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Old 06-12-08, 12:55 PM   #1
shortbus901
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Tote/Cycle Refurb Project

I posted in the how to fold a Tote/Cycle thread awhile back mentioning the two I bought that were in the process of being refurbed. Well, I'm happy to say one of them is (mostly) complete. I still need to polish up the chrome and the wheels a little better and probably replace the chainwheel since the rust on it seems to be a little stubborn. I also ruined the reflectors on the fork with the Aircraft Stripper when I took off the paint so I think I'm going to get creative replacing those (pics will follow when it's done). For now though, here she is:

Before



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Old 06-12-08, 02:51 PM   #2
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That is beautiful. I've been planning on stripping mine and having it powdercoated this fall. I was trying to figure out what to do about the fork reflectors, too. I really don't want to mess them up, but they don't look removable, and I'm not sure they would survive powdercoating. I didn't think about them being susceptible to the paint stripper, so thanks for the heads up. Don't know what I can do about that except maybe re-examine the possibility of removing them during painting, but at least I know it's an issue now.

This gives me a lot of hope for mine. Keep us posted. It looks great.

edit: also I see that the little metal cap on the fork was removed for painting and replaced. Is that tricky or does it just pop off and back on?

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Old 06-12-08, 03:36 PM   #3
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Good looking bike. Nice job.

Looks like you're pretty serious about your beer to. Home brewer?
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Old 06-12-08, 03:42 PM   #4
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That is beautiful. I've been planning on stripping mine and having it powdercoated this fall. I was trying to figure out what to do about the fork reflectors, too. I really don't want to mess them up, but they don't look removable, and I'm not sure they would survive powdercoating. I didn't think about them being susceptible to the paint stripper, so thanks for the heads up. Don't know what I can do about that except maybe re-examine the possibility of removing them during painting, but at least I know it's an issue now.

This gives me a lot of hope for mine. Keep us posted. It looks great.

edit: also I see that the little metal cap on the fork was removed for painting and replaced. Is that tricky or does it just pop off and back on?
Thanks for the compliment. Powder coating would be the much easier way to go and I may look into that if the rattle can job here gets too beat up. These things have so many tubes that spray painting them is a major PITA. Overall I'm pretty happy with it but there are some spots that were beyond my skill to spray well without getting runs on another tube.

As for the reflectors you should be able to drill out the rivets. This is what I'm going to try with the next one. I don't know much about re-riveting things though so not sure how they would go back on. I'll let you know how it turns out with the other fork. That cap on the fork just sits on there. Once you pull the fork, bearing and bearing race off it will just slide right off. The whole bike was actually very easy to disassemble and reassemble.
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Old 06-12-08, 03:45 PM   #5
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Good looking bike. Nice job.

Looks like you're pretty serious about your beer to. Home brewer?
Thanks!

Very serious about the beer I've been brewing for a little over two years now. This was another recent project

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Old 06-12-08, 06:03 PM   #6
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Beer, kayaks and a folding bike. I hope your wife truly knows what a catch you must be.
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Old 06-13-08, 02:38 PM   #7
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fork reflectors? WHAT fork reflectors??!!??

My 1973 (Bike dated by date code on the rear hub) Tote/Cycle does not have the fork reflectors - or even the holes for them.

What size are the holes? Maybe you could thread the holes for those 1 inch diameter reflectors used for hub shiners, mud flaps, or license plates, or drill them out and thread thread them?
Those reflectors seem to be popular enough with the lowrider/cruiser crowd that most of the lowrider supply places online carry them. I've seen them at some of the major truck stops (Flying J, Travel America, Pilot, etc.) as well.

Nice job by the way, your bike looks great.

Did you leave the fenders off because of clearance problems with the Freestyle BMX tires, or because you don't like fenders?

