Pink '90s Novara frame into a casual happy hour cruiser.
This is my '90s Novara XC Sport. The main goal for this build was to end up with a "happy hour cruiser." A rack for my favorite Detroit-style pizza and a strange leather contraption for six-packs from local breweries were crucial to this vision (although the leather contraption came later).
I got the frame, BB, and seatpost off Marketplace for $25, and had a plan to rip everything usable off of my old Ghost full suspension bike (from about 2005). I took the wheels, 3x cranks, front brake, brake levers, rear shifter, and rear derailleur off the Ghost and pieced them together on the Novara. The first handlebars that I had on it were the stock bars from my dad's Kona Caldera, also from the early '90s.
I then found a used stem, rear rack, leather contraption, and CrankBrothers Candy pedals at an outdoor store, and had a local bike shop put in a new headset and threaded headset adapter. I also picked up some WTB Trail Boss tires (26x2.25) since the old Continental tires/tubes were nearly old enough to vote. The new rear tire rubbed the frame a little on one side, so instead of truing the wheel, I trimmed off some of the edge treads.
Finding a rear brake did give me some trouble since the frame doesn't have the right posts for a V or cantilever brake. I eventually found a vintage Shimano mountain bike "U-brake" on Marketplace and it is working well for the most part.
The bike worked really well in this configuration. I decided to only use the middle chainring from the old 3x setup, but that led to chain dropping issues when I was in lower gears on the cassette. It worked well enough for test runs, but I eventually borrowed some cranks from another bike in my garage. The current cranks/chainring that I have on the Novara are from a '90s steel Nashbar that I have. They sit a lot closer to the frame and that solved my chain dropping issues.
At this point I decided that I wanted to do something a little weird with the Novara. That's when I got the set of Surly Corner Bars and pink bar tape. They function better than I was worried they might, and I think they give the bike a nice weird look. It was also at this point that I replaced the original shifter, as it was mounted directly to the brake lever and didn't work well with the corner bars.
For the next phase of the bike, I want to get a chainring with more offset to use with the Ghost cranks. Also on the list of necessary upgrades is the cassette/derailleur. The current setup works fine, but it doesn't have as much range as I want. Since I decided that the 3x setup is objectively uncool, it would be really helpful to have a cassette in the 10-46 range. I know Box and Microshift both make solid 8/9/10 speed drivetrains, which would work with my existing freehub.
I have about 60 miles logged on the bike right now, and I really love how it rides! My plans to build this bike actually started before the TrasherBash contest was announced, as I just wanted to build a fun bike. I know my build isn't as ambitious as some others, but I have a fun bike to ride and that's all that I was hoping to accomplish.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you vote for me!