Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sears Free Spirit Fixed Gear Project Update

Hello and Welcome,
I have made a few decisions regarding the Free-Spirit. For starters I will be using the handlebars I took-off the Thrasher. Also the grips I originally purchased for the Thrasher will be used. They are a perfect match. And here is the big one. I have decided to take the wheels and tires off the red white and blue fixed gear bike. I will be painting the rims black and re installing the red tires. I am thinking this will look great "if I don`t screw it up".
The Rust Oleum Glossy Black paint on the handlebars is curing, so far about 24 hours. I should be able to install them tomorrow (3 16 12) about this time.
Above: I taped the spokes and lightly sanded the rim mostly to get traces of rubber off the rim`s side wall (breaking surface). But also to give the paint something to stick to. Then I wiped off the dust using a paper towel.
Above: I cut a X in a paper plate and am using it to protect the hub from over-spray. Probably not necessary, but it certainly won`t hurt the process.
Above: I painted one side and flipped it over to paint the other side. So far I am really liking how the black looks. Everyone is doing red bicycle rims with black tires. So I thought I would do try something different.
Above: The handlebar grips are a good match but would need to be cut. I really do not like to cut new grips. I might have to do some more digging. #%&@!
Above: I ended up taking the Tech 9 Crankset off the Schwinn fixed gear bike. The crank off the Thrasher is garbage. It is warped beyond anything I want to attempt to straighten. So I`m taking the crank, pedals and wheel-set off the Schwinn. I will use some of the other take-offs on the lugged Cycle Pro frame I just cleaned up. Which by way I will be starting to work on real soon.
Above: The Schwinn was my first fixed gear build. I should have waited for a better lugged frame to turn up. Or waited for the weather to warm up and re-painted the whole frame. I will use the handlebars on the "Cycle Pro" frame and most likely the saddle too. I`ll hang on to the frame until I decide what to do with it.
Above: I think the glossy black enamel rim looks good with the red tire. I also painted the rear rim black today. The black grips with the red stars are too long for the bars I am using. So instead of cutting new grips down to size, I ordered a different black/red set today. I think the new ODI grips are going to look fantastic.
Above: Here I am taping each spoke for paint. I found it easier to run the tape length wise and envelope the spoke inside. Then I cut a short piece (about 1/2 inch) and wrap each of the spoke nipples at the base. Removing the tape after painting is by far the hardest part of the process.
Above: I sprayed one side of the rear rim and flipped it over and painted the other side. I used the Pepsi cans to prevent the rim from touching the cardboard. They did not work all that great. I used the paper plate to protect the hub from over spray.(that worked great) I`ll come up with something better than cans next time. Maybe a wheelbarrow tire (off the rim) laid flat would make a good resting place for the wheels to cure. Just lay the wheel on the tire with the hub centered in the tire. I bet that would work great.
Above: I spotted a few tiny scratches on top of the handle bars. So I sprayed one more coat of paint on the top side. I did that yesterday so I can install them tomorrow. You can handle the painted parts after about 6 hours. But it takes 48 hours for this paint to cure real good. Thank goodness for the freakishly warm weather. This is the first winter I never used my "Snow Blower" or "Tractor Plow" for snow removal. That's in the 28 years we have lived here.
Above: The chain line looks really good. I squared the fixed cog (rear) off the crank using an artificial wood yard stick. (I just gave-away a really good square a few days ago) It is near perfect. When I did this with the crank off the Thrasher it was real close on one side of the crank at say 12:00 and about 5/16 inch off at 6:00 . I removed the bash guard and chain before squaring off the crank. And on the "Tech 9" crank I was careful to square off the flat part of the crank face. The "Tech 9" is not perfectly flat either. But it is within a couple of millimeters between 12:00 and 6:00 and should not be a problem.
Above: Here I am using the Heat Gun to warm up the stickers / adhesive for removal. Be careful when using a heat gun not to over heat the frame as you can cook the paint. Keep the heat gun moving and try after a little bit to peel off the stickers. And be careful where you set the gun down, the tip gets very hot.
Above: Stickers are much easier than decals to remove. Once warmed up they should peel right off like this. In a warm climate you could probably park the bike in the sun for a while and do the same thing. With decals I use a combination of "heat gun" thumb-nail and "Goo Gone" and rag.
Above: Here I have mounted the handlebars and slid the brake lever on. I will not slide the lever on all the way until I have the grip. Then I will know exactly where to stop. I had a piece of debris in the lever clamp or on the bar which marred the paint when I slid the brake lever collar onto the bars. The scrapes will be under the grip, so it is not a problem. I just wish I had checked the lever clamp first.
Above: I used the black side pull caliper brake off the front of the Thrasher. I am probably going to order a micro adjust seat post. I was able to find a 25.8 diameter post, but only in black. And if I remember correctly, one of the other two bikes I built with this almost exact frame I had to purchase a black post as well. So now I wait for the red/black lock-on grips and the red/black saddle to arrive. I think the saddle is coming from the other side of the planet. So I might have to use a substitute saddle for a while.
Above: And there it is, the "Sportex 12". Pretty good for a guy who can`t remember what he had for lunch yesterday. The big difference is in this case I want the black seat post. Honestly I thought the black post looked cool on the Sportex 12 as well. Some did not agree.
Above: The General. In the words of the great Yogi Berra "It's like deja-vu, all over again" There you have it, The trilogy is complete! Three nice looking Asian lugged frames on three cheaper Road Bikes. (I am sure at least one of the other frames was labeled Taiwan) The other two have long since gone to their new homes.
Above: Took this pic of the south end of White lake the other morning while riding into town for coffee. It had been foggy that morning and there was still a little haze over the lake. The island on the near right is called Youth Island. I was told years ago that there was once a summer camp on the island. I used to catch Northern Pike just on the edge of the weed bed on the west side of the island. This was on the ice using tip-ups with bait fish. About 3:30pm to 4:30pm the Pike would come into the weed bed to feed on pan fish. Those were good days out on the ice. When it was to cold to lay brick (-10F wind chill or less) we would spend the day out on the ice. I did have a portable shanty with a heater so it was not all that bad. The worst part was breaking it all down when it was time to leave. Seems like it was always windy and colder than a bat's behind.
Above: Recently I mentioned the "wetlands" area. And that part of it came right up to DuckLake road. Could you imagine trying to make your way in and out of that mess? I think I`ll take a pass on that one. Well I think we are all caught up for now. I will most likely do a post about the Cycle Pro Bike before I finish the red / black fixed gear bike. Until then Please RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE.


