Serendipitous Custom Steel

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  • By Text plan A fell through. I looked across the soft play area at my kids bouncing on trampolines and drank some frankly acrid coffee . Gutted I wanted that frame.
    I’d reserved a fund for the bike, but that bike in question was no longer an option. No frame but money to burn...not a big pile mind.

    I have always wanted a custom steel frame and maybe plan B was to cut to the chase, stop equivocating grab the nettle, splice the mainbrace, publish and be damned, shit or get off the pot, feed the pony, put the cat out, just buy a custom frame.

    After a mildly amusing diversion with http://www.lucas-cycles.cz
    Who would have probably made me a lovely bike, timescales leading to importing right on Brexit spooked me, I went local....

    https://sturdycycles.co.uk

    Tom lives nearby and rides the same roads I do, I could ride to his shop speak in person, and arrive at a design that would do what I need it to do ( ride grotty lanes and tracks).

    The idea has always been to switch out the frame from my Genesis CDA an aluminium sort of gravel bike, that had been a commuter and part time lane basher.
    I wanted to keep the carbon fork and 1x SRAM apex groupset, and BB7 disc brakes..and build a kind of AK47 bike. Not perfect but does an adequate job in all weathers. Something almost agricultural.
    Room for 42mm on 700cs, maybe more on a 650b should I wish to go that way at a later date.

    The refinement will come with the fit, I have used the bikefit from Tony Corke and Tom Sturdy approved.

    https://torkecycling.com

    So goodbye to the Genesis
    The Sturdy is being built

    Not my Horse


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  • The initial build plan looks like this:

    The green will become grey and the logo smaller and in a more conventional position

    Flat mounts for future proof

    Columbus Zona


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  • Tom's a great guy, and really good frame builder. Looking forward to seeing it built.

  • Feeling bad about the text now. Like dumping on FB messenger. Am I a bad boyfriend?

    I think we established that the Victoire wouldn't have been a good fit in the end though (despite being the same height). And the most important element of a custom bike is the fit. So I do think it all worked out for the best in the end.

    Or am I just trying to make myself feel better?

    Also looking forward to seeing the sturdy. Why grey now BTW?

  • Yeah I was building to that bit!
    You trash my dreams and then my narrative ;)

    So here’s the luck, the fortuitous outcome
    The serendipity

    I share the geometry with Mr Yeti and he points out the length of top tube required for me is more than the victoire could have given me.
    I’d had trouble before with a “medium” frame. So the Victoire was not for me

    I have pretty much forgotten the Victoire apart from the Yetidamo no handed bunny-hops.

    I’m over it dude


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  • Ha. Sorry to wee on your cornflakes twice.

    Based on the geo above you'd have needed a 130mm stem on old Vic to get the fit you need. Far from ideal on this sort of bike.

  • I don’t believe in long stems in the sense that I think that they should be proportional to frame size and not a compensation device. (I’m sure someone can tell me why I’m wrong)

    As for why grey?
    I saw a few olive drab/green frames and they looked ok and then more and more popped up and then the new All City macho man and I began to cool on the idea.

    Then I got a CK Rasta headset a couple of weeks back on the cheap and so obviously the whole colour design had to change to a more grey-green


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  • Nice. Bit like my Stanton.

    I doubt anyone would argue with you regards stems. If you're 6'8" then a long stem might be proportional to your frame size but agree that at 5'9" if you need a 130mm stem you've got the wrong size frame.

    Some pros go a frame size down and run a massively long stem to compensate as this allows them a lower front end that some pros prefer that would otherwise be impossible on production geo bikes intended for us mortals.

  • Frame nearly finished

    New colour scheme

    Need bottle cages. Metal or more modern plastic/crabon?


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  • Metal, king cages, stainless. Job done.

  • Cages? I own two Nitto 80 on my Bob Jackson. They're beautiful and light.
    https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BONI80/nit­to-80-bottle-cage

  • Very nice cages but...£!?

  • This version is made from stainless wire instead of tubing, 12g heavier. £34
    https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BONIR/nitt­o-r-bottle-cage

  • Or a more wallet friendly option;
    https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BOPXSTS/pl­anet-x-stainless-steel-bottle-cage

    Although I can’t comment on reliability. I’ve got some of the arundel stainless steel cages and they’re ruddy lovely but also ££

  • I had 2 pairs of these which I recently sold when I had my mahoosive clear out. They proved reliable, seemed light, were cheap to buy and were classy looking on a steel bike. Would have kept them but I had significantly more bottle cages than bikes to attach them to.

    https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Blackburn-Chica­ne-Stainless-Steel-Bottle-Cage_11422.htm­

  • I dropped the forks off with Tom earlier in the week

    Frame pretty much done and will go off for paint next week

    I have amassed most of the stuff I need. Mostly EBay power-ups

    Thinking about wheel/tyre options.

    Currently have some kinesis cross lights (disc) and some alexrim stock wheels.

    The kinesis currently home some 32mm gravel kings sk. These are set up tubeless. Problem is that these wheels are beginning to attract spoke breakage and with the tubeless set up it’s a fricken pain in the sac every time I hear that dreaded “ping”.

    So is it time for 650b and big fat tubeless tyres?

    Finally been cleaning the Sram apex rear mech and although the jockey wheels are not worn, the bearings are dogshit. Should I use this as an opportunity to swap them out?
    Do I risk some cheap Chinese Jockey wheels, or do I spend >£30 on some hopes or similar. I’m not looking for massive gains, just something that isn’t bringing too much friction.


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  • oi, missed this.. not too shabby! is paint done already?

  • Frame is with painter...

    Hubs hoops and tyres are coming together


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  • Did you ever use them? I have a pair on my Surly pugsley and they don't fit a bottle. Well they do but not completely as they're narrow at the bottom. I always mean to get round to replacing them but I just don't ride the pugsley enough to warrant it.

  • Yeah I had them on my serotta and my Demon touring bike for the whole time I owned both. They fitted my bottles fine. Just standard High 5 type bottles mostly. Sometimes when a bottle was empty they'd ride up a bit but only an inch or so and they'd never fall out as a consequence.

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Serendipitous Custom Steel

Posted by Avatar for Alf0nse @Alf0nse

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