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  1. #1
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    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts

    I've been waiting a long time to start this new bike build thread! The planets had aligned, and I was finally able to order that custom dream bike I've been waiting for all my life. Being a NorCal native, and resident still, I quickly narrowed down my list of potential builders. It really became a no-brainer, when all I had to do was drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, and in a short time, be sitting down in the shop of the legendary Steve Potts. I had an awesome visit with Steve back in July, and we chatted about bikes and everything else for about 2 hours. I even played doggie soccer with Cowboy, his Jack Russel, in the shop. Just the visit itself was priceless. But more than that, I just agreed with his philosophy of bike building. Pure and simple. I appreciate and enjoy all of the improvements in cycling with modern technologies, but I'm also a bit of a retrogrouch at times. For example, the Santa Cruz Highball was actually high on my list, but carbon fiber just doesn't move my soul like a custom ti frame. This is going to be one to take to the grave. I have already told my wife to bury me with my Potts.

    Okay, so fast foward 5 months, and now my bike build is in the works. During the last 5 months, I found that there is really not that much information (bike p0rn) out there with Steve's more recent creations. A few pictures here and there when the bike is new, but it seems the typical Potts customer is not one to spend much time on the interwebs posting pictures of their pride and joy. Well, I hope to change that with this thread. Rather than posting my build spec and pics of the final product, I thought I'd share my build process with you as I get parts together, and as the frame gets built.

    I'm 5'6" with a 29.25" inseam. I don't race, and I have a Nomad for bigger hit stuff, so I wanted this bike for all around XC trail riding with intermediate gnar thrown in. I definitely wanted a Type II fork. I knew I would kick myself later if I didn't get this bike with the Type II. I also definitely want a 2x10 geared bike, so no sliding drop-outs, and it needed space to accomodate a front derailleur. I described my riding style to him, and deferred the number crunching and geometry design to him. Here is the preliminary drawing that he came up with.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_0242.jpg  


  2. #2
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    I debated for a bit whether to have the bike built for me, or do the build myself. Steve works with Mike at Black Mountain Cycles, and I would not hesitate turning the frame over to Mike for a truly professional build. But during the wait, I did a lot of on-line shopping, and I ended up buying pretty much everything I needed. So the motivation hit me full on, and I will be assembling everything myself. Parts have been trickling in from Brown Santa.

    Here are the Shimano Deore XT M785 brakes. I chose the 29er compatible silver color.

    Everything pictured here weighs in at about 655 grams. That's before the hose gets cut down to size.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_0125.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_0128.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_0122.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_0130.jpg  


  3. #3
    dude with orange car
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    29ers are a fad.
    This is no time for levity. - Oliver Hardy

  4. #4
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    Looks awesome tburg. Looking forward to seeing this thing come together. I'm embarrassed to say I didn't know Steve Potts was still actively building custom bikes. Ti too? How many organs did you have to part with for this bike?

  5. #5
    Snowjnky McDreamy
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    Brother Seamus?
    Like an Irish monk?
    Comic relief in a discussion does no harm..
    CS Lewis
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  6. #6
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    probably got a discount since he only sacrificed an arm

    its gonna be awesome

  7. #7
    rho
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    This is gonna start making me want a 29'er again...

  8. #8
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    What's a 29er?
    They never made the "Slowster"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmarshall View Post
    what's a 29er?
    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-29er.jpg
    The future is not google-able. William Gibson

  10. #10
    NedwannaB
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    Less then 655 grams?

    Quote Originally Posted by tburger View Post
    Here are the Shimano Deore XT M785 brakes. I chose the 29er compatible silver color.

    Everything pictured here weighs in at about 655 grams. That's before the hose gets cut down to size.
    Dang that shortening should drop it down by what, 2 or 3 Alpineberries?

    All seriousness aside, that build you got planned should turn into an awesome bike. Looking forward to seeing the progress.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmarshall View Post
    What's a 29er?
    Don't worry about it. It's not small enough for you.

  12. #12
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    You must have ordered about the time I got mine. You are not going to be sorry, it really is the nicest bike I have ever been on. The first time I got on the bike my legs didn't just burn but my face did also due to all the smiling. I road it with the type II for about three months and then tried a Reba on it, while still a nice riding bike it lost some of its magic. Reba came off an will never go back on. You really would have kicked yoursel if you didn't get one. Have fun with the build
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-imageuploadedbytapatalk1324352589.277949.jpg  


  13. #13
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    Steve is #1 on my dream builder list. I will have to wait a long time to own a bike of his, but someday I will.

