Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

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Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

Postby kukamunga » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:18 pm

One of my long term bike projects has finally seen the light of day, due to
me having a bit of time on my hands at the moment......

Image

The 1977 Kuwahara frame, Sugino cranks, seatpost, steel bars, road levers, front
wheel, rear rim and bidon cage were all from my hard rubbish pickings from over the years

Image

New part purchases over the past three years for this project include the Shimano
Nexus 3 speed coaster hub/shifter, rear spokes, front fork, front v-brake, chainring

Image

Saddle was a prize. Most of the other parts had been lying around my shed for a number
of years. 700 x 40 tyres were from a friend, and have 2mm clearance on chainstays!

Image

So - a 3 speed, coaster braked cyclocross bike - of sorts. Weight 12kg

I've tried to color match components with the Robs blue circle/flame robin decals,
and the red/blue Hallmark "Built to Last" head badge wreath. I've also tried to keep
a bit of a Japanese made theme with components and decals

Image

Took it for it's first shake-down ride yesterday arvo into the city and back via
Scotchmans, Gardiners and Yarra paths, hitting the dirt and gravel where I could

Moves along quite nicely, and the 44/21T primary drive paired with the Nexus 3
seems ideal for this type of riding. The rear coaster brake and lack of backpedalling
will take a lot of getting use to, as will the reverse twistshifter

The real test? Maybe a Dirty Deeds CX race...... :wink:

Primarily, I built this bike as a local urban trail basher that I could ride alongside my
9 year old son on his 3 speeder. Initially, it was intended to be a 'train station/pub bike',
but as with most of my projects, they always end up as something 'a bit more'..... :roll:

Hope you like it!

Sorry about the large images. Haven't had much luck resizing them
Last edited by kukamunga on Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:11 pm

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Re: Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

Postby sturmey archer » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:11 pm

I'll be interested to hear how the coaster goes as I was contemplating a single speed coastie gravel grinder to use up some of the hard rubbish pickings here .

Positive style points for the matching bar tape - negative for covering up the "Robs Special" logo with cable ties :lol:
1.370" x 24 tpi - what sort of stupid standard is that?
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Re: Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

Postby il padrone » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:23 pm

Instead of the cable-ties get some real retro bidon clamps. 8) The saddle is too, too...... coloured. 'Black is bad' :wink:
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Re: Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

Postby Uncle Just » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:52 pm

Does the travel agent work well with the V brake?
Last edited by Uncle Just on Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

Postby WestcoastPete » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:57 pm

Sweet...
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Re: Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

Postby HappyHumber » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:44 pm

That's Beastie, Kuks! I love it.

'77 is pretty old for a Kuwie frame in this part of the world, surely?
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Re: Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

Postby kukamunga » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:10 pm

sturmey archer wrote:I'll be interested to hear how the coaster goes...... negative for covering up the "Robs Special" logo with cable ties :lol:
Coaster brakes are great for kids wanting to do big skids! I'm a confident 'front-braker',
but the rear brake will undoubtedly come in handy - i just have to rewire my brain to use
it. You'll note a left-hand lever which is a 'fixed' dummy lever purely for hand position.
Not being able to back-free-pedal is also a bit of a PITA when attempting trackstands,
trials and technical stuff, and my left hand wants to keep braking

Until I get my own nutsert/rivetnut tool, the cable ties stay - along with
the Nagaoka fluro-pink bidon cage :mrgreen:
il padrone wrote:get some real retro bidon clamps. 8) The saddle is too, too...... coloured
Real retro bidon clamps? Got any spare? Sorry - this aint a 'real retro' bike, and
the 'melburn' saddle fits the color scheme.
But, if I had a Kashimax Super-Pro saddle lying around..... :roll:
Uncle Just wrote:Does the travel agent work well with the V brake?
Yes. I was going to use short 80mm reach v-brakes without a converter, until I
found these red and blue 100mm sets in a bargain bin a few weeks ago! I don't
think the short reach would've allowed much tyre clearance
HappyHumber wrote:'77 is pretty old for a Kuwie frame in this part of the world, surely?
Dunno - I've had a few Rob's Kuwahara frames from around that era.
The serial # on the left side of seat tube just above bottom bracket reads: 77 07 00598.
The rivetted Hallmark headtube badge says "Built to Last" - they're not wrong!

