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  1. #1
    I Love My Dream
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    Show me your Worksman

    I would love to see your Worksman cycles. I'm seriously considering picking 1 maybe 2 up. Was thinking a Klunker build, red, alloy wheels, high rise bar, the other a custom look, black, springer fork, as much chrome as possible. I don't think I can satisfy my Worksman lust with just one. What do you have?, want to share some pics?, comments about how the ride?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    I got a few, with a few more in the works. Will post pics as an edit later...

    I built one as a town bike; it's a black INB frame from 2008 with the 80s-style lugged-crown fork. Running 180mm OPC with 44t Wald sprocket, 36h velosteel out back, Sturmey x-fdd in the front, both laced to Sun mtx33s with the stickers peeled off. Wald 867 bars/ Wald stem, newbaum's tape. Brooks B17, Busch&Mueller iq cyo dynamo light. Rolling on fat franks with full-fenders. I commute on this one a lot.

    I built another INB with some BMX goodies. 2010 frame, SE Landing Gear fork, Profile Wedge stem, seatpost clamp, flywheel sprocket. S&M Crusier slam bars, ame grips, sturmey x-fd/x-rd ss hubset, laced to sun eq31 rims with some gumwall kendas on 'em. Cheapest saddle on earth, but oddly enough, a chris king headset.

    The third complete one we've got is my wife's errand bike. Super-rusty red INB frame with the monstrous new-school unicrown Worksman fork. Running the original wheels from my LGB; 20" front/26" in the back, with a knobby/slick configuration. Sissy bar, banana seat, Wald riser bars and x-long stem, with a Basket. Craziest pike we've got.

    I have a LGB that I'm rebuilding/sprucing up as my grocery getter/bizness bike-- I think I'm gonna start selling ym soap at the farmer's market next year. It's a work in progress, but I got big plans.

    I've been collecting parts for a Worksman fixed gear, but that's a ways off for now.

    For the record: none of my worksmans (Worksmen?) have ever touched the beach.

  3. #3
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Oh, and ride comments? These frames are stupid-heavy, but they ride nice if you build 'em nice. Make sure you gear them correctly; they're heavy so you'll wanna gear em low, but too low is no fun, either. For street riding in South Jersey (flat), I run a 44/18 on the commuter. These bikes are a lot of fun to build, but they do take some old-school/unique bits. 22.2mm seatpost, 21.1mm quill stem, American BB, 1" threaded headsets but with 32.7mm cups (Wald 4080 will fit; easiest is to run the original one, or even just the original cups with a bmx-style 1" threaded guts-n-nuts). Spaced 110mm out back as standard. I love worksmen, but the frames are finished with like watercolor paint or whatever; they rust early and quickly with the factory "finish".

    These things do get addictive, as you can find basketcases or framesets for like $50 and they beg to be customized, making that cheap old frame an expensive piece of equipment once you're done with it.

  4. #4
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    I own a custom built Worksman Cruiser and a custom built Worksman PAV trike. Both are smooth riding city bikes.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  5. #5
    I Love My Dream
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    Finding used here would be a challenge, they don't export to Canada. I have to have it sent to a parcel pick up service at a Montana border town if I buy new. I like that the over 100 year old company is still around making bikes the old fashioned way in North America. I have a soft spot for bicycle companies with a long history that stick close to their roots.
    Last edited by Saddle Up; 08-16-13 at 08:01 PM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    I have gotten a few used frames, ex-plant bikes, from a guy in Texas. Next time he posts one, I'll ask if he ships to Canuckistan. They always have trashed paint and weird, like, gypsum clinging to the stays.... but they clean up nice under a wire wheel for a respray or powder....

    Also, you can buy a brand new INB from http://industrialbikes.com/ for $389 USD plus $30 to ship to Alberta. So.......

  7. #7
    I Love My Dream
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    Excellent, do keep me in mind when you hear from the Texan. Thanks for the link, I was naive to the industrial bicycle market.
    It's none of my business what other people think of me.

  8. #8
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    Excellent, do keep me in mind when you hear from the Texan. Thanks for the link, I was naive to the industrial bicycle market.
    This just in: I pm'd El Tejano, and asked if he had any INB frames, and if he'd ship to Canada. His response:
    Quote Originally Posted by ind-chuckz
    Let me check the pile think I have one or two need to make sure.
    Looks promising. He seems to get 'em all the time, but the "check the pile" phrase will probably give some indication to the condition of the finish.

  9. #9
    I Love My Dream
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    Luckily I know a good powder coater.
    It's none of my business what other people think of me.

