Builds from the frame up

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Balloonoob

I live for the CABE
Jan 24, 2019
1,379
36
Longmont Colorado
So getting a complete bike is often the best option when it comes to price and owning something closest to original. There is usually still work that needs done to get them in working and presentable condition.
But personally I enjoy finding a frame or other significant part, and building a bike up getting closer to an original-looking piece with every part acquired. I know this is often painful, expensive, frustrating, and can result in unused parts laying around, but I guess I enjoy self torture. And what else do I have to do?

So lets see those project bikes that started with a part and a dream.
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Balloonoob

I live for the CABE
Jan 24, 2019
1,379
36
Longmont Colorado
Hey - sid didn't kill Nancy. Nancy killed sid.
Just like the Kennedys killed Marilyn Monroe
The Reagans had a secret the public couldn't know
At Winterland his wife was wankin' a kid
And he couldn't let anyone know what she did
The voters couldn't know about Nancy and Sid...... So she made it look like an od
 

Archie Sturmer

I live for the CABE
Jun 13, 2018
1,438
Los Angeles, CA, USA
It really depends. Likely a frame could be the last bulkiest part sold from a bike parted out recently or long ago. Collectors’ value is more often in the mostly complete original article.
If I were to build from a frame up, (in an amateur fashion), the project would have to be something that I really wanted to do, (as some work is its own reward), understanding that costs would exceed any future monetary returns.
 

SKPC

I live for the CABE
Feb 2, 2018
1,534
63
Utah - United States
I also agree it depends. If the frame is more scarce with original paint and an original badge then maybe move it along to a collector. I believe this is what Shawn was referring to. If the frame had no badge or paint or parts and perhaps dented or damaged and common, then get it rolling, why not? Many of these loose frames were not parted out but just broke down and lost parts over time and left sitting. I know a few people who have a large supply of these type of frames. If the frame has original paint and badge and you do decide to put "incorrect" parts on it, some day it could be de-constructed and put back to correct if not modified.
 

Balloonoob

I live for the CABE
Jan 24, 2019
1,379
36
Longmont Colorado
Yeah bare bones frames with bad or no paint are great for this. So long as they are solid. It's hard to say how far along you are going to get the bike, but at least you get some use out of it. And you don't have to feel bad for refurbishing something that is a blank canvas. If you have an original paint frame then you often can't find original paint fenders, chainguard, and forks to match. Lots of folks have frames sitting in a garage/shed behind 20 other more complete projects. So what, once these other 20 projects are done you are gonna get to it. But wait....in the time it took you to get those 20 rolling you acquired 10 more bikes!!
You KNOW who you are. ;)
 
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Blackbomber

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 23, 2018
858
45
Unionville, CT
I just wrapped up a build from the frame up with all NEW parts. Including a new frame. On a new bike it can actually be less expensive this way, if your parts selection differs enough from the OE build, or (as in my case) you just want to DIY (and the mfr. charges $250 labor for a custom build).
While that doesn’t seem related to the topic at hand, I have to admit I’m now really looking forward to doing a custom old bike build in the near future. Cost be damned...
 

wheelbender6

Finally riding a big boys bike
Oct 23, 2018
223
Houston area
I gotcha, Blackbomber. As I develop more skills and contacts, I think I will be more likely to spend the extra time and money to acquire those original parts and do a proper restoration.
 

Balloonoob

I live for the CABE
Jan 24, 2019
1,379
36
Longmont Colorado
I just wrapped up a build from the frame up with all NEW parts. Including a new frame. On a new bike it can actually be less expensive this way, if your parts selection differs enough from the OE build, or (as in my case) you just want to DIY (and the mfr. charges $250 labor for a custom build).
While that doesn’t seem related to the topic at hand, I have to admit I’m now really looking forward to doing a custom old bike build in the near future. Cost be damned...
Well cool let's see it. Old or not. And that's the idea. Cost be damned. You can't put a price on satisfaction.
 
