Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bicycle Building

I have been contemplating the purchase of a new bicycle for about a year now, but choosing which one has become an ever-growing conundrum. The price must be low, but I would like a touring type bicycle. My ideal bike would be a Pashley Gov'nor (3-speed), or, better yet, a Gov'nor Plus Four, but my budget is strictly limited. So, surfing the Internet I sought options.

Eventually I stumbled upon a website called Ratrod Bikes. These are, for the most part, old bikes that are brought back to life with little concern about the original nature of the specific bicycle. On this site, one of the special interest sections is devoted to what they call "Board Track" bikes, or bicycles that are hotrodded in the spirit of the old racing cycles from the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. They have lots of really innovative and old style bikes on that site which are based on frames that are more modern than the bikes that they are emulating.

In any case, the short version of this story is that I really want to build my bike in the spirit of the Pashley, but based on a more modern style and less expensive frame. I am planning to get a late 70s or early 80s Motobecane touring bike frame. I am going to paint the frame black and equip it as a three-speed. I am going to get some period style downswept handlebars and, hopefully, a pair of painted rims on which to mount either white or brown period style tires. Overall, I want to evoke the look of a 1930s style gentleman's touring cycle on a more modern and much lighter frame.

If this project sees the next phase I will post updates and photos.

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