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  1. #1
    Senior Member musicman's Avatar
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    Need help identifying a folding bike I'm fixing up

    I bought this thing about 5 years ago for $5 at a garage sale. It was blue originally, but the finish was shot, and the decals were nearly gone. Wheels were rusted severely, chain was as stiff as a metal bar, was pretty sad. I wanted it because I was (at the time) thinking a folding bike would be slick for college, but I bought a cruiser instead. So this has been on the back patio ever since waiting for something. Back when I bought it, I sanded the frame down, hit it with some satin red rattle can paint, and bought a cheap bike at walmart for parts (wheels, tires, handle bars, chain, etc.) And I bought a smaller sprocket since the school had it's share of hills. I'm looking into media blasting it now and having it powder coated, and give it a rear wheel with a 3-spd coaster hub. Needs a nicer rear rack, and all the clamps replaced (not tool-free anymore, need plies and a wrench to do anything with it). The big center hinge is in good shape, but the cam on the bolt that is supposed to tight it is worn off it seems, or bent.

    It's a mess right now, has plenty of rust from sitting, and the paint is pretty rough. But I was curious, can you guys figure out by looking at it what bike it actually is? The frame style seems kind of unique, haven't seen another around like it, pretty heavy duty actually. Just kind of curious what exactly I bought for 5 years ago for that ever expensive $5 There's no name on it anywhere that I can see stamped into it, just some really hard to read numbers on the bottom of the frame where the crank is.



    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  2. #2
    Senior Member musicman's Avatar
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    So I've been looking around the forum, and I'm seeing that this frame is a very common style (just an older one, probably why I haven't seen one). So it's impossible almost to figure out what it is exactly. The only thing different I've noticed is that in my searching I found that most of the u-frame bikes can't have their crankset upgraded due to a weird size. I've done that on this one with generic parts, so it's probably a little different in that respect. Other than that I see it's probably 60's-70's for when it was made. Think I'll put it on craigslist and look for something a bit nicer.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    That's a shame since you've done so much work on it already. If anything, it could be a quirky collectible. However, if you don't have another bike you can rely on, than having a bike like this one is not practical.

    Errr... I did kind of notice that it didn't have brakes or else the brakes are there and I'm just going blind. I'm wondering if at least putting a back brake on would make it more desirable.

    Regardless, good luck with it on CL. Definitely play up on the low-step part. It's a feature that is getting popular with both sexes for a variety of reasons.
    Last edited by SunnyFlorida; 10-14-10 at 07:38 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Russcoles11's Avatar
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    Oh c'mon, you're not going to get much for it, why not have some fun and mess with it a little?
    Theres a lot of potential in that little bike, buy a cheap kids bike off ebay or CL and use parts from it to add brakes, maybe gears, mudguards etc.
    Give it a new paint job and see what you end up with. Worst case you get more for it when you sell it, best case you have some fun and discover your bike has a whole new personality waiting to show itself. Take a look at some of the R20 threads for inspiration.

    Imagine it with hot rod flame paintwork, slick tyres and drop handlebars for example. Or maybe add suspension forks from a kids mountainbike and straight bars. Its a blank canvas and need not cost much to do something awesome with.

  5. #5
    Senior Member musicman's Avatar
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    It actually does have a brake, the rear hub is a single speed coaster brake. It does the trick usually, but it's a cheapie and isn't very smooth. I was riding it around a little today, I wish I could collapse it down more, the handle bar riser refuses to go down without some serious force, and the seat tube was so rusty that I painted it back in the day, of course it refuses to go down easily because of that.

    I guess it would be interesting to fix up, certainly a lot cheaper than a new bike. A new seat post, handle bar rise, chrome forks, and some gears would make it nicer to ride around.

    It's a little short for drop bars, but that's an interesting idea, the seat is too close to the bars though I think to have it comfortable. Maybe a long riser and a straight style bar. Needs fenders too.

    Well now, this is interesting.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member musicman's Avatar
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    So I found the bike on ebay by accident:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Worksman-Folding...item3a5f5bf018

    This is almost EXACTLY what it looked like when I bought it 5 years ago. Much worse shape though, and no basket (had the rack, but it was bent up). Even had rusty old chrome fenders. The name "worksman" rings a bell too, the decal placement and everything looks right. So that mystery is solved.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    older U frame 'minis' are all the rage now in northern europe, there's a fairly recent post on copenhagenize.com that I linked to here, let me see if I can find the thread.

    here you go:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...e&daysprune=30

  8. #8
    Senior Member SunnyFlorida's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russcoles11 View Post
    Oh c'mon, you're not going to get much for it, why not have some fun and mess with it a little?.... maybe add suspension forks from a kids mountainbike and straight bars. Its a blank canvas and need not cost much to do something awesome with.
    Yep, yep, I concur with Russ. Let's face it, you've "bonded" with this bike. If that wasn't so, you would have gotten rid of it already.

    Quote Originally Posted by musicman View Post
    So I found the bike on ebay by accident:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Worksman-Folding...item3a5f5bf018

    This is almost EXACTLY what it looked like when I bought it 5 years ago. Much worse shape though, and no basket (had the rack, but it was bent up). Even had rusty old chrome fenders. The name "worksman" rings a bell too, the decal placement and everything looks right. So that mystery is solved.
    Double Yep. It's a dead ringer for yours. Sorry I didn't put a post helping to identify it. It did look like one of those "U" shaped European folding bikes but I would have been guessing.

    Hell, I didn't recognize the R20 I now have when I first saw it. I just knew it was an older folder and got an ID via the forum.

    I'm glad you're reconsidering keeping the folder. I like the idea of the modifications you're planning but speaking as a newbie renovator on a tight budget, think safety first, comfort second and frills last. With this in mind, puhlezze get front/back brakes. Riding on a coaster brake can't be fun.
    Last edited by SunnyFlorida; 10-14-10 at 08:38 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Russcoles11's Avatar
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    For better fold, I've been considering getting one of these for one of my bikes
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    don't know if u can find something similar in the US?

    Am I now officially a bad influence btw?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Russcoles11's Avatar
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    Incidentally the thread did say 'folding bike I'm fixing up' so I think on a subconscious level you were asking us to push you in the right direction

    Don't forget to keep updating us on progress.

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