14) 1990s Kuwahara M4.5Read Now
Status: For Sale at $450
Frame & Fork: Tange Infinity MTB Tapered Butted CR-MO
Shifters: GripShift SRT-500 with New Old Stock (NOS) ODI World Map Grips
Derailleurs: Rear: Shimano STX RC, Front: Shimano Deore XT
Brakeset: Rear: Shimano U-Brake, Front: Ritchey Logic Cantilevers
Crankset: Shimano sealed bottom bracket with Shimano STX RC Cranks
Wheelset: Rear: Bontrager Mustang rim on Shimano STX RC Parallax hub, Front: Mavic 238 rim on Shimano XTR hub on Kenda Small Block Eight 26x1.95 tires
The Facebook ad was for two Kuwahara project bikes and this was one of them. I really only wanted the wheelset that was on the other Kuwahara (see blog #15) but decided I could turn this ugly duckling into a swan. The paint was beyond restoration so this one will be my next opportunity to improve my painting skills.
This is probably my favourite before/after bike. It's an entirely new bike, really. The frame was stripped to bare metal and then painted with the PPG Shopline automotive paint system (3 coats primer/hardener, 3 coats of base, 3 coats of clear/hardener). All the light green 'decals' are actually paint. First, the frame was primed, then I tinted the white with some of the dark green and painted the areas with the logos in the light green. I created the Kuwahara and MBW logos in Photoshop and cut out vinyl decals with a Cricut. The decals were placed on the light green paint and then the dark green was painted. After that, the decals were removed, revealing the light green underneath. This paint job turned out nicer than my first with no runs.
It was tricky outfitting this frame. It came with an ugly, heavy and poorly functioning Trek fork that I decided not to use. I found a rigid chromoly fork on a trashed BRC bike and luckily it fit. The rear derailleur was nice, a Shimano STX RC 8-speed but there was nothing else to go with it. I happen to take in another bike that had an STX RC 8spd hub and freewheel that was the perfect match. Another bike that I had with a trashed frame happen to have STX RC cranks. I added a nice vintage Shimano XT front derailleur and a nice set of Ritchey Logic brakes. It took me a while to settle on the shifters. I had a set of 8-speed GripShift shifters but they were missing the inside grips. Luckily, I found a NOS set of ODI World Grips from a guy in Portugal. I thought they went perfectly with the earthy green frame.
I don't think I could be happier with the result. The new paint looks great and the Infinity frame and stem/handlebar set-up offer a comfortable ride. The shifting is crisp and smooth and the brakes are adequate for their age and style. Someone is going to get at least another 30 years of enjoyment out of this bike.
Leave a Reply.
Mike the Bike