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.


I received so many emails in response to the Fetish Cycles build that I sold nearly a month ago. After it sold, I tried my best to situate responders with frames that were somewhat similar to the Fetish frame but most were pretty far off. One the more adamanet responders, who happened to be a CPD Officer, wanted a frame rebuilt in a similar manner as the Fetish but also wanted it with a CPD Squad Car color theme or rather, the Chicago Flag which looks like such:

I was pretty excited regarding the opportunity to build a frame up with that particular theme so after situating the Officer with a frame in his size, I quickly dropped the frame off with a new powdercoater I had yet to try out.

I went with FreshStart Custom Coatings out of Rolling Meadows, Il. I briefed the owner of the operation with my concerns regarding overspray and other commons slip ups that previous powdercoaters had issues with paying attention to and he was more than confident that the frame will turn out first rate and to my liking. And it did.

The frame turned out beautifully and the bike dressed up so well. I was really pleased with the turn out.

The Officer was also thrilled to see the bike come together just how he envisioned it. He was very excited to show it off to the department and his family.

He told me that he had a brother in law who is a firefighter and that he may want to have a fire engine theme bike rebuilt for him. Cute ideas.

Im just excited to keep the ball rolling with these powdercoating projects. They turn out so good!

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.

A woman by the name of Doris had contacted me after seeing my blog and wanted me to help her replace her sons Schwinn Tempo that was stolen from campus. Through conversation, I suggested building him a functional commuter bike that will look on the less appealing side in hopes that it will be overlooked by thieves. He wanted a single speed set up for his commuter and I was able to whip together a single speed converted AMF road bike for him while I situated his second bike.

We decided on this frame:

It didnt have significant rust ware, mostly surface. A very good candidate for a powdercoating.

I quickly dropped the frame off at the Contagious Customs, same powdercoater I went with when I had the Schwinn World Sport powdercoated.

Like the Schwinn, the frame came out beautifully with the same exception…the threading inside the bottom bracket shell was again over sprayed. I again had to have the shell rethreaded, costing me $20 at The Bicycle Garage in Dundee, Il.

Contagious Custom’s explanation for the over spray was because of the fact that the color I selected was a multistage color, which compromised whatever protective measures they used to cover the threading. The owner at The Bicycle Garage told me that they could have used vasoline or something similar and that could have solved the issue but I didnt look into that method so who knows.

Aside from the flub, the frame’s coat turned out wonderful. Definitely a gorgeous color. My father and I put our finishing touches on the bike and brought it to mike for cabling, wrap, and pads.

It turned out stunning.

Before meeting with Doris and her son I was able to find a few murals on the far west side of Chicago.

Doris and her son loved the bike. It was set up as a single speed with a flip flop rear.

Nitto bars & stem, Origin 8 Chainring, Tange bottom bracket, Wienmann Single Wall 700cs, and Shimano calipers & 105 Levers.

Definitely clean and fresh ride for the kid.

Pretty excited to powdercoat more frames this summer.

Good Morning!

This was a interesting project. Jaime, a friend of mine, contacted me about rebuilding a bike for herself. She was impressed with some of the work we have done in the past and was really excited to have a rebuild of her own. After getting Jaime’s specifications set, I had two frames that she could choose from. A red hybrid/road Univega frame and a maroon Spaulding Blade. The bike was to be rebuilt to be trail friendly so thats why we initially thought of the Univega seen below:

After showing her the frame she was less than thrilled. After probing a bit, I understood that she wanted a frame with more of a traditional geometry. The Spaulding would have been the next option but I quickly remembered we had a frame that had recently been powdercoated at J&J Powdercoating in Zion, Il. The frame was initially brought there to be powdercoated copper for a project that was cancelled. After explaining what the color of the frame would look like, Jaime was on board and the next step was to make the trip up to Zion to retrieve the frame. When we finally did, we realized that the color was not copper at all, but actually a very mute brown almost resembling woman’s makeup foundation:

We were a bit confused because we were expecting a metallic copper color but I guess my father told the powdercoater to “get it as close to copper as possible”…which is not copper at all. If we wanted an actual copper color it would have cost us extra but it would have been copper, not that. The actual job was extremely well done though, but it just wasnt copper. There really was no flaws aside from the simple misunderstanding, on our end. We contacted the powdercoater who understood the issue and offered to shoot the frame black for $30, which we have yet been able to jump on.

I went ahead and showed Jaime the frame and she obviously didnt like it, which was understandable. She was expecting copper, like me, and that frame obviously wasnt. I felt bad for psyching her up for a freshly powdercoated frame and not being able to provide one, so I bought a World Sport that was in her size that was in dire need attention. Here it is:

Conveniently enough, I saw an ad on Craigslist for a couple of powdercoaters out of Crystal Lake who were willing to do bicycle frames. I spoke with Chris, one of the owners there and got to know a bit more about their operation. It worked out well because rather than driving an hour to Zion I was able to head up to Crystal Lake and more importantly, Jaime could come along and select a color. Jaime, her boyfriend Ryan, and I met up at Contagious Customs where met Chris & Chris, the owners. Jaime was able to select a color which was great and saved me from selecting the wrong color option. We left the frame there and it was ready a few days after.

By that time, we had all the components for her bike gathered and it was just a matter of assembling the bike. I made the trip out and was very impressed with the finished product:

You cant really tell but there is quite a bit of sparkle action going on and this color looks stunning under the sun.

When we finally brought the frame home and as I was hand tightening the bottom bracket cup, I noticed the cups werent staying in place. I soon realized that the threading was painted over. There was quite a bit of overspray. I was upset because I wanted to get the build situated and to Jaime but had to deal with this issue. It undoubtedly happened because the area wasnt masked properly, allowing paint to leak in. The brown World we had powdercoated at J&J did not have that problem. I had to take the frame to The Bicycle Garage, a LBS and had the oversprayed area re-threaded. After that, the cups were secure and the we wrapped the bike up quickly. Here she is:

The bike looks wonderful put together. It definitely puts a smile on your face.

We used another one of Pancho’s cool reupholstered saddles, matching cork wrap, and a mix of Japanese components. The gears shift like water and the bike rides elegantly.

Jaime was extremely pleased when I brought her and Ryan the bike. Im just glad she got something she really wanted and didnt have to settle with the Univega or something she was just content with.

This build really got me excited for more powdercoated/custom builds this year. Great build to kick start spring.