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Preview: The Laboratory of C.H.U.N.K. 666

The Laboratory of C.H.U.N.K. 666

Updated: 2015-09-16T23:09:16.354-07:00


dclxvi update


Photo by Jon Huey

Mutant Bike Proving Grounds
The most important skill for the mutant biker in the streets of today's world is the ability to do things that nobody else understands and you yourself may understand very little. more...

A Tall Bike Construction Primer


With the recent exponential multiplication of tall bikes across the country and even around the world, a primer on their construction hardly seems necessary. Still, for the sake of those just starting we provide here the basic steps and notes for the construction of the classic "one bike on top of another" design. By no means that this design is canonical, for there are many approaches by which one may make a bike tall. But purists and the aesthetically inclined may find the classic design more deserving of elaboration.1. Two bike frames of near-identical length are required. If both head tubes are aligned the bottom bracket of the top bike should rest dead center atop the seat tube of the bottom bike. In a pinch, give or take half an inch.2.. Remove the seat, seatpost and handlebars from the bottom bike. Remove the handlebars, crankset, and wheels from the top bike.3. Cut the seat and chain stays (the "rear triangle") off the top bike.4. Find a piece of steel pipe that will sleeve into the steer tube of the bottom bike's fork. This is usually about half an inch in diameter. It should also be long enough to sleeve an inch or more into the top bike's steer tube.5. Some steer tubes have an open bottom, so that you could sleeve a pipe through the top and right on through and out the bottom. Find one of these forks or use a grinder open up the bottom of a fork. Either way, this is going to be top fork of your steer-tube extension. Cut the fork blades off the top fork. Put the fork back on the top bike.6. With the lower bike standing on its kickstand or leaning against a chair, drop your half-inch steel pipe into the bottom steer tube. Then take the top bike and sleeve the top steer tube onto the steel pipe. This should be a relatively snug fit and you should be able to simply rest the top bike's bottom bracket on the top of the lower bike's seat tube, and the whole thing should stand on its own without your support. Make sure you've cleaned and greased all your bearings in the steer tube set because once its welded you can't take them apart again!7. Examine the point where the top bottom bracket is contacting the lower bike's seat tube. Is there a lot of contact there? You might want to file or grind the seat tube to get more metal-to-metal contact.8. You are ready to jig! Take two wood boards and place one on each side of your tallbike.Use old inner tubes, rope, whatever, to lash the boards together snugly, sandwiching the bikes between them. This will align the two frames with eachother.Eyeball and doublecheck to be sure, but honestly, the best test is to just try turning the front wheel with your hand. If the bikes are lined up sufficiently, the steer-tube of the top fork will turn in a smooth fashion when you move the wheel.9. Time to weld. Put tack welds at the contact point between the top bottom bracket and lower bike's seat tube. Then tack welds at the bottom and top contact points of steer-tube extension. Let cool. Remove the jig. Complete welds.10. Add a gusset between the top and bottom bikes in front of the top bottom bracket. Maybe even a second running parallel behind the steer tube. This is too reduce flex stress on the bottom bracket/seat tube welds.11. Put the crankset back on. Add chain. You can run a chain directly to the back wheel, as shown in Figure 4Or you can make a triangular chaindrive by looping the chain around a still intact lower bottom bracket, as shown in Figure 5.[...]

The Mother of All Bikes


The idea of a Mother of All Bikes was hatched around the same time the beginning of the Iraq Invasion. Apparently, in Gulf War I, Saddam said the War would be the "Mother of All Battles." Then, before Gulf War II, the U.S. developed the "Mother of All Bombs" which was tested off the western coast of Florida.

Battles? Bombs? Why the hell not a Bike?


