Upcycling Vintage Bicycle Frames


Welcome to the world of Upcycling Vintage Bicycle Frames.  Yep you heard me right.  Just because some bicycle or bicycle frame looks old, worn out and unwanted doesn’t mean it can’t be reused.  The term Upcycling comes from the concept that something older that could be considered junk or trash could be used again.

Upcycling Vitage Bicycle FramesWhile many parts of a bicycle can get worn out, most of your older vintage bicycle frames were built like tanks.  This is true for most of the Schwinn bicycle frames from the 1940’s – 1970’s.  These frames were rock solid, made from steel and built to last a very long time.  In fact frames like these can  enjoy generations of use.

This then brings me to one of my newest projects, a 1962 Scwhinn frame.  The frame was in excellent condition with a little rust and chipped paint here and there.  After inspecting the frame to make your it was sound, it was time to decide how I wanted to build the bike.  You basically have 3 options.  Build the bike backup to the way it was, basically doing a restoration.  Create a ratrod, which means leaving the rust and paint chips and enjoying the patina, but again doing a restoration and maybe throwing in a few miscellaneous parts for fun.  Lastly you can opt for a Hot Rod.  Basically this means adding new parts to create something altogether new.  The decision was made to create a Hot Rod.  Taking it to a shop to get it powder coated was the first step, the end results were most excellent and now I had a frame that looked almost brand new.

Now rather than building the bike as it was in the 1960’s, my option was to build it with a little more flair and excitement.  The bike was going to be a fixie, which means it only has a single chain ring in the front and a single cog in the rear.  A true fixie means that as the wheels turn the peddles would spin.  Rather than do that I decided to incorporate a foot break, which required a freehub rather than a fixed gear hub.

The end results were excellent.  A fun free wheeling 1962 frame with miscellaneous parts to make an altogether unique bicycle.

1962 Hot Rod Schwinn 1962 Hot Rod Schwinn


About Author

I share a passion for collecting all things vintage and antique and love to share that passion with others.


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