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Hit The Road Cyclery
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Seeing some of the other clunker builds recently, I'm finally getting around to posting my own here. The frame is a 1936 Shelby Traveler that I got from a local shop that specializes in old ballooners and Krates. It was mostly complete with fenders, rack, and everything but the saddle and chain ring apparently original, but as you can see the patina is "extensive" and restoring it to show condition would have been a huge project. Aside from this frame I had the choice of a couple of pre-war Schwinns and a Colson, but this one was the largest (I'm 6'2") and seemed as well made as any of the others. I recently found out that Gary Fisher's first clunker was a Shelby Traveler (according to Joe Breeze), so at least I know it's a legit choice :p.

I'm using Alan Bond's advice and guidelines on the "proper" way to build a clunker like the kind he built in the 70's and trying to make it as close to period correct as possible, though there are a few things I had to compromise on. Anyway, on to the pictures. I'll explain what's going on as I post them, starting at the beginning which was back in April.

Here is how it sat on the showroom floor when I picked it up.


I took it back to my shop and stripped it down to the bare frame. It was in surprisingly good condition internally, very little rust and just some sand and dirt in the BB shell that fell right out. I wanted to use a cartridge BB for the sake of simplicity, so I installed an AC BB adapter to use a Shimano UN71 68 x 128 BB. The front derailleur is a Suntour "Spirt", which is not a typo, I assume it's Engrish for Spirit. This is a "top normal" derailleur, meaning when the cable is slack it sits to the outside. I'll explain why I chose this when I get to the shifters. Also, I managed to find one with a 22.2mm clamp, so I don't need to shim it to fit the seat tube.



The rear derailleur is a Suntour Cyclone, which was Alan's first choice when he was building these 35 years ago. I had the derailleur tab brazed on by my friend Greg at CyclArt, and he also re-spaced the rear triangle to 135mm and aligned it.



The hubs are Union drum (or expander) brakes, the finest made at the time and rarer than Unicorn poop, especially the fronts. Got lucky and found three of them (2 RR, 1 FR), hopefully to be built into wheels this week.




To be continued...
 

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That looks awesome. What is like getting tyres and so on for something like that? What is the wheel size?

Keep us posted and have some riding pics too.
 

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Hit The Road Cyclery
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923 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The tire size is standard 26", so any modern MTB tires will fit if you use the original rims. The drawback to that is the rims are steel and weigh about 2 pounds each, complete wheels are more like 6 or 7 pounds each! I'll be using Araya 7x aluminum rims, which came out in 1978 or 9 and were hugely popular as an upgrade for both the clunker and BMX crowds because they were so much lighter and you could use cantilever brakes with them. Canti's on steel rims were almost like having no brakes at all, which is why drums were more popular. Technically I'm cheating by using alloy rims with drums, but this bike is going to weigh enough as it is :p.

The bars I'm using are Verlicchi Italian motorcycle bars from the mid 70's with the brake levers welded onto them. The stem is an early BMX stem, not sure of the manufacturer.



The levers were about 2" longer than the bars, so I cut them down and reshaped them to make them look less goofy. Before and after shot below.



Cranks are TA Pro 5 Vis, more commonly known as "Cyclotouriste", which were standard issue back in the day. They were about the only cranks you could fit small enough chain rings on to get low enough gears for clunking, down to 26t (this one has 42/28).



Which will be paired with a Suntour Alpine Gear freewheel, 14-38t.



Gotta run, meeting someone for a (road) ride but will post more pic's this afternoon.
 

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Stokeless Asshat
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3,360 Posts
Love the Spirit front changers. They really help when you have a big jump from middle to big.
 

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Hit The Road Cyclery
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923 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The straps that came with the front and rear brakes weren't long enough, so I made my own out of cheap plumbers strapping. The rear should be fine, but I'm not so sure about the front, I may have to come up with something sturdier.



Since we're looking at the front end, the fork is a modern reproduction of the old Jeff Bottema Bullet C-1 BMX fork that first came out in 1979. Jeff rode for the Webco team in '75-'76 and the guy who made the Webco frames back them, who's name is escaping me, decided to start making repro's of the frames and forks under the brand name "True Torch", and is also making the Bottema replicas because they were so popular back then but are hard to find now. I wasn't going to pay $500 for an old Cook's fork, so I bought one of his instead. It's nickel plated and has an extra long steerer (had to custom order that), and I had to modify the dropouts to make the wheel fit (for some reason it had 12mm slots, too big for the 3/8" axle on my hub, so I widened them to 14mm and got some 3/8" to 14mm adapters to make it fit) but it looks cool and I know it will hold up (100% cro-mo, no mild steel).

 

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Stokeless Asshat
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What was your source for the 3/8 to 12mm adapters?
 

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Master of the Face Plant
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I dig the fork. You could possibly drill a hole in the fork just above where it has the logo and connect the brake arm with a bolt and a spacer. Maybe a bad idea. Or better yet you could decide to not use that Union front and send it to me.
 

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i dont have a clue about those really old clunkers, but have to give you major respect for your work. this is true craftmanship!
 

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Hit The Road Cyclery
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923 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Sorry to disappear from my own thread, got busy over the weekend. To answer the questions:

-I thought about drilling a hole in the dropout, but it would be too close to the top of it and not leave much material around the hole.

-You're right about the hinged clamp, it won't clear the dropout, which is why I went with something I could bend around it. I may have to use some thicker sheet metal and hammer a strip into the shape I need if the strap on there now isn't sturdy enough.

-No plans to paint this one, Sky talked me into leaving it as is. I may be picking up an Excelsior sometime this week, and that one is already primed so it will get painted (eventually).

-I got a set of gold NOS 7x's from one of the other IVMTB guys, but they weren't cheap. I traded him a Salsa high-rise stem with roller that I was saving for a drop bar bike, and if you've seen one of those sell on Ebay lately they go pretty high in the bidding. It's worth it though, I searched for months for Araya's with clean sidewalls and never saw one for sale.

Thanks everyone for the compliments. I'm hoping to pick up some spokes in the next day or two, which is the last thing I need to finish this. I'll post more photos of the wheel builds and the completed bike as soon as it's done.
 
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