Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

More Art - The Evil Twenty

Last March, I pulled this 1972 Raleigh Folding Twenty out of the junkyard. I didn't really have any plans for it, but I always thought they were cool. So, I brought it home and stuck it in the storage building.

(Click all of the pictures for BIG.)

I emailed Phatatude, because I knew he was building up a project Twenty, to see if he or anyone he knew might want this bike. He told me that it probably would serve me better as a project, due to its condition, so I started formulating plans for the custom version.

I like the wordplay of Evil Twenty (Evil TWINty). I just wish I had another one, to do the Good Twenty. I messed around with the lettering, a bit, and this is the look I came up with.

The first step was to figure out what to do about the headset and bottom bracket situation. The Twenty has a really long steer tube, with a plastic bushing at the top, rather than a ball-bearing headset. And, the bottom bracket shell, while standard English thread, is a proprietary width.

The head tube problem was easily fixed. I simply cut it to a length that would work with the fork I wanted to use, and used my Campy head tube reamer/facing tool to finish it off. Then, I installed a mid-90s Dura Ace headset I had sitting around, and the fork was installed.

The bottom bracket took some thought. I know a lot of the Twenty guys use Phil Wood bottom bracket cups and whatnot, but I wanted to build it with what I had on hand (that's sort of my forte'). So, I started messing around with a Shimano bottom bracket, and found that I could knock the outer lip off of the non-driveside cup and just screw it in until it bottomed. It was about 5mm inside the frame, but I didn't really care. It worked, so I pulled everything apart and painted the frame flat black, then lettered it.

Next, I printed out a small copy of my Devil Girl I had worked up for a skateboard design. I printed it on glossy paper, trimmed it out, then saturated it from both sides with Krylon Crystal Clear. This effectively turned it into a waterproof sticker. She became my headtube badge.

Then, I worked up a Devilish portrait on paper, trimmed it and used it as a template to carve the top layer of leather off of the saddle. This got me into the raw leather, which will hold the paint a lot better than the slick, finished surface. I filled in the carved out section with white enamel, then painted the Devil head over that. More Crystal Clear sealed it in, and gave it a shiny surface to match the rest of the saddle. (The color in this photo is weird. Look at the photos below, and you'll see that he is actually bright red.)

A second Devil Girl was applied to the seat tube. But, I actually hand-painted this one. The size of the tube gave me more room to do it by hand. Again, I used a printout of the initial study to outline where she would go, then filled the area with white. The colors pop a lot better with a white base. The flat black base really mutes them, if you skip this step.

Next, I painted the outline of flames. Yellow enamel applied with a sable brush, for those who care.

Then, I filled in the red, and used a Pitt art pen, with waterproof archival ink, to do the black areas and the fine details.

I built it up with a 24-inch front wheel to emulate the "48 Harley Panhead" motorcycle look. The bars are some Soma Noah's Arc bars I had lying about, and the bmx pedals are Primos.

V-brakes on the front give way more stopping power than the long-arm side-pulls it came with. The rear is still the original brake, squeezing a 20" alloy bmx wheel.

So, there it is, The Evil Twenty, ready for its art-show debut.


At 5:33 AM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

Jon, that has to be one of the strangest looking bikes I have seen in a long time.That says a lot coming from me,the king of weirdness round these parts.Strange yet strangely cool.Keep up the good work,hope you sell lots of stuff at the art show.

At 9:55 AM , Blogger Apertome said...

Man, that looks awesome. The handlebars look extremely low, though, is it possible to ride it without being uncomfortable?

Maybe you'll come across another one some day to do the GOOD TWENTY.

At 10:25 AM , Blogger Jon said...

Actually, the handlebar position is pretty neutral, for me. It's similar to the position of my mountain bike bars. I've let a couple of people ride it, and both have commented on how comfortable it is.

At 11:21 AM , Blogger Lalato said...

Very nice! Love the custom art and lettering. The 24" front is interesting... wouldn't have thought to do something like that.


At 5:38 PM , Blogger Phatatude said...

Very Unique bubba... Like the scrappy idea of dealing with the Bottom Bracket. I hope it fetches a pretty penny, if not I may have to take it off our hands so I can have a Grinder Original:) Slick with the two different wheel sizes. I recently go another folder, and a kid trailer. What I do with them is I trailer the folder to my sons school to pick him up , then we both ride home. Folding bikes are HUGE in Europe and growing in popularity in the U.S. That Twenty like I emailed is probably the most widely produce and sold folding bike in the world. It is a solid design so it is held in pretty high regards. They are REALLY rare here in the middle of the U.S. where you and I are and still not the easiest to find other places in the U.S. Just wanted fokes to know a bit about the bike, and like I said you made a fine custom out of her...

(I actually posted this under the wrong entry before ... sorry :)

At 7:45 AM , Anonymous red light green light said...

That is BADASS!!

I want that chick to be my girlfriend! Very hot!

You have got to do something cool on that bike for Halloween....

At 8:48 AM , Blogger Jon said...

Yeah, if it doesn't sell, I'll definitely be doing a Halloween cruise of some sort.


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