    Looking forward to the build. Thanks for letting us all experience this vicariously through you!

    frog

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plim View Post
    29ers are a fad.
    Stay tuned. There will be a special surprise for you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    How many organs did you have to part with for this bike?
    Joke's on him. I traded my liver.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Dang that shortening should drop it down by what, 2 or 3 Alpineberries?
    LOL. This is not gonna be a weight weenie build, but I play one on TV sometimes.

    Quote Originally Posted by AKamp View Post
    You must have ordered about the time I got mine. You are not going to be sorry, it really is the nicest bike I have ever been on. The first time I got on the bike my legs didn't just burn but my face did also due to all the smiling. I road it with the type II for about three months and then tried a Reba on it, while still a nice riding bike it lost some of its magic. Reba came off an will never go back on. You really would have kicked yoursel if you didn't get one. Have fun with the build
    Yes! I remember seeing your frame on Steve's blog. It was very cool to see it show up on the forums here.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tburger View Post
    Stay tuned. There will be a special surprise for you!
    650b?
    We still hang bike thieves in Wyoming [Pedal House]

  16. #16
    aka baycat
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    I would prefer you getting a medium sized bike so I can objectively test ride it.

  17. #17
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    I'd recommend a basket for carrying the goodies on the trail
    "There is no A-line"
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  18. #18
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    Potts makes amazing bikes- I think one of his kids rides a 29er in and around the headlands...either that or there is a teenager with a totally *****ing ti Potts worth close to 10k ripping it up.

    Good luck with the build- If I was still close to Black Mountain Cycles I would get my bike built there: so much history in that shop.

  19. #19
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    A few odds and ends for happy wrists and a happy butt. And possible inspiration for the color scheme on the fork.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_0109.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_0135.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_0137.jpg  

    Attached Images Attached Images  

  20. #20
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    Best saddle ever

  21. #21
    Trail Ninja
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    Some fancy packaging there for those parts.

    What's his wait list like? I recommended him to someone else not too long ago and was just curious.

  22. #22
    JB
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    Steve who?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    Some fancy packaging there for those parts.

    What's his wait list like? I recommended him to someone else not too long ago and was just curious.
    Geez. No kidding. I paid a premium for that plastic packaging! Flite saddle in brown had to be a stupid anniversary edition. That logo should wear off with a few good rides.

    Back in July, Steve quoted me 4-5 months. I assumed 6-7 months was more likely the case. He just contacted me last week to say my bike is in the works. I think the few people ahead of me in the queue had wait times anywhere from 6-9 months. But during that entire time, he always replied to my emails very promptly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada 29er View Post
    Steve who?
    Pots. He makes custom non-stick cookware. Amazing stuff.

  24. #24
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    I was quoted 4-5 months and had it in my hands in 7 which was faster than I expected. Although his estimate was off I wouldn't hesitate to wait it again, Steve also responded quickly to any questions and kept me updated throughout the wait.

  25. #25
    Hueston Woods Trail Crew
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    Looks shiny!

    Those brakes look nice. Good choice.

    Did you get the rest of the drivetrain yet?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikerbob.com View Post
    Those brakes look nice. Good choice.

    Did you get the rest of the drivetrain yet?
    Thanks! I should be getting a big box delivered tomorrow!

  27. #27
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    Looks exciting!

  28. #28
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    Big box received right in time for Festivus!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_0300.jpg  


  29. #29
    Hueston Woods Trail Crew
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    you just need.....

    ....a bigger tree.


    And a frame to hold all those parts together.

  30. #30
    JB
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    Thats a serious looking bachelor pad!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mabman View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^this^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Zip ties? Not on my bike!

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  32. #32
    aka baycat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada 29er View Post
    Thats a serious looking bachelor pad!
    His wife is the best baker ever

  33. #33
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    tburger, best Christmas, ever.
    Lead actor Will of the Sun, Author Platform Pedal Shootout 900K+ views

  34. #34
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    I got my big box of parts from Bikerbob yesterday. Spent some time last night checking everything out, and then I geeked out and had some weight weenie fun putting everything on the kitchen scale. I can post actual weights if anyone is interested. Took some photos today to share with you all.

    More silver bits in the mix. Not much to say about the Cane Creek 110 headset. The interlocking alloy spacers they come with are kinda neat. I chose the White Industries MI6 hubs because they were a good compromise between cost, quality, weight, and performance. Plus, they're another good local company. These are going to be built into a nice reliable wheelset with stainless steel spokes.

