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View Full Version : TC Bros. Universal hardtail kit , anyone use it?



xscorex
03-20-2010, 4:51 PM
I wanted to try & hardtail the kz305 , but truthfully I dont have a bender and if I did, I wouldnt know how to use it. I can cut and grind though. I can also tack shit up. Id like to try it out. Anyone use this product?

Frankenfab
03-20-2010, 9:39 PM
I wouldn't buy one pre bent just out of principle myself... do you have an oxy/acet? That's all that you really need for the bending if you are in a pinch. Just sand bend the whole thing.

xscorex
03-22-2010, 11:17 AM
Figured Id get more feedback on here than that

Frankenfab
03-22-2010, 11:55 AM
Well, if I had to guess.. I would say that it's because most people on here make their own bends/hardtails. Least that's what it seems. Also the TC stuff is just played out. The lines are bad to begin with on top of 1000's of people using the pre made tails. Sooo there are 1000's of hardtailed frames with pretty much the exact same geometry etc.

slimvulcanrider
03-22-2010, 1:14 PM
Who needs a stinking bender.. find a round object to bend the tubes around for the milder bends, and for wicked crazy tight ones, get some heat.

noah
03-22-2010, 3:05 PM
I used the tc hard tail for my xs and like it. This is my first time chopping and it seemed like a good idea to have somewhere solid to start . Ut is nice and beefy and I think it looks good just my 2 cents

bigdaddy
03-22-2010, 8:04 PM
check out hwc. he's on here somewhere. i've only seen pics of his stuff, but the lines are much better. his price seemed pretty fair. also, ardcore choppers in indianapolis makes a pretty nice looking bike. i don't know if they sell a kit or not, but i know they could help you out.

bigdaddy
03-22-2010, 8:07 PM
however, i did buy some 1 inch 0.120 wall tubing and used a conduit bender to bend some of my stuff. it worked really well. i think it was actually a 3/4" conduit bender, but the pipe fit perfectly. it's hard to get two pieces exactly the same, but you can get 'em pretty darn close. i think i spent less than 10 bucks on the bender.

HtM
03-23-2010, 4:37 PM
I've used the TCBros kit to knock out a quick project, liked it.

Do you have any specific questions?

mcdowell72
03-23-2010, 6:48 PM
a guy on here by the name of teamnaptime used one on a Nighthawk. here's the thread: http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1642

rustrocket84
03-23-2010, 6:56 PM
I don't have my own bender, but I ended up using a friends cheap bender to do it. I used tungsten rod that my neighbor hooked me up with, got the idea for the bends I'd need and went and made them. I left the ends long and the bends pretty generic, but it worked out fine. According to my handy angle finders that I had hanging off the bike it was within 1 degree every where. We'll see how it handles down the road but it looks square and fuck it I made it. If you want to use it do it. You can get tubing cheaper and find someone with a bender and do it yourself too. On the side of caution I put gussets all over the place on the rear section.

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh50/rustrocket84/P3050002.jpg

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh50/rustrocket84/HonDa%20Chop/gussets.jpg

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh50/rustrocket84/HonDa%20Chop/Axleplates.jpg

Sasquatch
03-23-2010, 7:11 PM
I have one on my project bike. You can check my profile for pics. It was well made and saved a ton of time and wasn't to expensive.

xscorex
03-25-2010, 12:57 PM
thanks for the replys. basically I just bought a lincoln 180 mig, Ive built bikes with my friends help before, But id like to start out so I can do everything myself. I figured I would start out focusing on getting my welds halfway decent, once Im comfortable with that, then i will start working on mastering geometry and bending. of course I could save a few bucks by buying and bending tubes myself but thats not the point of this excercise

BillySlicks
03-25-2010, 6:16 PM
I'm failing to see certain peoples logic.

The question was about the kit. I fail to see how 8 bent steel pipes can make all sorts of bikes look generic.

