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Rehabbing first born's bike for 2nd kid

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Rehabbing first born's bike for 2nd kid

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Old 03-03-18, 10:09 PM
  #1  
Skipjacks
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Rehabbing first born's bike for 2nd kid

UPDATED WITH THE LATEST PICS!!!

My daughter had to have a purple 16" bike for her first ride when she was 3. It's the bike she learned to ride on and she loved it. Now she's moved up to a 20" and my son is 3 and wants to learn to ride.

And he BEGGED me for a red bike. Rather than search for a red bike for him I decided to make the purple one into a red one. And since he loves fire trucks like they are going out of style I decided to make this a fire truck bike.

He's loving the process of transforming the purple bike to a red one. We're having a great time (I'm doing all the work, but he stands next to me and pretends he's doing something, and that's fine) and this project is so much better than just buying him a new bike.

Not done yet, but here's the progress.

First image is what I started with. It was bright purple and pink when new. My daughter rode the hell out of it.

Second image is after we took it apart and cleaned up all the parts. Then sanded down the frame.

Third image is the red taking shape

Forth image is painting complete and the fire department graphics applied. These are all custom cut vinyl. (Got lucky as a woman I work with has a machine that does that so she made them for me)

The next step is a clear coat over the whole thing to make it smooth and shiny. See post #36. I'm open to any and all suggestions about clear coating that involve products I can get at Home Depot.

I've got new red pedals and grips coming. I have a light that alternates flashing red and white so it has a real fire truck light! And somehow I'll put a hose on it so he can stop and pretend to put out fires.

Total cost on this (not counting the flashing light that I already had) is running about $55. Not bad for a completely custom bike look and several weeks of fun doing it. Now my son will have what looks like a brand new bike and we get to have a ton of fun doing it.
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Last edited by Skipjacks; 04-12-18 at 08:15 PM. Reason: New photos!
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Old 03-03-18, 10:36 PM
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Good job dad!
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Old 03-03-18, 11:05 PM
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Looks great, nice work!
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Old 03-04-18, 12:06 AM
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Good job! And what I see here as the most important thing is that you're interacting with your kids instead of letting the TV raise them. Making it a unique custom job is terrific.
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Old 03-04-18, 04:56 AM
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That's funny. Definitely much more fun than just buying a red bike.
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Old 03-04-18, 05:36 AM
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Awesome.
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Old 03-04-18, 12:28 PM
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I did the same thing when my oldest daughter outgrew her first bike. Withe a flashy new paint job the youngest never knew she got a used bike.
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Old 03-04-18, 01:41 PM
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Pics when it's done please.
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Old 03-04-18, 02:11 PM
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Excellent...

Now, how long until he figures out girls bikes are "step-through", and more than the paint color?
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Old 03-04-18, 02:42 PM
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Well done!

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Now, how long until he figures out girls bikes are "step-through", and more than the paint color?
Umm, I want a step thru mixte as a city bike...
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Old 03-04-18, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Excellent...

Now, how long until he figures out girls bikes are "step-through", and more than the paint color?
I figure when he's about 6...which is exactly when my daughter outgrew this bike.

This project is taking a slight hiatus because I'm buying an old vinyl cutting machine off a coworker cheap, so I will be able to make my own graphics for this bike (The FIRE DEPT and Emergency 911 decals)

That whole process of learning how to use that properly might take me a week. I'll upload new pics of the next steps when they come.
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Old 03-04-18, 07:48 PM
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How's the bottom bracket? Those cranks are silly easy to service if needed. Cool design!
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Old 03-05-18, 04:59 AM
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I planned on doing this as well and then my 7 year old son caught my 10 year old daughter in size!
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Old 03-05-18, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Wileyrat View Post
Good job dad!
Right on pops!
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Old 03-05-18, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
How's the bottom bracket? Those cranks are silly easy to service if needed. Cool design!
It's fine. I started to take it out for easier painting then opted to just leave it in place and mask it for painting. It's in good condition. Spins fine. I figured, why mess with it?
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Old 03-05-18, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by str8jakett View Post
I planned on doing this as well and then my 7 year old son caught my 10 year old daughter in size!
I fully expect that to happen with my kids. My son grows like it's going out of style.

If I get 2 years out of this bike I'll be thrilled.

Right now his legs are about an inch too short for this bike with the seat all the way down. So I'm ahead of the curve. I figure by late April when I finally get this project done (that's my target date) he'll have that extra inch and will be biking like a champion by May.

He fears NOTHING. So I figure that getting him comfortable on the bike and learning that it won't fall down as long as you're moving forward won't take long.

(I know all the fastest routes to the closest Urgent Care from any spot on Earth thanks to this kid!)

If by chance we get through 2 years of this bike and it's still in good condition I'll take it over to the fire station and give it to any fireman who has a 3 year old. Though with my son I kinda feel like this bike is about to have it's structural integrity and durability tested like he was doing an audit for Consumer Reports.
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Old 03-05-18, 10:59 AM
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Awesome job. Can't wait to see it when it's finished. And good job with the hose, because I think when I was that age I used to play "fireman" by watering mom's flowers when I had to go wee.
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Old 03-05-18, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by AlexanderLS View Post
That being said, kids bikes are the cheapest. There is very little benefit in more expensive bikes for children. Children tend to abuse and wear down expensive components as fast as cheap components.
Not to mention that they outgrow them quickly.
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Old 03-05-18, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
Awesome job. Can't wait to see it when it's finished. And good job with the hose, because I think when I was that age I used to play "fireman" by watering mom's flowers when I had to go wee.
But her flowers never caught on fire though, now did they?
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Old 03-05-18, 11:21 AM
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Technical question for the crowd...