Image Image (v Another 'Rob' Kuwahara v)
Image Image
Image
Last edited by kukamunga on Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

Postby HappyHumber » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:23 pm

Nonetheless fantastic! I Love the loooooooooong stewing build project stories.... (gives me hope for some of mine)

Maybe the Kuwie frames weren't badged/stickered as such til later? Mass produced in Japan and rebadged in a variety of guises in their export market. Still slowly getting over the WW2 market stigma in Aust. along with with the Datsuns, Tojos etc.
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Re: Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

Postby kukamunga » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:32 pm

I've got a couple more "long-termers" in the shed, with plenty of time (but little money) on me hands at the moment.....
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Re: Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

Postby HappyHumber » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:35 pm

[edit] I see your edit.... ;)

Yeah... we're on the same wavelength. Just goes further to strengthen my taste for decently made old Steelies from the last 40 years, no matter the factory/rebadging/stickering.
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Re: Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

Postby il padrone » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:41 pm

kukamunga wrote:Image

Ah, a long gone scene now. :wink:
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Re: Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

Postby kukamunga » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:27 am

Anyone got any Kuwahara decals lying around they don't want? Could do swaps.....
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Re: Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

Postby elantra » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:30 pm

kukamunga wrote:One of my long term bike projects has finally seen the light of day, due to
me having a bit of time on my hands at the moment......

Image

The 1977 Kuwahara frame, Sugino cranks, seatpost, steel bars, road levers, front
wheel, rear rim and bidon cage were all from my hard rubbish pickings from over the years

Nice one !
food for thought...
"Technology gives us much more information but Education is never be able to give us the skill to evaluate it"
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Re: Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

Postby kukamunga » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:17 pm

UPDATE

Not liking the look of the white crankset on this bike, (and wanting to use it on my "ACE" project), I have swapped it for a black crankset. Also wanting to lower the gearing from 44/21, I've ditched the blue ring for a 42T silver one. I think the bike looks better now

Image

Riding 30 km on the Lilydale-Warburton Rail Trail last Friday, I thought the bike felt a bit "sluggish". I've put this down to the fattish tyres, friction in the rear hub, and maybe a slack head angle and/or stiff headset. The tyres can easily be changed. The hub I might eventually give a bit of a overhaul with lighter grease and oil. The headset I'll just have to play with a bit

Climbing some steep hills around Yarra Junction, I found the primary drive ratio of 2:1 (42/21) just adequate to get up with some effort - I think the '1 in 20' might be it's next test! 3rd gear is too low for down hills, but overall, for a 3 speed, and on the flats, it was good

Still don't like not being able to back pedal with the coaster brake, but I do like the simple, uncluttered clean lines it affords. Next time I'd maybe look into doing a roller brake version....

Skinnier cross tyres.... here I come!
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Re: Project Kuwahara Cross Coaster

Postby kukamunga » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:41 pm

I recently changed the tyres on this bike to some better Schwalbe Rapid Rob 700 x 35's, and enjoyed some 'racing' at the recent Dirty Deeds prologue, and regular commuting and local weekend trail riding. After contributing to this thread recently, I was inspired to get some gumwall Kenda K161 tyres from Jenson USA, and fitted them today:

Image Image

The tyres were relatively cheap costing about $50 delivered for the pair. They are supposed to be 700 x 35, but measure much narrower at 30mm wide, which is fine for the extra frame clearance on the rear, but I might change back to a Rapid Rob on the front for better front end traction for future CX shenanigans

Other changes include the PRO 1" threadless headset, the BBB clip-on fenders, and as for the $10 top tube pad.... well, that's just there to 'protect me' from the rather limited standover clearance when mounting and dismounting (and I couldn't justify spending $45+ for a Kuwahara one)!

If, and when, I can afford a Kuwahara pad, and get the opportunity to fit some proper bidon cage inserts, I'll ditch those two, lairy pink items! :oops: :wink:
God save the ABC & SBS.....
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