Second without a proper bender, getting to exact bends is almost next to impossible. This means that you are betting your life on something thats 'close enough'.

We used a TCB kit on a 440. The steel was decent the kit came with axle plates, which is nice since getting them machined all the time is a bitch. The bends were a bit cobra necked but worked out just fine when everything was welded up and mounted up.

People forget there is more to just bending a pipe and welding on a section. If you are starting out, or in a pinch and a kit is available why not use it?

Frankenfab
03-26-2010, 12:46 AM
I guess IMO it's simply that 8 bends = 8 pre determined angles. Angles that have been pre determined by someone else for you, not by you.
This means that although you can make some tweaks via cutting etc you cannot really change that much of the geometry laid out by the company making the kit. Also... say you do go completely go after the thing in order to make it your own and fuck with the whole kit until it is something else... that would completely defeat the purpose of buying it. Just buy some DOM and make it yourself.
I don't disagree that they would really come in handy in some cases.... just not for me. But again that's just my opionion... not trying to bash anyone.
I guess I kinda see TC bros stuff as the marijuana of the bike world.. the "gateway drug" to other bigger things. But really you could just sack up and make the same shit on your own.

God damn are you right about the axle plates though. Fuck.

xscorex
03-26-2010, 8:58 AM
hahaha the gateway drug. Possibly, I didnt even know they made a kit until I was talking to my friend bathroom monkey about wanting to set off on my own and hardtail this little 305 for my lady. I was planning on buying a bender and trying it out. I have no idea how to bend pipe, hell, I dont even know where to buy pipe! with this kit I dont have to worry about it, I get my hands dirty and I get to say I made it all by myself. Plus its on a lil bike without alot of money invested. Next stop will be a tubing bender and maybe do something a little more fancy pants. I really have a boner for trying to build a go cart contraption with a 550 jap motor we can jump dirt hills with in a vacant lot

BillySlicks
03-26-2010, 11:24 AM
It wasn't that i thought you were shitting on anyone.
But the math doesn't add up to generic.

8 bends on 4 pipes gives you quite a lot of options to choose from not even taking length of stretch into consideration.

The bends/ pipes can be run any number of ways that would negate the look of a generic 'kit'.

I'd go far as to say that if you were to use the kit for 5 bikes and lines them up on completion and id say 97% of people wouldn't know or recognize that the same 'kit' was used, except for maybe looking at the axle plates for the give away.

The weed analogy is the most dead on thing I've heard tho. Hands down I think that is the best way to think about it. A 'kit' is just that a stepping stone to make you want to try things for yourself for the most part. I just think of it as sometimes when the time is tight, or you are factoring cost, both your time and the material cost, a kit is sometimes the cheaper, faster and easier way to go...

Frankenfab
03-26-2010, 4:07 PM
For sure dude. I think I got it across but... again.... it's not that they are bad, they are just not for me.
If anything they are good being that it introduces people to a world not so necessarily attainable in the past.
I'm sure that the dramatic irony is that i will end up using one now that I have been bashing them.
I have to agree with you on the 8 bends/ 4 pipes deal at this point. The more I think about it the more it seems like my opionion is weightless/stupid.

MIKE47
03-26-2010, 8:06 PM
If the kit works for you and you like the lines you will get then why not use it?

If not you could buy some DOM and find a local fabricator with a bender to do some bends in it. I do them for local guys all the time. $10 a bend is about the going rate from an indy shop like mine to get that done to your tubing.

I can even bend to request and mail out to you. If you know what you need (angles, lengths, diameter, etc) get in touch with me and we can bend you some tubing that WILL work. I have some axle plates available that work well on cb, xs, and kz as well. Flame cut in 3/8 and 1/2" steel. Contact: mike@47fab.com if you need anything.

