This weekend, the 2017 North American Handmade Bicycle Show is in full swing, and Paul Brodie is again giving the readers of Cycle EXIF an insight into his fabrication process. This year, he’s building the best shaft-drive cruiser the world has ever seen.
Continuing on from yesterday’s steps, it’s over to Paul: Curved tubes are nickel-silvered into the structure, and everything is sanded smooth. This is the back of the left fork blade. The top post mount for the front brake is complete.
This is the lower post mount. Cut from 1/4″ 4130 plate, I like the shape of this support beam.
Here it is, nickel silvered in place.
By now, the frame was basically complete, and NAHBS was getting close. Only two weeks left, and I still had no rear wheel.
The stock bike came with a 5 speed Sachs rear hub. I couldn’t get it to shift, it was ugly, and it didn’t have a disc rotor mount. The only thing I saved was the helical gear that meshed with the shaft drive.
I decided to make my own single speed hub with a freewheel inside. It’d have to be a two-piece hub. The trick was to figure out how to connect the helical gear with the freewheel. How hard could that be? The pink rectangle below is where the freewheel is located.
I started machining the hub Monday at 7am, had a quick lunch, and finished at 2:15pm. All manual machining. Hopped in my van, and headed for the anodizer. For me, show bikes always take way more time with the myriad of details that have to be seen to.
This is the carrier that connects the helical gear (far right) and the BMX micro-drive freewheel that resides inside the hub. The slots in the carrier slip right over the teeth of the sprocket. The sprocket has 14 teeth, so the slots were cut every 25.714 degrees.
How it all fits together. I think this photo shows that quite well.
The raspberry color is a custom Imron mix that I have had sitting on my shelf for literally 24 years. I say incredible shelf life!
Come back tomorrow for the final reveal of the finished product. If you like this sort of thing, you’ll love Paul’s autobiography, Paul Brodie — The Man Behind Brodie Bikes. To purchase the book, ask for it at your local bookshop (ISBN-10: 0995065802, ISBN-13: 978-0995065802), or head to Amazon.com, and if you’re in Canada, you’ll have to go through Amazon.ca.
PS: Just over a month ago, it was his anniversary just over a month ago, which makes it fifty years that Paul’s been making things out of metal.
Be Like Bevel: Paul Brodie’s Shaft-Drive Cruiser