The Schwinn Dixie Dreamcycle: My Entry for the 16th Annual Rat Rod Bikes Build Off

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Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I would level the fenders as you mentioned & I am glad you are shying away from bobbed fenders. I think they have their bikes etc but not a fan of them as much. I am naming that Putrid Pink 🤮
I'll try mocking up that idea in Photoshop either later this evening or tomorrow. I've got a few other parts to mock up first. I still want to try bobbing the fenders on this bike at some point, but not for this build. That's for more race-inspired or chopper-inspired builds, and this one's not going that direction. The paint color's actually called "Matte Violet," but I like your version better!
 

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I didn't get a whole lot done yesterday, but I did spend some time last night mocking up some handlebars last night. I grabbed all these handlebars out of my parts stash, plus a few different stems. I didn't take pictures of each mockup, just the ones I liked best.
bftd_schwinn_dixie_rrbbo_handlebars_1-jpg.jpg


First noteworthy handlebar was this flipped option. I like the idea, but it comes down a bit too low for my taste.
bftd_schwinn_dixie_rrbbo_handlebars_2-jpg.jpg

bftd_schwinn_dixie_rrbbo_handlebars_3-jpg.jpg


Option 2 looks much better, especially upright. I tried flipping it too, but at this point, I decided that I really didn't want flipped bars on this bike.
bftd_schwinn_dixie_rrbbo_handlebars_4-jpg.jpg

bftd_schwinn_dixie_rrbbo_handlebars_5-jpg.jpg

bftd_schwinn_dixie_rrbbo_handlebars_6-jpg.jpg


For my 3rd choice, I went with the original style of bars that came with this bike. If I was restoring this bike, this is what I'd use, albeit with a different stem, but that's not what I'm doing here. On to the next!
bftd_schwinn_dixie_rrbbo_handlebars_7-jpg.jpg


Option 4 was kind of my top pick of the pile last night, but looking back at the photos, I think I might like option 2 batter. At this point, I think it'll come down to which one feels more comfortable.
bftd_schwinn_dixie_rrbbo_handlebars_8-jpg.jpg

bftd_schwinn_dixie_rrbbo_handlebars_9-jpg.jpg


One last idea I wanted to try before the summer heat really got to me: flipping the front fender. I figured that instead of trimming the back of the front fender to match the front of the rear fender, I could just flip the front fender instead. It didn't yield the result I was looking for, but it does give me an idea I want to test on another bike...
bftd_schwinn_dixie_rrbbo_handlebars_10-jpg.jpg


I would have loved to do more on this bike yesterday, but between getting to bed late the previous night, being worn out for most of yesterday, and the insane heat and humidity giving me a headache after only 2 hours mocking up parts, in the evening/night no less, this is as far as I got yesterday. It's only going to get hotter this week, and I am not looking forward to it. I'm either going to have to try getting up earlier, or just work on the bike a little at a time to avoid a potential heat stroke.

There's another problem I need to sort out too. I can't fit a seat post into the bike more than 2 inches into the seat tube, and in fact, the original seat post was clearly cut because of this problem. It was brought to my attention just how bad of a situation that could be, and that I'd want to fix it so I can move a seat post as far down as I'd want. Thankfully, there doesn't seem to be a broken seat post stuck down inside the seat tube, but there are some bumps and imperfections that are in the way. I've got a rat tail filer that I could try using to remove the imperfections, but even then, I'm not sure that will be enough to fix the problem. Anyone have any ideas on how to fix this issue?
 

Superman1984

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I'd go with the last bar option or those apes, flipping the fender is pointless for water if you intend to ride in & or through water puddles etc.

Either rat rail file or sandpaper on drum that will fit the seat post.
I've always used a dowel or something make shift with adhesive backed sandpaper to get in there, sand it, brake or carb cleaner & then a smear of grease. Bein' 5'8" & liking the flat foot stopped comfort ability I either have to be able to sink the post or cut off some inches.
Curved tube seat post suck 'cause the way my Nirve is It Has to be cut to get what I like.
 

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I'd go with the last bar option or those apes, flipping the fender is pointless for water if you intend to ride in & or through water puddles etc.

Either rat rail file or sandpaper on drum that will fit the seat post.
I've always used a dowel or something make shift with adhesive backed sandpaper to get in there, sand it, brake or carb cleaner & then a smear of grease. Bein' 5'8" & liking the flat foot stopped comfort ability I either have to be able to sink the post or cut off some inches.
Curved tube seat post suck 'cause the way my Nirve is It Has to be cut to get what I like.
I honestly didn't even bother mocking up the apes this time around. Not the right look for this bike, honestly. I do like the other bars, though. Don't worry, the fender is not going to be flipped like that, though I have no desire to ride through puddles anyway.

I'll try to sandblast the frame later this week so I can get a better look at the inside of the seat tube. That should make assessing and fixing the problem easier.
 