Vinny
03-28-2010, 11:25 PM
I think the issue with the hardtail kit is that it is half your frame. It defines the most visible part of your frame, atleast if your like me and you like open space and no bags and shit, and if your going to go around and say that you "made" your girl this bike when all you did was weld on an aftermarket hardtail and then assemble some shit it discounts the great work that true builders are doing. I am all about learning and opening up doors for yourself but if your gonna build it really build it. If you live in a town with a college or a tradeschool chances are there is some college kid with access to a bender who knows how to use it pretty well. Hell most high schools with a decent shop have them too. You can free your existing axle plates and use them instead of machining new ones and then you can really start playing with ride height, length seat height, frame width (being mindful of your chain of course) and have a ball with it.

Also if you do buy this weld on hardtail whos to say that you are going to weld it on perfectly straight. whos to say that the frame started straight (i know thats probably not a concern but things happen and I trust myself a hell of a lot more than I trust most people). My vote is go buy some tube build yourself a bomb proof jig out of two by's to hold your axle plate and then hack everything you dont need off. what are you losing. if you dont like it you can always buy the weld on. (my hardtail cost me 20$ and I have half a stick of 1" tube left)

xscorex
03-29-2010, 6:51 AM
This thread has quickly degenerated. i mean its cool and all if you have skills and have been in the garage since you were 12 building life size decepticons out of rebar and diamond plate. not everyone has those skills. its like telling the little kid at the skatepark, you arent a 'real " skater unless you drop in on this 12 foot halfpipe and do a mctwist. Fuck that shit. LOL at the dude who says you didnt make it yourself if you buy a bunch of bends and weld it up. Tell that to the guys who put a set of struts on and say they built a chopper not when you fucking cut half a frame up and weld up a bunch of different bends. Thats like saying you didnt build your pipes cuz you bought the biltwell set of pipe bends. I guess theres always someone bigger and tougher, but thats cool, Maybe one day I can be a real builder and I'll go out & bend all my own pipes. Until then I guess Ill just pose.

xscorex
03-29-2010, 7:34 AM
and to continue with vinnies line of thinking, You didnt really make it yourself if you bought your pipe at a store, You didnt mine the metal or forge the pipe. You fuckin pussed out and let some union worker do that shit for you. Hell you didnt build the engine either, some asian guy on an assembly line in japan made it you poser! Did you raise the cow, then kill it & skin it for the leather on the seat? nope. you are nothing but a sell out wannabe.



Seriously?

MIKE47
03-29-2010, 7:58 AM
I think the responses you got got were many and had good points. It's the internet, it means anyone can come in and say what they want. You should look at that in a positive way. It's like posting something that sucks. On here someone will tell you it sucks when your buddies may not want to hurt your feelings. You have to be willing to hear it from both sides.
Vinny made some valid things for you to consider such as the money you could save and that you could build a tail that looks right and you didn't have to settle for something that doesn't fit right. Maybe he comes off too hard for you but you should consider his points even if his attitude isn't what you like to deal with.

So do what you want. You were given plenty of ideas and opinions on the kit. My last piece of advice of that nothing is "universally custom"

xscorex
03-29-2010, 9:01 AM
I think the responses you got got were many and had good points. It's the internet, it means anyone can come in and say what they want. You should look at that in a positive way. It's like posting something that sucks. On here someone will tell you it sucks when your buddies may not want to hurt your feelings. You have to be willing to hear it from both sides.
Vinny made some valid things for you to consider such as the money you could save and that you could build a tail that looks right and you didn't have to settle for something that doesn't fit right. Maybe he comes off too hard for you but you should consider his points even if his attitude isn't what you like to deal with.

So do what you want. You were given plenty of ideas and opinions on the kit. My last piece of advice of that nothing is "universally custom"


I agree, I dont really take issue with what anyone has said except for his opinion that if someone bends the pipes for you that you didnt build it yourself. That statement blew my fuckin mind and truthfully pissed me off. It smacks of elitism which you would think you wouldnt have to deal with in a group of guys building crappy jap bikes in their garage with what they have lying around and trying to make due.
anyway,
would it be too hard to bend my own pipes? probably not.
would it be cost effective? Probably not, after factoring in how many I would mess up
basically it seems like the guys who have used them seem to think they are ok, and serve the purpose they were designed for. Is it the best solution? I think for what I am doing on this particular project, yes, I think after reading the responses I think it is.

