Project three-ish (Dart, CAAD 9, CAAD 10 Track, Steamroller)

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  • Trying really hard to have 3 bikes that do everything I need/want them to. My current three have all been great and exceed expectations in many areas but I still get frustrated that I can’t just go for a ride without knowing what the conditions are going to be like or that locking my bike up reduces me to a panic attack.

    The plan is to see what can be done to improve the durability of each bike or potentially to look at frame swaps that would increase usability.

    To raise funds and to reduce clutter and the risk of starting new projects I’ve been having a fair clear out of spares. In an ideal world I’d like nothing more than 3 bikes, decent locks, tools, a few service items and any items that help me ride more (BP gear, travel case, roof rack carrier).

    In a nutshell i want fun, hassle free, durable, slightly original whilst also insurable/replaceable bikes. Simples...

  • Bike one is my Argos commuter. In most cases it gets me from A to B pretty well but issues include a max tyre size of 25c, unable to fit a front guard with current fork (can fit one with my Time carbon) and it's not the most relaxed for weekend chill rides. Biggest problem for me though is not being able to lock it up. I now have regular work meetings in central and me and my girlfriend would like to be out and about on the weekend but i'm just really not cool with leaving it out. I recently put all my bikes on my home insurance which covers out of house use but the Argos is essentially unclaimable as it's a custom frame and a bunch of random parts.

    So as the frame is now looking a little tired i've decided to remove much of the shiny stuff, de-logo what i can in a bid to get more comfortable leaving it outside. I've also built a more relaxed cockpit for weekend riding (brake lever in post). Parts used were mostly free or too scruffy to sell, i've been speaking with Condor regarding ordering a hexlox kit and i'm considering switching the CK for an old black steel A9 i have in the spares box. Not a fan of quill adaptors but i'm happy with how this looks for now, pretty surprising just how much stiffer it is with oversize bars.

  • Get a shitty bike if you planning to lock outside... that argos is eye catcher, wanker will definitely nick that

  • But then i would have four bikes...

    If i had to leave a bike everyday at the station or something like that then i would definitely have a beater but most the time i don't know ahead of time if i have meetings. The Argos really doesn't owe me much so i'm trying to be more chill and worry less. I'm gonna secure finishing kit with hexlox as i know people will nick anything and i have Abus granit gold's at home and at work so i don't always need to lug a monster lock around. I suspect i'll end up getting a new frame at some point that is less bright and easier to insure but then it'll be more tempting to tea leaves!

  • Wanker will do everthing to get what they want, regret is always at last...

  • The Argos looks great! Have you considered a rattle can paint job? It'd be a shame to cover that lovely paint but if it makes it less attractive to thieves and means you end up riding and enjoying it more it could be worth it!

  • I have similar dilemmas with myself all the time. If I were you, I would not want to ruin or downgrade the Argos and would share the concern with locking it. Why don't you keep that on the wall as a feature that you can still use, still then have 3 bikes (photo attached) and build up a beater with 32c/rack/guards that you can lock anywhere/maybe keep outside (photo attached). Could you keep a beater at work?

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  • @bobble @ltc , cheers, both good suggestions.

    I think the biggest issue i'm having right now is i just don't know what i want from my bikes. I went touring over the summer which was great but i told myself if i ever did that again i definitely wouldn't be doing it with the CAAD. I'm also doing zero road riding atm and i can't see that changing for a good while. I don't race, belong to a club or like being near shit drivers on my weekends. It sitting there not getting used is stressing me out so i'm actually considering selling it.

    The MTB is a stress free no brainer, it hardly gets used but i love every chance i get to go riding with friends so i'm happy to make space for it.

    Unfortunately commuting is where i spend most my time on the bike so i want to enjoy it as much as possible. I've been thinking about an OTP steel track frame with clearance for bigger tyres and rear drilling if i want to go SS. My girlfriend and I have started going camping lately and we both like the idea of having something for easy road/path riding so the latter could work nicely for that. Problem is i don't want a tank for that odd occasion i need some 32's so Surly and co are not that appealing.

