Monthly Archives: July 2012

I responded to an add that advertised several bikes being for sale at Judson College here in Elgin, Il. Apparently, the two security guards on campus had been collecting bikes that the students were abandoning after their semesters were over and selling them out of a storage space on campus. My dad and I sifted through their collection but were only interested in a Kona MTN Bike and this Trek that had been rattle canned to death.

A woman who had came across the blog wanted an a bike built by us but really wanted the final product to pop. She was on the shorter side so this frame was ideal. Even though we really werent sure what model Trek this was, we were able to make out the writing ‘Ishiwata’ on the seat tube, I believe. That was enough to assure us that the steel was quality and worth using for a project. It took sometime to get rolling but once I took it over to the project was a breeze…sort of.

Out of the three frames we have had powdercoat for us, this frame turned out the nicest, in my opinion. My opinion is in regards to the color detail that the camera really wasnt able to capture. I really loved looking at the finish. It was a mesmerizing green. The only downsize to the job was their lack of masking. This was the third time I had to have the bottom bracket shell rethreaded, along with the eyelets and the bottler holder threads. Luckily, I was able to take the frame over to a friend who has been working with bikes for over 20 years so he was fortunately able to clean their mess up for me.

I dont want to bash their work because its actually quite good but having to have this extra work done just to reassemble the bike isnt worth our time.

Anyway, once the frame was ready to go I quickly assembled it and took some beautiful photos.

This was the clean and fresh look I had in mind.

I used a set of George’s 700c’s with some CST Super HP tires and a Shimano 18 tooth freewheel. Also used a pair of lovely Nitto bars, Nitto stem, and a beautifully riveted saddle.

The buyer was thrilled. She really had something completely different in mind but was extremely pleased with the turn out.

I am actually in the process of building her uncle a bike in a similar style. He also wants a frame powdercoating.

Such a gorgeous build.


My grandpa occasionally crosses paths with scrapers who usually have at least one bike or two on their load. I am usually weary of buying anything from scrapers, not out of fear of stolen goods, but because they abuse the hell out of what they find. They arent going to treat a bike nicely until they have someone in front of them willing to pay $30 to take it off their hands. And the idea of paying that much for a bike that has squashed between a washing machine and a rusty old lawn mower doesnt make me feel comfortable.

Luckily, the bikes the scraper had sold my grandpa were neatly arranged on the bed of the truck and were all in decent condition. This Motobecane was one of them.

The original wheels were rusty steel disasters and the handlebars/stem were also basically made of uranium. Needless to say, it was a heavy bike.

I had a set of Araya alloy 27inch wheels that I threw on the bike, along with an alloy stem and handlebars. New chain, saddle, wrap, cables, pads, tires, and tubes.

I remember at this particular juncture, we were blessed with about 4-5 25inch frames so it was fairly easy to post one on Craiglist and sell the other frames to responders after it sold.

Another simple and efficient build.

I had rebuilt a Trek 360 that I had bought from a guy in Carpentersville about a month ago. I rode the bike for a little bit and then threw it back on Craigslist. I honestly bought it because the weather suddenly became gorgeous and I needed something I could kick around on the trails.

I was able to sell the Trek without waiting too long. I sold it to a young man in Skokie who just needed a commuter. He had mentioned that he had a Centurion that had seen some better days and was wondering if I was interested in checking it out and possibly trading it in.

I remember initially admiring the color of the frame but was quickly turned off once I saw that the handlebars were bent, the front wheel was out of true, and the chainring was also bent. But the frame itself had some potential so I honored a trade in and quickly began working on it.

I threw some redished 27 inch alloy wheels on the frame, new handlebars, new chainring & cranks and a slew of other new components.

Turned out nicely. The contrast of white and charcoal is such a lovely match.

Ended up selling the bike to a guy in Lakeview who was also looking for a ride to just scoot around town with. I had used a 16 tooth freehwheel with a 52 tooth chainring so the bike really isnt that tame of a ride. When he was test riding he really gained some speed.

All and all, it was a quick and easy project that turned out nicely.