Intro: Making a Modern Bike Old
Hi it´s that Guy from MAYER MAKES
I converted my crappy 90´s Mountainbike (TREK singletrack 810) into a single speed retro cruiser
I did this project about nearly 2 years ago, now it has new street-Tires and needs an update in the brake section but the look is consistent: it was featured at:BikeHacks.com
My messed up Trek Singletrack 810 (a cheap mountainbike from 1999) stood around unlocked for about 4 years. I had not ridden it that whole time, just some strangers "borrowed" it from time to time. After noticing this, I had the idea to just put a label on it like, "Put €20 in my Postbox and the Bike is yours“, but then I stumbled upon Bikehacks.com and an idea was born.
My Dad restored a very old Austrian Steyr Waffenrad ("Steyr Weapon-Bike") from the 1930s a couple of years ago, and when I saw them again this summer, I thought of giving my crap-of-a-bike a look like it was built in the 1930s.
It´s clear that you just can´t convert a modern bike into a copy of those great for-ever-living, indestructible pre and mid-war bicycles.
But what about having the feel and handling and of course the look of those on your modern bike? The Build
First, I had to strip down everything from the crappy whip!
I ripped off the old Shimano parts and threw them away.
The frame was rusty and obviously damaged due to some not-going-as-planned-actions.
A friend of mine offered to put the frame into a sand blasting machine at his work (thank god).
It came back like new from the factory!
I painted it black, bought some singlespeed equipment, leather grips, some additional parts like Oldtimer-Car Backlights and of course a horn (now everybody wants to squeeze it!!!).
In a spontaneous rage I painted the brakes red, just to fit wiht the chain-tensioner, at first I thougth it ruins the look but now I love the little modern higlights.
I added a Wooden box for my groceries and gave it an antique finish.
There have been some difficulties in getting the whole thing work, because the frame is not very common (even my local bike shop had troubles with finding the right parts for it). Everything I bought had to be, let´s say "customized" to fit on the bike, in reality I used a lot of hammerbashes and grinding tools on the parts. I tried to cover the electrical parts (Cabels and Stuff) into bowden-tubes, that surely needs some additional work in the future. And the brakes are now not as strong as before the conversion, because I used some 1930-Replica-clutches which don´t work like modern ones.
The First Ride
3 Weeks of work are over and on the 30th of August I rode it for the first time.
It really is a cruiser. It feels like the old "Waffenrad" but has less weight.
And for me there are enough offroad-skills left to take a ride through the near hiking-paths.
I´m sure that I will burn a lot of fat with my "new" bike!
The first comments of people who saw my bike were:
Is that a Horn?? Can I try?
How old is that.....wait it looks like new?!?!?
Where did you buy that "thing"?? I made it myself!- No really who sold you that bike??
How many gears does it have??-One- What do you mean "One??!!?"
Is that a Horn?? Can I try?
Step 1: Single Speed
Beeing an oldschool ride it has to have a single speed transmission, which gives it the real retro feel..and its totally reliable and robust that way!
Step 2: Backlights From the Past
The back lights are a pretty cool detail on my bike.
2 (!!) Lights in the typical oldscool look and a Wooden box to store your groceries and tools.
If you like the look go on and convert your sh*T-of-a-bike into a great oldschool whip.
Visit my Youtube Channel to see more stuff I have built and stay tuned by subscribing