Hope to see you riding sometime in Key West, that bike will fit in there great, and the only other Tote Cycle I know of (besides your pair) in the Keys, is mine! I'm going with a different color, or maybe even go as far as chrome or gold plating mine though, during the restoration/customization process. After all, we have to be able to tell them apart when I ride to Key West. (from Marathon or Layton, not that far, as you know, since you live in Key West.)
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Old 06-14-08, 11:41 AM   #8
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I like the subaru
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Old 06-16-08, 02:33 PM   #9
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My 1973 (Bike dated by date code on the rear hub) Tote/Cycle does not have the fork reflectors - or even the holes for them.

What size are the holes? Maybe you could thread the holes for those 1 inch diameter reflectors used for hub shiners, mud flaps, or license plates, or drill them out and thread thread them?
Those reflectors seem to be popular enough with the lowrider/cruiser crowd that most of the lowrider supply places online carry them. I've seen them at some of the major truck stops (Flying J, Travel America, Pilot, etc.) as well.

Nice job by the way, your bike looks great.

Did you leave the fenders off because of clearance problems with the Freestyle BMX tires, or because you don't like fenders?

Hope to see you riding sometime in Key West, that bike will fit in there great, and the only other Tote Cycle I know of (besides your pair) in the Keys, is mine! I'm going with a different color, or maybe even go as far as chrome or gold plating mine though, during the restoration/customization process. After all, we have to be able to tell them apart when I ride to Key West. (from Marathon or Layton, not that far, as you know, since you live in Key West.)
The holes are pretty small. I was planning to test out my woodcarving skills and carve out some little tiki's to screw on there. I've got the wood but the skills are another story so I'll just have to see how that works out . I may go with reflectors if I can find something that works.

Fenders were a close fit with the larger tires but they did work. I just decided to leave 'em off for the time being. They need a good polishing anyways. I also found some knobby tires in the correct size that I may put on eventually if I decide to put the fenders back on.

Good to meet another Keys member. We actually live in Valrico (just east of Tampa) but my family has had a place in Marathon for ~15 years. We try to get down as often as we can but with work it's not nearly as often as we'd like . I'll keep an eye out for you when we're down there.
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Old 06-16-08, 06:09 PM   #10
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That is a really nice looking bike. I'd never heard of that brand before.
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Old 06-18-08, 09:37 AM   #11
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That is a really nice looking bike. I'd never heard of that brand before.
I found mine on Craigslist. I had never heard of it before, either, and a search of the internet in general and this forum in particular only showed me at most half a dozen, and some of those may have been duplicates. I think only two forum members mentioned having one. But either people have been digging more old bikes out of their basements lately, or I've just been looking harder now that I own one. I've seen several being sold on eBay over the past month in particular. Some labeled as a Tote/Cycle, and some I only recognized because I know what to look for. I think the Tote/Cycle name only appears on the chain protector, so if you lose it or the words rub off (or you soak it in oxalic acid ), you might not know what you have.

They're old and heavy, and they ride nice and smooth. Smoother ride than my daily commuter, I think, or at least more steady and solid feeling. Not as portable as a true folder, but easily more portable than a full sized bike. Mine fits nicely in the car when split and goes back together easily, but I don't know that I'll be doing any "Make your folder fit into an airline suitcase" tricks with it. I had great fun having it on my last road trip, and I'm planning on getting it fixed up in time to go to the beach later this summer. It's not your commuter bike if you need something that folds up to get on the bus/train with you, but if that's not what you need, it's a pretty neat little bike. I look forward to seeing shortbus's next refurb, and I look forward to getting my own bike spiffed up as well.
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Old 06-20-08, 11:08 PM   #12
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I think only two forum members mentioned having one. But either people have been digging more old bikes out of their basements lately, or I've just been looking harder now that I own one. I've seen several being sold on eBay over the past month in particular. Some labeled as a Tote/Cycle, and some I only recognized because I know what to look for. I think the Tote/Cycle name only appears on the chain protector, so if you lose it or the words rub off (or you soak it in oxalic acid ), you might not know what you have.
Actually, I think there are four of us on this forum now who have one or more - or will admit it, anyway.

Did you see the Huffy Camp/Cycle ad in your Internet search for the Tote/Cycle? Looks like the same bike, to me.
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Old 06-20-08, 11:23 PM   #13
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Actually, I think there are four of us on this forum now who have one or more - or will admit it, anyway.

