Thursday, February 23, 2012

Travis's Tandem Build

So this fall I rescued about 15 bikes from a barn outside of sioux falls. Most of them were junk, but I parted out a few and saved a few frames (another chopper for sure) Out of the lot, there happened to be two identical mountain bikes. They were just Roadmaster Wal-Mart bikes, but who cares? A bike is a bike. I decided the best thing to do with them would be to weld them together of course! For starters, I didnt take the best pics and Probably should have taken more along the way, but what can you do? I started by cutting the seat stays and chain stays of bike #1. Then measured the seat tube of bike 1 and the steerer tube of bike 2. Turns out that steerer tube of bike 2 was almost the exact diameter of bike 1's seat post. So I cut that in half vertically, throwing the other peice away. If it was anything but a walmart bike (Schwinn, Columbia, ETC.) I would have saved it for neat-o wall art, but I didn't. I also used a third bike for some bits that will complete the bike. This one need not be identical to the other two. on that bike I cut the downtube off halfway through the bottom bracket and again at the weld that joins the headtube. This peice will become the new "downtube" when you join the bikes. The cool part of using the downtube from another bike is you will end up with a third set of water bottle mounts for mounting goodies. I also cut the seat tube about 1 1/2" from the seatpost clamp, Cut off the top tube about 3" from the seatpost and cut the seatstays off completely. This will become the new stem for the rear rider. Here are a few pics that describe what I cut
And a crappy pic of what I was left with in my garage
Then came stripping the bikes. The stickers had baked on and become crumbly from who knows how long they sat in the sun at the farm, and they wouldnt come off no matter what I used. So I had the bright Idea of using a 4" angle grinder to take them off. Listen to me when I say this: DON'T EVER DO THAT! More on why not later.
Then came welding the bikes and the new downtube together:
I spent the next few days sanding the now-welded bike. I wanted to make sure that the entire thing was prepared for paint and body work. I ended up hand sanding a lot of things strictly because its a little difficult to get a sander on bicycle joints. I did use an air sander on a lot of the open areas though. I then Primed it with an etching primer to begin with. This primer actually etches into the base metal to from a molecular bond. I will probably end up sanding a lot of it off getting the body filler applied. Unfortunately because I used a grinder to remove the stickers, I'm going to have to apply a thin coat of body filler on the larger tubes of this bike. I had planned on using a small amount to clean up my weld areas, but hadn't planned on using it anywhere else. I do plan on repriming it later with a different primer and sealer before even applying my (orange) base color. Here it is in Primer:
Remember that weird chunk of seat cluster I cut off? Here it is all cleaned up: It will need a small coat of body filler from where I had to grind off the remainder of the seat stays. Grinders are not smooth-friendly Aaaaaaand That's all for now. I'm currently tackling the body filler and sanding. I used to work in a body shop, but I am taking my time with it, mostly because it's being a major pain in the butt. Stay tuned, I'll post more as I go. Travis

Monday, February 20, 2012

Post #1 and Ride #1

So here we go.

We had our first ride this past Saturday. Fourteen people showed up for a 10 mile ride, a few beers, and a lot of bike talk. Fourteen!

We talked about what the club is, was, and will be, and discussed things that we'd like to do.

Some Ideas so far are:
-Cruiser night (any bike can be a cruiser, just depends on how you ride it)
-Bike Games (Slow races, Skid Competitions, Foot down, Bike Obstacle Courses, etc)
-Maintenance classes
-Themed rides, like Costumed Super Heroes
-Bicycle show and shop meet (think car show, but with bikes)
-A trip to Leaders' Park for some off road action
-An actual Back Alley Ride

Plans are to have the next ride on St. Patty's day, be sure to dress in green!