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  1. #1
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    Reputation: JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Help me find the "right" frame

    I want to build a bike for running errands around town. I'm having trouble finding a frame that will do the job. Here's a list of requirements that I'm hoping to satisfy:

    * Must be fully-rigid. I would prefer a matching fork, but can live with an aftermarket, rigid fork.

    * Must accept at least Schwalbe Big Apple 2.0 tires, and I'd prefer room for the Big Apples in the larger, 2.35" size.

    * I'd prefer a 29er frame, but at this point I can live with a 26er.

    * Must accept disc brakes.

    * Must have chain- and seat-stay braces to make mounting a rear fender trivial. I have some Planet Bike Cascadia ATB fenders to mount. Those have to go on over the top of those Big Apple tires.

    * Must have braze-ons for rear rack, rear fenders, and front fenders.

    * I prefer flat-bar geometry.

    What's out there for me? The Salsa Fargo comes awfully close, but it's designed for drop bars, and I'm very uncertain about sizing a drop-bar frame. I may get one anyway, if i can sort out the right frame size to get. (I have to order blind, with no test ride).

    Is there any other frame out there that I should be looking at?

    BTW, I want a frame that can take abuse because I do like to ride up and down curbs and through potholes, and on dirt and gravel roads. And it is very likely that I could be on an errand and decide to dart down one of the local ATV trails. I'm not looking to build a dainty road bike. I'm after a "tough build" here.

    I'm not seeing a lot there. There are plenty of mountain bikes that almost could work -- Salsa's Ala Carte, for example -- but none of those seem to come with rack and fender mounts.

  2. #2
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Doesn`t Karate Monkey fit all those requirements?

  3. #3
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    Possibly a Karate Monkey. But I do note the following from Surly's description:

    "IMPORTANT: if using disc brakes, you will not be able to use these eyelets, and so need to use clip on fenders and/or a seat post mounted rack"

    I know there are racks that work around the disc brakes, but the location of the KM's rack braze-on looks awfully close to their disc brake tabs. Would there be room for a disc-compatible rack?

    The KM also lacks a chainstay brace. My fenders have a tab to lock into that brace. Without that brace, I'm forced to do some funky work with zip-ties, and I am picky about not wanting to do things like that.

    Nice color in that frame right now though. That shade of red looks great.

  4. #4
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
    Reputation: Shayne's Avatar
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    Designed Around Drop Bars?

    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick

    What's out there for me? The Salsa Fargo comes awfully close, but it's designed for drop bars, and I'm very uncertain about sizing a drop-bar frame. I may get one anyway, if i can sort out the right frame size to get. (I have to order blind, with no test ride).

    Never heard that one before.

    That's not really a design consideration. Any combination of stem and bars can be used to replicate any other combination of stem and bars.

    Size it up just like any other frame you'd be considering.
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  5. #5
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    Redline D440 sounds like exactly what you want.

    Disc-capable, rack mounts, chainstay bridge, rigid, 29er, fatty tire capable.

    Soma Juice is fairly close too.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne
    Never heard that one before.

    That's not really a design consideration. Any combination of stem and bars can be used to replicate any other combination of stem and bars.

    Size it up just like any other frame you'd be considering.
    False. Frames designed around drop bars have shorter top tubes.

  7. #7
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    That Redline D440 might work. Thanks Jag410, for the heads-up on that.

    I'm heading to Minneapolis area next month on a boondoggle with my son. I may take advantage of that trip to "civilization" (grin) to try and see some of these bikes -- the D440, the Karate Monkey -- in person.

    I may yet go the Salsa Fargo route. All my reading so far suggests that I really should step down one size when going to a drop-bar bike. I ride a 17.5" mountain-bike, so I should therefore fit the 16" Fargo.

    But that Chum Red color on the Karate Monkey looks awesome in my browser.

    So many decisions... But at least I have some options to look at now.

  8. #8
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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    Really?

    I'd like to see some evidence of that.

    The opposite would make more sence given that drop bars "generally" have your hands closer to the headtube.

    All the bikes I've bought that were spec-ed with drop bars had longer top tubes than any bike I've bought that was spec-ed with a flat bar.
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  9. #9
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    Shayne....

    do a little comparative geometry research. I ride a 21" MTB and a 60cm Road Bike which translates to a 23.5" frame. The TT on my MTB is 25" center to center. The TT on my road bike is 23". The road bike, being a road bike, is obviously desingned specifically for drop bars. So yes drop bar bikes or road bikes are generally designed with a shorter top tube than an MTB. As an apples to apples comparision 21 inches is about 54cm. A 54cm road bike usually has a tt length of right around 21". That's a full 4 inches shorter TT than a comparably sized MTB frame. And most manufacturers follow this wrote, the TT length on a road frame will usually be with within .5 inches of the frame size when converted from cm to inches. To get anything else you usually have to go custom.

    The bar style isn't really a consideration in the design geometry of the bikes of course. But rather a purpose design. To get a 25" TT on a road bike you'd have to go to at least a 63cm frame. The rule of thumb for initial mountain bike to road bike fit is, add 2" (5cm) to the riders MTB size and start there for road bike fitting. Of course it doesn't always work out that way as exact fit eventually comes down to personal preference. But that's the starting point. Sometimes you even have to go more as some riders prefer to undersize their mountain frames a bit.

    The bottom line is, yes most road and cross bike frames will have quite a bit shorter TT than an MTB frame, whether you compare exact sizes or the size that a given rider should be on. The TT on the road frame will be about 2" shorter when comparing properly fit bikes, or about 4" shorter when comparing exact size. Sometimes more, sometimes less as noted before as geometry between the two is quite different and personal preference is a biggy when it comes to fit. But you get the idea.

    Good Dirt
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  10. #10
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    soma dcdc would fit 26's, u need a disc specific rack too. but the geometry is good for flat bars

  11. #11
    I always bleed like this.
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    Not sure if they have what you got but I found myself on their website and had a blast building up a bike or two. Surprised by the total price as well once I was done.
    http://shop.irocycle.com/
    Follow through the build a bike option, pretty cool. If I had not just ordered a new wheel set for just a little less than this bikes costs I might have ordered the damn thing.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    PCC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne
    I'd like to see some evidence of that.

    The opposite would make more sence given that drop bars "generally" have your hands closer to the headtube.

    All the bikes I've bought that were spec-ed with drop bars had longer top tubes than any bike I've bought that was spec-ed with a flat bar.
    Shayne, to add to what Squash posted, remember that mountain bikes use swept back handlebars while road bikes have drop bars that bend forwards to the brakes. You don't typically ride a road bike on the tops but on the hoods or drops. Granted, the riding position on a road bike is a bit more aggressive (lower, more bent forward) but this is usually taken care of by mounting the handlebars lower relative to the saddle and not too much by stretching the rider out over the bike, though some people do this, too. On a road bike, if you are riding the tops, it's a more upright riding position than a typical mountain bike riding position.

  13. #13
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    Check out the Cotic roadrat


    I just bought one, it ticks all your boxes, imo. Karate Monkey was my second choice.

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