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  1. #1
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    Solitude Cycles- first ride

    Well, my frame and fork arrived today. I got stuck into the build.
    FSA headset
    Mary bars
    Hope stem
    Shimano square taper BB
    Raceface LP turbine 180mm cranks, 34T ring
    Raceface seatpost
    Titec ithys gove saddle
    Avid mechanical disc front, V brake rear
    Avid FR1 levers
    Front wheel (of my geared bike) CK disc hub, DT comp spokes, Mavic A 719 rim
    Rear wheel White Industries ENO hub, 20T freewheel, DT comp spokes. DT TK 7.1 rim
    front tyre Motoraptor
    rear tyre Vapor




    Stainless steel dropouts.



    Lovely fillet brazing

    The bike matches up perfectly with the design criteria I layed down. I really like my Vicious Motivator as an all day bike but I wanted something with a little more TT and a more agressive head angle for my single speed. I also wanted plenty of standover and BB height. Well I got everything I wanted and more.
    First ride.
    It's been raining here for a week so it's a typical English summer, and perfect conditions to test a singlespeed in.
    It's been a year since I've ridden singlespeed and I have forgotten alot of the technique so it'll take me a while to really push the limits of this frame but first impressions are excellent. the frame is very flickable and the rear end feels tight and stiff with very good power transfer. The rear doesn't seem to accelerate too sluggishly, which was a concern.
    The fork tracks superbly, and matched with the steeper headangle responds with lightning speed. Faster, it seems, than my MC Utilitiman but with all the stability of the big wheels as well. It does feel firmer than my Vicious fork but not distressingly so.
    The Mary bars are also new to me. When I ordered the frame it was to be fitted with flat bars. The Mary's were meant for my geared bike but the cables were too short. I wanted to try the bars so I popped them on. I really like the hand position but I'm not too sure about the added height. I'll try the flats out over the weekend and then make a choice.
    I'll update with some better pics (poor light/rubbish photographer) after I've put in some more and longer rides.
    Act your age, not your wheelsize.

  2. #2
    www.badgercycles.com
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    Very Very Nice!

    Great looking bike. Love the dropouts. Hey SS Punk Where did you get the dropouts?

  3. #3
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    Hi Rob

    Quote Originally Posted by robpennell
    Great looking bike. Love the dropouts. Hey SS Punk Where did you get the dropouts?
    I got a local engineering firm to machine some up for me. Worked out pretty good value (ordered 50pairs) The small hole in them is so they can be tapped for a small bolt and used with a snail-cam chain tensioner like on speedway bikes :-)

    The only pain is polishing them and cleaning off the powder coat :-(

    SSP
    "Put any one on one of these singlespeed bikes and they could not help but have fun"
    -
    Otis Guy talking about klunkers c1976

  4. #4
    www.badgercycles.com
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    I like them!

    Quote Originally Posted by Singlespeedpunk
    I got a local engineering firm to machine some up for me. Worked out pretty good value (ordered 50pairs) The small hole in them is so they can be tapped for a small bolt and used with a snail-cam chain tensioner like on speedway bikes :-)

    The only pain is polishing them and cleaning off the powder coat :-(

    SSP

    What is the angle? I really like they way they turned out. I hear ya on the polishing! Try the Scotch Brite grinding pads from 3M. MSC has them. They save lots of time. I buff them down with the Scotch Brite 3" pads using an air tool. It gets them close enough so you can just finish up with sandpaper. I go 400 600 800 1000 dry then 1000 wet. I then polish with jewlers compound. You dont have to file out all the scratches this way. I polished the dropouts on the last cross bike. I then sent it down to my buddy who wanted to have it painted himself. They painted right over the dropouts. All that for nothing!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by robpennell
    What is the angle? I really like they way they turned out. I hear ya on the polishing! Try the Scotch Brite grinding pads from 3M. MSC has them. They save lots of time. I buff them down with the Scotch Brite 3" pads using an air tool. It gets them close enough so you can just finish up with sandpaper. I go 400 600 800 1000 dry then 1000 wet. I then polish with jewlers compound. You dont have to file out all the scratches this way. I polished the dropouts on the last cross bike. I then sent it down to my buddy who wanted to have it painted himself. They painted right over the dropouts. All that for nothing!
    Oh for airtools :-) I did have them before the move to smaller premises. Using a Dremmel type tool and various polishing wheels and compound. As much as I like a polished finish I don't get too hung up on a "perfect" finish....I'll leave that to people like Vanilla (along with the 2 year waiting list!)

    I might look at getting some polished prior to building then carfully masking before blasting / coating. Might make my life a little easier :-)

    Luke, just had an idea: try turning the Mary bars upside down! I saw some guy do that on another thread on his 29er. Might be worth 5mins with an allen key.

    Alex
    "Put any one on one of these singlespeed bikes and they could not help but have fun"
    -
    Otis Guy talking about klunkers c1976

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singlespeedpunk

    Luke, just had an idea: try turning the Mary bars upside down! I saw some guy do that on another thread on his 29er. Might be worth 5mins with an allen key.

