Sunday, November 11, 2007


After some tweaking to install the chain guard and a little shopping on Ebay, it's complete. I also had to change the handlebars because the originals were not very comfortable. It's surprising how well this 57 year old lady rides. The original hubs still do a great job of rolling and stopping. This bike is a lot of fun to ride and it is very tight. No wobbles or rattle anywhere, it has a very solid feel to it. Even though I did not do a full paint job on this, it was still labor intensive. But the results are just amazing and I am pleased to add this one to my small stable of bikes.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the build off bikes at

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I've been busy rebuilding this baby and I haven't had much time to write about the build. I basically built the rear wheel, re-covered the seat with a leather jacket that I bought at the goodwill store for $8, replaced the handlebars with something a bit more comfortable and painted the name of the bike on the chainguard. All I'm missing now is a headlight that I bought on Ebay that should come in anytime this week.

The seat was pretty easy to do. I just took my time removing the old cover, making sure I wasn't pulling out any foam. I then sprayed some 3M 777 adhesive on the foam and the leather. Always take a bigger piece of leather than you need, remove the excess afterwards. The tricky part is that sometimes the leather will not stretch over well in some parts of the seat. I made that fit possible by blowing some steam on the leather to soften it. Came out pretty well.

I know I promised to show you how to build a wheel, but after building these 2 I realized that it is much more of an art form for me than a technical thing. The fact that I come out with a straight wheel after I build it, despite the screw ups leading up to the end product, still amazes me. So I will direct you to the master himself Sheldon Brown who has in my opinion the best article out there on how to build wheels. I use that article myself once in a while to refresh my memory. Trust me you won't be disappointed.

The lettering on the chainguard was pretty easy to do. I measured the surface I had to work with and made a new file in Photoshop. I did the lettering in outline and printed the document on transparent masking paper. I cut the letters out and then simply spray painted the design on the chainguard. I didn't want for the design to look too good. So I wasn't very careful with removing the mask and wet sanded everything after it was dry. I applied a clear coat over everything once I was done.

That's about it for now. Your comments are always welcomed.

Ride safe and Godspeed.


Monday, September 24, 2007


I decided to add some vintage looking pinstripes to the frame. I started to pinstripes some years ago but I was never good enough to lay some stripes on a real expensive paint job for money. However, I like my lines enough to put on my stuff. If you think there is an easy short cut the pinstriping perfect lines, you are wrong. The only way is to practice , practice and more practice. But there are some basic things you need to know before you start.

First off you need the right paint. One Shot enamel is the only way to go. This is the only paint still made with lead in it, so be careful using it. You also need to thin it just right. What you are looking for is the consistency of cream so that it can flow easily on the surface. You also need some good brushes. The real ones are made by Mack Brush. They are pricey, but they should last you a long time if properly taken care of.

Pinstriping is basically laying curved lines that intersect or connect with each other in a number of possibilities. Do a search on Flickr for pinstriping and you will find all kinds of inspiration. There are also a number of sites that can help you out. Check out the video in this post, it will give you a good idea of what it takes.

Keep posted.

Gerry :)


Rust was a very happy dweller on all the chromed parts of this bike. I had no intention of having anything re-chromed since it's very expensive. So I took everything apart first and then went to work.

In the pictures you'll see the front hub being rebuilt and cleaned, but this applies to all the chrome parts on the bike. If you want to find out how to take these things apart, just go to bikeoverhaul1 site for all the details with pictures.

The outside of the hub was pretty bad with some pitting on the chrome. However, it didn't mean that it couldn't come out decent and it did. First off I used a steel brush for the first step of removing the big stuff. I then went and did the whole thing over again with steel wool. Lastly, I used a polishing rag to finish off the parts and give them that nice shiny look. The trick here is to use a polishing compound in every step. This lubricates the part while scrubbing and it will help out a lot. I use Mother's polishing compound, but anything else can do the job as well.

As for the internal parts of the hub, they got the same treatment. But before I went ahead and scrubbed like mad, I sprayed everything with some lemon Pledge furniture polish. You let it sit for a while and that grease will come out real easy. The lemon even dissolves that old caked on grease. Once your done, repack everything with grease and re-assemble. After the hub was done, I laced it to a new rim. I went with a 26 inch MTB steel rim that I painted the same color as the frame. I got a pair of Tioga City Slickers tires and it's looking real good.

I will post on the building of the rear wheel with some pics later so you can all see how it is done.

Keep posted.

Gerry :)


When I first laid eyes on that bike I fell in love with that finish. The deep burgundy red, the scratches and even the rust told an untold story. I wanted to just clean it and that was it. But a lot of surface rust didn't look that cool and I wanted to have a smooth finish. So out came the 600 grit sandpaper and water.

Now before you think that I went ahead and scrubbed this thing mad, I didn't. I made sure that my sandpaper was VERY wet and I literally caressed that frame. All I wanted to do was to make the surface rust vanish and have a smooth surface without removing the original paint. You always remove some paint when you wet sand, so that's why I was real careful.

I used a clear lacquer because it was lying around my shop and it was already paid for. The result was pretty good, just click on the images to have a better look and you'll see what I mean. This was the fastest paint job on a bike I have ever made. The rust shouldn't come out, but this thing will be sleeping indoors and will not see rain. I'm not sure it would remain rust free otherwise.

Keep posted

Gerry :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I took the time today to dismantle Victoria and she didn't give me too much of a hard time. That's good considering she was put together over 57 years ago and I found no evidence that she was ever overhauled. When you take a bike apart for a full rebuild, that's when you find out what you have to work with and whatever good original parts you have left.

In this case I realized that both wheels were completely shot. Too many broken spokes and too much corrosion on the rims to recover them. Thankfully, those wheels have 36 spokes, like a modern wheel, so I can reuse the hubs. I am trying to keep as many original parts as I can so the bike doesn't loose too much of it's original character. Besides, that CCM coaster hub is built as if it had to be bullet proof. I was surprised to find a slot in the gear cog to facilitate the addition or removal of the spokes, where in modern hubs, you have to remove the gear. All the chrome is rusted but seems all there. I will build new wheels with the original hubs on 26 inch mountain bike rims. This way I will have a bigger selection of tires. However, space between the fork legs and frame will limit how wide I can go. I will not use the fenders since the smaller wheels will make it look kinda goofy. It will also showcase that beautiful frame better without the fenders.

I have also decided to keep the original finish, scratches and all. I love the color and I figure it would be hard to reproduce that finish. I will stick with shooting it all with a coat of clear. It's now time to get out the brass brush, rags and Mother's polish and clean all the chrome.

To see how to dismantle a bike, check out bike overhaul 1.

Keep posted.

Gerry :)


So the build off is now officially on. You can check out the other bikes on the thread here. The bike is a 1950 ladies CCM that a friend gave me a little while back, It has the classic Victorian era step through frame design from the late 19th century. I just love that swooping top tube and that very long head tube. These design features will be the focus of the build and I will try to showcase them.

I intend to keep the original finish since I love the color and it will be hard to match. I also love the fact that the finish tells a story of the bike's life and after all I want to go for a rat bike look. Next step will be to take the bike apart and see what we have to work with. I will try to save as much as I can of the original parts but so far it doesn't look good for the wheels!

I will not go in detail for the deconstruction of this bike since I already did it during the first bike overhaul. So if you want to know how to take a bike apart, go to the Great Canadian Bike Overhaul 1 site.

So keep posted for what's to come.