Building a low-rider bike from prefabricated parts is easier than you think. Many websites sell the necessary parts. Those building on a budget can find parts from local classified ads, back alleys, junkyards and dumpsters. While building piece by piece is more challenging than simply buying off the rack, your bike will have a custom look. Nothing impresses people quite like a one-of-a-kind piece of bike art.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Bike parts
- Basic hand tools
Formulate a plan. You can build a low-rider on the fly, but you probably won't like the results. Visualise what you want your bike to look like before you start. Look at bikes and decide what you want and don't want.
Find a frame. It doesn't matter how much you like a seat or a fork. If the frame won't accommodate it, the part can't be used. Children's cruiser-bike frames work best for the low-rider look. The frames usually can be found at thrift stores or junkyards.
Build your front-end assembly. This includes the fork, front wheel and handlebars. Your bike will begin to take on a custom look. Find long forks in larger-size bikes. Wheel barrows make excellent sources for sharp, small front wheels. Junkyards have ape hanger handlebars from motorcycles and old cruiser bicycles.
Mount your back wheel and chain. Look for a large, wide back tire that fits your frame. Once you mount a seat, you have a rideable low-rider.
Choose your peripherals. Put grips on your handlebars and mount a banana seat. Matching the colours makes for a sharp look. Now, look for special touches to make your bike stand out, like sissy bars, bells, front headlights, chain steering wheels, antennas and mud flaps. Don't forget a rear fender if you plan to ride in the rain.
Tips and warnings
- While brakes aren't always in style, they make a bike safer.
- Don't worry about getting it "right." The only person who has to be impressed with your low-rider bike is you.
- Remember that your first build is a trial run. Each subsequent build will be better than the previous one.
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