  10. #10
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    Luckily I know a good powder coater.
    I have to agree that a good powder coat of paint is way, way better than the factory air dried enamel paint jobs!!!

    For what I paid for my two Worksman the paint jobs just suck!
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  11. #11
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    ...so...any chance for any pictures?

  12. #12
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpletommy View Post
    ...so...any chance for any pictures?
    Oops...left my cam at work.

  13. #13
    K2ProFlex baby! ilikebikes's Avatar
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    My response would have been something along the lines of: "Does your bike have computer controlled suspension? Then shut your piehole, this baby is from the future!"
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    Heres my Worksman M2600, has a seven spring black leather saddle on it now.
    Last edited by ilikebikes; 10-10-13 at 12:03 PM.
    You see, their morals, their code...it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these...These "civilized" people...they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve

  14. #14
    Rider
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    You probably want to repaint when you get one anyways. My experience with a Worksman wasn't very good, to put it mildly; friday night worksmanship, the stock accessories like seats, pedals, etc. all disintegrated in short order, and it was literally bubbling out rust spots through the paint within a week on handlebars, integrated basket, and frame. And zip ties to hold the cables in place? really? Rode nice once I got the right shift rod in it. I got one of their rims to fix another lemon later. Was indestructible, very heavy, rode nice, but a few months in, the rim and the seam were rusted/worn enough that it started blowing tubes in the first mile.
    Plus, the places they sell them now are, hrmm..
    There's some people here who adore their Worksman bikes. I wanted to, but I just had too many bad experiences.
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

  15. #15
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    JusticeZero isn't wrong about any of that.... except maybe the handlebars. AFAIK, all of the Worksman models currently run Wald handlebars, which will, indeed, rust.... but I've had Wald bars on multiple bikes for years, without any evidence of rusting, pitting, or corrosion so I'm a bit surprised to hear that the bars were rusting out-the-box. The frame, otoh,rusts readily. They must use a lye-based primer.

    The way I like to rock Worksman bikes is, I like to take the thoroughly rad frame and make a cool bike out of it, typically with parts from other sources. The headset is serviceable, as is the crank. The pedals are a bad joke, and should be eradicated at once. If you buy a complete Worksman, be advised that some ppl really like those saddles, so pull it from day one and sell it on RRB or something. The saddle is obscenely huge (as many cruisers' stock saddles are these days), and while I didn't sit on mine for more than one ride, I got the impression that it would brake easily, as in, the rails would separate from the chassis under serious use. Let's see, what else....

    Seatpost is serviceable but poorly finished; seatclamp is also serviceable but they're kinda ugly. They work, I guess, but I typically replace with something from the BMX world. (Takes a 1" clamp.) The stock stem is the "classic" Wald #4 ; ppl with taste and a penchant for quality components eschew the #4 , but I'm a salty dog who loves 'em. They're 21.1mm quill, so they fit old American bikes. They have a delightfully primitive look to them... They're made from plate steel that's been rolled/manipulated into stem shape, and they're notoriously prone to failure during offroad use. No skin off my bones, as I tend to use a BMX bar/stem for offroad use. (JusticeZero seems to have owned a LGB, which comes with a Wald #511 , which is a massive 12" long 21.1mm quill brazed to the business-end of a Wald #4 . I pulled the one off of my LGB to use on my 26" muscle bike; I have to admit, that stem looks pretty sketch, but it hasn't failed us yet....)

    What else sucks on an oem Worksman? They use super triple xxxtra fat chains, which are not compatible with standard chain tools. No matter, as regular SS 1/8" chain will work. Oh, the wheels. I still sport a set of Worksman wheels; mine came from a LGB cycletruck, so it's a 26" rear with a shimano coaster brake and a 20" front with the bizarrely atavistic knock-out hub. These wheels are stupidly overbuilt, with 11g spokes, nipples the size of a Fiat, and dookey-wide chromed steel rims that will not hold a tire pumped up over 45psi. These are on my aforementioned 26" muscle bike, which is an INB with the #511 stem, mini-apes, a banana seat, and the mismatched wheels. I like the wheels for what they are--- but they are sooooo heavy and, frankly, so limited, that I don't think I'd bother with them on any bike that wasn't a frivolous, goofy toy.