The bearing in the head tube are loose ball bearings. What kind of oil should I put on those when I put the fork back on? They have a thin oil, not a grease on them now. I feel like a lot of that is going to drop off it before I put it back together. .

Also I'm not painting the handlebars or the forks. They are going to stay white. The paint is in pretty good shape on them. I think that'll really pop against the red frame.

Tires are staying white too....but that's mainly because 2 new black tires would cost 50% of the total renovation cost and 'cheap' was part of the goal here. I might go find another 12" bike someone's throwing out to get black tires cheap. If not white tires won't look too bad since they'll go with the white fork and pinstriping.

It's not that I'm cheap....I can afford 12 inch tires. It's that doing the whole thing for less than the retail price of the bike ($58 on Amazon) was one of the goals I set to make the project more interesting. It makes it like a game. Plus if I didn't put a budget limitation on myself this thing would quickly have dials and gauges and a water tank on a rear rack and sirens and...well you're all bike addicts. You get it.

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Old 03-05-18, 11:32 AM
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The steering tube isn't going to be rotating at 21,000 rpm, and I'm pretty sure your son doesn't weigh over two tons, so lube is not a bid deal for them. Any grease will do.
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Old 03-05-18, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Technical question for the crowd...

The bearing in the head tube are loose ball bearings. What kind of oil should I put on those when I put the fork back on? They have a thin oil, not a grease on them now. I feel like a lot of that is going to drop off it before I put it back together. .

Also I'm not painting the handlebars or the forks. They are going to stay white. The paint is in pretty good shape on them. I think that'll really pop against the red frame.

Tires are staying white too....but that's mainly because 2 new black tires would cost 50% of the total renovation cost and 'cheap' was part of the goal here. I might go find another 12" bike someone's throwing out to get black tires cheap. If not white tires won't look too bad since they'll go with the white fork and pinstriping.

It's not that I'm cheap....I can afford 12 inch tires. It's that doing the whole thing for less than the retail price of the bike ($58 on Amazon) was one of the goals I set to make the project more interesting. It makes it like a game. Plus if I didn't put a budget limitation on myself this thing would quickly have dials and gauges and a water tank on a rear rack and sirens and...well you're all bike addicts. You get it.
1. Use some grease in the head set. Any old grease will do the trick.

2. Ask your son what color tires he wants. Treat yourself and him.

3. The dials, gauges and water tank sound good to me. A battery operated pump and he'll be in hog heaven. Splurge and go nuts.



** Always easy for me to spend other people's money.
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Old 03-05-18, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
1. Use some grease in the head set. Any old grease will do the trick.

2. Ask your son what color tires he wants. Treat yourself and him.

3. The dials, gauges and water tank sound good to me. A battery operated pump and he'll be in hog heaven. Splurge and go nuts.



** Always easy for me to spend other people's money.
I have no problems going overboard as a general rule...

My daughter got a slightly used bike recently to replace this one that I'm rehabbing for my son. The frame and the drive components were in fine shape. Paint job was practically new. But there was no 'pizazz'

So new tires, safety lights, my old rear seat tube mounted rear rack and trunk bag, a water bottle cage mounted in a custom spot (since kids bikes don't have braze on threaded mounts), and a splash of her favorite color in new handlebars and graphics and her bike is ready for action as soon as it stops being stupid winter.

She got the new tires for her bike. I replaced the typical mountain bike knobbies that come on kids' bikes from some reason with a more pavement worthy hybrid style tire and a tic tac toe tread pattern than Bontrager makes. https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/e...-tire/p/11461/

SUPER HIT with the kids, and they are a nice low resistance tire good for pavement and hard pack rail trail type surfaces. In case anyone's in the market for new tires on a kid's bike

I was kinda sad when I finished converting her bike from a rather boring but decent shape bike to a customer bike of her dreams. That's what prompted me to start a rebuild of her old bike for my son rather than just buy a new one.
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Old 03-05-18, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
I have no problems going overboard as a general rule...

My daughter got a slightly used bike recently to replace this one that I'm rehabbing for my son. The frame and the drive components were in fine shape. Paint job was practically new. But there was no 'pizazz'

So new tires, safety lights, my old rear seat tube mounted rear rack and trunk bag, a water bottle cage mounted in a custom spot (since kids bikes don't have braze on threaded mounts), and a splash of her favorite color in new handlebars and graphics and her bike is ready for action as soon as it stops being stupid winter.

She got the new tires for her bike. I replaced the typical mountain bike knobbies that come on kids' bikes from some reason with a more pavement worthy hybrid style tire and a tic tac toe tread pattern than Bontrager makes. https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/e...-tire/p/11461/

SUPER HIT with the kids, and they are a nice low resistance tire good for pavement and hard pack rail trail type surfaces. In case anyone's in the market for new tires on a kid's bike

I was kinda sad when I finished converting her bike from a rather boring but decent shape bike to a customer bike of her dreams. That's what prompted me to start a rebuild of her old bike for my son rather than just buy a new one.

So you are agreeing with me then? The electric water pump is a go!!
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Old 03-05-18, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SquidPuppet View Post
So you are agreeing with me then? The electric water pump is a go!!
Agreed gotta put a water pump on it and a massive horn/siren.


Cool project!
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