Well, i never really considered buying a Trek 69'er when they were still making them, but i sort of fell into building up a pretty cool "FrankenRider 69'er" version of something similar in function!
And i am really glad i waited, as i think i ended up with a "bike" that better meets my city bike cruiser needs with much better componants. It has been a work in progress, but i'm almost there.
About the only thing left to upgrade might be a titanium fork for a bit more comfort, but that can wait until i find a reasonably priced fork by Black Sheep or Moots, perhaps. I buy mostly used stuff so that will take awhile,....the reasonable priced part especially.
OK,...here's an overall view of the bike to wet your appitite, but i will offer some additional pictures of some of the details i have been fortunate to find. I'll mention prices where known also, if only to show what you might expect if attempting something similar.
Non Drive side angled:
Now, for a bit more details.
This "FrankenRider 69'er" (lol, i like the sound of that,....just thought of it too :-) started life with a very nice used Dean Colonal 26" MTB frame. These earlier frame are SO reasonably priced i just couldn't resist, and own 3 total, one each in Medium, Large, and XX-Large.
This single speed is built up using the Large size Dean frame, and cost just $545.00 shipped. All three of my Dean Colonal Titanium frames were acquired on ebay, and all have the older traditional seatstays and not the later wishbone seatstays which i just don't like the look of.
Only the Medium frame had a disc mount for the rear, so i ended up using a TRP CX9 Mini LP Rear Linear Pull Rear Brake. ($55.00 new shipped), a Shimano BR-R650 long reach duel pivot caliper (the old "standard" reach) which is noted for it "Ultegra" comparable build quality and finish. It's just not part of any complete group. I had to buy a new one,....just got tired of looking. (front caliper $80.00 shipped) I matched the brakes up with a very nice used set of Paul "Love" brake levers off ebay, like new at a decent discount to new. ($84.00 shipped)
I installed a Chris King 1-1/8" threadless headset. That was a deal new on ebay for $80.00 However, i ended up spending another $30 for a used set of Chris King headset mounting fixtures, and made a headset press for $10.00 from my local harware store. (threaded bolt and steel washers & nuts, as well as some rubber washers to protect the finish and also allow some safety "give" when installing.
I ordered the optional 5mm higher stainless steel baseplate ($25 or so shipped,....aka a "crown race" anywhere else) to begin to get this bike up to a suspension corrected state.
Here's the usual baseplate compared to the 5mm height one:
The front chromoly fork is a Surly "Steamroller" 700 wheel size version, and when combined with the 5mm high CK baseplate i find the "Rigid" geometry is perfect for my riding style and needs. That fork is also quite reasonable, and is powder coated for durability and ran just $90 as i recall. Easy to remove the "Surly" letters too, with just a hair dryer and an old plastic credit card or similar.
I made use of the entire 300mm steerer tube, as i like to ride more upright in my commuting mode of preferance. The street views are nicer also, without having to crank your head up.
About a month ago i found a no longer made Moots braced riser Titanium MTB handlebar, and it's a shame they don't make them anymore. I negotiated it down from "moon money" of $600 to a more reasonable "bend me over" price of $400 shipped :-)
Not cheap for sure, and more than they cost originally too,.....but as they can't be ordered anymore, i paid the price. As a side note, it's worth every dime! The Ti absorbs a lot more of the road chatter and bumps on the sidewalks where i usually commute. No choice in my area.
Here's a pick from the front of the handlebar:
One thing bothered me with this bar, my NiteRider Lumina 650 light ($175 new) mounting clamp wouldn't fit under the braced area, and mounted outside the center area would not face straight ahead.
Here's the only way my light mounted previously, .....as you can see it's at an angle and i was losing some of the left side light coverage.
SO,.....I contacted Ti Cycles and told them what i wanted to do, and they built a custom Ti 30mm headset spacer with a cool 2" tube section welded on at a 90% angle. It works GREAT, and looks nice also. An added bonus is i can flip this bike over in the house to rest on the grips and seat, as storage for 15 bikes is getting tight around here! The light mounted on top of the bar wouldn't allow that, even if it had pointed straight.
I'll cover this in a bit of detail in case others have had a similar problem. An aluminum version would be much cheaper, of course.
Here's a few pics of the light mount up close ($110) (and the back of the custom ordered but unused Dean Ti 50mm MTB stem i found on ebay ($275):
From the front:
From the side showing the 2 texture Ti Cycles Logo:
A few months ago i found a very nice used Kent Eriksen Ti seatpost ($168.00), and the bike instantly became a noticably more compliant and comfortable ride. The Brooks B17 saddle($110) was also used with the stiffer Thomson Elite seat post i had been using, but i was surprised at the difference..
I'm using a nice "like new" but older Dura Ace hub front wheel laced to Mavic MA40 rims, SS spokes (32), and mounted a Serfas Drifter 32mm tire. A strong and smooth rolling wheel. (wheel and tire/tube about $130.00)
The used rear 26" wheel has a White Industries Eric Eccentric flip flop hub (the original, not the later propriatary splined fixed side version) to make it easy to get chain tension on this vertical droupout frame. A Sun IV rim, and 32 SS spokes. The completed rear wheel was around $300.00 , including a new Serfas Drifter 26 x 1.50" tire and new tube.
I'm also using the White Industries 18T "Trials" version SS freewheel.
I really like this strong and smooth running freewheel, and with 6 pawls and 72 points of engagement it has an almost instantanious engagement!
As a side bonus, I don't even need a bell on this rig. If i'm approaching someone from behind i just stop pedaling, and it sounds like a hive of angry bees! Back pedaling increases the sound :-) These are rebuildable also, and have sealed bearing construction. (around $110 as i recall)
The fixed side has a 16T Dura Ace cog and lockring ($20.00)
Bottle cage a Ti King (used $60)
Ergo rubber lock on grips. ($30)
Chain is a KMC single speed 3/32" that i've used on a lot of my bikes. I've never had one break, although i'm pretty easy on my gear. So reasonable on Amazon at atound $8
Bottom bracket is the cost effective yet very nice Shimano Bottom Bracket, Square Taper 68 x 127mm, UN55 (Cost $27)
Crankset is the older but solid performing Shimano FC-6206 ($55.00 but came with 3 hardly used Shimano Biopace chainrings i have as backups for a geared bike) On this SS build i bought a like new hardly used Race Face downhill 40T chainring. ($35) Pedals are my favorite 1980's era Shimano PD-M730 MTB flat platforms. (i have 5 pairs, this pair about $40 that i recently regreased)
This gives me a nice and easy 57 gear inch hill climber, yet works fine also for my flat commutes on the sidewalks. The fixed side works out to a bit higher 63 gear inches, and the hills are still manageable.
All told, i have around $3,000.00 into this. Considering all the Ti componants included and what the same money might buy today,.....a bargain i think.
I'll never buy a Carbon Fiber "anything" anyway, just don't trust the stuff. I see some bikes being transported in sealed up SUV's on hot summer days, and envision a catastrofic failure some day. Not a worry with Ti.
I doubt you could reproduce this today for less than double that, even if one company could or would do the work.....
......but then it wouldn't be a "FrankinRider 69'er"!
By the way,.....in case you're curious what three different sizes of Dean Colonial Ti frames looks like side by side, here's a pic. The medium frame is built up as my bad weather commuter. Has disc mounts front and rear, fenders, and a rear rack. The middle one is my main rider outlined here in Large size, the far right is the XX Large frame set up as a SS beach cruiser with Albatros handlebar. (that bar needed because the top tube reach was a bit too long for me)
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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