Friday, January 25, 2013

1970s Tiger (October 2011)

Make: Tiger
Model: ?
Year:  1970 something
Obtained: Sept 2011
Found: Bike Works co-op
Paid: $5.00 (Frame-set plus a few parts)

At the same time I picked up the blue Peugeot UO-8 frame-set at my local bike co-op  I  found yet another lonely frame-set from the island of misfit toys, a yellow, dirty 10 speed with a very cool Tiger head badge.  I had never heard of this brand, neither has the internets, and I ended up getting the same "please take that thing and get it out of here" deal that I got on the Peugeot.
it's grrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!
So armed with two frames and a couple of used 27 inch wheel-sets I went home and inspected my haul.  After looking at the Tiger I had to laugh, it appeared someone had been in a muddy cyclo-cross race with this bike and then parted it out without ever cleaning it up and to top it off it had sections wrapped in packing tape..WTF!?
Why would you put packing tape on a 10 speed frame I ask?  Why! it took a while but eventually I got it all off and after some inventory realized that I had a BB, cable guides, seat post and faux velvet seat and set of no name center pull brakes to work with -in addition to a used wheel-set.
More importantly I had a vision for this bike.  I had recently come across the Kenda K161 cyclo-cross knobby tire on Amazon in a nice fat 27 x 1  3/8 inch gumwall tire (that equates to 37c).  As it was getting onto the wet season I though this would be a great rain bike build with the Kenda  tires and some fenders.  You can can check out this tire over at bikeman4u here .
After doing some major cleaning and then waxing of the frame it was time to source some parts to get this baby back in the road.  In my parts bin I had; derailleurs, 6 speed freewheel, a sealed bottom bracket, stem and a better seat as using a faux velvet seat on a rain bike is just not done.  I hit Bikeworks for;  stem shifters, handlebars, brake levers, pedals, and a crank-set.  As always the bike got new; rubber, cable and housing, chain and bar tape.  I had been so pleased with how the red accents looked on the white Peugeot that I took a flier and used red housing and bar tape on the Tiger too. I thought it worked out fine.
From ugly ducking to ..well not exactly a swan but at least a plain looking duckling, and it got snapped up on CL by a UW student so it all worked out.  Now I need to build myself a bike around those fat Knobby tires some day.


  1. Yellow isn't one of my favorite colors, but everytime I see a yellow bike I like it.

    Those Kenda tires are interesting...I have been running 35mm KendaKwest "comfort bike" tires for a couple years and I am happy enough with them, but I will try something new soon...not sure what...

  2. Do you think Little miss dangerous will take something fatter than a 700x35c? Also I have been very pleased with the Panaracer Paselas the gumwall is very retro and more importantly they ride smooth.

  3. Did you ever find the manufacturer? That Tiger head badge is a conversation piece. I hope the UW students is using it to impress and pick up chicks!

  4. Jim I have seen one on Craigslist recently but have not found any more info on the. I am sure the young man is taking some Pride in that head badge...

  5. Hi Ryan,
    I just bought the exact same Tiger bike its even yellow, its needs a little rebuilding as well. Did you keep the chrome, if so how do you get the chrome to shine again and get rid of the rust? I have been using 0000 steel wool. Did you have to strip the paint from the bike and what type of paint did you use? Thank you so much for the help.

  6. Hi Seth, thanks for stopping by. For Chrome cleaning you have a couple choices; aluminum foil which you can crumple up and rub on the chrome bits, a fine brass brush works well as brass is softer than the chrome and fills in the pits etc and finally after I get most of the rust off I use Turtle wax chrome polish and rust remover. I did not strip the paint I just washed it thoroughly and then used rubbing compound and then wax on it. I usually go with the original paint unless its in really bad shape. Good luck with the rebuild and check out Hugh's bike blog for even more tips.


  7. Tiger bike on the Twin Cities Craig's list, step-through frame, green, really nice looking. Research shows Tiger bikes may have been distributed per Recreational Equipment who went on to become REI.

  8. you mention "...used 27 inch wheel-sets..." - what were the specific dimensions of the wheel set you put the Kenda K161 tires on? eg- 27 by 1 ?/?.

    1. Hi Dean, this bike is long gone so I can't give you specific measurements but it was a stock 27" wheelset that normally accepts 27 x 1 1/4 tires and the Kenda K161 went on with no issues