no, this is not a thread about elvis shumaker window-browsing in the local high street. instead, it is a thread about this little charmer:
i happened to find one of these purely by accident. which is to say, i wasn't actively looking for a bike at the time. the first thing i noticed of course, was the 16" 349 wheels! i had never seen a bike like this previously. i immediately thought of the 60's Moultons. and on closer inspection i noted that the cranks (nicklin) and wheel set (rigida) are in fact the same as Moulton. unfortunately, the condition of all the moving parts on this bike were toasted: apparently, someone had decided to replace the bottom bracket bearings with balls of compressed mud. the rims, both front and rear, had numerous dents and a tendency to wobble and bounce dramatically (if i had replaced the wheels with pieces of square sheet metal, i imagine the ride quality would have been similar). to top it off, the sturmey archer 3 speed hub (dated 71) was permanently stuck in "F.U." gear.
i decided to completely disassemble it and see if the bike could be salvaged. i wasted a lot of time trying to repair the wheel set and clean and rebuild the SA hub. eventually, i gave up and started looking for modern wheels. slowly, (very slowly) i had the frame glass bead blasted. amazingly, there was no deep rust or corrosion to the frame. the massive lugs at the bottom bracket and head tube make for a very strong and stiff bike. i had the frame and all the bits powder coated gloss black ( insert datglossblack.jpg here). i suppose i had been thinking about doing a vintage restoration on this bike, but at some point abandoned that idea and decided to modernize it. i wanted to convert this slow shopper bike into a modern 349 mini velo.
i got lucky. i was able to find, in the same week, both a brompton BWR rear wheel and a front wheel from a recumbent bike (100mm hub needed for this fork). to complete the drivetrain, i installed a brompton/stronglight 50t crankset and a good quality shimano sealed bearing bottom bracket taken off an old bike friday llama.
the rear wheel is from a 6 speed brompton, so it has two sprockets. this bike has no derailleur hanger (i wouldnt use it anyway), so the extra sprocket sits there dormantly acting as a spacer. if i wanted different ratios, i could simply swap the sprocket positions.
more to come later..