Framing a Bike.


CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Jul 2, 2004
Dana Point, California
Hello everyone -

I have an unusual item to be framed. Customer has the bike that Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France with. He wants to frame it and hang it. No glazing or acrylic box. Overall size will be 74"X48". I am looking for mounting suggestions. Has anyone done this before?
Grateful for any suggestions.
Thank you.
Just an idea.
How about a box frame,held on the wall by two very large screw hooks(often used for hanging tools on walls) passed through the backing.
Then hang the bike from the hooks.
If its an interior wall why not get a carpenter to punch a hole in the wall, and hang two bike hooks (bike shop item) from the center of the opening.

Then you could furnish two sets of moulding to frame out the window the carpenter made.
Why obscure it in a box? I would mount it to a plywood board painted white (or whatever color they want) with a molding surrounding it of the same color. Rest the wheels on a shelf-like arrangement that is painted grey to resemble a road. Use a couple brackets to secure the bike to the board. The bracket should have some sort of felt or padding so that it won't scratch the finish. Not too difficult and you can make some money.
Why no glazing? If the owner does not want to spoil the view, remind him that the bike will deteriorate in open air and become a housekeeping headache. Whatever collectible value it has would diminish.

Good mounting points might be:
1. handlebar, directly to the mount board;
2. seat post, crank, or pedal;
3. wheel axles front and back

Mounting is tricky because all support points except the handlebar would be spaced away from the background. It may be difficult to make the mount spacers both supportive and inconspicuous; the overhung load (aka cantelever effect) would be substantial, even though the bike probably weighs about 25 lbs.

Why not just suspend it from the ceiling? It would probably be better supported that way.

Displaying a bicycle without glazing will require routine dusting & cleaning. I suggest removing all traces of oil, as it would be a dust magnet -- especially the chain. Soaking the chain in melted parafine would give it a protecive coating. (When I bicycled, all my bike chains were waxed instead of oiled; it works).

IMHO, the best way to display the bike would be to put it into an acrylic box and stand it on a shelf.
I'm a bit of a bicyclist and have a couple of things to consider.

1) If you place the bike on a shelf inside the frame, when the tires lose their air, and they will, you will have a bike sitting on flat tires in a shadow box. The weight will have to be taken off of the wheels.

2) Jim had some good insight into mounting points. Use the hard points on the bike. The crank arms have a very strong area where the pedal bolts on. I think a two point mount of the Handle bar and crank arm would be sufficient. You could use wire or heavy duty fishing line from the ceiling of the frame to the stem bolt and rear of the seat to take the weight and just use the two other points to stabilize the bike in the frame. If you loosen the stem bolt you could rotate the handlebars 90 so the box would not have to be quite so deep.

3) I would be very surprised if one of Lances bikes weighs more than about 16.5-17 pounds. My road bike, which is by no means on Lances level only weighs 18lbs.

As a bicyclist and a Lance fan, I would kill for this job. Post some pics when you have it finished!
Aren't you just the tiniest bit tempted to take it out for a spin around the block...?

I also think glazing would give it a more finished look. Without it, it could look like it's smacked up on the wall with a frame slapped around it.

Does your customer want to take it out of the frame every once in a while?

Seems that some sort of metal holder could be designed and fabricated and bolted into a painted plywood backer, like what JohnR suggested. You would have to figure a way to keep the handlebars from wobbling. I can picture a support with a clamp around the handlebar stem and another to the top tube near the seat post. Seems like that could be a simple enough solution. And Danimal's solution of rotating the handlebars is kind of nifty.

Boy, oh boy, that's gonna be heavy...

I'm gonna go look at my bike and I'll get back to you...

edie the thatsanewone goddess
Can't help myself. Surely this bike is being preserved for the long term. It could easily be supported on a small shelf directly under the top tube. There have been some good ideas mentioned as well.
What concerns me are all the components. The tires for instance. Tires will get dry rot if not protected from the elements, not to mention their inherent vice. (What are they made of?)

If this bike was to be housed in a case of any kind some consideration would be needed to access the interactions of sealing all the components up together.

Hugh and Rebecca may be able to offer preservation thoughts.
Jeez, the guy paid only $6,000 for the bike, why wouldn't he take it down once in a while and ride a fast lap around Dana Point... It's not like it will be his daily beater...

Now, I understand that two of the #6 bikes are expected to pull in a cool mill for Lance's foundation when they go up.

Can't believe he's hanging it up instead of going for #8.

Bike hooks Scott, plenty of padding...

Yes, and my brother-in-law really uses his Al Stolman saddle that I bought him 20 years ago. And I ain't telling him anything about it.... it's just a nice saddle with some REALLY great carving.

Can't stand glass on table tops, or vinyl covers on couches or carpet either.
Rubber is exceedlingly difficult to preserve and
oxygen-free (anoxic) conditions seem to offer
the best chance, but establishing such conditions
is a bit of a challenge. The original tires can be
replaced with tires of the same type, while the
originals are stored in a pollution-resistant
Since there is no aesthetic for framing bikes,
you might use the sort of hardware that is sold
for holding bikes. One should keep an eye on the plastics that line the clamping element that hold
the bike. They may degrade, in time. You might wax the bike to inhibit rust and keep its lubricants from evaporating.

Thanks so much for the replies.Lots of great ideas. Not sure which direction to go yet, but will discuss all options with client.
He is a professional photographer who has photographed Lance on several occassions and was given the bike by Lance. Also in the frame will be photographs from the previous photo shoots. When the project is finished, I will post a picture.