51 Columbia - First build

Discussion in 'Photos & Bicycle Builds' started by wership, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. wership

    wership New Member

    Here is my 51 Columbia.


    I started it in December. I do not have welding skills (yet) so a cool tank and laid-back seat post are in the plans.

    26" Workman wheels: drum front with 10.5 gauge spokes, coaster rear with 11 gauge spokes
    kill switch is wonderful
    ghost sprocket as tensioner

    chain/wheel clearance
    front springer not functional - shoulder bolts?
    tank or faux tank - Does anyone have drawings/pictures of tanks in progress?
    laid-back seat post
    im shy about chopping off the original tank tabs

    Any feedback? Suggestions? Comments?

  2. azbill

    azbill Active Member

    man, I love seeing other X-FD hubs :cool2:
    nice build !
  3. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    My first build was on a '46 Columbia frame, but without the springer. As to the problem with your springer, I think I might have figured it out. Looking at the close up shot, the silver-colored links that connect the front and rear parts of the fork might need to be repositioned. I see that they're on the inside of the rear part of the fork and on the outside of the front part. Try positioning them on the inside (or outside) of both, as I think it's binding on the inside of the rear part of the fork instead of pivoting upwards.
  4. wership

    wership New Member

    Thanks for the input...
    I did that to make way for the front hub. I had to bend the forks back to "straight" but I wasn't sure I wanted to spread them too. Maybe I'll have to to keep the X-FD. I put nylon washer between the plate and the forks in hope that that would provide some lubrication.
  5. echotraveler

    echotraveler Member

    hey i love that flying chain tensioner!!! i saw one of those tensioners but thought MB's would spit them out on the first bump, pretty scary!

    how does is handle the road? by the way great freaking looking bike!
  6. crazeehorse

    crazeehorse Member

    That is a very sharp bike, with, or without an engine. I have to admit, that ghost sprocket scares me . How long have you been running it?
  7. wership

    wership New Member

    El Feo

    Because of the chain/tire issue, it hasn't ridden much, but a couple roads are messed up around here (and I go off curbs), so it bounces enough for me to think the ghost sprocket is good and safe. It's a bear to get in and out because I've tried to push it in as far as possible so that I can put a u-lock through the center and around the seat post and it's safe from sticky fingers).
    I bought another compression kit so that I can put the "metal thirds" between the compression rings and the sprocket to move it out an 8th to clear the tire. If you look close you can see the chain marks. That is after I reversed the tire. A 26x1.75 doesn't fit on workman rims. You can see in the ghost sprocket pic that I pinched the frame. I'll have to pinch another inch or so... If I want it to look good later, I'll have to use a lite hammer...
  8. echotraveler

    echotraveler Member

    there are 2 sides on the rear sprocket...one is inward and the other outward. My chain was rubbing on to my worksman, because i put the sproket inward, thanx to my forum friends, i found out so, just turning over mine because my worksman wheel is pretty thick too.

    i have an allignment problem...hopefull to work it out tonight.
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  9. wership

    wership New Member

    51 Columbia - First build ---- UPDATED 7-26

    Check out my folder:

    I added an extra sprocket spacer to the inside of the rear sprocket to move the chain away from the tire. Once I true the tire, it should be enough to not have any more rubbing.
    I changed the mounting system, which I am not happy with. I hard bolted the rear mount on, and wedged rubber between scrap conduit straps as a wedge in the front mount.
    I have worked out a electrical system with working headlight, turn signals and brake light on a trickle charged small 12v battery.
    I replaced the 48 tooth with a 36 tooth sprocket up front to give the motor more clearance and to make it easier to get the bike up to speed. I am not thrilled with the pattern but it was 5 bucks.
    I am working on a faux tank to hide the electrical and a modified stock tank.

    Any comments? Suggestions? Reactions?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 26, 2009
  10. wership

    wership New Member

    i havent worked on this bike for a long time, its just been sitting like a piece of art on top of my workbench for a couple years... brought down, started up, ridden around the block, and put back up...

    i did make a beefier chain tensioner with some heim joints, threaded rod, and a tensioner from tractor supply... ill have to take pictures when there is better light and post them...

    recently i tried making a tank with 22 gauge steel but when i went to weld more than tacking i blew right through the material... then my buddy said, why dont we try brazing it just for kicks... well we warped it pretty good...
    so i went and bought a sheet of 18 gauge and cut out the pieces again and am trying to put one back together... oh and im just learning to weld so those tacks are ALL over the place...

    the idea is to have a battery tray and then the back 2/3 would be the tank... similar to what i posted before...
    heres my start:

    rivets to hold the electrics tray




    with electrics and boost bottle option just in case...

  11. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    Your welding isn't bad for a beginner. The best way to improve it is to practice on some scrap metal. Of course a good welder teaching you helps too. Your bike is looking great. I've got a more modern day Columbia mountain bicycle I plan to build soon. It's my goal to have at least three bikes and one tadpole recumbent. This way friends and family can ride with me.
  12. IbedaYank

    IbedaYank Member

    this is not an insult...
    You are either going to need to get MUCH better at welding or use a gastank sealer to prevent it from leaking gas. Fluxcore is not a good choice for welding stuff like a gastank. As you have found it out by blowing holes through what you are trying to weld. By using a copper backer you can weld thinner metal without blowing through.

    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  13. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    I've seen pictures of IbedaYanks welds and they look quite nice. He's right a weld ment to support or reinforce something doesn't require the skill of a weld ment to prevent leaks. I've got a small MIG and TIG welder but if something seems to complex for me I get a friend who welds for a living to do it. Which is what you may need to do. That's my bad for not considering what you're welding. But still keep practicing on scrap metal you will get better.
  14. IbedaYank

    IbedaYank Member

    me smart yank... will cut out the pieces and send up to a friend that has a tig welder when it comes time to build a gastank for a trike I have been building as fluxcore welders do NOT weld aluminum
  15. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    Steel I'm ok at; aluminium time to call a friend.
  16. wership

    wership New Member

    thanks guys... ill look up more of kevin's videos for help...
    its not flux, i have a 75/25 bottle of argon/co2...
    but youre right, its tough getting all those little holes, i was able to lay a bead on flat that looked pretty decent i thought... in the last picture you can see the tests for heat and speed (i think the left side looks good)... i have a little hobart with 4 heat settings... i think if i can aim it right, i can get a good bead in the corner... and if i did one inch beads then skipped 6 inches and just went around in a circle i could cover most of the seam... then i think its just a matter of putting some air pressure in it and trying to get the big holes... and finally i will definitely seal it, just to be sure...

    by all means let me know if im way off... the goal is to do the whole thing myself...




    oh and thanks for the copper tip!