Did you see the Huffy Camp/Cycle ad in your Internet search for the Tote/Cycle? Looks like the same bike, to me.
No, I missed that. I'd love to see it if you have a link.

If any of the other Tote/Cycle riders are interested, I did get a Tote/Cycle manual off of eBay a few months back and scanned it in here.
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Old 06-20-08, 11:34 PM   #14
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I posted in the how to fold a Tote/Cycle thread awhile back mentioning the two I bought that were in the process of being refurbed. Well, I'm happy to say one of them is (mostly) complete. I still need to polish up the chrome and the wheels a little better and probably replace the chainwheel since the rust on it seems to be a little stubborn. I also ruined the reflectors on the fork with the Aircraft Stripper when I took off the paint so I think I'm going to get creative replacing those (pics will follow when it's done). For now though, here she is:

Before



During









After



They might be the next folding cult like the Cult of the Raleigh Twenty.
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Old 10-14-08, 09:44 AM   #15
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OOh. Tack my name on that list. I picked one up from a city surplus sale. Still original paint, but it's got some rust spots I'll be trying to fix this week. I'll post picture soon.
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Old 10-15-08, 07:56 AM   #16
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OOh. Tack my name on that list. I picked one up from a city surplus sale. Still original paint, but it's got some rust spots I'll be trying to fix this week. I'll post picture soon.
Please do. I really want to have mine powdercoated because even after de-rusting it, there's places where the metal is just peaking out through the paint. Problems are:

1) I haven't identified a local powdercoater yet who will do bike frames
2) I don't want to stop riding my bike. ;-)

The Tote/Cycle is heavy and slow ... and so much more fun to ride than my "real" bike. I just got a 2nd headlight bracket so I can easily switch the headlights between bikes, and I installed a tail light. That takes care of the number one reason I might choose the Marin over the Tote/Cycle -- biking after dark, but that still leaves the number two reason -- sometimes I have to keep up with other cyclists.

I look forward to seeing your bike, and I wonder if the OP has moved on to fixing up bike #2 yet?
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Old 10-20-08, 01:23 PM   #17
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Here are a couple pics.
I had to replace the shifter because I lost the retainer clip on the original.
I also just replaced the 19 tooth sprocket with a 22 so I can actually use all three gears.
There's a little rust on the chrome, but I scrubbed it all off with some steel wool and then sprayed some clear coat on it to keep it from happening again.
I've still got to touch up the paint, but I also ride it every day so that's a little difficult.
I wouldn't mind powder coating, but I'd want to save the decals...
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Old 10-22-08, 02:06 PM   #18
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The Tote/Cycle is heavy and slow ... and so much more fun to ride than my "real" bike.
I couldn't agree with you more. I ride mine every day. My "real" bike is a Nishiki altron(i think), it was re-painted before i bought it. I find myself riding that bike less, and less as time goes by...
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Old 10-22-08, 05:37 PM   #19
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I was just talking to someone the other day who wondered if something had happened to my other bike since I'd been showing up on the Tote-Cycle lately. I said, "No, it's fine, I've just been enjoying this one. I mean it's slower than my other bike, and it doesn't have many gears, and it's heavy, and it doesn't corner as well... Shoot, I'm not explaining it well. You should just take it for a ride if you want."
I am at a loss to explain why I keep riding it, but I love the upright position, and I just feel so solid and planted. And maybe that's it. I take my Marin for a ride. I keep it going. I keep it upright. I keep it on track. It's fun, but exhausting. When I get on my Tote/Cycle, it takes me for a ride.
It really needs some new paint before that bare metal starts to gather more rust, but I don't want to send it away just yet.

