26er Do It All (or at least, Do A Lot)

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  • @Qebrus - Yeah there’s been a few trips I’ve wanted to do for a while like Newcastle-Manchester on the Great North Trail etc. Might consider building it up with drops and Gevenalle Shifters for touring.

    @buttrockanthem - YES BRO! I wanna move back to Manchester at some point later this year but we’ll do some big whips next time you’re up

  • Was pondering recently about what saddle I might want for the 26er and while I could’ve bought a cheapish Charge spoon like I’ve got on my Surly, I thought the Surly was due an upgrade.

    Managed to pick myself up an Antares with a relief channel in it. Never ridden a saddle with a channel but I rode the same style of saddle for a while so I’m getting adventurous with it.

    I’m sure I saw somewhere the other day that putting a Fizik saddle on a gravel bike is like mixing Adidas and Nike. The idea of such blasphemy made me froth at the mouth just a little.

    (Saved 94 grams as well. Defo worth the money..)


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  • Fizik on a fixed gear gravel bike to make the roadies weep..

  • I'm about to move back to the North East and the Giant Spoon is something I've never seen so knowing theres good gravel round there, it's not gone on my list of rides.

    The Steamroller looks ace. Shame you've not got on with the For Shreds. They've been on my list to try for a while as I love the look of them.

  • For a more budget friendly option there's the ritchey classic flat with a 10 degree sweep as well.

  • @ricky2slicky - the big spoons is definitely worth the trip! Gravel around there is p awesome as well. There’s a few routes all the way from the coast across to Ponteland and onwards around there. The For Shreds definitely look the business just don’t agree with me.

    @MisterMikkel - Great shout! Don’t have the clamping space I like about the Stooge bars but they look like a sweet option. Also torn on just chucking some drops on, but I’m running a MTB disc calliper so it might be tricky.

  • Patience (or lack thereof) has always been what one might call a negative attribute of my personality, but I’m proud of myself for defying such feelings this week.

    Been back to work this week so making the most of my time off to get the Saracen fully finished and riding for the nice weather next week! I’ve never cabled a bike or set up V brakes ever so I felt a little bit anxious about the whole process but I’ve found the only way I can learn to do things is by getting stuck in and having a go.

    First on was the tyres. After a long long deliberation, the H Blocks beat all the other competition. The price was definitely one of the set backs because £30 a tyre to me is painful, but that being said, most of the tyres I was looking at were around that price so why can you do ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    On the same note, I was a bit worried that 2.2” tyres wouldn’t leave enough space for fenders but I could probably fit 2.4” in the frame without fenders so I’m happy.

    Sorted myself some Ergon grips for that Dad-bike aesthetic but also just wanted to try something new.

    V brakes were relatively easy to set up once I got my head around the idea of spring tension to centre them. Wheels are a smidge untrue so I’m tempted to get them trued and tensioned at my LBS but that might be a project I have a go at.

    Now onto the inevitable hurdle.. it seems as thought every time I try and work on this bike, there’s one thing that just doesn’t want to play ball. I researched derailleurs for weeks and came to the conclusion that a SRAM X9 would easily clear a 42t cassette. How very wrong I was. It may just be the fact I’m completely out of my depth when it comes to gears but I’ve bought a cheap extender on eBay to hopefully resolve that when it comes.

    End of the day, I’m really proud of my skills of just putting a bike together out of bits and pieces.


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  • so close!, relatable pain i have to say

    it do be looking good tho

  • I now realise exactly why I stopped riding bikes with gears lol. All part of the process I guess. No pleasure without unbearable pain of impatience

  • my skills of just putting a bike together out of bits and pieces

    Well played - the most enjoyable way of building a bike. Saracen looks awesome so far.

  • THE DAY HAS COME!

    Saracen is rideable for the first time and I’m proper chuffed with the results! Gave it a quick ride around the country park and actually stunned at how good it feels straight away.