    So, what's left? The frame and the fork. Paint aside, the frame is awesome. Yes, if you're running a rear drum or a 3speed, you'll need some zip-ties or some stainless steel cable clips to run the cable. But, if you're running a coaster, you won't have any goofy empty cable bosses, so there is a silver lining. The frame is strong, looks cool, and still sports 1940s features. Only downside, as I see it,is that it's heavy. i never weighed one, but.... dang. The fork is similarly overbuilt/heavy--- the new ones on the 26" bikes are massive, ugly nicrown jawns that are long enough to take a 29" tire. The earlier 26" models were nice, with a sloping lugged crown-- like the one on @ilikebikes 's m2600. I tend to replace the new forks with the old style, when I can, for purely aesthetic reasons.

    I think the next Worksman I buy will be another INB from industrialbikes.com. My plan is to get it, strip it all off, and immediately part it out on RRB. I'm willing to bet that the sale would offset the cost of the complete to the point that it'll be cheaper than just buying a frame (although, it'll be more time-intensive, too.)

  16. #16
    K2ProFlex baby! ilikebikes's Avatar
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    My response would have been something along the lines of: "Does your bike have computer controlled suspension? Then shut your piehole, this baby is from the future!"
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    Yeah my frame has rust all over, but I love it! makes it look like a much older bike than what it is. It had the orig Worksman saddle when I got it and the orig owner got it with the orig saddle AND he rode it all over Lancaster PA with the orig saddle with no problems, no tears, rips, wear, and just the tiniest bit of surface rust on the springs, held up pretty ****ing well if you ask me. The wheels are not orig, prob made in Taiwan, maybe/hopefully Japan as they look just like a set of ARAYA rims I had a while back, but I cant find any markings. I admit the wheels are a bit heavy but Ive done 15-25 miles on them with no problem, and Im no where near a Lance Armstrong type let me tell you! BTW what do you mean by "limited?" they fit just about any other 20s,30s,40s,50s,60s, canti frame I tried them on with no problem what so ever.
    Last edited by ilikebikes; 10-31-13 at 09:26 AM.
    You see, their morals, their code...it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these...These "civilized" people...they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve

  17. #17
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    The wheels are limited in that you can only run balloon sized tires on them, and only at low pressures, and like I said, they weigh as much as my mama. My mama is lightweight for being an old white woman, but she'd make for a very heavy wheelset. Plus, the braking options are limited, too. I have a Worksman INB with Sun Equalizer 31s laced to Sturmey X-fd and x-rdf hubs... these are lighter than the oem wheels, can handle tires as small as 1.5" and up to 2.5" with a lot of pressure, and they include hand-actuated brakes front and rear. They seem less "limited" than the stock wheels, but the stock wheels are admittedly fine for JRA-style cruising.

    Also, you need a special spoke wrench for those dookie nipples.

    As far as the saddle, I was talking about the current-production saddle. Over the past century, Worksman has used a lot of different saddles, and AFAIK they were all outsourced. The one from my 2010 Worksman was a huge, fat Taiwanese thing that flexed a lot and had too much plastic to instill any confidence in it. Other years likely used different saddles (I know they put some Messinger saddles on them BITD), and some were probably very durable. FWIW, online reviews of Worksman bikes often cite broken saddles. The limited experience I had with mine (one ride around the block, then sold online for $30 shipped) didn't include a broken saddle, but it was a very jenky piece of equipment.

  18. #18
    K2ProFlex baby! ilikebikes's Avatar
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    My response would have been something along the lines of: "Does your bike have computer controlled suspension? Then shut your piehole, this baby is from the future!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by surreal View Post
    The wheels are limited in that you can only run balloon sized tires on them, and only at low pressures, and like I said, they weigh as much as my mama. My mama is lightweight for being an old white woman, but she'd make for a very heavy wheelset. Plus, the braking options are limited, too. I have a Worksman INB with Sun Equalizer 31s laced to Sturmey X-fd and x-rdf hubs... these are lighter than the oem wheels, can handle tires as small as 1.5" and up to 2.5" with a lot of pressure, and they include hand-actuated brakes front and rear. They seem less "limited" than the stock wheels, but the stock wheels are admittedly fine for JRA-style cruising.

    Also, you need a special spoke wrench for those dookie nipples.

