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  1. #1
    Hello Portland 501breeze's Avatar
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    Building A Porteur Bike: Advice?

    So I purchased this 76 Schwinn Sports Tourer of CL when I ws visiting Portland, and now that I've moved here, I'd like to try making it a porteur-style SS city bike. I'll tell you guys/gals what I have planned, and feel free to give opinions/tips/tell me I'm crazy, etc.



    First things first, the wheels are steel. I'd like to find some approximately period correct alloy rims, and just try redishing the rear wheel. Anyone have some they'd like to get rid of? Otherwise, I was thinking just getting something like a set of Weinmann LP18s with suzue or formula hubs. I think that's be cheaper than me removing the current Normandy hubs and having new wheels built (I'm just not up to building my own wheels yet).



    Any one have any suggestions regarding that? I'd like to keep wheel costs under $200. Also, should I switch to 700 wheels, I know that will will give me way more options for tires, but I'm not sure about brake reach.



    Since I'm mentioning wheels, I'm also having a member make me some swell wooden fenders, for some serious class, and to bring out the brooks.

    As far as drivetrain, I'll probably buy a BMX SS freewheel for the back, and remove as much as i can
    from the chainring set in front. Hopefully chainline will be decent, but I can mess with that if necessary.

    Of course, you can't have a porteur without the handlebars and inverse levers. The Nitto Montmarte bars look perfect, but are sold out, at least at velo orange.http://www.velo-orange.com/vomoha.html
    I don't think the Promenade or Dove bars will work. Has anyone tried the albatross bars or something else?

    As far as the levers, I figured these dia compes

    They look decent, but are plastic. Or these ones (a little nicer) but not very vintage looking http://www.velo-orange.com/siinbrle.html

    And lastly, the front rack. Anyone building any wooden racks, or know of any for sale?

    Thanks alot for any ideas or comments.
    Quote Originally Posted by NitroPye
    Way to be a insensitive clod! I mean, if it was a yellow lab you would have just called it a lab!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by 501breeze View Post
    And lastly, the front rack. Anyone building any wooden racks, or know of any for sale?
    Paul makes the Flatbed. The only problem is it's made of aluminum, and has a 25 pound load carrying limit.

    I'm pretty sure there are steel racks with wood slats out there, I'm just not sure who has them.

  3. #3
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    harriscyclery.net makes a set of 27" wheels for $155. They've got a number of choices for tires, too.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/wheels1.html#630

    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/tires/630.html

    They built me a set of wheels using Sun rims and Formula hubs. I put them on my Raleigh Sprite ss/fg. Very shiny, glossy look just like old steel rims.


    Nice front racks HERE, HERE, HERE

    Nice website for your porteuring pleasure: http://lockringnotincluded.blogspot....rack-pics.html

    Velo-orange has some good rack options made of steel. http://www.velo-orange.com/voporteurrack.html

    Nitto makes a couple of front racks but they are more for front bags than carrying pizzas.

    Check out the wood porteur rack on the Capricorn Porteur bike. scroll down a bit. http://www.flickr.com/photos/shortpants51/

    http://www.capricornbicycles.com/

    http://blogs.phred.org/blogs/alex_wetmore/default.aspx

    loads of pics of Kogswell's P/R bike with racks. http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/p...iraryan&page=3

    I'd contact Kogswell about where to get those racks.

    http://blog.edelbikes.com/

    http://www.ahearnecycles.com/pages/josephtouring.html

    I'm sure the custom guys can make you a nice wooden rack.

  4. #4
    Vintage French Bike Fan
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    Welcome to Portland! I moved here from Columbus (Clintonville) in 2005. That Schwinn would be a good platform for building a city bike, IMHO.

    You probably already know that your cranks are Nervar 5 Vis cranks that share a bolt circle with Stronglight 49 and TA Pro 5 Vis cranks. If you wanted to get TA or Stronglight rings for a different look, they are available. Personally I like Nervar's stuff. Their rings look nice, and you also have the cool alloy chain guard that goes on it. The Nervar cranks use "standard" 10mm chainring bolts so you should be able to remove all the other rings except the outer one, and get a set of double ring bolts to keep the chain guard. You may have to leave a spacer on the back of the crank, but that's not a big deal.

