The time of year we look at our to do list and start those jobs around the house or cottage. Also the time of year we look at our bikes and say ‘how can I improve it this year?’ Some take the plunge into a new bike and others update their familiar steeds.
Others, like myself, create projects to keep myself busy and to avoid doing the gardening. These are this years projects…so far.
Repaint the Schwinn:
I got this bike while working at Sportwheels. It is a 2005 Tim Horton’s special Aluminum framed cruiser bike. I quickly ditched all the accessories such as the fenders, rear rack and the swept out bars. I installed a conversion kit in the bottom bracket to accommodate a sealed unit and a real set of cranks. The rear wheel was replaced with a coaster brake alloy wheel and the front with an alloy quick release wheel. The stem was eventually changed with a 1” to 1 1/8” adapter to increase stem and handlebar choices. I was also fortunate enough to get a mtb handlebar with a good amount of rise with the support bar to make it look cool.
All this had been done prior to this spring but it was missing something (besides gears and high functioning brakes). The paint job was tired. The red to white traditional Schwinn paint job needed was done. With some help from a local business I managed to get the frame water blasted. I then applied the primer and the first coat of ‘hammered copper’. Yup, that’s what it was called ‘hammered’ copper. It looks great so far. I need to apply another coat, put some clear coats on it, but it is going to look awesome!
Department Store Bike Build:
You read that right. This summer I built bikes for a local department store and noticed that although most of their offerings are low end, there are a couple of frames that are decent quality. Heck, they even come with replaceable derailleur hangers. Not sure where one would get one if needed, but I’m sure something could be made to work.
So, I got to thinking and checked my stock at home. I realized I had enough spare quality parts at home to see what I could do with a department store bike. I bided my time to get the frame I wanted at the right price. What I scooped up was a 2012 CCM 29er. We’ve all seen these, aluminum frame, Suntour forks, and alloy wheels. The components are suspect, but I had the solution to that.
Firstly, I removed everything I didn’t want to use. This included the rear derailleur, shifters/brake levers, crank, bottom bracket, and forks; essentially, most of the components. I replaced the bottom bracket with a basic Shimano sealed unit, installed Truvativ cranks and a Deore XT Rear derailleur for a 1×9 drivetrain. The seatpost was replaced with a one bolt aluminum version. I used a set of Avid 1.0 brake levers to give braking a much more secure feel. Finally, I swapped out the fork for a rigid chromoly version for weight savings, and because I could.
For now, the wheels, bars, stem, and brakes are stock and will probably be replaced in time when I can get the parts for the right price. Up until now the conversion has cost me very little, besides time.
Overall, it isn’t a bad riding bike with the modifications. Yes, my Norco Shinobi will remain my main ride, with the CCM showing it’s face occasionally and making a great cottage bike.
I’m sure I’ll have other projects or changes I’ll make on these and my other bikes, but for now it’s time to hit some trails!