I think its a little too easy for guys with a nicely stocked shop and experience doing this to come in and tell you that you suck if someone else makes the bends for you.

My shop consists of a box of wrenches, some zip ties, a harbor freight angle grinder, a harbor freight hand drill, and now a reasonable decent welder. thats it. no torches or anything much less a tubing bender.

Vinny
03-29-2010, 12:08 PM
ok homey, I didnt mean to piss you off and i didnt say that if someone else makes your bends for you you didnt really build it. What I said was that simply welding on a hardtail is not building a frame. now I must apologize I did not look at the particular kit that you were speaking of. After looking on the site and seeing exactly what your looking at I say go for it. You will over pay for it but go for it. What I was responding to was the idea of buying the entire hard tail welded up and done.

and for your information before you get all shitty about elitests. I am a college student. My shop consists of a craftsmen kit, drill, some specialty tools, borrowing my roommates welder until I save enough to buy my own and using the schools equipment. My build on here is the first bike I have ever built, the first motor I ever opened up, and my first real experience bending tube. I am a designer though i respect doing things well and I respect the real builders out there. Like I said i was referring to the idea of buying the entire hardtail and just welding it on when and I think that if you do this and then go around saying that you built a bike it discounts what builders do.

Now you talk about cost effective to buy the tube and bend it yourself. Like I said before my stick of one inch cost 18$ and I used about half of it. which means that you could order 6 sticks of tube which is 120 feet for the price of this kit. a conduit bender and a bit of play sand would probably cost you 20$ so now your down to 100 feet of tube. You really mean to tell me that your going to fuck up 100 feet of tube trying to make 4 bends?

Buy the damn kit, scrapped the axles and use the stock ones or modify them slightly so they dont look like they came from a kit and nobody will know... I dont think you would get so defensive if you really wanted to buy this kit hell if you really wanted to do it this way you wouldnt have posed this question.

Vinny
03-29-2010, 12:18 PM
Ok just to help you out. I dont know how far from me greenville is but I order my tube from Benco Steel out of Hickory NC. They deliver to my area, and they may to yours. if not I am sure that they would redirect you to a wholesale supplier in your area.

Creedmore
03-29-2010, 6:19 PM
Ok just to help you out. I dont know how far from me greenville is but I order my tube from Benco Steel out of Hickory NC. They deliver to my area, and they may to yours. if not I am sure that they would redirect you to a wholesale supplier in your area.
Greenville SC sould be big enough to have several steel suppliers

bigdaddy
03-29-2010, 7:51 PM
damn, i wanna buy some steel from vinny's supplier. i checked a couple months ago and it was way more expensive. they were gonna charge me nearly 100 bucks for 20 feet of 1" dom. and that was the cheapest i could find. i had to drive to a neighboring town to get it at that price. i attempted a hardtail with some steel that i bought once, but it sucked. i ended up buying a pre built hardtail. i liked it, and it doesn't hurt my feelings if you guys don't. it was, however, a peice of crap, unsafe, deathtrap of a bike. that's why i'm gonna let the guys at led sled build my next frame. call me a pussy, but it's like i always say....you are what you eat!

Vinny
03-29-2010, 10:23 PM
dude Im not trying to call anybody a pussy. Its great if you can afford a prebuilt frame or a weld on kit or even the having somebody build you a frame. In a lot of ways that better because you know what your getting. I simply took offense to my misinterpretation that xscorex wanted to slap on a prebuilt hardtail and say that he built a bike. Im a little prideful of the work that I have done. Its not perfect I wouldnt consider myself a "builder" by any stretch of the imagination, but I am alittle prideful that the majority of the new stuff on my bike I made by hand.