    I don't know what your budget is for racks, but the coolest racks in town in my opinion are from Joseph Ahearne. They're hand-built in Portland and NOT cheap (hey, they're art) but they are incredible:

    http://www.ahearnecycles.com/pages/racksgallery.html

    He also makes some of the most stunning frames around.

    I have Velo Orange fluted fenders on my Peugeot and get compliments on them all the time. If you decide against the wood fenders, I highly recommend them.

    As for wheels... you should have no problem fitting 700C wheels. Your brakes look like they have plenty of reach left. Even if not, a set of MAFAC racers will run you less than $20. To look at wheels, I'd suggest heading down to Citybikes:

    http://www.citybikes.coop/

    They have two locations about 10 blocks from each other. You want to go to the one that's in the neighborhood, basically built into the hill. It's the 1914 Ankeny location. They always have a bunch of prebuilt wheels hanging in the front window. Usually very decent prices and no sales tax and no shipping. They will also build wheels to spec for you. Sellwood Cycles (http://sellwoodcycle.com/) are also known as very excellent wheel builders in town. If you decide to have someone build you a set of wheels you can probably save a bunch of money by either re-using those Normandy hubs on your Schwinn, or heading down to the Recyclery (http://www.therecyclery.com/) and digging through the used hubs to find a decent set. They usually sell hubs for $5 apiece or so. Pick up some Sunshine or Shimano 333 high flange hubs and you will be happy with them on the cheaper end of the scale. If you want to spend more money, ask at Citybikes or the Recyclery and I'm sure they'll sell you a set of Campagnolo hubs. You can probably get $20-25 for your steel wheels on CL.

    Hope that helps! Have fun. PM me if you need more local bike resources.

    Karl
    Last edited by karmat; 07-03-08 at 06:24 AM.

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    I totally missed that the OP has moved to Portland! Welcome!

    Maybe we should have a Portland C&V get together sometime. You know there's a monthly vintage ride here in the summer? I've never gone, and won't, until I get one of my road bikes back on the road. Still, I'd be up for a Portland C&V get together sometime.

    Back on topic: I'm planning my own porteur build (for a winter project, after some other projects get finished.), based on a low-end Canadian-made Raleigh mountain bike. Actually, two of them, one a diamond frame, the other a mixte. Both will be grocery getters. I have serious doubts that porteurs are the most effective way to carry a load, so I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do yet.

  6. #6
    Vintage French Bike Fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
    Maybe we should have a Portland C&V get together sometime. You know there's a monthly vintage ride here in the summer? I've never gone, and won't, until I get one of my road bikes back on the road. Still, I'd be up for a Portland C&V get together sometime.
    Never been, either. I'd be up for a vintage get together for C&V BB'ers. There seem to be a number of us Portlanders on here. I've got a couple of friends with cool vintage steel I could probably convince to come along. Particularly if beer is involved.

    Karl

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by karmat View Post
    Never been, either. I'd be up for a vintage get together for C&V BB'ers. There seem to be a number of us Portlanders on here. I've got a couple of friends with cool vintage steel I could probably convince to come along. Particularly if beer is involved.

    Karl
    Yep, a pub meet would be good.

    I'm going to feel awkward though if I don't get my own vintage steel on the road, though. Right now, all that's up and running is my '91 GT Karakoram. Cool vintage steel in my eyes, but not quite right for a C&V meet up. Maybe I should move something cool to the head of the build line...

  8. #8
    Who cares, just ride it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by 501breeze View Post
    Of course, you can't have a porteur without the handlebars and inverse levers. The Nitto Montmarte bars look perfect, but are sold out, at least at velo orange.http://www.velo-orange.com/vomoha.html
    I don't think the Promenade or Dove bars will work. Has anyone tried the albatross bars or something else?
    I just got a set of chromo Nitto North Roads, which take bar end shifters, and therefore, inverse levers too. They are very similar to the Albatross, if not the same. I can't remember the model number, but do a search and you should be able to find it. There are a few different kinds, but the ones I have are steel, have rise and are very wide.
    N-1 is my long-term goal

  9. #9
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    you'd need to go 650B for true working bike porteur style
    here's a duded up Le Tour

  10. #10
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Nitto Albatross bars in steel or aluminum will work with inverse levers. The dove bar is thick walled and will not. The Cinelli Priest bar is the same outside diameter as road bars and will only work with inverse levers. I own or have owned all of them. Heat treated 7/8" aluminum bars can have thin walls like steel bars, but they're expensive. The VO Montmarte and Left Bank are 24mm o.d. like the Cinellis, so you have to use inverse levers.