MOAB is sort of like the Jawa sandcrawler in Star Wars. It takes up the width an entire street, and takes like over 30 people to ride it, including stokers, a pilot, co-pilot, navigators, lookouts, wait staff, bartenders, cooks, janitors, engineers, errand boys, outriders, welders, machinists, and shiftless drunks. There's a welding station inside, and bikes can ride in and out of the back if it while its moving. People sleep in hammocks tucked in the various hollows inside the vast nest-like super-structure built of scrap frame parts. Defense is not an issue because it can run over anything, and if bandits or highwaymen try to scale the sides they get lockjaw from all the rusty sharp metal edges. MOAB has these scoop things on the bottom-forward, so the MOAB rolls and teeters around collecting ever more bikes and scrap metal, and is basically a tiny moving tenement (complete with laundry lines), built out of garbage, in a constant state of breaking and being built and rebuilt.

dclxvi updates


photo by megulon-5.

Aquachopper Expeditions.
Our first amphibious ride. We rode to Ross Island, camped overnight, and returned to civilization the next day.

St. Ratricks Day
We visited the Chicago Rat Patrol in 2005 for St. Ratrick's Day, which is their holiday. They get together, crash parades, ride in alleys as usual, and undergo "Rattification", which may involve settling grudges, recognizing distinguished conduct, and boasting.

2002 Chunkathlon
In August of 2002 we held a Chunkathlon. It was the most organized thing we'd ever done.

Sex Advice from Bike Jousters
Bike jousters are very do-it-yourself, any tips for how I can creatively do it for myself?

Doing it for yourself isn't just about making a chair instead of buying one - it's about being the kind of person that would think to do that in the first place. And that can be applied to your sex life; you need to be comfortable with yourself and with the idea that you're going to do things perhaps differently than most people or just to make you happy.


Mt. Tabor Timetrials



From the 2006 Labor Day weekend festivities. For the record, out of two runs per racer, Thud & Hang tied for best time(s) with runs of 37 seconds. But the Bear got a 38 and a 39 by jumping off the designated route and plunging steeply through flora and fauna, giving him the COMBINED best time (Hang and Thud's other runs were both 40+ seconds).

Building the Dog of War


Spidey welding mulitple stays into the big pipe axle.


Burning a hole through the axle-pipe to serve as a grease-port?


An attached wheel.


Aqua-Propulsion Laboratories*


The CHUNK 666 Aquacycle expedition to the Pleasure Lagoon quickly approaching, Megulon-5 figured he'd take his aquacycle for a test-float.His aquacycle? The infamous PlatformThing (re-christened the Hesperus) with a squirrel-fan welded to the front between the two front wheels. The belt-drive for this was integrated with the chain-drive. A couple of empty plastic barrels were then secured to the bike for floatation.We rode to the eastbank, under the Hawthorne Bridge. We had to ease the bike down the steep grade to the bank with a crew of four people. Then we edged the bike into the polluted, Superfund waters. It floats. Megulon began pedalling, and the bike... sorta bobbed around and floated upriver as the wind pushed it. Later analysis would deduce that the fan was too deep in the water (about two-thirds submerged when it should have been half). Still, it was pretty cool to see a bike float around. Pedro dove into the river and helped Megulon5 get the bike ashore. We chit-chatted with some passerbys, and started to leave. But Megulon5 got a little full of himself and rode down a small grade at a funny angle, and, well...Normally a taco'd wheel doesn't bother us. But, as you can see, in this case the wheel is almost entirely enclosed by the plastic barrels, and is further complicated by the weight of the bike. Megulon5 had to leave the bike where it laid for the night and come back the next day with a new wheel. At least, for once, you could leave a bike unlocked overnight and not worry about anything.* This is an old post which didn't make the migration from the old blog, but now with better, flickr-hosted pics.[...]



Luigi was formed from a tiny, curvy yellow Schwinn kids' frame as a core, an extra rear triangle, a big seatpost extension, and a set of exercise bike handlebars.