As far as the steel goes. sometimes it is hard to get small amounts from large wholesalers. Usually you have to pick it up yourself but if you go around and talk to some of the machine shops in the area they may be willing to order a stick for you when they place their next order (in my experience within a day or two of when ever you talk to them) I did this once with some aluminum. guy quoted me like 30 bucks so I showed up with a fifty and left before he could get change. Never paid a dime above wholesale again.

hefner
03-29-2010, 10:43 PM
I've used the universal hardtail kit from TC Bros. It suited my needs as I could see me bending many pieces to get 2 to match. Also i opted to for the kit so i could get the look i wanted, I have a build thread if you want to check it out it's kind a of drop seat....

xscorex
03-30-2010, 5:57 AM
ok, My feelings werent hurt I just couldnt believe someone was telling me that it didnt count as building it yourself if you bought the tc kit, hahah I mean it really just is a bunch of tube, a few slugs and two axle kits. Mainly I wanted to see bikes this had been used on as I wasnt sure of the lines, etc.

In contrast before I knew any better my first bike was a little 250, I basically welded black plumbing pipe to the frame and swingarm, ziptied a fender on, then at 250#s and 6' 1" I rode that fucker a god damn 2000 miles before selling it for a profit. I cant believe I didnt die. Oh yeah did I mention I didnt know how to weld and basically they were tack welds?

Also, there was a metal place in spartanburg sc I went to once. Getting to the metal supply place is a little hard since I work out in the bfe country, I get to work by 7 am and leave around 6, so during the week its almost impossible to get anything. I might go look at pipe prices. I do have a friend with a bender but he lives an hour away. I might ask if I could go over there and use his bender. i was thinking about using the stock axle plates anyway since I doubt the tiny axle on this 305 would fit the stock holes. Shit the more I think about what you guys said, the more Im leaning towards bending the shit up myself. Just gotta see if dudes bender is even working.

shop102
03-30-2010, 7:04 AM
im a big fan of my TCbros setup. cant beat the price either! now that i have a bender and a welder, i wouldnt mind making my own for my next one. but i also wouldnt mind getting another hardtail.

xscorex
03-30-2010, 7:15 AM
im a big fan of my TCbros setup. cant beat the price either! now that i have a bender and a welder, i wouldnt mind making my own for my next one. but i also wouldnt mind getting another hardtail.

is this from the build your own kit? Im guessing this is with 0 stretch?

teamnaptime
04-25-2010, 1:56 PM
i used the tcbros kit on my 83 nighthawk. and i guarantee you it doesnt look like anyone elses bike.

i added 5" of stretch. and dropped the seat, way, way, way low.

my 14 year old daughter, whos only 4'10 can sit on the bike, with her feet flatfoot on the ground.


for you ignorant sob's that want to claim i didnt build it myself because "i" didnt bend the tube... well, f.u. and the bike you rode in on.

i dont have access to a PROPER bender.. i chose to buy tube that already had bends in it. "i" am still the one that decided which tubes were going where. "i" am the one that chopped the frame in half. "i' am the one that laid out the geometry. "i" am the one that welded everything up. "i" am the one that hand hammered the seat, hand laid the foam, hand shaped the foam, and hand stitched the leather. "i" am the one that stretched the driveshaft 5". "i" am the one that kicked the front tire out 5" and added 10degrees of rake. "i" am the one that built the rear fender, and sissy bar. "i" am the one that figured out how to mount the forward controls. "i" am the one that built the drag pipes and mated them to the stock headers. "i" am the one that installed the 40's/50's truck lights on the rear. "i" am the one that built the license plate frame.

the pre bent tubing is a very very very small part of MY bike build. so i'll be damned if someones gonna stand there and tell me that "i" didnt build my bike because someone else bent my tubing !!!

