Jimalex’s 853 Crust Romanceur

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  • I’ve long admired Crust Bikes, with their focus on steel and big tires, and on bikes that seem to prioritize fun and weirdness over commercial success.

    It’s been awesome to see the company grow over the last few years and to see the different bikes they have been putting out.

    If you want an 853 lugged frame and 1” threaded fork, that will take 2.3” knobblies and disk brakes, (and who doesn’t??) there’s really only one off the peg choice out there...

    The Crust Romanceur.

  • The Crust frames tend to sell out pretty quick so when they last re-stocked I was ready to go, and back in November the Bike arrived.


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  • If I didn't have any bikes, I would've bought this frame. Envious!

    Excited and curious to see how this will turn out.

  • Excellent start to a cp thread.
    You've had it since November, how's it not built yet?

  • It’s not built yet as I’ve been crazy busy with work, and have used the build as a much needed distraction when I’ve been able to concentrate on something else. :)

    I have slowly been gathering parts...

  • Looking forward to progress.

  • Killer

  • I really like the frame, and the paint is excellent; a greeny blue deep gloss with a subtle sparkle that really doesn’t come through in pictures.

    I’m not super stoked on the arts-and-crafty downtube decals or the white headtube though, so after careful consideration got myself some Blackfriars Black and Kierin Blue Flake from Spraybike.


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  • I wanted to keep the head tube lugs and the bottom bracket cluster in the original paint so I set about masking off the lugs and the rest of the frame, and removing the head badge by sliding some fine wire behind it and slicing through the bond to the tubing.


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  • Never heard of the company but that frame looks great.

  • After masking the frame, prepping the tubes was simple, sanding with 300, 400 and 600 grit to key the surface, and using cotton buds to protect the threads of the bottle bosses.


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  • If you haven’t come across Spraybike before it’s a bike specific ‘powder coat in a can’ that applies very evenly so there are no issues with runs or drips, but it is slightly textured and by no means a substitute for a pro-quality paint job.

    For my bike I knew what I was getting into, and liked the idea of the contrasting texture with the super gloss of the stock paint. The Kierin Flake is applied as a second finishing coat and protects the first as well as giving a blue sparkle, which is a pretty good match for the other tubes.


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  • now i know how 50 year old men feel when they see a a pristine gary fisher built with a Clydesdale and mismatch atlus/ deore from the early 2000's

    respect for making it your own

  • I think it turned out ok.


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  • v well executed, agreed

  • I didn't see that coming. Side on pic of frame n forks if you please.
    What's yer plans for components?

  • Paint job looks clean.

    What you going to replace the decals with? Helvetica?

  • In the tradition of LFGSS bikes built around obsolete componetry, I have always really liked these old XT cranksets. I think this is 1st generation XT. Very happy to be corrected if I’ve got that wrong. I’ll be swapping the old chainrings for the 38t nondrop Wolftooth and chainring bolts in the pic.


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  • Thank you @Maj and @Belagerent

    No plans for downtube decals as it stands but I will be replacing the head badge.

  • You're a lot braver than I am. How hard was it to sand down a brand new frame of that price?

  • Nice! I’ve got the rear end of a Dynatech (the cro-mo triangle) that I’ve been dithering about the Keirin flake over some sort of blue (the Raleigh blue is like an old British Leyland paint colour to my eye).
    Are you going to top coat it with anything else, or is that it?
    (as you keyed the surface but didn’t go back to the bare metal, it’s covered, right?)

  • For stoppers I’ve gone for something I think is in keeping with the retro-mod tone of the rest of the build.

    Yokozuna Ultimos are cable actuated hydraulic calipers. This allows me to run standard road levers and cables, but still have hydraulic stopping power. This also means no faff with brake bleeding, and should make for easier trailside maintenance. They’re also pretty and 143g per caliper.

    The package from Yokozuna includes rotors, pads, and their Reactor compressionless cable housing.


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  • As the Ultimos give me lots of options for levers, I can make use of another hoarded eBay purchase; a set of new old stock Shimano 600s.


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  • First generation was the "Deer Head" version (1983), this is M730 (released in 1987 afaik). Looks absolutely lovely and will fit the frame very nicely if you ask me.

  • @Tijs Fair question!

    I did hesitate to take the sandpaper to the frame but really didn’t like the stock downtube details, and had originally planned to have the whole frame professionally repainted.

    When I saw it in the flesh and realized how much I liked the rest of the stock paint I figured it would make a good lock down project to try to tackle the paint myself, as it was only a couple of tubes, and if I messed it up, I could always take it to a pro to fix it.

    Also I plan to ride this bike a lot and on trails, so it will be getting some wear and tear and I wasn’t too bothered about keeping the paint immaculate.

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Jimalex’s 853 Crust Romanceur

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