    Dialling the gears in for the first time could’ve made me cry. For a reason unbeknown to me, the upper pulley wheel was catching on the cassette only half way up it. For a good hour, I sat and pondered my predicament over a brew with calls of my former self echoing around me. “This is why you always rode a track bike. I told you it would be like this” Post ponder, I read listed I was just being a dumbass and had the derailleur was on wrong. Hopefully next build with be less existential. I’d like to get a new wheel set built up so I can run the full 10 speeds but for what I need this bike for right now, it’s not the end of the world. The change between the 11t and the 16t is less than pretty after I removed the 13t to fit the cassette on the 7s hub, but again, it works for what I need right now.

    One of my main worries with the build was that the 42t big cog on the cassette wouldn’t be small enough for fully loaded packing, but as soon as I rode it, those fears were dispelled. After spending around 2-3 years grinding up any climb I ever came across, spinning up the hardest climb I could find in a 2 mile radius with ease was a sobering moment for my knees.

    For the future, I’m definitely going to invest in some decent fenders now I know I’ve got plenty of mud clearance. A big basket would also be a must to meet the criteria for my dream dad bike.

    Hopefully going on a coffee run down the coast tomorrow so I can give it a full shred!


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  • Ah looking sweet man.

    What is the fork? Is it from a model of bike or is it an aftermarket thing?

  • looking ace!

  • It’s just a fork I picked up off of eBay! It’s a trials fork from the 00’s I think so has mounts for Vs and disc. No fender mounts though, so gonna have to find a solution to that

  • Looking so so good!! glad that all effort along the way seems to have been worth it and the bike is working well, that always my worry with all the pre planning that it doesn’t turn out how you want. But that’s definitely not the case here.

    Will be good to hear how the first big ride goes!

  • This looks absolutely mint!

  • So good, looks loads of fun!

  • @Qebrus - I think it’s extremely easy to over plan and expect too much from a bike. For the purpose I want it for, it’s an absolute shredder.

    @buttrockanthem @ectoplasmosis - cheers! Buzzing to make some improvements n get it flying!

  • No fender mounts though

    Expander bung underneath and bolt in? (e.g. SKS Shockblade kit and bodge a bracket) Then PDW eyelets at the bottom?

  • So I took it for a bit of a spin today with my uncle on a little mixed surface route around the coast and on some of the waggonways. I initially intended on only going out for an hour and grabbing a coffee, but as the miles rolled by, the bike just kept asking for more. Ended up at a decent 26 miler, the only limits being I ran out of water by mile 15 and didn’t bring any spare food with me.

    First things first, it isn’t exactly a whippet on the road, which wasn’t entirely unexpected. The tyres definitely aren’t the slowest I’ve ever ridden, but on gravel and singletrack, they absolutely kill. Even on some of the looser corners on some of the farm roads around, I had absolute confidence they wouldn’t slide out from under me. Tyre choice was a win I think, but we’ll what they’re like in the longer term.

    Gearing wise, I haven’t even touched the bigger gears on my cassette. Even on some of the 10-12% climbs were absolutely no problem. The only issue I had when it came to climbing was that the bike had a bit of a tendency to wander when it got steeper. I’m not sure if that’s down to the fork being a little longer than the bike was designed for or just my body position, but it wasn’t too much of a problem, just something I wasn’t really used to.

    Overall I’m actually so gassed with this bike so far. Want to give the wheels a bit of a true as I’ve had to run the back brake quite loose to allow clearance for the slight wobble, but other than that, it’s an absolute dream. Here’s to some more miles.


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  • The bottom mounts were the real worry for me! Great to know something like the PDW eyelets exist! Defo gonna invest!

  • Dia Compe do some too - a bit longer. Otherwise search for bikit mudguard mounts on eBay. Those also work for some solid axles - bigger hole. Plus they are thinner and (at least used to be) cheap. Or get some flat steel or aluminium and cut/drill/mill to your heart’s content.

  • Those Bikit ones seem legit. I like that they seem to have a slider section for a bit more adjustability!

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26er Do It All (or at least, Do A Lot)

Posted by Avatar for LaserFrennox @LaserFrennox

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