    That would allow me to keep the Argos as either a Sunday best bike or rattle can shitter but that would render me gear-less. Right now though that doesn't seem like a bad idea, I dunno...

  • How about decent insurance instead?

    Bikmo insurance are great and replaced my stolen, non-stock Croix de Fer cockpit within 24 hours (cash). Another option perhaps...?

  • Sell Caad buy arkose alfine. Slowly stop using other bikes and only use arkose.

    Solved. Next.

  • I have, the problem is the cost of specialist insurance. I seem to recall when i looked into it the cost of insuring the Argos, CAAD, Iroko and my girlfriends Condor was something like £250 a year.

    I currently have the Argos, CAAD and Iroko valued at 1k and the Condor at 2k all on my home insurance. Cost me about £80 on top of my reg insurance. Assuming the above figure is correct that's too much extra to justify.

    I've never had any issues with JL insurance (got burgled, they were good), but i know in reality the custom Argos and CAAD would cause real headache's to resolve in the case of a quote when using non specialist bike insurance. So instead of paying a lot more for specialist insurance i think i'd prefer to switch my stable to much more replaceable/cheaper to insure bikes.

    @LeePaton Arkose is on the list but not for my daily, it would be the bike i'd buy if i wanted to go touring again, and then i'd sell it when i got back!

  • Non insurance related update...

    Cleaned up the CAAD and tried a new cockpit, 110mm Deda with so Neo Classic bars, ignore shoddy bartaping.

    Maybe due to the lack of road riding lately the 110 felt a little long for me and being the first time i've used NC's i don't think i've got the angle or hood position right. I'll try a 100 and dialing in the bars but sadly i'm fairly convinced now this isn't the right bike for me.

    Did a long weekend in Wales last week and once again the Iroko proved it's worth and put a big smile on my face. Day one nailed (survived) the blues and a few reds at BPW and day 2 did the Gap road at the Brecons which simply stunning and a great way to sweat out a cold. I'm normally looking for any excuse to change/upgrade stuff but i came away from the weekend feeling that for my level of riding all i need to do is make sure it's setup just right for with everything functioning as it should. So ignoring the fact i've shown interest in a fellow forumonger's Manitou's i'm planning on spending some of my sales cash on the MTB service gear i currently don't own to learn the dark arts.

    Oh, and after saying i didn't want a Surly i picked up a Steamroller frame this week, more on that in a bit.

  • So i brought a Steamroller.

    Was about to pull the trigger on a new Big Block when i spotted it on the forum for a good price. I always figured the B.B would be a lighter more lively ride but as they share quite a few of the same characteristics i thought instead of buying something new i'll instantly loose money on i'll try this first to see how i like it.

    Condition wise it's looking good, the previous owner has buffed the paint up but i'll be happy to let it fade and show it's scars as this will need to be locked up from time to time.

    And this is what it looks like now.

    Essentially a brown version of my Argos... Although it's definitely a little heavier than the 531c tubing i've been riding first impressions are good. Picture shows it setup as close to the Argos as i could get and it feels fairly similar. Other than cranks and wheels all the parts have come out of my scruffy parts box, the Hope b.b was a good upgrade on the Argos but i've used the old standard GXP to keep the value down plus there was nothing wrong with it. I can comfortably shave half a kilo off there without spending any money and if i get on with it i may consider a weenie wheelset for sunny days.

    In terms of being a more flexible bike i now have a massive tyre choice including cx knobblies for mud or snow. The option to go single speed for more relaxed riding and probably most importantly for me right now a bike that can be easily replaced if it gets nicked.

  • good choice, looking nice.
    I'd try it with the widest tyres you can fit in there - these are supposed to be amazing

  • Rollers may carry some weight in the frame........ but that lets you get lairy in Epping Forest.