  1. I have a solution to one who can't remember what he had for lunch yesterday - have the same thing each day for the whole week. Switch next week. It's a LOT easier to remember. Or else not blog about a memory shortfall a lot of your commenters share! What were we talking about?

    1. Hey Steve,
      That sounds like a good plan to me. I read recently that is is ok that you can`t remember what you had for lunch yesterday. According to the author, your brain only has so much storage. So the brain only saves what it thinks we need. And disregards the unimportant stuff.
      You know like where you parked your bike. Or why your standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open?

  2. Like the black with the red very good "fixie" vibe with that scheme. I also like that the brake trigger is red very sharp, looking forward to the finished project. Maybe you can create a red and white "Red Wing" fixie out of the Schwinn....just a thought

  3. Hey Ryan,
    I love the RedWings, but I don`t know about doing a red and white theme bike. It might be mistaken for an Ohio State tribute bike from a distance. LTMS
    What I really do want to build is an old style euro touring bike. Something with a lugged frame of course. And maybe hammered fenders and old style racks. And vintage looking lighting. I love looking at that style bike. But I have never really built or restored one, except maybe the Parliament. But definitely not a step through frame next time. It will most likely be a Raleigh or MotoBecane or possibly a Peugeot.
    But right now I`m thinking about doing a fixed gear touring bike. I already have the perfect frame for it. It will have a more modern look though. I`m still working out the details in my head. But I think it will be something totally different from anything I have done in the past. First I need to sell a couple more bikes to get it happening.
    Sorry for the delayed response. It has been unbelievably warm here and I have been riding everyday. The Schwinn Exerciser really helped.
    I have been feeling strong from day one. As always good to hear (read) your comments and suggestions. Cheers

    1. No apologies necessary if you have been taking advantage of good weather to ride. Going to do the same myself today. Look forward to both the classic euro touring and the modern fixie tourer

    2. Hey Ryan,
      I appreciate that my brother. Ride Safe.
      Hey I sold the MotoBecane today and did not loose money on the deal. Now I can get my parts order in. It`s a vicious circle my bicycle addiction!
      Cheers, Hugh

  4. Forgive me, but a fixed gear touring bike?

    1. Hey J.
      Maybe "touring style" might have been a better choice of words. But I want fenders
      racks and retro looking lights and panniers. And it is going to have "at least" front brakes and a flip flop hub as well. I really enjoy riding a fixed gear bike. But I want one that will suit "my" needs. I`m not into stunts or bike polo. I just like to ride and be able to bring some things along. And the option to free-wheel when the terrain requires it. It might even have rear brakes as well. It`s not like there are rules. I think cycling and building is "and should be" about experimenting.


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