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
One more minor physical mockup. I have these matching chrome wheels with a Bendix red band 2-speed kick back coaster brake hub that I wanted to test fit to the bike. They're cool, and they wouldn't take much work to shine up again, but between rebuilding the complex rear hub, the limited time left to finish the bike, and the narrower-than-expected whitewalls, I'm just not sure these are the wheels I want to use right now. It would be nice to have some more chrome on the bike, but I think I just need to keep it simple for now. I might just powder the other aluminum wheels either a matte or gloss white, so the whitewalls appear bigger than they are.
bftd_schwinn_dixie_rrbbo_chrome_wheels_1-jpg.jpg

bftd_schwinn_dixie_rrbbo_chrome_wheels_2-jpg.jpg

bftd_schwinn_dixie_rrbbo_chrome_wheels_3-jpg.jpg

bftd_schwinn_dixie_rrbbo_chrome_wheels_4-jpg.jpg


I think I need to solve this seat post/tube problem before I spend any more cash on this bike. So far, I haven't spent much on it (aside from what I had spent on it before the Build Off,) but I need to find out if I can actually fix this issue before I fix or buy any more parts. I'll work on my digital mockup again to figure out some other details, but for now, the seat tube is my main concern.
 

Superman1984

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Use a thinned out oil base paint & make the white walls wide as you want'em🤔

Ohhh boy jus' go at the seat post & build it. Mocking up sh🤬it 100 times doesn't make it happen. Gotta do physical hands on work to get results. I say this 'cause I am bad about doing the same thing. Hence why I have frames I haven't cut nor built 🙄😒
 

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Big news: I can start sandblasting again! Dad and I got the new sandblasting parts installed into his sandblaster, and after testing it out on my Schwinn frame, it proves to be fully-functional!

For comparison, here's the old sandblasting tip and nozzle on the left, and the new tip and nozzle on the right.
chwinn_dixie_rrbbo_sandblaster_and_seat_post_1-jpg.jpg


Here's the sandblaster in question. 1950 26" Schwinn DX bike frame for scale, because there are no bananas at my dad's shop.
chwinn_dixie_rrbbo_sandblaster_and_seat_post_2-jpg.jpg


I didn't completely sandblast the frame, as this was just a test for now. I'll sandblast everything when I've fixed a few parts, and when Dad is ready to powder coat everything. I did however make a point to sandblast the inside of the seat tube, though.
chwinn_dixie_rrbbo_sandblaster_and_seat_post_3-jpg.jpg

chwinn_dixie_rrbbo_sandblaster_and_seat_post_4-jpg.jpg


Okay, I need some help from the more experienced bike builders here. The layback seat post on the left is what I plan to use to mount my seat. It will need some shims in order to sit properly inside the frame, as it's narrower than the original seat post, pictured in the middle. The gold line on the middle seat pole marks the top of the seat tube, after inserting the seat post as far down as the frame would allow, which is about 3 or 4 inches (I didn't measure, but the other pictures will show how far down inside the frame that is. It actually bottoms out right at the... is it called a "mid tube?") The seat post on the right is a stock seat post, shown because the original seat post that came with this bike was trimmed, no doubt because of whatever blockage is inside the seat tube.
chwinn_dixie_rrbbo_sandblaster_and_seat_post_5-jpg.jpg


Here's what I need help with: I want to put my layback seat post as low as it can go, which isn't a problem with it being narrower than the original seat post. I remember the shims that I used to put an identical seat post in last year's RRBBO bike were even shorter than the distance the original seat post can go into the frame, and I feel like I should be able to make everything work despite whatever blockage is in the seat tube. However, I am concerned about the frame bending under my weight pushing down at a point just behind the seat tube, and I want to be sure that this will all work. So, will this all work, or do I have a serious problem on my hands?
chwinn_dixie_rrbbo_sandblaster_and_seat_post_6-jpg.jpg

chwinn_dixie_rrbbo_sandblaster_and_seat_post_7-jpg.jpg


One other detail that I took care of today: I freed the pedals I want to use from the crank that the Monark sprocket I'm using on the bike came from. They're not perfect, but they're usable. The side plates have some peeling chrome, so my plan is to sandblast those pieces and powder coat them.
chwinn_dixie_rrbbo_sandblaster_and_seat_post_8-jpg.jpg

chwinn_dixie_rrbbo_sandblaster_and_seat_post_9-jpg.jpg


Oh yeah! I almost forgot; I revisited my digital mockup of Schwinn Dixie yesterday, and I think I've decided on a near final design. There are a few variables left to figure out, like what color the fender braces and pedal parts will be, and whether the tank will be metallic white or gloss white, but the rest has pretty much been figured out. This is pretty much what the final bike will look like. I've also decided to rename this build "The Schwinn Dixie Dreamcycle," because the whole "Project Quick Change" moniker hasn't really worked out like I thought it would.
dreamcycle_2_rrbbo_2021-jpg.jpg


So what's next? Well, depending on what everybody says about the seat tube/post issue mentioned earlier, I'll either try fixing the seat tube, or I'll reach out to my local welder to see about fixing the fork, fenders, and a bad spot at the back of the seat tube. I still believe I should be able to have everything finished by September 6th, but I'm going to try getting as much done as possible before August 11th, as I have another pet/house-sitting job coming up that will go until the 22nd. I should still be able to work on the bike during that time, but knocking out as much as I can right now will just make everything easier to manage.

