Way back in 2009, Vassago had their legendary Black Friday sale, and I picked up a Fisticuff. <br />
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Last month, after about 11,000 miles, I noticed a 1 inch long fatigue crack in the weld at the top tube - head tube junction. &nbsp;Rather than risking a catastrophic failure, I contacted Vassago (now under new ownership). They still carry the same crash replacement policy, so I picked up the latest Fisticuff and built it up to replace my old Snickers Brown friend. <br />
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Here's some of the adventures the original Fisticuff survived. &nbsp;The write up will finish with a brief comparison of the new and old Fisticuff frame sets.<br />
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The build up was very simple, dinglespeed with mostly spare parts. &nbsp;I even ran a v brake on a Mavic A317 disc only rear rim.... and it worked great.<br />
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The bike was inspired by the spare parts pile and the screaming deal, and as a commuter/do everything bike.<br />
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The bike was soon clad in my third or fourth frame bag ever. &nbsp;My first ever seat bag came along for a 120 mile ride in January from Lake City to Gunnison, CO.<br />
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Then a great deal on a Phil Wood bottom bracket and DT/S-Works rear hub led to a remake of the bike - new handbuilt by me wheelset, gears,.....<br />
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During the summer of 2010 a soft tissue over training injury in my left calf inspired the development of a one legged bike system. &nbsp;It turns out that a 31.8 mm stem clamps perfectly onto the downtube of normal steel bike frames. &nbsp;Then cut the steerer tube off an old junk fork for a peg for the left foot, add a toe clip on the right pedal, and you've got it.<br />
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And then I went back to school for Mechanical Engineering and needed a commuter bike. &nbsp;I swapped the 32 mm cross tires for 35 mm slicks, an Old Man Mountain rack, and (embarrassingly) a math study sheet.<br />
I soon found out that the math study sheet was distracting while biking in traffic.<br />
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<img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-bInccDPGsz0/TH7fB2nuSdI/AAAAAAAACr4/guZMIlGzZxY/s640/IMGP6570.JPG" /><br />
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The Old Man Mountain rack was "graced" by a Cilogear 40L backpack rigged up to be a pannier (freshmen do weird things... especially former mountain guide freshmen).<br />
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Somewhere in there my calf healed up well enough to go back to a normal two pedal bike. &nbsp;I also got smart and made myself a pannier bag/pack.<br />
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There were two advantages to the Snickers Brown paint job....<br />
An uglier bike is less of a thief magnet.<br />
The bike looked best covered in mud.<br />
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Cold hands on a wet road/dirt road ride? &nbsp;No problem.... just find some scrap plastic on the side of the road.<br />
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And then, soon after making a new frame bag for the Fisticuff, I noticed the fatigue crack.... oh no!<br />
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Vassago customer service (the new owner himself) responded within hours to my customer service request and set me up with a new frame at a nice discount via the crash replacement policy.<br />
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The new frame fixed everything I didn't like about the first version. &nbsp;The color options (graphite or white) are much better than Snickers Brown without being too flashy. &nbsp;The rear dropouts were much improved by including built in chain tensioners and an adjustable disc brake mount for the singlespeed crew. &nbsp;The head tube is taller and the top tube and down tube are spread apart more for better aesthetics and reduced fatigue stress in the junction.<br />
The parts swapped over seamlessly from the old bike and the bike rides really nicely.<br />
As a nice bonus, the frame bag also swapped over nicely. &nbsp;Not a perfect fit, but good enough to not make another one.<br />
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So there you have it. &nbsp;The first edition Fisticuff did everything you could ask for from a multipurpose adventure/commuting bike (unfortunately most of the miles are commuting). &nbsp;The bike worked great and without the fatigue crack I would have kept on riding it indefinitely. &nbsp;The second iteration of the Fisticuff fixed all the problems I had with the first version. &nbsp;Anyone who wants a steel do everything adventure/commuter/cyclocross/road/dirt road &nbsp;bike and wants the flexibility to run ANY type of drivetrain or brakes should take a serious look at the new, improved Fisticuff. &nbsp;This combination of options is not found on any other cyclocross style frame to my knowledge.<br />
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Yesterday I rode the new Fisticuff 14 miles (each way) to go on a 12 mile trail run in the snow.<br />
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