Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A "Klunker" Of A Side Project

Well.........I went and did it! This may surprise a few people, but if you knew me, it wouldn't be a surprise at all. I'll explain.......

I've always been a closet history buff. I don't spend a lot of time on it, but I am "that guy" that will make the family stop sometimes and read the plaque on the side of the road. Okay, so I like to know where we came from because I find it very intriguing. So, to that end, when I got into mountain bikes I dug into the history of it all. It wasn't easy back in the early 90's! No internet, no "older riders" to ask, and no books had been written yet, since well.........some folks thought it might still be a passing fad back then!

Well, that didn't stop me. I always had an eye out for references to the earlier days and read whatever I could. I pieced some of it together that way back then, but oh! When I got on-line in '99 it was on! I was looking up everything I could find on the history of cycling off road.

Then last year I met someone that really got me to thinking about the Marin gang and the bikes they rode. That kind of set off a seed to growing and well, it brings me to this present time. I went "over center" and bought myself a project frame to make a "klunker" out of. Parts acquisition will take awhile, I am sure, but that's okay. It's something I am going to take my time on.

So, what is the frame? Well, it isn't one of those "primo" pre-war Schwinns, but it is a Schwinn. It is a 1952 Schwinn DX, and it needs a lot of love. I got a ratty old frame and fork to start me out with that needs a braze job on the seat stays. I can tackle that though. The parts to hang on it may be the toughest thing of all to get!

I have access to some gold anodized Ukai 1.75" rims that are currently laced up to a Schwinn high flange front hub and a Sturmey Archer 3 speed rear hub, but the rims are what I really am interested in here. I'll probably opt for a "hybrid" build, (gears, canti or drum brakes), but I could go single speed if I find the right hub. We'll see.

Anyway, it will be something of a diversion, and if all goes well, it will be fun to re-create a tiny part of mountain bike history to ride around on for kicks.

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