There are two men who dabble in bicycle restoration in Gilberts, IL. My dad and I have bought quite a few bikes from the two of them but their collection is usually hit or miss. They seem to be bent on the whole ‘Classic American Schiwnn’ stuff that usually encompasses Pixies, cruisers, and a dumb sissy bars but from time to time you will they will have some worthwhile rides.

Every once in awhile we will stop by to see what they have piled up along the side of their garage, the bikes that obviously are not ‘Classic American Schwinns’. We once found a beautiful Raleigh Wyoming frame that we rebuilt properly about a year ago but mostly its just rust buckets or frames that are missing components. Anyway, on this visit we found a Panasonic Sport DX 25 inch. We quickly worked out a deal and bought the bike. I believe we pulled the original wheelset from the bike and used it else where. Frame was made up of double butted Tange tubing, paint job was in great shape, and both my dad and I really wanted to see the frame converted to a single speed. And that’s what we did!

We got a good deal on a black rimmed flip flop wheelset that was pulled from a display bike. The front rim had some brake wear but nothing to complain about. Black Formula hubs and clean silver spokes. Perfect for the frame. Since the frame had already been stripped and gone through rebuilding the Panasonic was quick.

We had a nice vintage racing saddle that had been reupholstered by Pancho and already had most of the components on hand, Salsa chainring, Nitto bars, and Dicta freewheel. Once the build was prepped we brought it over to Mike for cabling and bar wrap.

The bike turned out nice and clean like we envisioned it.

We are still waiting for a tall rider to purchase the bike but until then, its nice to look it.

So, the Fuji in the post prior to this was turned out to be pretty popular. So popular that I was asked to replicate the project. I was a little hesitant at first because well… its the exact same look, but the gentleman who contacted me regarding it wanted the bike as a surprise gift for his girlfriend who was coming from California. She has an interest in bikes and after he saw the Fuji Absolute he was sure that she would love something rebuilt in the same manner.

Even though I had two Fuji Absolute frames that I had powdercoated prior, I was fresh out. Luckily I had a Fuji Olympic 12 in the appropriate size for the build.

The weight and lug work are pretty much the same as the Absolute which I found to be kind funny. I just never expected to replicate a project so easily. Im usually at the mercy of what I have in the garage or storage so its a little funny that Ive had a surplus of Fuji frames that have all been pushed to the powdercoating oven.

Mark of Fresh Start had some leftovers from the last Fuji that came through this garage so replicating that one wasnt difficult on his end.

The only differences in the this Olympic 12 project was the lack of vintage Brooks and the use of new Weinmann 27 inch flip flops that Mike sold my dad. Fixed option wasnt a requirement so I didnt install a cog but at least the rider will have the option later down the line after seeing Premium Rush or something….

Obviously just as nice and clean as the Absolute but with its on subtle differences. Used Strada K’s once again, Dicta freewheel, polished alloy components, and even some MKS pedals that I threw in the parts bag for this project at the last minute.

I havent heard from the buyer with his girlfriend’s response just yet but Im sure she will love it. Hard not to love the features this little ride has.

Yes, this is another Fuji Monterrey and yes, the original paint job (with some subtle differences) was the same as the Monterrey in the post prior to this one. We some how ended up with two Monterreys at the same time.

The wheels were stripped and the hubs were salvaged to be laced with new spokes and rims by George. The rest of the componenets were either saved or toss into the scrap bin. For it being a high tension steel frame, it cleaned up pretty nicely.

The guy I rebuilt this frame for wanted a charcoal or grey color given to the frame, which was really easy for Mark to execute at Fresh Start. Ended up going with him for this project because Im kind of done experimenting with other powdercoaters, despite how cheap they can be. There continues to be some minor issues here and there that Fresh Start has absolutely no problem avoiding. So yeah, no real reason for me to get work done else where.

Ended up turning out gorgeous. Very clean, minimal, and respectable look.

I personally would have liked to have used a color walled tire like a mocha brown or even a gum wall but the black Strada Ks were fine and were requested.

Im so impressed with how this color turned out I am thinking of rebuilding a sports touring frame for myself in a similar shade.

The buyer was very happy with the turn out. At the last minuted we ended up going with a vintage Brooks I had which I was kind of excited to use, kind of a cherry on top.

