Jason's uncle came to us this summer with two old bikes he wanted redoing. One of them was an old CCM he had ridden around in college, the other he's not sure about, picked it up somewhere along the way and had hoped to restore it for Jason's aunt. He stashed it behind the garage and kind of forgot about it. Twenty years or so later he dug it out and brought it to us to surprise her at their annual Christmas party.
It was pretty far gone. It had been repainted at some point, with a lot of corrosion in the frame, and peeling chrome. It was missing a fender and presumably a chain guard.
We still aren't sure what it is exactly. It's a big old single-speed roadster with 28'/ 700c wheels. The only text we could find anywhere on it is a 'Made in Holland' badge on the back of the saddle, but has more of the character of an old CCM than a Dutch bike.
The crank isn't the standard CCM - we'd appreciate any ideas you might have on this. It was pretty clear that the original colour was red, but once we got the headset undone it was far more brilliant than we expected.
Almost nothing was salvageable but the frame, fork, and crank. She currently does her short daily commute on an old three speed, and as this is something intended for her to ride, we decided to do a rebuild that is respectful of the bike without getting too hung up on authenticity.
We had it sandblasted and powder coated a deep raspberry. We were able to find a pretty good match to the curve of the original bars in a new alloy pair. The wheels are also new with alloy double-walled rims, making the bike much lighter. A new Velo Orange honey leather saddle and their basket weave grips compliment the colour nicely.
We scrounged up a vintage stem, chain guard, and pedals. The fluting on Velo Orange's Zeppelin fenders is a good match to the chain guard, but we had to manufacture tabs, and drill bridge stays to mount them. Just about everything on this bike needed tooling. Drop-outs needed to be filed and cold set to accommodate modern axel dimensions. Even the bearing cone on ashtabula crank had mushroomed and needed to be reshaped. Frankly, we were doubtful until the very last minute that this would even amount to more than yard decor - but it rode beautifully on the first test ride. There is something very satisfying about keeping a 50+ year old bike on the road - like the salesman in Breakfast at Tiffany's, remarking about Cracker Jacks, "It gives one a feeling of solidarity, almost of continuity with the past, that sort of thing."