The idea is that this sculpture, as far as possible, is going to look like the cult bicycle Cinelli Laser (specifically the Crono Strada). This bike was first constructed in the mid 80’s and is now something of a symbol. The Laser is a bicycle of the highest order. It has a status that is not of this world. It has everyone’s respect and is considered by some to be the Holy Grail of bikes. I have no experience in building bikes and I’ve never brazed or welded anything in my life before I started this project. I should also mention that I am a huge cycling enthusiast and Cinelli, as well as all The Laser bikes, has always had my greatest admiration.
This art project that I am working on is, in some ways, a direct outcome of this admiration. I want to formulate a comment on a hipster culture in which you use expensive bikes (among other stuff) to decorate the home, office or display windows with. The art piece I now present to you is not a decorative object as such. It’s a sculpture that has a conceptual meaning. Built and assembled by me, decidedly with poor means but with philosophical and visual qualities as the main subject, meant to be displayed in an artistic context. Because my focus has exclusively been philosophical, the practical qualities that the originals have has been set aside. What I want to achieve with this is a replacement (on a philosophical level) of all the bikes that are used as ornaments, with a sculpture that speaks to the viewer on a different, rather reflective artistic level. Instead of using these fantastic sports machines constructed by some of the best engineers in the world, I wanted to create a sculpture to illustrate my concept, to bring The Laser — with its sculptural perfection — into the contemporary art world (again). That way, hopefully the classic bikes can be used for what they were built for (I speak now not only about The Laser, but about all the amazing bikes that are not used for their original purpose and because I believe that The Laser is number one, it has become model for my sculpting).
My amateurish craft will in many aspects differ from its original and my ambition is that the first emotional sight of the sculpture will clash with the second, more detail glance.
To break or dissolve the boundaries between consumer society and the emotional human is one of the conceptual aspects I examine in this project.
Where do the various elements come from that make us consider something as beautiful?
I’m also investigating how the boundaries are drawn between what is considered authentic and fake.
How does this project affect the projected gloria and how far should I move across the border of what is considered as sacred?
This blog will take you through the building process of the sculpture!
My name is Lars and if you have any questions or thoughts, please send me an email.
I dismantled my old bike
After sandblasting the frame, I started by cutting off the top tube and the head tube. I then shortened the head tube and extended the top tube, to get more of a low profile geometry to the frame. For the extension, I used a piece of “Swedish quality bike”.
When the welding was done I continued to modify the frame with acrystal (plastic) and fiberglass.
The frame was sprayed with body filler. Then sanded down.
A problem that came up: the attachment of the old front derailleur.
Before the frame was modified with acrystal, the front derailleur was attached with a clamp to the frame. Now that frame is built-on, this is no longer possible. First I tried to carve away the acrystal, so that the clamp would fit. But it didn’t turn out that good… ugh!
So, the right solution turned out to be a welded-on mount. I also modified the front derailleur slightly, and filled up the hole that I had made.
(see picture on the end result further down)
This is the rear hub, without the cassette.
The front wheel is 26 inch, purchased at my local bike shop. Since it is not a racing wheel it has a rather wide rim. I solved this by squeezing it down to 19mm in a vise, and then tightened the spokes.
To make the disk wheels, I filled up the spoked wheels with polyurethane foam.
Then I smoothed it down with a handsaw.
To get a smooth result I spackled the surface with filler, and sanded it.
The sidewalls of the tires were painted in the right color, and the wheel’s spackled surface was given a coat of acrylic paint.
Then it was time to put on a plastic film with carbon fiber structure, put on the decals and the tires and the casette.
The frame gets some extra rust protection.
then painted with metalic paint (3 cans) and a coat of clearcoat (5 cans).
I mainly used the components from my old bike. Some new were purchased, but only cheap ones.
I cleaned and polished all the old components.
The inner chainring was modified just a little bit.
Decals were put on the frame.
The sculpture is done!
New handlebars, which was cut and drilled, and some brake hoods were purchased. cheap ones.
The bars were taped with insulation tape.