Using replica boardtrack wheels?.....

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by DougC, Jul 15, 2007.

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  1. DougC

    DougC Guest

    While pondering my options with the Worksman (with a frame that's quite a bit too small overall for me) I concluded that I'd need to make a frame myself, and if I'm free to set the dropout distances than I got to wondering about using actual repro boardtrack racer wheels laced to some moped hubs. Moped hubs would be quite a bit beefier, and the brakes would work better too.

    I have already seen that a lot of vintage boardtrack bikes are photographed with either 36 or 40 spokes per wheel. A lot of wire-spoke mopeds use 36 spokes as well , so this wouldn't seem to be impossible. Getting the spokes wouldn't be dificult, there's a half-dozen shops across the US that will make spokes for building custom wheels.

    I have also found that Coker still makes, and sells some other brands of tires, in vintage cycle sizes (and colors!):
    but the problem is I haven't been able to find anywhere that makes repro rims. Coker lists some 28 x 3 rims for about $800 but they're machined and are for "removable centers" which seems to mean that those are car/truck rims, not cycle rims at all.

    I asked on a couple motorcycle newsgroups but so far nobody knows anything about sources for restoring vintage cycles. I haven't found any online forum with much traffic in the matter.

    Anybody know anything? I'm thinking it's not going to be economical compared to using bicycle parts, but I'm still curious....

  2. Board Track Racers

    HI I just recently saw the special on the TLC tele network that showed some orig footage of the BTR machines.

    It is true that many ran 28"x3" which I have no access to at this time, not to say they are not avil, I think they are. Contacting the Antique Motorcycle Club of America, should get you in touch. However, even tho the 3 real bikes I have seen recently had 28x3, this may surprise you.

    I can tell you that what I read in a Harley history states in 1910, that 2 wheel sizes were avialble, 28x3, and 26x2.125, which was reborn at the persistance of Frank W Schwinn, shortly after his father, Ignaz, folded Excelsior Motorcycle in about 1931, which he headed.

    We have Frank W to thank for the baloon bicycle's appearance being so reminicent of the Motorcycles of the Glory Days. Frank is also credited with "inventing" the Schwinn springer, which is a common early Motorcycle design.
  3. I'm not sure you can even find repro bicycle rims in the 28" size but should you come across a source please let me know. I'd give these guys a call for early parts. I didn't see any large rims in their parts list but they may know of a source. Something I was thinking about for a future project was using a set of simplex servicycle rims, these look to be a bit wider and beefier than a typical cycle rim. I believe they are 26". I'm using a moped brake hub on a 26" wheel myself.
  4. retro_racer

    retro_racer Guest

    Mike you are just a wealth of knowledge.Actualy I knew alittle of that information,but only as of recent discovery's.Did you know that that original 26" x 2.125 is almost 27" tall.The tire size is 26",but with the tires mounted there closer to being 27" tall.Mr Schwinn did this purposely to insure tire,and tube sales.
    One of the problems you will have with 28" rims.Most were made of wood,and this will pose a problem.Then there is the other problems.Most were tubeless,and had to be varnished to the rims.This kept them togeither in the case of air loss.It also helped hold them togeither at the high speeds they were running. Rod
  5. retro_racer

    retro_racer Guest

    That would be a great choice for a retro look saab.Simplex rims are mostly 26" x 3",and the tires are not that hard to get.Theres a guy I think he is in Florida that still sell's new,and used Simplex servi cycle tires.They won't take as big a bite out of your finances either.The older ones also look alot like the board track racers too.Rod
  6. DougC

    DougC Guest

    I'm still looking for any source of reproduction 3x28" motorcycle rims, and haven't found any.

    I was paging through an issue of American Iron and I did find this place however (I don't recall it being posted before):

    I emailed the guy asking about the rims.
    I didn't ask what the bikes cost. My guess is "quite a lot".

    Also I doubt they'd be licensable as regular motorcycles; a disclaimer says they're sold only as "running replicas". They're modern manufacture and they wouldn't meet modern roadworthiness standards for sure, at least in the US.
  7. DougC

    DougC Guest

    Well the results are in, and it looks like I'll be going with the bicycle wheels this time around. ;)
    Just for the benefit of the search feature:
    Timeless Motorworks says he sells 36-hole 28" x 3" rims for $85 each.
    Antique Motorcycle Works says their rims are 36 or 40 hole and $225 each.
    Coker sells the cream/white tires for $240 and black ones for about $140.

    I had a dream of using real road wheels and putting a bigger engine on this thing later and licensing it as a regular motorcycle, but that's a lot easier to do legally if you use a real scooter or motorcycle frame (because it already has a real VIN#).
    Maybe next time.
  8. olddude

    olddude Member


    call coker back they have a guy that makes vintage style rims not cheep!!!
    If i can find his ## i will pm you
  9. butch27

    butch27 Guest

    Looks like Timless for $85. isn't too bad.
  10. butch27

    butch27 Guest

    Anyone have a picture of the Moped brake hub? I have a Simplex wheel 36 spoke I,m running.
  11. butch27

    butch27 Guest

    Oops: Didn't notice post was a year old.