Sunday, April 17, 2011


I finally got this beast finished and boy does it ride like a dream! I am extremely happy with how it came out.... I am starting on my next build so stay tuned for that. In the mean time post comments and thanks for fellowing this build. (Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Things have been moving a long pretty smoothly with the Wild Card and it is 99% finished. I had to order some grease and tools, which is always fun. I got all the bearings packed, tubes/tires mounted on the rims, wheels mounted on the frame, and basically everything is in order as it should be. I did have to fine tune the crank set a few times to make it run as smooth as it could for being almost 80 years old. I also set the chain line, and I figured out how I am going to lock the TDC skip tooth track cog to the 30's Schwinn free-wheel hub. I found out that I can use an old English bottom bracket lock ring... So the search is on for one Here are a couple very quick pictures I took. Let me know what you think

Friday, November 26, 2010

the waiting game...

Here are the parts still waiting to be put on the Wild Card. I am waiting on a few things to ship in such as Phil Wood bearing grease, Velox rim tape, and a few other minor things. Also I went to Via Bicycle Shop here in Philly to have my steering tube shortened and its the best shop I have been to. The place is packed with tons and tons of vintage bikes, parts, everything! This will definitely become my new hang out. Stay tuned as this bike should be finished in the upcoming weeks...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Things rolling along..

Here is a quick test fit things. I had a great shop here in Philly (Bicycle Therapy) lace my hubs/wheel, and they did a great job! I have a few issues to iron out such as the steering tube is a little too long so that will have to be shortened, and I still have to find just the right seat post that I want on this beast. All in all things are coming together nicely specially for a custom build using so many different parts that were never suppose to go together.. Things still on the list.. pack all the bears, shortern the steering tube, fix the cog to the rear hub, search for the seat post, and buy a Brook B72 saddle...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Where things stand..

Well its been some time since my last entry. I have got all my parts back from the powder coat and chrome shops. First I have to hand it to everyone over at North County Powder Coating for doing such an amazing job with both the gloss black and candy apple red finishes. Not only did they strip, and powder coat the parts, but  their attention to detail is amazing I couldn't be happier with their service and product. Now for the chrome shop... Azteca Polishing in Escondido is a small family run shop that puts out some of the best chrome work I have ever seen. When I first walked into the small shop what hit me first was all the cars and trucks he had on the wall and 90% of them were clippings from custom car mags that verified the name of his shop! He took my old rusty 1930's Elgin crank sprocket and made it look brand new and his whole family are some of the nicest people I have ever met. SO now that I have everything back from these fine shops its time to put this beast together..

Sunday, October 3, 2010

the adventure of researching parts..

I have been doing tons of research on old balloon tire bicycles for the past 3 or so years now, and when I started planning this Wild Card build I was (and still am) getting into the early board track racer motorcycles of the early 1910's to mid 1930's. I found out that these builders of the board trackers would take apart a brand new stock motorcycle and put back together after they would take off everything they could to lighten up the motorcycle. These motorcycles didnt have brakes, lights, transmissons, suspension of any kind, and were built for wide open throttle racing on oval tracks made from wood. So I took that philosophy and applied it to the Wild Card. The Wild Card frame is a Rollfast 26" boys frame and back when these balloon tires bicycles were made they would came with everything they could put on a bicycle in those days such as, fenders, lights, horn tanks, rear racks, and tons and tons of chrome on the top models, also 3 speed internal rear hubs (coaster brake). Now this is where I start to do my research in what parts I wanted to use as I want to build this bike as simply as possible... so no horn tank, or fenders, or lights, or rear racks, or tons and tons of chrome. I knew from the get go I wanted the drive train to be skip tooth, and a fixed gear (where the rear sprocket is directly connected to the rear hub... meaning the pedals are always in motion unless you stop moving you legs kind of like the BT motorcycle with no brakes or gears) which of course the parts are no longer being made. It was time to search these parts out.... {to be continued}

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Wild Card build

As some of you know I have been in the process of this build for some time. I have been doing tons of research on these old  balloon tire bikes, and making a list of parts for the build. I am starting the Build with a 1953 Rollfast 26" frame and a front crank/ sprocket from a 1932 Elgin. Above is the picture of where everything started from.. A lot more to come so stay tuned! 
Here is a run down of parts being used for the build..
1953 Rollfast 26" frame
Monark springer front end (repros)
1932 Elgin front sprocket and crank arms (sprocket is a 26 skip tooth)
1938 Schwinn Paramount hubs
Brooks leather saddle (B72)
N.O.S. Diamond Skip Tooth Chain
J.C. Higgins grips (white)
1950's Schwinn seat post and clamp
1930's 8 tooth TDC Track cog
1920's Champs Elysées bars (repros)