Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Score & the Result...

A far cry from BMX but when this project presented itself, how could I resist?

So, a few weeks ago I came into work bright & early on a Monday morning & there’s this beach Cruiser bike lent up against the cages so I went to check it out. It looked in quite good shape, a puncture up front, I did think it was a consignment someone had sent through our parcel network but that wasn’t the case. It had been dumped by one of our drivers fly tipping at the weekend & so, trying not to look too enthusiastic, I asked my boss if I could ‘get rid of it for him?’ It was clear that several of our drivers also had their eye on it so I told them the polish workers must have taken it?! Ha!

So I’ve wanted a beach cruiser for a while now, as I like the thought of just slow cruising to the shops for a paper etc. I did almost buy one of the Revenge Industries 'Booze Cruise' one’s a while back:

However, funds dried up at the time & it didn’t happen. I’ve not been able to establish who produced this bike yet, it has an F on the head tube & the word ‘FUDGE’ on the seat tube but Google isn’t forthcoming with an answer…?

Once I had her home I set to work on fixing the puncture so that I could take her around the block for a spin & a check to see everything else was in working order. The kids were all interested & all had a go around the street. No major issues were evident & it was time for restoration. Here's how she looked when I got her:

Over the course of about 2 weeks, I completely stripped her down:

& with the aid of some duraglit, Autosol, a toothbrush, a bunch of cloths & dusters & a whole lot of elbow grease & TLC, I gradually cleaned & polished every part up. There was some bad rust on the rear rim & I used those wire-wool soap pads to try to remove it but it took some of the chrome plate off. A lesson learnt? All the bearings were in perfect working order & I don’t think this bike had seen many miles riding at all. It’s definitely a neglected case, left out in the rain to rot. How sad… The coaster was fun to strip & rebuild as I’d not had any experience of a brake like this before although, having done extensive work on Bob K’s old Suntour open bearing freecoaster on his Big Daddy, it wasn’t a world away. I had to repeatedly scrub the white-wall tyres to remove the markings & they came up pretty good but not prefect. Everything else was generally in good condition with only surface rusting to deal with. I had to dump the grips as they were soft foam & were a bit ripped up but managed to get a fresh pair off US ebay for about £8 which, aside from the cleaning products I bought, was the only cash I’ve had to spend on this project. Have to thank Ray for the 24tpi wheel nuts he got me for the coaster hub. I may look at replacing the rear rim if a suitable chrome one comes up & the frame has some minor knocks & scratches so maybe a powder coat in future should I feel the need?

Here's the finished project:

I’m very happy with the results; it’s probably taken 20-30 hours of (mainly) polishing, washing & rebuilding but as soon as I took her for a cruise to the shops, it’s clear that work was worth it. You don’t think about rushing or even where you are heading, just slow pedalling along in a very comfortable riding position enjoying this very ‘chilled-out’ style of bike. It takes me back to my childhood days of my old Raleigh Bomber. It will more than likely be my eldest daughter that gets to ride it most as she doesn’t own a bike of her own & I do think it’s a slightly more girl than boy colour scheme? Still, I don’t doubt I will have the odd spin when mood takes…



Blogger Bob said...

Hi E
Just had a read through your latest project - that took me an hour!
Photographs , were obviously done in today's glorious evening rays and are of fine detail.
The picture of the stem almost caused me temporary sun-blindness
As a freebie and a bit of elbow grease I think the results justify the cause.
Cant really help you much on the phylogeny, my reckoning says probably 20th century south east Asian.
My neighbour has a male dog called ' Fudge ' but I doubt this was a Sire , if so , would probably be the first of its kind.
Hope that helps/eliminates some of your research.
Get a tin of touch-up paint for the drop-outs, should be something +/- shade close.

6:39 AM  
Blogger subversion said...

thanks for your kind words uncle Bob...

4:54 AM  
Blogger ThisBitterPill said...

Ha! I remember that Bomber....What a beast!....S's Commando was no match!....Happy days!

Anyway, that 'beach cruiser' is one sweet little ride....But I knew that logo from somewhere, and while I had hoped that 'Fudge' would turn out to be some mythical Californian backyard builder, it turned out to be this:

Hope I didn't burst any bubbles....


Much love from one of the original Stool MX crew....

7:04 PM  
Blogger subversion said...

Well seeing as you are a former member of the elite band of 'stool MX'ers' I have a pretty good idea whom actually is the one known only as TBP ;-) Thanks for your comments & help with identifying the frames origins & no bubbles burst ;-). I have emailed them & await a response to why they have a cruiser with their logo's on it!? maybe it was a give-away prize or some such but it is merely a standard low spec cruiser at the end of the day...

So best you hook up with us for a catch up soon dude :D


5:32 AM  

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