    I'm ordering my inverse levers from Soma. They're actually the same as the Tektro levers, but I think that the Soma Logo is cooler than the Tektro logo.

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    Levi and I have talked a bit about a few of these examples, but here's some porteurs I've built over the past few years:

    My current ride is a 70s St. Etienne powdercoated black and converted to 650B. I also put a fork with more rake and English threading on it. In this shot, I had just come home from the toy store:


    This St. Etienne replaced a smaller one that I had built with 700c wheels. It's shown here with a wooden chainguard, DiaCompe inverse levers, Belleri bars from V-O (before they ran out!), and a WALD giant delivery basket cut down and modded with a wooden platform:


    Last is a 1971 Raleigh SuperCourse modded with wooden fenders, Soma Sparrow bars and inverse levers, Simplex chainguard, a Nashbar front rack, and a wooden platform:


    Neal

  12. #12
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    Not wood, but nice porteur racks nonetheless:

    Velo Orange Porteur Rack

    12-pack Rack

  13. #13
    Vintage French Bike Fan
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    Neal I like those! Nice job. Makes me want to start in on it myself... too many projects though.

    Karl

  14. #14
    Hello Portland 501breeze's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. Those ahearne racks are nice, but out of my range at this time. The velo orange one is nice, and the six pack rack. I'll check city bikes for the wheels (nice people, I've been there before), but if not, does anyone have any experience with these harris cyclery rims that b battle mentioned?
    http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/wheels1.html#630
    Should I be scared of single walls?
    Also the left bank, priest, and albatross bars are all good suggestions. Maybe I could find a set at city bikes also.
    I'll let you all know how it goes, and post pics.
    Also, I'd be down for a vintage ride, as long as my 86 miyata is old enough.
    Quote Originally Posted by NitroPye
    Way to be a insensitive clod! I mean, if it was a yellow lab you would have just called it a lab!

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    Kogswell intends to manufacturer a front porteur rack plus fork combo (or rack alone though it'll be designed to fit the Kogswell P/R frame) at a very good price--something around $110. I'm not sure of the ETA.

    Neal

  16. #16
    Disraeli Gears Charles Wahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
    I have serious doubts that porteurs are the most effective way to carry a load, so I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do yet.
    Huh? I thought that porteur bikes are basically for carrying. It means carrier in Français, n'est-ce pas?

  17. #17
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    A great porteur site from Joel Metz: http://www.blackbirdsf.org/courierracing/velos.html

    Neal

  18. #18
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    more porteur racks here: http://alexandchristine.smugmug.com/...0164#130234970


    If you're hauling big loads I can't think of a better bike than the Surly Big Dummy.

  19. #19
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    Dude, you got ripped off on the wheels. Somebody switched the alloy rims (probably weinmann) laced to Normandy Competition hubs that came on the bike (at least that is what was on my '74) for some varsinental wheels. Not a big deal, though the normandy comps might have been worth reusing for your project.

    As on most schwinns of this period, one brake is long reach and one is short reach (I don't remember which is which). In my experience, you will need both brakes to be long reach in order to reach 700c rims. Not really a problem, since your LBS probably has boxes full of these brakes that were taken off fixie conversions. 650B conversion, as suggested by other posters, would of course require much longer brake reach and somewhat compromised braking power.

    And for your tire-size planning, my '74 will accept up to a 700x35 (measured actual width) on the back with fenders, with the axle most of the way back in the dropout.

  20. #20
    Vintage French Bike Fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sluggo View Post
    Dude, you got ripped off on the wheels. Somebody switched the alloy rims (probably weinmann) laced to Normandy Competition hubs that came on the bike (at least that is what was on my '74) for some varsinental wheels. Not a big deal, though the normandy comps might have been worth reusing for your project.
    Shows what I know about Schwinns. Were they the Schwinn "Deluxe" hubs?

