I never think it’s going to take as long as it does. A warning sign for estimation of any sort. A while back I wrote about used frame and starting a build. That was back in January, and here it is March, and other than the parking lot shakedown, the bike is untested. It was finally completed late yesterday.
Anyway… so the idea of the build was to make this frame fill in between the full on fat tired mountain goat of my Jeff Jones and the commute/road bikes of the Casseroll and R3SL. I was looking for great versatility, a bit of the goat, but also the ability to crank it out on the road. I wanted it to feel comfortable on gravel or off road, but not feel upright and overmatched on the road. We’ll see if I managed all that. Compromise is a compromise all it’s own.
Things that went wrong. I made some assumptions about what would and not fit on the frame, Specifically the crankset. A compact road integrated spindle was not going to go, the stays are too wide. But I wanted to put drop bars (or alt drop bars) on this build. Makes the road thing work sooo much better. Offroad, I seem to like alt bars, like the h-bar on my Jones, or as I first expected, Midge bars on this bike. And I wanted to use integrated road shifters. If wasn’t going to get thedorp bars and integrated shifters on here, for the type of riding I have available to me, this frame was not going to work. I should add, that I need enough top end to keep up with my road bike riding friends, and enough bottom end to climb off road without wrecking my knees.
So looking at what would fit, and what I wanted we started making some hard choices. Short of playing around with spindle length and really experimenting (read costly in time and money) the simplest thing to do was to go with a triple. I looked at what was out there, found a crank I would have really loved to try (it seemed to fulfill the triple dream of light, strong, and inexpensive) but my LBS couldn’t get it, and I wasn’t going to spend any non-ebay money/credit. So I went with the classic XTR cranks, which if things didn’t work out, would at least provide excellent return when sold. We left the little 22 ring off, which gave me a 44 and 32 up front. The 44 top end concerned me a bit, but I rarely spin a 50×11 combo so it seemed that a 44×11 might hang in there. I can always get a 48 tooth ring on there, that’ll certainly cover me, but I’m going to try this first.
These cranks also gave me the chance to use a Chris King bottom bracket, which already has an great reputation. They are incredibly smooth. That much I can already feel. And they add a touch more color.
Next was what to use as a front der. Bill picked out on the new SRAM XX front der from the zillions of variations they make. He seemed confident. I trust him. It seems to have worked out just fine.
Out back I matched up the new Sram XX ten speed stuff. Works perfectly with their integrated shifters, and the 36/11 cassette back there gives some nice range to the gearing from a low of 32×36 to a high of 44×11.
Once the cranks and stuff were on I spent some time trying out the custom Moots stem and Midge bars vs. a Thomson stem and 3T road drop bars that were on the shelf. Both were comfortable so for this round I went with the road bars because of an upcoming ride. 4000ft. of climbing, 25% dirt, I’m hoping that this bike will split the difference nicely. We’ll see once I done some real riding on it, and it will partly depend on the weather (choice of tires and bike).
Everything else are routine choices. Avid BB7 160/140 discs, a Chris King Dreadset (nice! a few bucks to Wheels4Life and the bike needed a little color.) I have three sets of wheels for the frame, two built by Mike. One set needs different rotors, there’s some mismatch between the center locks on there and the BB7s. I’ll look in to that shortly. Then there are Zipp 505s laced to DT Swiss 240s. They’re road wheels in both the aero and rubber categories. Lastly are wheels that Billy built for me, Red CK hubs drilled 32, laced 3 cross to Mavic rims. They have 35c cross tires spun on. I’ll prolly change the rubber, but I’m not sure to what yet. In the meantime they’re just fine.
Gore Ride On cables, Red shifters, King Ti cages, Salsa QRs. Crank Brothers eggbeaters, Fizik Gobi saddle and Cyrano post complete the touch points. I have a seat pack from Carousel Designworks that’ll work fine, and I hope to order a frame bag for my own adventures.
I have no nice pics yet as the build was finished late yesterday.
Yeah, there’s no question that this build from the frame and fork to the various components is a bit out of the box. But that’s OK. No need to fret. Everything’s gonna be just fine. And seems in character with the original owner, my own sense of adventure, and a willingness to learn what works and what doesn’t for me.