It's wheels were relatively tiny, maybe 20"ers. The gear ratio was SA-WEET--fast cadence but just enough to keep high speed on the flats. Spidey could pretty easily ride it up the steepest of hills, and the fall-away bars allowed for ejection off the front when necessary. It had very quick handling turned on a tenpence. Seemingly never broke.


Wish we still had it.

Problem Solving




Resolution (w/ emphasis!!).

Public Werks & Morning Wood


New(ish) rides by Big B.

Public Werks.


Monotube fork extension is discarded sign-post. No welds - all bolts. Lot of shimmy shimmy.


The Morning Wood aka Norwegian Wood.


Wooden beam monotube, christened sophmorically in the Big B. Style.

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Slot at the top for original fork to rest on, big ol' bolt to keep it aligned.

Bottom is more suspect, perhaps. Hole is bored out which another fork is inserted into, then cross-bolted.



Thud is using virgin stainless, doing stress element calculations, and contracting with a laser cutter!

We may have lost him!

Somebody get him on the burnt paint fume inhaler! STAT!!!

And it's on a Paramount?





Now that the breeding program is at full tilt, we will need to find ways to quench the superhuman thirst that second generation Chunklings are sure to develop. Thud is thus cultivating a bond with Dee and Clair's Brew Club So Pathetic so as to avert any potential crisis when the new brood comes of age.

Dee and Clair have been brewing for a while, but if they were to be able to satiate CHVNK livers, the five gallon partial-mash method just wasn't(image) gonna cut it and they needed a full grain tower. Within days of the initial consultation (where he was promised as much wee-heavy as he could drink as payment) Thud found a commercial grade, free-standing, two burner propane stove in a dumpster a block from the Krackhouse. Score! A few frames from the tree 'o shame, a bed frame, a handful of coat hangers and we're hot to trot.

Since the construction was necessarily to be done on-site, the tanks were brought over from the Foxtrot station by…well…er, don't try this at home kids.

One always forgets how much "staring at it" time, mitering time, paint sanding time and all the rest goes into something with this many bits and pieces. And how well some people can procrastinate. Well, a year later it's finally done, but damn is it a beaut! It's still awaiting some of the other necessary hardware for the whole system to go on line, but we should get the first kegs by summer.




Click to enlarge

Thud made this map of ye olde stompinge groundes for the Teams of Portland exhibit at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. It hits the major highlights of CHUNK's historical connection to the streets of our fair city.

(Megulon-5 put the map in his photostream for everyone's perusal)

NW Piano Mover



Northwestern Piano Mover by Terri Saul, from a photo on the CHUNK mothersite.

New Year


C.H.U.N.K. somehow got comped an unlimited supply of tix to the Y2K+8 Wu Tang NYE throwdown. There was alota poo-pooing of the Wu before hand, many minutes of chunks looking bored with the idea.


Then there was the matter of herding the chunks that expressed what little enthusiasm they could to said show - much thumb-up-assery on the side of road arguing.


we made it just in time


hung out till they dropped the balloons


and then split just as the popos were setting up their post-show riot cordon.


Anyhoodle, rolled back to the lago for the real fun.

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Happy new years!

touching cloth, a winter wonderland



Day at the Races


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CHUNK 666's very own Big Bear has been moonlighting on the Team Beer cyclocross squad for over a year now, always, 'course, on a muhfuggin CHUNK bike. He has built several cross-choppers in this time, the weekly races exerting an almost tidal pull on his creative faculties, like the urge to migrate in whales, or the super strength bestowed on oneself by PCP.

B. built the cross bike and aerodynamic helmet featured above from absolute scratch less than 24 hours before his race - it was oh so many small pieces at 3:00 pm on Saturday and the next thing you knew Big B. was riding to a house party later that night. It purportedly possessed the quietest, straightest drive chain ever to roll off the CHUNK 666 factory floor, in spite of its seat and chain stays which approached a mind-blowing 3 feet long.

And then the Bear RACED it. And then he raced it AGAIN! He was hauling! It was INSANE. Totally and utterly insane. But then again, Big Bear can ride anything, so he rides everything.