I had rebuilt a Puegeot Record Du Monde for a friend of a friend (who is now a friend!) back in June prior to my Portland vacation. She wanted a cool vintage single speed that she could cruise around the city with and keep up with her friends on. She was riding a slow and heavy mountain bike and wanted something swifter. I ended up building her this:

Unfortunately, after my vacation I got an email from her stating that she had a friend test ride the bike one evening and that test ride turned into an accident involving a motorist. Apparently her friend T-boned a car so hard that it shattered the cars window. The incident didnt substantiate to the point where the law needed to be involved but her bike was mangled. The fork was bent along with the front rim. The rear had a hop but I didnt trust it. She explained to me that her friend was offering to pay for the bike so she wanted to commission me for another build. I felt bad so quickly showed her this bike that I had picked up.

At the time, a friend of my dad’s had a guy who could get frames powdercoated for $50. He offered to hook us up and since that was such a good price I figured Id get the Fuji powdercoated for my friend, giving her a fresh look. The powdercoating job ended up taking FOREVER and costing $70. On top of that, there was some over spray issue. You get what you pay for so needless to say, I wont be going back with that guy. Fortunately, the bike turned out very nice.

(forgive me for these unbalanced photos, was standing on a curb two feet from automotive death)

I have a number of vintage grocery/wine crates that I have been dying to incorporate with these builds, wanting to play with the Porteur style bikes.

I really loved how it came together.

The great thing is, I was able to salvage some components from the Peugeot like the calipers, stem, handlebars, levers, hubs, freewheel, and chain.

Found some very nice faux leather wrap, nicely reupholstered saddle, solid Continental tires.

I went with orange just because the last frame was orange but it ended up being appropriate for this fall season.

I ended up not giving her the crate only because it was a bit over sized. When I delivered the bike to her I told her that she could have it though. She was extremely pleased with the finished product.

This was the Capri that was traded in for a Motobecane Mirage (2 entries ago). Like I explained in that post, the only reason they guy traded it was because he didnt like the handlebar set up, which was fine because I was able to help him out and help the buyer of this Capri out as well.

I didnt have to do any extensive work, just replacing tubes, cables, handlebars, saddle, handlebar wrap, and levers.

It ended up turning out very classy looking. The cream saddle on the bike really gives it such a unique touch.

Just wish I was able to get more/better photos before selling it.

What a weird bike. My dad and I bought this bike from a guy and his son up in Mchenry, Il. They seem to stumble on bike for resale and usually give us a courtesy call when they are listing a new bike on Craigslist. This particular bike wasnt listed because they had just picked up and we just happen to see it while there buying a Schwinn World.

They quickly showed up the unique feature on the bike, a cam that is actually integrated with the with the bottom bracket cup.

I had no idea what kind of bike it was or where it came from and neither did they. I thought it may have been a German or Belgian bike with a name like that but it turns out that Houdaille was an American company.

To my understanding this is the only bicycle Houdaille Industries made. What makes this such a rare bike is not only the manufacturer but the Powercam crank, which is conjured in competition with Shimano’s Biopace technology.

The bikes Powercam crank is definitely different. From what I read it was designed to help the rider at their weakest extension while cranking, improve cadence, and build muscle. After riding locally on the Houdaille, and getting use to the strange relief motion you experience when your leg is furthest forward while cranking, I can agree that it has the ability to build muscle quickly while ‘kind of’ making it easier on the rider. You can definitely build and maintain speed very easy with this bike without exerting as much energy as a conventional crank. I think the primary reason this technology did not take off is because of how different the riding experience is. Its definitely not a bike I would take our leisurely. It is meant to for performance applications like competition and racing.

This project was another “build to order” for a guy who needed a sleek commuter that rode well. We set up a deal to trade his Raleigh Capri and Schwinn Varsity plus $25 for a Motobecane Mirage frame rebuilt as a single speed:

It was a decent deal but all and all, I really helped him out. This panned out to be a very nice bike.

I bought the wheelset (Weinmenn DP18s) off someone who had recently upgrade to Mavics. The wheels had only seen around 70 miles so they were in pretty good shape.

One major reason the buyer was willing to trade me his two bikes for this one was that he recently bought the Capri as his commuter because his last bike had gotten stolen. His last bike had bullhorns and he really missed the style of those bars and wanted them back. I didnt exactly give him bullhorns but rather, cut & flip drops which he was fine with.

He also requested to have an aggressive gear ratio so I set him up with 16/52. Another request was some efficient tires so I bought him Vittoria Zaffiros.

I really loved the way this bike turned out and so did he. Definitely an upgrade from his Capri.