Assorted Adventures in bodges and Frankenbiking: GT Palomar/1960s Sun

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  • Just finishing off the taiga green. It always looks weirdly light in the shade compared to how it looks in sunlight. I'll leave that to harden up for a few days, mask up the head and seat tubes, and do the rest of the frame in Chamonix white.

    Can't decide whether or not to line the lugs in dark green like I did with the forks. Looks a bit naff up close.

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  • Done. Pretty pleased with how it came out. I'm running it in fixed mode for the summer with accompanying shitty components, and once I've got a bit more money I intend to build a nice wheelset and get some old campagnolo derailleurs

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  • The Sun served me fantastically last summer, but now I'm going to be working in Cambridge full time and I feel bad abusing that lovely old frame through another winter, so for now it will go into storage and await a genuine restoration with period correct parts rather than living as a shitty fixie conversion. Godspeed, patriot.

    Which brings me onto my latest in a long string of dumb ideas: turn my old GT Palomar beater into a fixed gear commuter. The reason for this is that I love this frame and can't bring myself to sell it, despite it being utter garbage and having virtually no working parts right now. It's supposed to be a 26" wheel frame but lacks a rear disc mount, and I'm sick of using crappy old 26" rim brake wheels that weigh a ton and don't brake particularly well. So I'm sacking off the rear brake, squeezing in a 700c wheelset with an eccentric rear hub so that I can ride fixed, and mounting a Surly Straggler fork with nice hydro disc brake up front.

    Am I insane?

  • Pics of the bike as it was on 26" wheels, and now stripped down with a 700c CX wheelset to prove to myself that I've got adequate clearance at the back.

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  • Just found the thread. Nice sun restore, and good decision to put it into storage.

    Personally I wouldn’t put 700c on the GT. You can get nice 26” wheel sets, and v brakes are great. Head over to @t0-ster’s stable for 26” goodness.

  • Cheers man!

    Too late, I'm doing it! I do agree though, it ain't proper. I'm using this as an exercise to learn wheelbuilding, and then once I can afford to I'll build a nice wheelset, convert it back to 26" with a nice groupset etc. The only reason I'm going for 700c is that I've got a 700c wheelset lying around that I'm happy to butcher.

  • How are you going to tension the chain?

    Are you going to use caliper rim brakes?

  • Eccentric rear hub, rotating it moves the axis about which the rear wheel spins, allowing for chain tensioning in vertical dropouts - it's a neat little bit of kit.

    And no, I've got a nice magura hydraulic disc brake leftover from another project to go on the front. No rear brake because fixed

  • Cool. The White Industries one? (I'm not aware of any others).

  • Sorry, just realised you'd already covered my questions.

  • Yup, picked one up on here pretty cheap recently. At full price they're very pricey but it's a beautifully made hub

  • GT update: finished painting it and I'm kinda annoyed at how nice it came out. I sprayed the rear end with some dark blue I had hanging around but otherwise left the stonechips in place and just gave the bike a couple of coats of lacquer to prevent it rusting. For an incognito commuter/pub bike it's turned out far too nice and shiny for my liking.

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  • To try and keep things bodgy I made a headset press using some blocks of wood and threaded rod. Still trying to work out how I'm going to get the crown race on the forks, I might hunt locally for some 1 1/4 tubing that'll fit over the steerer tube as it didn't look like there was much available in small quantities/cheap online.

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  • Anyway, I've scoured the parts bin and found just about everything I need minus the crankset. Anyone expecting an aesthetically pleasing matchy matchy build is gonna be disappointed

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  • keeping it bodgey - try a hoover extension if you have one lying about

  • Worked a treat, cheers

  • Got a rolling chassis, just need to find some decently cheap cranks. Bikes always look wrong without the cranks but I think this is absolutely rad and I can't stop laughing at it

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  • You should put back on the suspension fork and track down some of those Mavic VBrake bolsters that allow you to run 700c

  • Been some time since I updated this. Finished the build and I've been riding it for months. Wanted a surly 24 pack rack to complement the forks, but surly have some sort of recall notice out on those at the moment and so they're currently not for sale - hence the pizza rack.

    The bike has been absolutely great so far. I appreciate the retro crowd that wanted to see a more authentic build, but bad sus forks, 26" wheels and an old groupset just don't make any sense for a commuter. It's not like this bike was ever worth anything anyway, and I'd rather be using it every day than leave it rusting in the back of the shed.

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  • I've just caught this thread, great Saturday "morning" reading.
    I started writing this full of ideas of 26" and bolt on cogs and plush comfy fixed life but realised it might be impossible with an eccentric hub.

  • Glad you're enjoying it!

    Part of me is tempted to rebuild the rear wheel as 26" to make it a 69er...

  • So I've run the GT fixed gear for the past two years (where has that time gone...) during which it has given me many smiles, endured a couple of wintery crashes unscathed, and generally been the perfect commuter. However, my homemade paintjob never really fully hardened and it's been chipping like an absolute bastard. I love the rat look but I can't bear to see it rust for another winter, so it's off to Alfano in Leicester for some frame work and a nice dark blue powder coat.

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  • Might as well post some of my other bikes in the meantime

  • This is my Look X85, I got it for an absolute steal a few years ago in a clearance sale from Merlin Cycles. It's size XL but is only a size 58 in terms of seat tube, so it's on the smaller side for me. This is it in "gravel" mode with 650B x 40 tyres, this is probably my favourite setup for it. It absolutely floats along trails and climbs like a goat. I have another carbon 700c wheelset with 30 mm tyres for road riding with mates, bit it's not so inspiring as a road bike. That said, I love it and I'll keep it till it falls apart.

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  • On a slightly more sacrilegious note, here's my partner's headshok Cannondale that we've recently finished turning into a drop bar comfy commuter.

    She wanted to buy a bike during the peak of covid bike drought insanity, and asked me to help out, with the brief that it had to be "unique, comfortable, and have drop bars". Nice and easy then...

    I found this on eBay and got it for dirt cheap - basically everything bar the frameset was fucked. The seller gave me 2 broken wheelsets which I turned into one passable set, and built it up as a parts bin special using the absolutely knackered 105 5700 group that I originally ran on the Look when I was a poor student. Still running the knackered Coda crankset that it came with, may switch that out and/or put a front derailleur on if there's a need for it.

    For some reason 26" rim brake bikes are cool now, so maybe this is on trend? Maybe it's puppy murdering? Who knows. It rides great and she loves it.

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Assorted Adventures in bodges and Frankenbiking: GT Palomar/1960s Sun

Posted by Avatar for Slappingpythagoras @Slappingpythagoras