    As for single wall rims, I wouldn't worry about it. Sure they're not as durable. But unless you're doing something crazy they'll be fine around town. Something sturdier would be better, of course. Like at Citybikes where you can get inexpensive wheels built with Formula hubs and double wall rims. But single wall was just fine in the vintage period and worked pretty well. Alloys have only gotten better.

    I know nothing about the wheels from Harris in particular.

    Karl

  21. #21
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    I ordered a rack from this concern (in SF I think?)
    http://cetmaracks.com/

  22. #22
    Who cares, just ride it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
    This St. Etienne replaced a smaller one that I had built with 700c wheels. It's shown here with a wooden chainguard, DiaCompe inverse levers, Belleri bars from V-O (before they ran out!), and a WALD giant delivery basket cut down and modded with a wooden platform:

    Hey Neal, did you have to modify or make extensions for the Wald basket mounts at the handlebar end to make it sit roughly level? I just mounted the same basket to one of my bikes, and to get it to sit almost level, I had to lower the stem significantly and use the lowest holes on the fork mounts. Consequently, the basket doesn't sit as low as what I'd like; the mounts just don't have enough length to them! Granted, my bike is a 62cm, so the headtube is obviously longer than on your bike. I am trying to come up with a way to modify or add to the mounts so I can a) run the stem higher and b) make the rack sit closer to the top of the mudguard. I'll post a few pictures when I get a chance.
    Cheers,

    Leigh
    Last edited by Antipodes; 07-04-08 at 11:51 AM.
    N-1 is my long-term goal

  23. #23
    brain damaged bovine muccapazza's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot, everyone! I really didn't need a new idea, or idee fixe if you will, rattling around in head, but my utility Bianchi Mountain bike commuter with rear rack just died the other day (seat stays broke up by the seat tube, not at the welds, though, they held well), and the next day this thread pops up. And as Special Agent Dale S. Cooper said, "Gentlemen. When two separate events occur simultaneously pertaining to the same object of inquiry we must always pay strict attention." I just happen to be finishing up an old Gitane that I am putting Nitto Albatrosses on, and the idea of a $200 monster rack on a $15 thrift store bike tickles my fondness for the absurd.

    So thanks again, a lot, and I look forward to seeing the progress this Schwinn makes.
    Last edited by muccapazza; 07-04-08 at 05:59 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
    Huh? I thought that porteur bikes are basically for carrying. It means carrier in Français, n'est-ce pas?
    That's exactly what they're for.

    But what I was referring to was the stability of the bike while carrying a load. Jim Blackburn tested various load placements, and the most stable configuration for a front load was a front low-rider rack and panniers. It seems to me that a load high above the wheel like the porteur rack would therefore be a less stable configuration.

    I'm going to experiment some and see if I can rig a porteur rack which carries panniers low and still has a flat rack for carrying larger loads home from the Farmer's Market (the main purpose of my planned porteur-- actually, planned twin porteurs, his & hers-- will be a grocery-getter for the Farmer's Market.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Wahl View Post
    porteur...It means carrier in Français, n'est-ce pas?
    Oh, did I mention that the porteurs I'm planning are based on a Canadian-made Raleigh mountain bike, the Portage?
    Last edited by Blue Order; 07-04-08 at 12:40 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antipodes View Post
    Hey Neal, did you have to modify or make extensions for the Wald basket mounts at the handlebar end to make it sit roughly level? I just mounted the same basket to one of my bikes, and to get it to sit almost level, I had to lower the stem significantly and use the lowest holes on the fork mounts. Consequently, the basket doesn't sit as low as what I'd like; the mounts just don't have enough length to them! Granted, my bike is a 62cm, so the headtube is obviously longer than on your bike. I am trying to come up with a way to modify or add to the mounts so I can a) run the stem higher and b) make the rack sit closer to the top of the mudguard. I'll post a few pictures when I get a chance.
    Cheers,

    Leigh
    I did not have to modify those brackets that hang from the bars, but you could see for the headtube and stem length of this bike, it's was a perfect fit to have the rack sit right over the front fender (and I have those brackets at their max extension). With a 62cm frame, I'm not sure how many options you have other than to hack the existing brackets. Perhaps you can fabricate a decaleur of some sort that'll hang from the bars or the stem bolt? I'm going to do something along those lines with some stock aluminum bar to make a mounting system for an old leather camera bag to be modified as a handlebar bag.

    Neal

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