The Gates


It was bitter cold though she still danced without her cane on the sidewalk outside the bodega. Somehow we inspire others to act out. It’s contagious.She was dancing to our boom box while some guys were inside buying beers. Her foot didn’t look so good, wrapped in dirty gauze. She didn’t look too good in general, maybe drunk already. We were getting there and we must have been dirty too, the way playing with chopped bikes always gets dirty. We’d stopped a cross street, in the hundreds, on the west side. Wherever we go, its a parade and a party. Some of us danced with her, then we left her, and her dirty wrapped up foot.Earlier, the day had led us up Manhatten upon choppers, a swing bike, some talls and the double tandem. We were going to see The Gates, the orange nylon and steel structures that were placed on the walkways all around Central Park by Christo and Jean-Claude. The thick fabric hangs off the top crossbar, from on high to about head height. We rode up to have a look of our own, to ride through them, what gates are made for.We became part of the show there - cameras turned onto us. Photographed ten thousand times, until we tired, oh, and kept riding to the top of the park.We rode through the rougher places that ramble on in ways that seem close to natural, as the land of Manhattan allows. In truth, each and every part of the park was planted and combed. The Park was once woods (before it was city), then low farmland (when the city sprouted around docks in the bay), and then a ramshackle of squatter villages, Irish and black (as the downtown city swelled and boiled). The city then became too big for its britches, and the squatters were kicked out and the workers came in with stones and trees and birds and ponds.We rode on, and out of the park.It was a biting cold clear day. February is the ass of winter. It is neither the entry into the season, nor the exit. It’s just Dark. Extremities were numb. Too much costuming and not enough practical gear while riding a bike is never a good way to keep warm as it seems only the legs are worked, making for a sweaty chest and butt crack, frigid neck and hands. The feet are on their own. We stopped for those cold drinks and the dancing lady, despite all the amputations you could just dance to a rock ‘n roll station. We pushed on over to the Hudson River where the temperature dropped again with the wind off the open water. The chuck wagon - a double tandem bike - was unveiled in all its glory - the way way back housed a barbecue grill, which was loaded with scrap wood. Behind the grill was a milk crate full of lighter fluid, hot dogs, buns, ketchup and mustard.What the fuck? The obvious task was completed; wood doused with fluid, lit, then hosed with more making small bridges of fire. The scrap wood caught, air vents opened, AC/DC was found on the boom box and we rode down along the river, towards the bay. The bike was a controlled burn. Joggers and walkers and babies turned their necks to try and wrap their heads around a long bike with a small camp fire on the back, convoying with tall bikes and choppers and metal. Quite a sight along the Hudson River, Jersey gushed in appreciation and jealousy. The sun set and the fire flared up, stoked by the air pulled into the moving bike.We rode on down to the finish line of a fixie race on a boat. We parked the bikes in the dark and crowded around the fire to warm our hands like transients around a burning barrel. Others joined us. The night ended later, with the fire still burning and smoking through the city.[...]

Sailchop Expedition



The landscape was incredible. Mindblowing.

CHUNK 666 camping is just as lovely as always - whiskey toddies, bacon-fried eggs, chili beans and soup. A bit chill in the middle-nights, but soon warmed in the hot springs before breakfast. Whiskey in the morning coffee.


Downhill on Steens mountain, skidding through the ruts carving long and sweeping esses into the gravel.


Big B. and Ninja did fearsome knottitude 'pon the Willamaconda, flying laughing over the barren flats, with only the weak strainings of the vessel's factory welds holding them back.



The Willamaconda, having twice conquered the land-water medium, worked really well. The predictable oaths of "next year will be superb" were made, as a better concept of what is needed is known.

Photo sets by Krakles, Thud, and Rino.

Humble Origins


As we await the return of our expeditionary forces from the very precipice of chunkulation experimentation in the arid highlands, we pause to reflect on our early baby steps.


