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Miloh gets his own wheels: finally the trike (part three of definitely three posts in the award winning wheels series of posts)

If you follow me on twitter or work with me you're probably going to be glad this day is here... You won't have to hear about me building a trike for Miloh any more (actually it's only 97.6% done so I'll have a bit of talking to do).

Here's how the whole thing started.

Before Miloh was born, when he was just MF, I started looking for his first set of wheels. I found a cool limited edition trike made by James Perse. I wanted it but there were two problems. One it was probably quite expensive... Two it was sold out.

So I was now on a mission to create a cool bike for Miloh... and all matte black bike.

I realized that the frame of the James Perse trike is actually a Roadster Trike. Then I had my plan. Get a used Scwhinn, strip it, powder coat it and pimp it out for Miloh.

I hopped on Craigslist and found a used trike for $25. It was a bit beat up (chipped paint, a broken pedal, and dented fenders). The fenders were no matter because I was ditching them. The paint didn't matter because I was stripping it. I only needed replacement pedals... I emailed the good folks at Schwinn and they sent me a pair.

Months went by and I did nothing because it was winter. Early spring the build started.

Stage one... Dismantle the trike.

Pieces parts.
Next step was stripping the parts I'd have powder coated. I decided on powder coating because it's cheaper than painting. Plus I think it feels and looks cooler. And the rumor is it's more environmentally friendly.

Naked but safe for work.
Then off to the powder coater. I went with a matte black that had a little bit of a metallic to it. I also picked the color I will do my bicycle this winter... A baby blue.

I should have taken all of these the same way.
Then came time for the wheels. The wheels were my white whale. I originally wanted to go all black but then I found some kick ass grips that were black with neon green stars. So I chose to paint the wheels neon green.

One thing you should know about neon spray paints is they suck... They're watery so that became a bit of a pain in my ass, too many coats.

I put the wheels in my super professional spray paint booth (after they were sanded down). If you don't have something professional like I do I guess you can slum it by hastily taping some foam core and paper to your garage wall and hanging the wheels from bent hangers off your bike rack.

Super professional painting booth.
A few coats of primer and then I was ready for the 3000 coats of green. Let's pretend I got a photo of them greened up. I actually did get one. Then came the clear coat.

Ok... here's how the grips went down. I said the wheels were my white whale. That was a lie. It was the combo of the grips and the wheels. The grips I wanted to use were All-City BMX Star Grips in green. But the problem is there were too big. They went past the curve on the handlebar.

I searched for other cool grips but found none. That's when I checked out the All-City Stars Track Grips in green. They were also long but longer than the BMX ones. Plus the lack of raised thumb edge made them look cool.

I actually ordered them straight from All City. The green was different from the BMX grip's green and I wanted them to match the wheels so I had to find another option.

I got the Star Track grips in all black. And damn they look sweet.

Then it was time to assemble the trike. That was easy. I should mention the trike has a wood piece on the back. I used some cheapo black rub on wood stain. It actually looked nice after a couple coats of clear coat.

Next step was show it to Miloh. It was cute... He came running to it.

Actually he came running to my camera... He loves cameras.

But I got some great smiles so it was all worth it.

Big smile
Halfway through the build I learned that kids Miloh's age/size are too small for this kind of trike. I'll push him on it for a bit until he can reach the pedals.

I have two things I want to do. One is make a seat cover. I get the physics of how to make one so I'm going to try... But if it doesn't work I'm cool with the seat.

Also I have to name the trike and then paint the name on the wood, in green to add some more of that color back. I'm thinking of either doing a really ornamental MF or calling it Emeff or maybe smonk.

And then I'm going to contact the good people at Schwinn and see if they could help me with the wheel situation. The wheels have some plastic axles in them. I was afraid I would break them if I tried to get them out so that's why I had to paint them instead of powder coat (and there was a kick ass green color in the powder coating place).

So if the awesome folks at Schwinn can hook me up with new, unassembled wheels, or even just the plastic pieces and ball bearings I'll get them done up. But for now the green is good. It might chip but paint is cheap.

Here is the cost breakdown:
Trike – $25
Powder Coating – $90
2 cans of spray paint – about $11
Can of clear coat - about $6
Grips – $15 (not including the pair I had too cut off because a mod to lengthen the handlebars didn't work)
And some various supplies like paint stripper, sand paper, scrapers and such. – $20-ish.

So now Miloh has a one of-a-kind kick ass bike for a reasonable $167... about double the price of a Schwinn off the rack... And totally worth it.

And if you like this, liked hearing me tweet about it or talk about it at work, don't fret. I have some other projects coming up.

And last I should mention in my hunt I found the coolest trike. It's custom made by a guy who makes bicycles and is rumored to be worth $10,000 just a bit more than I'd like to pay for a kid's trike. Check it here.


  1. wowster...that is one serious cool trike you made!

  2. As if. You had little elves build it for you. That's why it's green. But damn, can they build a super cool trike. Well done little elves!

  3. Love it! Miloh is one lucky boy to have such sweet wheels!


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