    The Shimano drivetrain looks pretty slick. I went with the slightly more expensive shifters with the integrated mounts. It should make for a nice clean look while still providing lots of adjustability. The weight of all the Shimano stuff is pretty close to what's advertised, except for the cassette. This 11-36 cassette weighs in at a portly 345g.

    I'm off work next week, and it looks like I may be able to squeeze in a visit to the shop while Steve does some work. It would be awesome if I could actually see some work on tubing that will eventually become my bike. I'll try to take pics if this pans out!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_9220.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_9221.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_0321.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_9222.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_0336.jpg  


  35. #35
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    Major progress update! The frame has already been built. I was also able to work out some time to visit Steve for a couple of hours while he worked on welding the rear brake mount and stay bridges. He showed me a ton of stuff, and it's amazing the amount of thought and work that goes into everything he makes. He showed off his steady hands and attention to detail while I hovered over his shoulder. The remaining welding and cable guides were attached after I left, and the fork should be built over the weekend. Once I get the color scheme for the fork sent to him, off it goes to the painter.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_9224.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_9225.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_9226.jpg  

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    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_9243.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_9256.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_9259.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_9262.jpg  


  36. #36
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    Few more shots of the weld detail at the major tube junctions. I also received the Jones Ti Loop Bar on Friday. And the final shot is the color scheme for the fork.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_9273.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_9276.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_9279.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_9284.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-img_9285.jpg  

    A Modern Classic - Steve Potts-typeii_peter.jpg  


  37. #37
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    And one final treat for you all...

    <object width="600" height="450"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=34400390&amp;server=vimeo.co m&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_port rait=0&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autop lay=0&amp;loop=0" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=34400390&amp;server=vimeo.co m&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_port rait=0&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autop lay=0&amp;loop=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="600" height="450"></embed></object>

  38. #38
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    Very nice. Did you swing through Black Mountain while out in Point Reyes? I stopped by to say hi to Mike yesterday and per the usual he had one Potts in the stand and a couple others waiting in the wings.

  39. #39
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    What a treat to see this. Very cool. I

    Looks like it could be unhealthy for an old guy though. Your take?

  40. #40
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    Wow...very cool!...I have Tig welded my whole life and never would have thought of that to get into the tight spaces....Steve is an artist for sure!

  41. #41
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    cool to see that even Steve Potts uses foil
    Sean Chaney :: Owner/Builder :: Vertigo Cycles LLC
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by anomaly View Post
    Very nice. Did you swing through Black Mountain while out in Point Reyes? I stopped by to say hi to Mike yesterday and per the usual he had one Potts in the stand and a couple others waiting in the wings.
    Unfortunately I didn't have time. I've only exchanged emails with Mike, but I need to meet him in person. That guy is a class act.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bikerbob.com View Post
    What a treat to see this. Very cool. I

    Looks like it could be unhealthy for an old guy though. Your take?
    Not sure what you mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by smudge View Post
    cool to see that even Steve Potts uses foil
    I seriously considered Vertigo, too! I love your frame designs.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by tburger View Post
    Unfortunately I didn't have time. I've only exchanged emails with Mike, but I need to meet him in person. That guy is a class act.
    You really should stop in his shop if only for the bike history lesson. He always has a couple Cunninghams, Potts, WTBs etc hanging around.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by tburger View Post
    I seriously considered Vertigo, too! I love your frame designs.
    I appreciate that. Steve is a jewel of this industry and is on my own short list of builders. I had #11 of one of the first batch of ti frames (if not THE first batch) he built at WTB in the mid'90's and I still kick myself for selling it. One of these days I'll take him up on his offer and I'll head down for a visit.
    Sean Chaney :: Owner/Builder :: Vertigo Cycles LLC
    flickr :: www.vertigocycles.com

  45. #45
    Plan #123-D
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    This thread is seriously like porn to me. Unreal.

  46. #46
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    those are some clean welds!

  47. #47
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    what does the foil do?

  48. #48
    Trail Ninja
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThreeD View Post
    what does the foil do?
    It acts as a heat sink, I'm guessing.

  49. #49
    sbd
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    It traps the inert gas flowing out of the welder to keep the weld zone more saturated in whatever welding gas you are using.

    It also transmits secret messages to aliens and/or the CIA.

  50. #50
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    Mostly. Usually it's to keep the backside or sides of a weld area bathed in argon. When you have argon blowing past an edge, or are welding small diameter tubing like on a stay bridge, it helps to have some kind of backer to keep oxygen out of the weld. Sometimes they're passive like the foil, sometimes they're purged.

    I'd love to see more shop photos if you have them. This is VERY interesting.
    Sean Chaney :: Owner/Builder :: Vertigo Cycles LLC
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