Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Utility Cycling
Reload this Page >

Upgrading Conventional Bike for Utility Cycling

Notices
Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

Upgrading Conventional Bike for Utility Cycling

Old 09-02-07, 12:41 AM
  #1  
stupidcar
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Upgrading Conventional Bike for Utility Cycling

i started a thread on panniers already, but i didn't want to start an individual thread on ever aspect of upgrading bicycles to make them more like standard utility bicycles, so this thread is all-purpose. forgive me if there's already a similar thread somewhere...

so, in lieu of not being able to find a decent old-fashioned utility bike these days, i've decided to upgrade mine with utility features. what i'm looking for are traditional chrome fenders, a headlight (bullet light), a chain guard, and perhaps other things which people might be able to recommend.

i hate the ****ty plastic fenders sold in sports stores, but chrome fenders seem hard to come by, and i'm wary of purchasing them online because my knowledge of bicycles is nearly nonexistent, apart from being able to ride them... i'm not even sure what size my wheels are. it's a road bike, and i believe my wheels are slightly thicker than average, if that means anything.

these fenders look pretty good and inexpensive, but it's difficult to tell from the photo:
https://www.bikepartsusa.com/product_...&p=01%2D105626

any advice or recommendations for a lowly novice?
stupidcar is offline  
Old 09-02-07, 03:30 AM
  #2  
TrackGuy
It's all about the Ort.
 
TrackGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Western Queens
Posts: 269

Bikes: Centurion Trac; Carnielli; Ross Mt Hood; TREK 5200.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Are you aiming for something like this:
Worksman Cycles Industrial Newsboy
https://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s.../indbikes.html

TrackGuy is offline  
Old 09-02-07, 07:36 AM
  #3  
Doug5150
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: IL-USA
Posts: 1,859
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by TrackGuy View Post
Are you aiming for something like this:
Worksman Cycles Industrial Newsboy....
The Worksmans are rather "unique", in several respects.
I bought one for a motorized bicycle project I have going, so I've seen a new one up close.

They don't cost a whole lot and they're built rather strong as they come, but they use rather an odd parts mix and mine needed "dealer prep" which I did myself, but if you're not into bicycle mechanics, you will need to find someone who is, or pay a shop to go over the whole thing. And check everything; the 3-speed hub I got had almost no grease in it.

Neither the rear coaster brake or the front drum brake on mine works very well, but they're not really broken in yet. I hadn't planned on riding this thing much in traffic anyway, but there's no other way to put brakes on it--there's no frame bosses or hub mounts for any other kind of brake. The seatstay and chainstay bridges are used for mounting the fenders, but don't appear strong enough to attach a brake to (-that is, if they're even the correct distance from the wheel for mounting a brake...?).

The biggest problem I had with it was...... me. The largest frame they offer is 20 inches, and I really need about a 24-inch frame. I cut the head tube and BB out and am welding another frame together, using those pieces. The head tube and BB were thicker than any I could find online, and the frame tubes appear to be 1" OD with about a 1/16" wall thickness. The rear dropouts are flattened double-layer sheet metal, the fork dropouts are just the fork tubes end-flattened. The frame is bronze-brazed and the head tube and BB have integral lugs.

I have the steel fenders by the by; they're made fairly nice but I don't know that they'd easily fit onto a regular bike (-I don't have a regular bike around to check)...
~
Doug5150 is offline  
Old 09-02-07, 07:37 AM
  #4  
chocula
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Posts: 249

Bikes: '79 Peugeot UE8, '89 Schwinn Mesa Runner, '79 Schwinn Traveler

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I understand that you are wary of plastic fenders, put how about plastic and metal laminate? I've been very happy with SKS fenders:



If price is no object, you certainly won't find many fenders as handsome as Honjos:



Velo Orange has a nice selection of Hondo fenders and other metal fender options.

I've owned a couple pairs of Planet Bike's Freddy Fenders and I've been pretty happy with them. Looks like they have an aluminum model, too:



As for the fenders in your post, they won't fit your bike if it is a road bike, which means it has 700c or 27 inch wheels. If you could provide more information (make, model, maybe a photo?) it would be easier to advise.
chocula is offline  
Old 09-02-07, 07:38 AM
  #5  
TrackGuy
It's all about the Ort.
 
TrackGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Western Queens
Posts: 269

Bikes: Centurion Trac; Carnielli; Ross Mt Hood; TREK 5200.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If this is the look that you're going for and you want to build one up yourself, I was thinking you could print a picture from Workman's site, take your LBS and have them order the part(s) that you need. After many failed attempts to make the correct connection at an LBS - I've tried many - I finally got lucky and found one that is happy to help me with my fixed gear conversions, despite being a MTB specialty shop, and will find almost any part that I ask for.

The Europeans have a plethera of utility bike options, you might want to check Workcycles (https://www.workcycles.com/workbike/index.html) to get some ideas for your project.
TrackGuy is offline  
Old 09-02-07, 08:41 AM
  #6  
wahoonc
Membership Not Required
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Posts: 16,855

Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
stupidcar,
The fenders you linked to on bikepartsusa are the extra wide cruiser fenders, they probably won't fit on a road bike. What is the brand name of your bike and the tire size? I have put fenders on every bike I have ever owned at one point or another. They can be made to fit. I even had fenders on a Teledyne Titan way back when You may have clearance issues on a road frame if your tires are a close fit to the forks or seat stays.

Cruiser style bikes for the most part make a decent utility bike for short distances, for longer distances an old school mountain bike is the way to go IMHO.

Aaron
__________________
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
wahoonc is offline  
Old 09-02-07, 04:12 PM
  #7  
hr2510
Senior Member
 
hr2510's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 129
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by stupidcar View Post
I hate the ****ty plastic fenders sold in sports stores, but chrome fenders seem hard to come by, and i'm wary of purchasing them online because my knowledge of bicycles is nearly nonexistent, apart from being able to ride them... i'm not even sure what size my wheels are. it's a road bike, and i believe my wheels are slightly thicker than average, if that means anything.

these fenders look pretty good and inexpensive, but it's difficult to tell from the photo:
https://www.bikepartsusa.com/product_...&p=01%2D105626

any advice or recommendations for a lowly novice?
Those are for the wide tires. They are pretty nice. I put some of those same fenders on a cruiser tandem. They were not a simple bolt on and did require some notching to make them fit.
  • I wasn't quite done notching when I took the pic and you can see the bad fit before notching the rear fender near the brakes.
  • a couple of small notches on the sides of the fender at the frame rails and it straightened right up.
hr2510 is offline  
Old 09-03-07, 01:49 AM
  #8  
stupidcar
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
so, i believe my tires are 27 1/4, does that sound right?

so do many bike shops place special orders for the sort of inventory they don't ever carry? perhaps i should call around.
stupidcar is offline  
Old 09-03-07, 05:14 AM
  #9  
chocula
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Posts: 249

Bikes: '79 Peugeot UE8, '89 Schwinn Mesa Runner, '79 Schwinn Traveler

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by stupidcar View Post
so, i believe my tires are 27 1/4, does that sound right?
Yep. 27 inch wheels were the standard for older road bikes. Tires for them are still readily available. My local K-Mart stocks 27 inch tires, but none in the more modern 700C size.

Originally Posted by stupidcar View Post
so do many bike shops place special orders for the sort of inventory they don't ever carry? perhaps i should call around.
There are three bike shops in my town and the one where I trade most often is happy to order what they don't have in stock.

Another thing you'll want to look for on your bike is the existence of "fender eyelets," which are the attachment points for your fender stays. If you bike doesn't have them, don't worry. Lots of folks use "p-clamps" (available at most hardware stores) to mount fenders. Planet Bike even makes a fender specifically for bikes that don't have eyelets:



I'm like Aaron: I eventually put fenders on all my bikes. Some of them are more accepting of fenders than others, but they all wind up wearing them. Tell us more about your bike. Make? Model? Color? Likes and dislikes?
chocula is offline  
Old 09-05-07, 02:56 AM
  #10  
stupidcar
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
thanks for the advice!

the last bike store i asked about chrome fenders was less than helpful. "check ebay" they said.

my bike is a seventies or eighties schwinn, sort of brownish gold, like spicy mustard. i don't know how to describe it beyond that. i bought it for seventy dollars at a flea market. i've since had to have a few parts replaced, however. i'm pretty happy with it, except that it could use a tune-up, and probably some more upgrades. i'm not interested in specs or speeds or whathaveyou. i just want to have it customized for efficiency and utility, preferably in such a way that doesn't offend me aesthetically.

i have another question. how much difference is there between various steel road bike frames? i'm wondering if it's worth it to continuously upgrade my bike, replacing parts and such, indefinitely. is there anything important i'd be missing out on in terms of other frames?
stupidcar is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.