    Alex
    Yep, same thing occured to me, it's worth an experiment.
    Act your age, not your wheelsize.

  7. #7
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    Mary

    I have my Mary's tilted so that they don't really add much height. Took a couple of rides to get just right, but they felt so natural from the first ride.

    The bike looks good, nice detailing. Glad you didn't break it on the first ride. The blue looks much greyer on a cloudy day.

    Sorry to hear you've had so much rain. It's been damp but not wet in Berkshire. If it can just get sunny over the next week or so.

    Martin

    soon now...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by martin_uk
    I have my Mary's tilted so that they don't really add much height. Took a couple of rides to get just right, but they felt so natural from the first ride.

    The bike looks good, nice detailing. Glad you didn't break it on the first ride. The blue looks much greyer on a cloudy day.

    Sorry to hear you've had so much rain. It's been damp but not wet in Berkshire. If it can just get sunny over the next week or so.

    Martin

    soon now...
    I'm going to play around with the Mary's some more, adjust the angle, flip them over etc.
    The colour photographs strangely. My digital usually reads colour pretty accurately but it seems off. In the flesh it's the colour of fountain pen ink.
    Act your age, not your wheelsize.

  9. #9
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    Flipped over the Mary's and went for another spin this morning. I like them much better upside down, the ride position is a touch too low but I think a 5 degree rise stem will sort that out.
    Added a chain tensioner and a brake booster out back.




    Act your age, not your wheelsize.

  10. #10
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    There's an incredibly retro look to the bike from head-on with the Mary's upside down.

    I can almost smell the wet forest from those photos.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by martin_uk
    There's an incredibly retro look to the bike from head-on with the Mary's upside down.

    I can almost smell the wet forest from those photos.
    I know what you mean about the retro look. Thanks to the radical slope, the bars still pass over the top tube in that position. One drawback though, I ducked under a branch, instinctively lowering my head to my hands and cracked my chin on the stem .
    Last edited by LJintheUK; 07-09-2005 at 02:05 PM. Reason: poor spelling-must do better.
    Act your age, not your wheelsize.

  12. #12
    Witty McWitterson
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    Agreed, this is a fabulous looking bike. Great color. Great lines. Nice job Alex!
    Just a regular guy.

  13. #13
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    Looking good

    Flipping the bars make it look like a 1920's roadster, all it needs is an oil-bath chain guard and some rod brakes ;-)

    Figured out where the cheque has got to: No65 or No56? My bad!!! I'll take a trip down my road and collect it tomorrow.

    OK, had too much beer, off to bed ready for the 60mile+ tomorrow.

    Alex
    "Put any one on one of these singlespeed bikes and they could not help but have fun"
    -
    Otis Guy talking about klunkers c1976

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singlespeedpunk
    Flipping the bars make it look like a 1920's roadster, all it needs is an oil-bath chain guard and some rod brakes ;-)

    Alex
    Looks particularly good when I ride it in my wool cycling shorts and retro GiroD'Italia black jersey with pointy collar and chest pockets
    Act your age, not your wheelsize.

  15. #15
    giddy up!
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    Tell us more about the fork...looks very nice.

    B
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkey
    Tell us more about the fork...looks very nice.

    B
    Alex can probably give you more info than I can. It's sus corrected to correspond to BW8 fork. It's disc only with 28.6 diameter Reynolds legs. I didn't weigh it before I built it up but it's not super light (nor stupid heavy). Alex also says I'm good to run a 185mm disc on the front too . Just got a reply from Vicious who would prefer that I stick with 165mm on their fork . It rides slightly firmer than my Vicious fork but that could be down to other factors, different weight distribution/head angle etc.
    Act your age, not your wheelsize.

  17. #17
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    Pretty much what he said...

    Yep, all good info....except its Columbus not Reynolds tubes (as if it matters) The tube is 0.8mm thick, so while it is not super light (I think its about 1100g un-cut) it is bomber strong and direct.

    With the whole 165mm vs 185mm debate, I think a lot of people (read: manufacturers) err on the side of caution. Lee has been building tandems for fully-loaded touring with disc brakes since they became available. If it can stop a tandem and two people from 40mph+ with 80kg of gear strapped to them one guy on a singlespeed should be no problem :-)

    Enough, just back from a really hot ride and I need another drink ;-)

    Alex




    Quote Originally Posted by LJintheUK
    Alex can probably give you more info than I can. It's sus corrected to correspond to BW8 fork. It's disc only with 28.6 diameter Reynolds legs. I didn't weigh it before I built it up but it's not super light (nor stupid heavy). Alex also says I'm good to run a 185mm disc on the front too . Just got a reply from Vicious who would prefer that I stick with 165mm on their fork . It rides slightly firmer than my Vicious fork but that could be down to other factors, different weight distribution/head angle etc.
    "Put any one on one of these singlespeed bikes and they could not help but have fun"
    -
    Otis Guy talking about klunkers c1976

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