Two Wheels - Six Strings

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

Sunday, January 11, 2009

American Porteur

Back on Pearl Harbor Day, I posted about finding another Schreckingost-designed Murray cruiser at the thrift store. Yesterday, I went out into the shop with the intention of mounting the alloy fenders on the Portage, but ended up falling under the spell of the cruiser.

I began by switching the original wheels out for a set of alloy-rimmed Sturmey/Archer 3-speed wheels I had picked up for another (since abandoned) project. I also mounted a "commuter" bar, bell, front brake, centerstand, headlight and a front porteur rack, complete with wine crate cargo box.

I built the front rack by chopping off a portion of a standard mountainbike rear rack, narrowing the spacing, and bolting the lowers to the fork dropouts in some existing holes. I then braced the rack to the front brake mount with a Blackburn-style rack mounting strut, cut to fit. Then, I bolted steel trapping to the box, and thence to the rack top. (I don't know why this is being underlined. Grrr!)

The wheels came with "all hardware included". "Hardware" apparently, doesn't include a shifter or a cable. So, I left the bike incomplete and called it a night. This morning, I pulled a shifter off of a derelict Sunbeam 3-speed, along with a "universal" cable end. I modified the ball end of the cable so that it would work in a 3-speed shifter, hooked it to the universal adapter and got the shifting going. The bike is now operational.

But, I wouldn't call it "finished". I want to put a sturdy piece of plywood in the bottom of the box to replace the slightly brittle slats which are there, now. I'll probably also varnish the box with a marine-grade product to waterproof it.

The fork needs a bit of alignment work, and I need to make a few other tweaks such as getting the headset cup to fit more securely in the head tube.

You can see the stem-bolt mounted headlight and two-legged center stand pretty well, here.

When I bought the bike, it had the brand-new Electra tires and SRAM PC-1 chain on it. Oddly, when I swapped the tires to the new wheels, I found cloth rim tape in the old wheels. (I re-used the rim tape.) Somebody put a relatively large amount of money and effort into a bike which they then donated to the ARC Thrift.

Now, maybe I'll be able to get started on the Portage fenders, next time I try.



At 9:03 AM , Blogger Karl E said...

I really like this bike! Turning out very nicely.

At 7:44 AM , Blogger Charlotte said...

That is a fine looking bicycle. Just the sort of bike I'd like to build for my dad. It's got just the right mix of sporty/elegant/casual. Good job!

At 9:23 AM , Anonymous Richard said...

Oh man. I can´t wait to get home and take a spin on that one...assuming you don´t sell it in the next 79 weeks.


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