    As far as the saddle, I was talking about the current-production saddle. Over the past century, Worksman has used a lot of different saddles, and AFAIK they were all outsourced. The one from my 2010 Worksman was a huge, fat Taiwanese thing that flexed a lot and had too much plastic to instill any confidence in it. Other years likely used different saddles (I know they put some Messinger saddles on them BITD), and some were probably very durable. FWIW, online reviews of Worksman bikes often cite broken saddles. The limited experience I had with mine (one ride around the block, then sold online for $30 shipped) didn't include a broken saddle, but it was a very jenky piece of equipment.
    They are "balloon" bike wheels built for heavy duty use in a warehouse setting, that's why they are built like a tank and are heavy and made to use balloon sized tires, your calling them limited is like calling a set of 700 x 18 wheels limited because you cant fit a set of MTB tires on them. I also had no problem useing Balloon tires on Worksman wheels at the specified PSI. It seems to me you are trying to radically alter a bike that was not built for your specific needs. No problem with doing that but I wouldn't call any of the orig parts limited because I want to use them for a purpose they were'nt built for. BTW my orig Worksman saddles must be a good old one as after hundreds of miles its still one of the best saddles Ive ever ridden and its in great shape.
    Last edited by ilikebikes; 10-31-13 at 11:03 AM.
    You see, their morals, their code...it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these...These "civilized" people...they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve

  19. #19
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilikebikes View Post
    They are "balloon" bike wheels built for heavy duty use in a warehouse setting, that's why they are built like a tank and are heavy and made to use balloon sized tires, your calling them limited is like calling a set of set of 700 x 18 wheels limited because you cant fit a set of MTB tires on them. I also had no problem useing tires on Worksman wheels at the specified PSI. It seems to me you are trying to radically alter a bike that was not built for your specific needs. No problem with doing that but I wouldn't call any of the parts limited because I want to use them for a purpose they were not built for.
    Fair enough; "limited" might not be the best term... but even Worksman asks that you keep the tires under 40psi on their rims, which bothers some ppl. It doesn't bother me at all; I just swap out the wheels if I need to run higher pressure tires....

    To be fair, though, it looks like you've taken your m2600 pretty far out of the warehouse.... Which, of course, is a good thing. I guess if you look at an industrial bike as being just an industrial bike, that is a pretty limited use.

    Most of the Worksman guys I know have been using their bike as a street machine, be it for short commutes, grocery runs, JRA, or even as the basis for a klunker build. Grocery runs and JRA are fine with the stock wheels, but I like higher psi for commuting (Fat Franks pumped to the max are nice for my commute...) and it's hard enough lugging an INB uphill on the trails with lighter rims. To try it with the stock ones seems like too much of a workout for me.... plus I prefer front/rear brakes for the trail. (I know a lot of ppl go true bomber-style, with a c/b only....)

    Of course, ymmv...

    As to "Radically" altering the bike, well.... that depends on how you define "radical"... so far, I haven't made any frame mods, although I'm going to modifiy the fork on my LGB to accept a normal front axle... But some folks might think that an INB with Landing Gear forks, a BMX cockpit, and front/rear drums is radical. I think it's pretty mild. It's all just for fun, of course.

  20. #20
    K2ProFlex baby! ilikebikes's Avatar
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    My response would have been something along the lines of: "Does your bike have computer controlled suspension? Then shut your piehole, this baby is from the future!"
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    I use it for just about any run (fast food, groceries, post office and such) within a 5 mile radius. BTW your statement "To be fair, though, it looks like you've taken your m2600 pretty far out of the warehouse" is pretty true, I had to remove and replace parts that didn't fit my needs, minor alts to say the least. and this one "Which, of course, is a good thing. I guess if you look at an industrial bike as being just an industrial bike, that is a pretty limited use." is in my opinion not correct. Its a Worksman, it was built for heavy use in a warehouse, that's it. People like you and me that take them and alter them for our own use cant label them limited use if we're using them for purposes they were not intended for.
    You see, their morals, their code...it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these...These "civilized" people...they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve

  21. #21
    Senior Member surreal's Avatar
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    ....unless, of course, they were intended for one narrow purpose that grows ever more narrow by the day....

    Limitations aren't a bad thing; purpose-built bikes with a limited intended use can be awesome. (In many cases, a creative rider can mod the bike to broaden the usefulness.) Purpose-built track bikes-- real ones made for the velodrome-- are nice machines, despite their limitations. Add a front brake and the widest/toughest tires that the frame will fit, and its range of use improves.

    Broadening a Worksman's abilities is even easier.

    But, neither of those examples will ever enjoy the broad range of purposes offered by, say, an old-school British "Sports" 3speed.... or a Surly Cross Check. That's not saying their necessarily better or worse, but it is a factor that we can compare/contrast.

    I honestly do have an appreciation for the Worksman wheels, even if I don't personally have much use for them. If the set I have was 26/26" instead of 20/26", i'd have certainly sold them by now... but I understand why ppl want them....or, at least, think they want them.

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