Yea, the 1st CHUNK sailchop:
a bedsheet + a tree branch + a windy road in the middle of nowhere...

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antlered beast


CHUNK in NY has a low profile, and we had many dropouts strewn about the shop. Crotchey decided to mark the triple-tall BMX tallbike that he made for Snowman.


If the people see it locked on the street, they see the Gary Fisher conglomerate stem antlers/handlebars, and they can identify who's responsible.


Again, cut only with the sawzall and held in place with a wrench by Shanay while he tacked them down.


In short, did it this way to add some color, and hadn't done it before.

Weighs less than a Varsity.


Having decided to leave the tallbikes we took to MPLS behind, Thud thought, "wait, why build a crappy bike to leave there when I could just build a better bike to keep here?"

After staring at the brass kicking around in the shop and the Campy wheelset not getting much use in his basement, and, uh, the Raceface chainrings, the Avid braves, the Brooks saddle and a XT derailleur? It had to be done eventually.

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Figs. 1 & 2

It probably weighs less than a Varsity (not that that's saying much) and he's since done a 72 delivery day as a messenger and taken 2nd place in an alleycat on it.

Fig. 3

Thud's all about the rebuildable headset too. Normally, once you weld that steering column in place, the bottom headset is in for good. You can kinda see in Fig. 4 how the thing in Fig. 3 sleeves over the shaft he's welding into the bottom fork in Figs. 1 and 2.

Fig. 4

A bolt in that beeotch and voila, full service. Oh, and it's all fillet brazed too.

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It's still a work in progress, but eventually it will have front and rear racks, as well as rails amidships for the mini fridges. Now, if only Thud can get Big B to perfect that Jacuzzi trailer he keeps talking about, he'll really be touring in style.

The Country Squire


Ahh- The Country Squire! Like a balmy bay breeze betwixt the buttocks, The Squire carries it's rider in the upright and noble posture of his forebears from an earlier, more genteel era. No squatting or scraping for this gentleman, no sir! Head held high, back erect, our aristocratic rider elegantly "steers from the rear" via his chariot's patented "rack-and-spur" linkage.

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With cargo space aplenty fore and aft, this dignified patrician is fully equipped for the civilized recreations befitting his station, be it a hunting safari in the darkest jungles of L'Afrique, playing Buzkashi with the Pashas of Persia, or conveying his refined Lady Jane to an evening at the Opera.

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The Squire is fully disassembable - no welds here! - so as to facilitate our rakish rider's globetrotting lifestyle: easily stored in a steamer trunk aboard a pleasure cruise, airship, or zeppelin, the Squire may also be grafted onto any available velocipede, should it be necessary to "lighten one's load."

Ahhh- The Country Squire! The comfort of the future, with the style of the past!



ECMC Trophy


Crotchy volunteered to make a trophy for BillDozer's East Coast Messenger Chumpionships "fiasco"/weekend/race/polo tournament, and to spend a little time w/ the sawzall and the tanks.

When BillDozer is seen at polo in NY, he often holds court and relates that, though we're improving, we're not ready to play in Portland. His formative years in the Rose City created unfadeable memories of bicycle polo at it's absolute best. His horrific injury and subsequent retirement only serve to grow those memories. We hope one day to play in Portland, and perhaps to win a match or two. Until then, we will strive to enhance BillDozer's East Coast productions.

As BillDozer IS metal, the skull was an easy choice for a theme. "To the winners go the spoils", he's uttered, although this classy line didn't quite find its way to the tip of the dremel.


The initial projection: a skull from which you drink, was largely executed. Though the container (i believe part of an industrial coffee creamer cooler) was purchased from a sketchy Bowery restaurant supplier, the rest of the found metal largely dictated proportions and texture for the trophy. Bill seemed pleased with the result, and the "handcrafted" piece looked particularly raw and CHVNKy next to the other fine wares donated as prizes.