Gallery: Chris Harvey’s Recycled Bike

Here are a few photos of my bike. I use it as a commuter, errand-runner, bar-hopper, roller racer, and general around-town bike. I built this bike out of odds and ends I had lying around in my shop, so it has a kind of a thrown together/recycled feel to it. It’s a mid-80’s Panasonic track frame with a Schwinn straight-blade aluminum fork, 70’s Campy head set, Ultegra bottom bracket and crankset, 53T chainring and 18T cog. I built the wheels with Mavic hoops laced an old XT MB hub in the front and a Shimano 3-speed coaster brake rear hub salvaged from a thrift store 60’s mixte. The shifter is a 60’s 3-speed grip shift and the bars are VO Porteurs from Velo Orange. I stripped the frame, painted the lugs and bottom bracket shell shiny black, and then covered all the tubing in wood-grained shelf liner paper. It’s a real head-turner and most other cyclists don’t know what to make of it until they get up close and give it a good once-over. Is it a fixie? A one speed with a coaster brake? The lack of brake calipers, brake lines, and hand levers gives it a clean look, but the cable running from the shifter throws folks off. People are constantly asking me if I made it myself and pinging their fingers against the tubing to see if it’s really wood!

Chris Harvey

[You had me there for a minute with the shelf paper. —ed.]

10 Responses to “Gallery: Chris Harvey’s Recycled Bike”

  • Croupier says:

    I was actually planning on building something a lot like this at one point (maybe I still will). It’s a neat bike idea, I really like it.

  • Justin says:

    Those bars look like they have a lot more drop than the VO Porteur bars on my wife’s mixte. Are they an older model?

    I like what you have going on here. I can’t help but think that fork looks terribly out of place, though. Have you considered a “Louisville Slugger” logo?

    Louisville, KY

  • Don says:


  • Antonio says:

    Sweet ride! Congrats!
    I am also intrigued by the handlebar. Like Justin, I also think it has more drop (and more forward reach, and a different shape) than current VO Porteur bars. If they are 23.8 mm and take road levers and bar-ends, I’d love to get my hands on a handlebar like yours.

  • Chris says:

    My mistake! The VO Porteurs are on my basket bike. The bars on this bike are Nitto North Road bars that I got at Steve Rex’s shop on E Street in Sacramento. They look similar, but you’re right: the Nittos have more drop and forward reach than the Porteurs.


  • j. pierce says:

    While I think the look of this is very nice, I’d love to see a front brake on it! But it is certainly styling.

  • Recycled Bike « Adelaide Cyclist says:

    […] Posted by anguskingston on May 27, 2010 via […]

  • MohjhoRyder says:

    Well done, I just love seeing unique and still usable bike setups.

  • Beth L. says:

    I love this bike! I love your ingenuity!!

  • tommy douglas ray says:

    An inspired ride. Beauty, humor, practicality. Love it, love it, love it.

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