    35mm conti cx speed tyres play well with some mud clearance with calipers.
    For front mudguard i just thread tapped the vent hole in the dropouts.

  • Cheers dude, probably not gonna go bigger than 32 cx tyres so i can use some decent TRP calipers. Took it for a spin round Beckenham park trails and i could get away with 25's as the frame soaks up everything!

    @853Superfly contrary to common sense i'm gonna get a little weenie on this to get the weight down as i have the bits sitting around. Maybe some lightweight wheels for general zipping around and something more bombproof for Epping adventures.

    Bike doesn't need mudguards, it's brown.

  • Bike doesn't need mudguards, it's brown.

    love it!

  • Steamroller update. Lots of positives, i like the geo, it's very compliant even on 25c's, it was easy to insure and i love how easily i can swap between setups on it. The downsides for me at the moment are the weight and how tidy it's ended up looking. Those two problems are at odds with each other, it's heavy so i put nice bits on it then it starts to look a bit flash.

    I never considered the Argos as being light but it has a really lively feel with rapid acceleration. I tried a Langster and a Pre Cursa with the same finishing kit and neither felt quicker on the road. Getting my Weenie on i measured about a 500g difference between the Argos and Surly framesets. When you consider the Nitto quill is twice the weight of the ahead stem that's not a huge difference. And then there's the fact that most days i had a stuffed handlebar bag and water bottle on the Argos i've come to realise cutting weight is probably not going to help much as it appears to be the character of the 531c tubing that really makes the difference.

    Not that it's going to stop me trying... A chopped seatpost, stem and seatclamp swap have saved me 200g and i now only need to carry my lightweight 4mm torque wrench. I 'm getting a second wheelset that i reckon will save about 500g's and should make the most difference in terms of feel. I may even throw on my carbon post and saddle for non lock up days if it helps. The wheelset might sound like and extravagance but they'll allow me to build the Argos back up if i decide beater kit is best for the Surly. The main culprit appears to be the fork so i may look into that as well but i'm not overly keen on buying bits for the Surly that can't be used on either my Argos or CAAD.

    Regarding appearance i have no issue with the brown but from a short distance it looks a lot better than i want it too, especially with the black finishing kit on.

    So... I've used 1200 grit to thin the paint down and dusted over 2 very light coats of gloss black.

    And then i've taken various grades of wet and dry to the paint. It's looking a little contrived at the moment (faux patina) but it should rapidly speed up the aged/beater look without causing any damage to the steel.

  • Looks good.

    Is that the frame sharkstar was selling? If so, I briefly owned that. nice to see it still going.

  • It is indeed. Considering it's age he'd taken great care of it so i felt a little shit about damaging the paint. If i ever come to sell it i'll give it a proper coat of paint and make sure it stays in the forum!

  • /Tries to make bike look cheap

    //ends up making bike look better,

    Digging the paint haha, subbed

  • aged/beater look without causing any damage to the steel.

    But rust damages steel...

  • Old 1200 grit is essentially polish, there's still a hefty amount of brown paint under the black. I've left black around the areas it'll most likely get marked by D-lock or railings, thin paint gets scuffed, reveals brown, looks old and shit to a thief.

    Only significant bare metal areas already had paint chips exposing metal.

    Rubbed back, Genolite, POR 15 clear, think 4130 steel can cope.

  • So glad you went for a steamroller, was the ideal fit for what you wanted. I dunno if you'll have much success getting it to feel significantly more responsive though, I guess there's a spring to the steel? Or it's just a bit dead feeling, which I appreciate are opposites. Paint looks good and well thought out though.

  • cheers dude, quite a lot of progress over the last week and it's starting to come to life, doing my best not to get sucked in by a weenie aluminium frame that's just cropped up!

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Project three-ish (Dart, CAAD 9, CAAD 10 Track, Steamroller)

Posted by Avatar for jono84 @jono84