That's all for now! Stay tuned for more!
 

Superman1984

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Big news: I can start sandblasting again! Dad and I got the new sandblasting parts installed into his sandblaster, and after testing it out on my Schwinn frame, it proves to be fully-functional!

For comparison, here's the old sandblasting tip and nozzle on the left, and the new tip and nozzle on the right.
View attachment 1454876

Here's the sandblaster in question. 1950 26" Schwinn DX bike frame for scale, because there are no bananas at my dad's shop.
View attachment 1454877

I didn't completely sandblast the frame, as this was just a test for now. I'll sandblast everything when I've fixed a few parts, and when Dad is ready to powder coat everything. I did however make a point to sandblast the inside of the seat tube, though.
View attachment 1454878
View attachment 1454879

Okay, I need some help from the more experienced bike builders here. The layback seat post on the left is what I plan to use to mount my seat. It will need some shims in order to sit properly inside the frame, as it's narrower than the original seat post, pictured in the middle. The gold line on the middle seat pole marks the top of the seat tube, after inserting the seat post as far down as the frame would allow, which is about 3 or 4 inches (I didn't measure, but the other pictures will show how far down inside the frame that is. It actually bottoms out right at the... is it called a "mid tube?") The seat post on the right is a stock seat post, shown because the original seat post that came with this bike was trimmed, no doubt because of whatever blockage is inside the seat tube.
View attachment 1454880

Here's what I need help with: I want to put my layback seat post as low as it can go, which isn't a problem with it being narrower than the original seat post. I remember the shims that I used to put an identical seat post in last year's RRBBO bike were even shorter than the distance the original seat post can go into the frame, and I feel like I should be able to make everything work despite whatever blockage is in the seat tube. However, I am concerned about the frame bending under my weight pushing down at a point just behind the seat tube, and I want to be sure that this will all work. So, will this all work, or do I have a serious problem on my hands?
View attachment 1454881
View attachment 1454882

One other detail that I took care of today: I freed the pedals I want to use from the crank that the Monark sprocket I'm using on the bike came from. They're not perfect, but they're usable. The side plates have some peeling chrome, so my plan is to sandblast those pieces and powder coat them.
View attachment 1454883
View attachment 1454884

Oh yeah! I almost forgot; I revisited my digital mockup of Schwinn Dixie yesterday, and I think I've decided on a near final design. There are a few variables left to figure out, like what color the fender braces and pedal parts will be, and whether the tank will be metallic white or gloss white, but the rest has pretty much been figured out. This is pretty much what the final bike will look like. I've also decided to rename this build "The Schwinn Dixie Dreamcycle," because the whole "Project Quick Change" moniker hasn't really worked out like I thought it would.
View attachment 1454885

So what's next? Well, depending on what everybody says about the seat tube/post issue mentioned earlier, I'll either try fixing the seat tube, or I'll reach out to my local welder to see about fixing the fork, fenders, and a bad spot at the back of the seat tube. I still believe I should be able to have everything finished by September 6th, but I'm going to try getting as much done as possible before August 11th, as I have another pet/house-sitting job coming up that will go until the 22nd. I should still be able to work on the bike during that time, but knocking out as much as I can right now will just make everything easier to manage.

That's all for now! Stay tuned for more!
Have you tried taking any kinda flash cellphone pics or borescope to see inside the seat tube?

I wouldn't trust that depth with a lay back or lucky 7 / L post at 160+ lbs. Can you flat foot the bike comfortably? I ask 'cause if you can't then should somethin' bust loose; the better your chances might be to avoid bustin' your A & Bs
 

Bike from the Dead

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Have you tried taking any kinda flash cellphone pics or borescope to see inside the seat tube?

I wouldn't trust that depth with a lay back or lucky 7 / L post at 160+ lbs. Can you flat foot the bike comfortably? I ask 'cause if you can't then should somethin' bust loose; the better your chances might be to avoid bustin' your A & Bs
I have a telescopic magnet on a stick with a built-in light that's made it relatively easy to look inside the seat tube.

I haven't had any issues riding Dumpster Diamond with a similar setup, and I weigh 240 lbs. Then again, I haven't rode it that much since I initially built it. If by "flat foot" you mean sit on the seat or stand over the bike with my feet planted on the ground, then yes, I can, at least when I mocked up the seat with the layback post.
 

Superman1984

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I have a telescopic magnet on a stick with a built-in light that's made it relatively easy to look inside the seat tube.

I haven't had any issues riding Dumpster Diamond with a similar setup, and I weigh 240 lbs. Then again, I haven't rode it that much since I initially built it. If by "flat foot" you mean sit on the seat or stand over the bike with my feet planted on the ground, then yes, I can, at least when I mocked up the seat with the layback post.
Yeah flat foot = seated & stand over with clearance. You might not have to worry about it as much; just make Sure your shim tightens down so it doesn't spin (don't wanna mess up powdercoat) nor unexpectedly come off the seat. Worse case give it go ....
 
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