Some questions for fellow Tote/Cyclers: Has anyone tried to increase the gears? I looked into it, but it seemed that an IGH with more gears either would not fit in the drop outs or would not have a coaster brake. And has anyone tried a generator hub? I haven't measured the front fork yet to see if that's possible, but I'd like to try the Sturmey-Archer drum/dynamo hub. But the other issue I've come across is the diameter of axle it'll hold. I replaced my front wheel and had trouble finding one that was both narrow enough to fit in the fork and had an axle bolt skinny enough. I guess I need to do my homework on that, too.
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Old 11-03-08, 09:05 AM   #20
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To answer my own question on the dynohub: I finally flipped the thing over and measured it yesterday. I get an axle with of about 9 mm, which is what the SA hub has, so that might fit, but the distance between the forks is about 95 mm, and OLD of the SA hub is 100 mm. I don't know if that's a "stretchable" distance or not, but I'm not likely to risk it. I'm probably going to look into a bottle dynamo instead so that I can keep commuting on this through the dark months and not worry about having to recharge my headlight batteries all the time.
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Old 11-04-08, 11:38 PM   #21
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S/A, (5, 7 and 8 speed) SRAM, (3, 5 and 7 speed) and Shimano (Nexus) 8 speed are all available with a brake, the S/A and SRAM even offer a drum brake option in addition to the coaster or roller brake.

I want to get one of the 5 or 7 speed S/A with drum brake for my Tote Cycle
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Old 11-05-08, 12:01 PM   #22
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The problem that I found was that if I run a brake line from the rear to the front, it then becomes a hassle to split the bike, which I do often enough to want to keep it easy. That limits me to coaster brakes. Also I'm not willing to stretch the rear dropouts. The actual dropouts seem to be the weak point in an otherwise very sturdy bike, and to spread the dropouts it seems like you'd have to break the two bridging pieces and weld in longer pieces -- beyond my ability. That means I'm not willing to go more than a hair beyond the current dropout width.

If you're willing to run a brake line to the front, There's an SA5-speed that I think can fit and has a drum brake. If you're willing to try and install a rim brake (or go without), there's an SA8 that's narrow enough but has no brake. It seems like just about any other upgrade from a 3 speed hub requires wider dropouts, so it depends on your willingness to open them up a little more.

Those are the pitfalls I keep coming across, so I'm curious to see if anyone else successfully upgrades the gearing and how they like it. I've actually grown accustomed the relatively meager three speeds. I'd like more, but I am now making it up most the hills on my route in low gear, and while high gear really doesn't get me moving that fast, it's not like I was going to be winning any races with this bike anyway. Well, maybe foot races. Against people who are out of shape.
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Old 11-06-08, 05:21 PM   #23
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so I'm curious to see if anyone else successfully upgrades the gearing and how they like it. I've actually grown accustomed the relatively meager three speeds. I'd like more, but I am now making it up most the hills on my route in low gear, and while high gear really doesn't get me moving that fast, it's not like I was going to be winning any races with this bike anyway. Well, maybe foot races. Against people who are out of shape.
Server problems so I can not search the forum just now.

Sixty Fiwer made a great upgrade on his R20 3speed hub by adding another sprocket in the rear + a derailleur. 3 x 2 = 6 gears.

I did an upgrade on an old polish folder. I put a double crank from an old roadbike. No front der., just hand shifting.

For folders there is often a problem to find a place to put a "clamp on" front der. I`we been thinking often that this system could be a solution, but you find them mainly on MTB`s so I do not know If you can find them for big chainrings.

Sorry for the dirt on the picture. I did not keep this bike, so I did not clean it.
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Old 11-08-08, 01:01 AM   #24
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Back around 1974/75, I think it was either Shimano or Bendix made a 3 speed internal gear crank set. I'd love to find one of those for my tote cycle. (or remember where the HECK I parked my 60 pound chrome plated 1955 Western Flyer with horn and light tank and springer fork, that I put that crank set on ... )
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Old 11-09-08, 06:39 PM   #25
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All I want for X-mas is a Tote Cycle......I sort of got a line on one. Friend of a friend had a neighbor who had one rusting away in his yard for years. Grabbed it..... no one has said anything. He says its too rusty to ride but who knows. I ride the beejabbers out of my $12 1968 Schwinn Run-a-bout

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