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mike j

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 3, 2013
3,238
Tuxedo Park, United States
This was a really good idea for a thread Balloonoob. Since I'm the only one that put something out there, so far, I would like to add my two cents to the discussion. I'm perceiving some perspectival Poo Pooing from some pious purists. Regarding this Skylark frame, it was for sale on the Cabe for awhile before I bought it. I've heard it from many serious collectors, that's it's a fools errand to buy something completely parted out & try and build it back up. It's a very common head badge & one or more of the three down tubes had weld repairs. So the reality is that I could have mounted on a mantle, drank some beer while lovingly looking up at it and imagining what it used to be, or: I went with option B, actually doing something with this POS. I happened upon these bike parts for sale, luck have it, they fit & looked great. It was a choice between painting them that God awful persimmon or, well, you can guess the rest. I never thought that I would actually own a Skylark. I think that they are hands down the sexiest girls bike ever made. They remind me of the WW2 pinups. Another reality is, that no matter how rare or desirable a girls bike is, if enough of the parts on it will fit a more expensive boys bike, well you know the ending. Iv'e since put these tires on this 41 Western Flyer, another frame up.Chances are that some of you won't like the replacements either, I have to post some photos. The next two bare frame ups are a 1941 Western Flyer with much attention to detail, in some areas. 1917-18 undetermined with a liberty or two. Come on, lets get this thread going. I'd like to close with a quote attributed to Timothy Leary, but I can't confirm; ''The Sixties actually started in 1967, and ended when Nancy Reagan took over the White house".

DSC00420.JPG


DSCN2793.JPG


DSCN1739.JPG
 

Balloonoob

I live for the CABE
Jan 24, 2019
1,379
36
Longmont Colorado
This was a really good idea for a thread Balloonoob. Since I'm the only one that put something out there, so far, I would like to add my two cents to the discussion. I'm perceiving some perspectival Poo Pooing from some pious purists. Regarding this Skylark frame, it was for sale on the Cabe for awhile before I bought it. I've heard it from many serious collectors, that's it's a fools errand to buy something completely parted out & try and build it back up. It's a very common head badge & one or more of the three down tubes had weld repairs. So the reality is that I could have mounted on a mantle, drank some beer while lovingly looking up at it and imagining what it used to be, or: I went with option B, actually doing something with this POS. I happened upon these bike parts for sale, luck have it, they fit & looked great. It was a choice between painting them that God awful persimmon or, well, you can guess the rest. I never thought that I would actually own a Skylark. I think that they are hands down the sexiest girls bike ever made. They remind me of the WW2 pinups. Another reality is, that no matter how rare or desirable a girls bike is, if enough of the parts on it will fit a more expensive boys bike, well you know the ending. Iv'e since put these tires on this 41 Western Flyer, another frame up.Chances are that some of you won't like the replacements either, I have to post some photos. The next two bare frame ups are a 1941 Western Flyer with much attention to detail, in some areas. 1917-18 undetermined with a liberty or two. Come on, lets get this thread going. I'd like to close with a quote attributed to Timothy Leary, but I can't confirm; ''The Sixties actually started in 1967, and ended when Nancy Reagan took over the White house".

DSC00420.JPG


DSCN2793.JPG


DSCN1739.JPG
Nice Mike. I think all 3 projects turned out great. I have admired the 41 Western flyer for a while now. Question on that one - were the bottom rods on the springer fork from a later year and bent to face forward?
 

SirMike1983

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 27, 2008
3,227
Inactive
I've built a few bikes up from a frame or frame plus parts. I thought this one came out the best of the bunch:

1941 New World:

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I went with mostly period, except for a really nice set of the upgraded stainless wheels from the late 1940s.

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The others were not bad, just didn't enjoy the final products as much as the red New World. The other bikes were a green New World with "Hoffman" Schwinn variant decals; Manton & Smith diamond frame from the 1940s; and a 1920s Elgin. But I thought that the red New World above was the best of the bunch. I eventually sold it and some other bikes to buy a 1951 Raleigh Clubman.
 

mike j

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jun 3, 2013
3,238
Tuxedo Park, United States
Nice Mike. I think all 3 projects turned out great. I have admired the 41 Western flyer for a while now. Question on that one - were the bottom rods on the springer fork from a later year and bent to face forward?
Thanks Balloonoob. You are probably right on the later year, I picked up the fork, with a bunch of other parts, at Dudley. The bottom rods were like that when I got it.
 
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Freqman1

Riding a '37 Dayton Super Streamline
Jul 14, 2009
19,572
Evans, GA
Admittedly I prefer correct bikes but don't bin myself into the "pious purist" category because I appreciate a tasteful custom or rat bike. What I do have a problem with is when someone builds a custom or takes liberties and then tries to call it a restoration. That said saving just a frame can be a rewarding experience--just not financially rewarding! There are some cool frames, like the Skylark, that deserve to be saved. The problem is making one of these correct from a bare frame is prohibitively expensive unless you have a significant stash of rare parts hanging around. V/r Shawn
 
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