90s Saracen x Crust Clydesdale

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  • Morning all.

    Having returned from a wonderful trip to Australia, the primary aim of which was to acquire a Clydesdale fork (also got engaged), I can now bore you all with my bumbling progress on building up a beater cargo bike. The goal is to make a bike that will replace a car for >90% of trips.
    I probably could have got away with a nice pizza rack on the steel frame I've had stored for years (still for sale on the forum), but fell in love with the Clydesdale after researching cargo bikes. Considered a bakfiets but limited by cost and storage issues. Also considered an Omnium; that's probably my next port of call if this doesn't work out.
    I looked into fabricating a fork like this, or modding a frame like our friend here, but I value my facial structure too much to risk riding something I'd made having never welded before.
    I've stripped and rebuilt a bike before (1979 Holdsworth Mistral), but never attempted to change any parts from stock.

    I'll be building it up purely functionally first, by getting the fork on with all other salvageable parts remaining on the bike. After this I'll be adding bits and bobs as and when.

    Frame: will remain untouched because I've always had a thing for rat look. It's pretty gnarly with plenty of patina but no structural rust that I can see.
    Drivetrain: Currently Deore LX, gears are still surprisingly well indexed. I had intended on using (and have purchased already) an Alfine IGH as the frame has half-length forward facing horizontal dropouts. I currently ride a 2018 Arkose with the same hub, and love it. However I could be persuaded to build it up as a 1x. The current chainrings are naff and will have to go. BB feels pretty crunchy. Rear hub bearings have gone.
    Wheels: Rear wheel won't be anything exciting. Front wheel will be a 406 rim laced to a disc hub with nutted axle. Strangely I can't find this incredibly niche combination for sale anywhere online, so I'll have to get the parts and have it built. I would ideally have this as a dyno in order to run a fixed lighting system, but I think cost will prohibit this for the time-being
    Brakes: I have some Avid Juicy 5s from an old MTB to use for the front brake. Rear brake will be kept as canti.
    Cockpit: I'll be switching the current bars for a riser in the interim, but the goal is a nicely swept bar. VO Klunker looks like a nice option. On-One Geoff would be useful but would Look godawful.
    Misc:Intended colour scheme is black everything with gumwall tyres, because I'm basic af. Limited sprinkles of colour to match the frame decals would be nice, suggestions welcome (grips?).

    Writing this up I get the feeling I'm not far off the cost of an Omnium with everything that needs doing. Still, it's more fun to make something than buy something.

    Jobs list (ever-changing, likely incomplete, and in no particular order):

    1. Fit crown race to Clydesdale
    2. Drop bike into LBS to have threaded headset removed & threadless headset fitted
    3. Replace BB + chainring(s)
    4. Acquire front wheel, or parts for
    5. Acquire black stacking crate from local Sainsbury's
    6. Unstick seatpost
    7. Strip, clean, rebuild
    8. Decide on drivetrain
    9. Handlebars: VO Klunker / One-One Geoff / Jones Loop with rise. I've asked for Geoff's for Christmas because I'm a spoiled brat.
    10. Cut down steerer
    11. Fit dynamo lights

    Guidance/feedback/insults appreciated regarding any aspect of the build. This is definitely intended as a parts-bin build, but I would like to avoid anything too anti.

    Thanks for reading


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  • Subbed, cool project. I'd love something like this for shop trips.

  • Love.

    For the bars, I can’t fault the onone geoffs I just got... £21 is perfect.

  • Have you cut them down at all? They look almost too wide stock. Can't really complain for the price though.

    Stripped it down as far as I could today.
    The biopace chainrings are disappointingly (but unsurprisingly) worn, but I didn't want 3x anyway.
    The headset cups are fairly seized and I don't have a headset removal tool, so down to the LBS it goes. I'll ask them to remove the BB whilst it's there because I reckon that would be a complete faff, and also fit the crown race to the forks. The 1" forks come with a Cane Creek 40 threadless headset which is nice.

  • I left them stock, im 6’0 though s the width works.

    My wife will have hers trimmed.

  • This is going to be very cool

  • Sounds cool. I have been looking at an old saracen on ebay for a while. Is this a limited edition? Or something else?

  • There was a lovely orange Rufftrax on eBay for a while that I was considering buying, before I found this in my pa's shed.

    Top tube sticker says "Limited Edition" but the 'Edition' part is pretty badly rubbed off.
    No other identifying stickers.
    I had a quick look through the old catalogues on Retrobike, but couldn't match it to anything.

  • This is nice, was planning something similar but never got round to buying the clydesdale fork in the end.

  • It's a limited edition I've been looking at on Ebay, been for sale for some time now. Does it have all the expected mounts etc? Have you tried any tyres to see what the clearances are?

  • Well it's back from my LBS after a BB and headset removal/fit; as expected they were both pretty corroded and my wallet is now lighter to the tune of 105 sterling. Oof

    Pictured below with the intended crankset. Need to decide how much to cut the steerer down. I don't want it too short in case I ever want to switch it to a different frame.

    I've decided to go for dynamo lighting because YOLO. B&M IQ-X arrived yesterday, but I'm not meant to know that as it's a Christmas present.
    What's the consensus on the Sturmey Archer HDS22? I can't find many reviews online. Should I spring for a Shimano hub? I'm going for a solid axle because the dropouts on the Clydesdale are 10mm and I want it to be stronk

    @oheyitsdrew
    Mounts are 1x down tube, 1x seat tube.
    Clearances are as attached. First is a High Roller at 2.35", second is a Kenda Kwest at 1.50".


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  • re which dynamo hub: i have a SP PD-8 on mine- they are at the pricier end of the scale. i also run a cheapo shimano on another bike that has been going strong for a few years now in all weather. Have no experience of a Sturmey Archer - if cost is an issue i'd go shimano

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90s Saracen x Crust Clydesdale

Posted by Avatar for IrPOWERranger @IrPOWERranger

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