toxiceric
04-27-2010, 8:20 AM
Have you considered G&L Choppers? Best damn XS guys, hands down...and great guys to boot. His shop is lined up with frames for hardtails and he doesn't advertise...that's gotta' tell you something. Call them at (719) 550-0096 or email at glchoppers@msn.com .

viz
04-27-2010, 9:31 AM
i used the tcbros kit on my 83 nighthawk. and i guarantee you it doesnt look like anyone elses bike.

i added 5" of stretch. and dropped the seat, way, way, way low.

my 14 year old daughter, whos only 4'10 can sit on the bike, with her feet flatfoot on the ground.


for you ignorant sob's that want to claim i didnt build it myself because "i" didnt bend the tube... well, f.u. and the bike you rode in on.

i dont have access to a PROPER bender.. i chose to buy tube that already had bends in it. "i" am still the one that decided which tubes were going where. "i" am the one that chopped the frame in half. "i' am the one that laid out the geometry. "i" am the one that welded everything up. "i" am the one that hand hammered the seat, hand laid the foam, hand shaped the foam, and hand stitched the leather. "i" am the one that stretched the driveshaft 5". "i" am the one that kicked the front tire out 5" and added 10degrees of rake. "i" am the one that built the rear fender, and sissy bar. "i" am the one that figured out how to mount the forward controls. "i" am the one that built the drag pipes and mated them to the stock headers. "i" am the one that installed the 40's/50's truck lights on the rear. "i" am the one that built the license plate frame.

the pre bent tubing is a very very very small part of MY bike build. so i'll be damned if someones gonna stand there and tell me that "i" didnt build my bike because someone else bent my tubing !!!

I couldnt agree more with what you are layin down TEAMNAPTIME
VINNY whever you get your "Sticks" of metal is the cheapest I have ever heard of. I just bought D.O.M tubing a few days ago 22 feet and it was around 90 dollars I think.

killtheking
04-27-2010, 1:13 PM
i used the tcbros kit on my 83 nighthawk. and i guarantee you it doesnt look like anyone elses bike.

i added 5" of stretch. and dropped the seat, way, way, way low.

my 14 year old daughter, whos only 4'10 can sit on the bike, with her feet flatfoot on the ground.


for you ignorant sob's that want to claim i didnt build it myself because "i" didnt bend the tube... well, f.u. and the bike you rode in on.

i dont have access to a PROPER bender.. i chose to buy tube that already had bends in it. "i" am still the one that decided which tubes were going where. "i" am the one that chopped the frame in half. "i' am the one that laid out the geometry. "i" am the one that welded everything up. "i" am the one that hand hammered the seat, hand laid the foam, hand shaped the foam, and hand stitched the leather. "i" am the one that stretched the driveshaft 5". "i" am the one that kicked the front tire out 5" and added 10degrees of rake. "i" am the one that built the rear fender, and sissy bar. "i" am the one that figured out how to mount the forward controls. "i" am the one that built the drag pipes and mated them to the stock headers. "i" am the one that installed the 40's/50's truck lights on the rear. "i" am the one that built the license plate frame.

the pre bent tubing is a very very very small part of MY bike build. so i'll be damned if someones gonna stand there and tell me that "i" didnt build my bike because someone else bent my tubing !!!

they act like because you use a TCBROS kit you somehow made it more stock!! i give props to anyone that cuts and welds their own shit. i dont hear anybody bashin dudes with bolt-on tails.
btw, been following your build looks fucking sick!!

gandgcustoms
04-27-2010, 3:40 PM
heres my qwestion are you doin just one bike or plan on doing a few more as a hobby or tryn to do it as a business if its a one or two time thing then get whatever hardtail that fits your budget.

heres the low down of what i read and it wasnt much from what others are saying build your own tail.....
the cost (if its a one time thing)
the mig if you dont have or broke the bank for it mig=$$$$
the bender bender=$$$$
tubing tubing=$$$$
all this just for one bike compaired to a kit prebuilt at 22 feet of dom tubing at 90 bucks few more dollars you have the kit