait for those photos. Thanks for sharing that story.
    Tom
     
  3. azbill

    azbill Active Member

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    agreed...very cool story (^)
    Thanks !!! :)
     
  4. Bill in Oregon

    Bill in Oregon New Member

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    Well, true to his word, my bike builder was just tightening everything up on my resurrected Coast King when I stopped on the way home from work today. He had even shot the frame with green paint the night before. He gave it a safety test ride, tightened it some more, and then I gave it one, and then I brought it home. It made me feel 8 years old again to "stand on that coaster brake" and swing the rear tire to a skid.
    Here she is, waiting for power. She's just a simple country girl.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Bill in Oregon

    Bill in Oregon New Member

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    Well, the old hands here probably took one look at the frame on my new cruiser and laughed. "Poor devil is going to have a heck of a time mounting the forward end of the engine ..."
    Yup!
     
  6. CoastalCruiser

    CoastalCruiser New Member

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  7. Bill in Oregon

    Bill in Oregon New Member

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    Coastal: That's one sweet bike!
    Actually, I cobbled up a front mount out of a piece of mild steel with an oak and leather spacer. Inelegant, but should work.
     
  8. solomon503

    solomon503 New Member

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    is that bike shop in Pheonix oregon??
     
  9. Bill in Oregon

    Bill in Oregon New Member

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    Solomon: Why, yes. Firebird Bicycles.
     
  10. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    Defo a sweet ol' girl (^)

    More pics pls o.o
     
  11. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Nice going, Bill. Pretty neat find. What do you know about "Coast King"? Was that a west coast bike or made by somebody big and got a coast king head badge? Your seller might know.
    I've had similar wonderings of my own as I strip down an old frame and think
    about who might have been the happy owner back when on a birthday or Christmas morning when the bike was all shiny and had never been ridden. I like to think whoever it was would approve of my efforts at bringing it back to life and be especially interested in the motor... every boy's dream and maybe some of the girls, too. I think you got a really good deal and will have a solid ride under you. Keep us up to date on your build.
    SB
     
  12. solomon503

    solomon503 New Member

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    hey bill in oregon do you know a guy named tony??
     
  13. solomon503

    solomon503 New Member

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    do you know tony?? he owns the company garage bilt machines, he builds old vw's
     
  14. Bill in Oregon

    Bill in Oregon New Member

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    Solomon: Don't know Tony, but VW bugs are another old love of mine; currently without one.
    Silverbear: Coast King was no doubt made by a large U.S. bicycle company for Coast to Coast stores, which have vanished from my neck of the woods. They were sort of an automotive hardware chain.
    This build is gong slowly. It is my first, and the Phantom 50cc kit I bought on-line from bicycle-engines.com apparently requires replacing the rear hub with their hub in order to mount the sprocket. Wish they had mentioned this up front.
     
  15. solomon503

    solomon503 New Member

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    have you been to pucks??
     
  16. Bill in Oregon

    Bill in Oregon New Member

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    Solomon: Pucks for maple bars ...
     
  17. Mac

    Mac New Member

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    Bill,
    Many people don't think like us sentamental "fools"... a very moving story, says something for the mom and pop shops too. post pix as you proceed.

    Mac
     
  18. davearoy

    davearoy New Member

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    Great story about your find! I am currently restoring an old Huffy Men's Beach Cruiser. I am concerned about the spokes and the wheels, so I will be using the wheels from my "Worksman's" Step through bike. I will be putting a 80 cc Gruby Black Slant Heat on it, it shoud look real sharp.

    Dave
     
  19. Birddog1148

    Birddog1148 New Member

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    Old VWs have a '69 Baja bug myself
     
  20. solomon503

    solomon503 New Member

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    nice birddog! and bill those maples are goood!
     

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