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  1. #1
    A God Without A Name
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    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?

    Lets be honest, In spite of their speed (And stability at speed)Road bikes Ride like jackhammers and corner like cruise ships.

    Mountain bikes maneuver like... well, Mountain goats. and ride like sofa's.

    But the mountain bike is sluggish, Usually far too easy to spin gearing on and annoyingly heavy.

    So lets get theoretical, what's the best way to build something meant to go real fast on asphalt, that has enough of a contact patch with the road to cut a sharp turn at speed (without skidding out.) that offers a forgiving enough ride?

    My idea? Lightweight 29'er with cruiser slicks. probably rigid, with a road bike drive train.

    Something like the Niner EMD9.

    your thoughts?

    I'm guessing the Cross Check gets mentioned by the second reply.

  2. #2
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    My friend bought one of these full carbon cross bikes. Light and fast, 34mm tires, and yes, he commutes on it.

    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-bianchicavaria-_sram_.jpg

    Cavaria | Bianchi USA

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    My friend bought one of these full carbon cross bikes. Light and fast, 34mm tires, and yes, he commutes on it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cavaria | Bianchi USA
    I expected something more exotic.

    Looks like a regular 10 speed road bike to me.

    Me and a buddy went on a mission to build hybrid road/mountain.

    We did this on the cheap and its turned out to be more fun than we ever imagined.

    Ok they are not 3 thousand dollar bikes but i have to tell you the level of fun surpassed what we expected.

    Ok so we ended up buying gt karakoram frames.
    A medium and a xl.

    Both 29er s

    Low down.

    We used 720 am bars with 1 and 2 in risers.
    8 speed cassettes, shimano and sram with hyperglide.
    Hallowtech cranks
    A slightly larger chain ring up front. Ended up with two chain rings up front.
    Pc 830 chains that we cut to exact length.
    X.4 shifters and derailuers with a long cage and swaped out pullys for sealed bearings.
    Sswaped out wheels for some dtswiss dh class
    Schwable marathon tyres at 35c up front and 40c on back because these are hardtails.
    We stuck with flat pedals and went with deity's
    We did buy some carbon seatposts but that all the carbon we used.
    Answer dj stems.
    Forks are x-fusion slide 29
    cane creek seal hed stak
    shimano external bb

    I gotta tell you guys. These bikes are kinda funny lookin but omg they are fun.
    we kept the old wheel set with kendas for off trail stuff but for the most part its been a blast, fast, smooth and we can pull off 30 miles rides like its nothing.

    Most fun i have had on bikes in like for ever.


    Total cost is around 1400.00

  4. #4
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    Re: How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?

    This isn't a hard bike to find these days; you are basically looking for a common commuter. 29er is overkill, and about 35-40mm is fine. Steel is real.

  5. #5
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    I'm not sure I understand the "corner like cruise ships" comment...my road bike will out corner my mountain bike or commuter (Cross Check) any day of the week....

  6. #6
    29er and 26er
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    I'm not sure I understand the "corner like cruise ships" comment...my road bike will out corner my mountain bike or commuter (Cross Check) any day of the week....
    I would agree. On asphalt my road bike will corner as good or better than my XC mountain bike with slicks.

  7. #7
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    My EXISTING commuter is a rigid steel 26'er that comes in just over 26 pounds and rides on 2.15 Big Apples. And its not a bad bike. at all. I can hook a corner at relatively high speeds with it. It's just not a bike that particularly likes speed. When I've ridden road bikes with 28mm tires it always felt like the back end was trying to get away from me in sharp turns. more than once it actually slid out from under me.

    Mind you I am by no means "used to" a road bike. because every time I've ridden one I've found the ride too unforgiving.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    My EXISTING commuter is a rigid steel 26'er that comes in just over 26 pounds and rides on 2.15 Big Apples...
    My "speedy" bike is my rigid steel 26er with BAs. It feels speedy because it's a singlespeed that's geared pretty high, the bars are way below the saddle, and my other two bikes are pigs. So those are my simple suggestions - make yours an ss, play with the geo (maybe drop bars?), or just get a slower bike to make this one feel faster.

  9. #9
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    On small low-frequency bumps typical of rough roads, my carbon mountain bike with 700x23C tires (and the fork locked out) rides harsher than my carbon road bike* on 700x23C tires.

    Not much harsher, but a bit.

    *Not actually mine
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    My "speedy" bike is my rigid steel 26er with BAs. It feels speedy because it's a singlespeed that's geared pretty high, the bars are way below the saddle, and my other two bikes are pigs. So those are my simple suggestions - make yours an ss, play with the geo (maybe drop bars?), or just get a slower bike to make this one feel faster.
    xD, Valid idea. I've played with drops on the soma before, but they've never felt right. right now its got a 660mm flat bar with virtually no rise. its still a bit tall but for the bike it feels like a good compromise. the biggest thing slowing my bike down is gearing... actually it's me. but after me it's gearing. But This bike is about to Become my girlfriends commuter. meaning I get a new bike. So... THE DREAMING BEGINS.

    *EDIT
    The reason it matters that it's going to be my girlfriends bike is the fact that she is very much a novice to the sport. so ease of fit and relaxing the handling are what matters most on it now.

  11. #11
    jrm
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    700c wheeled hybrid is it. Still wont be faster, or handle as well as a road bike. YMMV

  12. #12
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    Drop bar 29er.
    Pick a 29er. Make it a road bike.

    I've done 2:



    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-picture1.jpg
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  13. #13
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    I was waiting for you, CB.

    On thing that I find, is that on a route with lots of stop-n-go I enjoy my 26ers. I notice the extra effort it takes to spin up my 29er (even though it has better wheels and tires than my 26ers), and that makes the 26ers feel zippier. That's a quirk of my typical commute though, where my longest run without stopping is half a mile, and there are plenty of spots where I have to stop every block.

  14. #14
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    ^^I only stop to take pictures
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  15. #15
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    Re: How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    My EXISTING commuter is a rigid steel 26'er that comes in just over 26 pounds and rides on 2.15 Big Apples. And its not a bad bike. at all. I can hook a corner at relatively high speeds with it. It's just not a bike that particularly likes speed. When I've ridden road bikes with 28mm tires it always felt like the back end was trying to get away from me in sharp turns. more than once it actually slid out from under me.

    Mind you I am by no means "used to" a road bike. because every time I've ridden one I've found the ride too unforgiving.
    Sounds like a really lousy set of tires. That's simply not normal.

  16. #16
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    really? while I cant name the model of tires, I tried a bike with moderately worn Michelin's, fresh specializeds and sad bontragers.

    the specializeds were the best.

    I just... I want zoom zoom at this point! but more rally car zoom than ferrari zoom

    If that made any sense at all.

  17. #17
    Fat-tired Roadie Moderator
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    I disagree with both parts of your opening line.

    As with mountain bikes, part of getting a good ride and traction out of a road bike is tuning tire pressure. My 'A' road bike gets 80 and 95. (23 mm tires.) My commuter gets 80 and 102. It has bigger tires, but I also carry a load on it and strap a couple locks to the rack, so I've sometimes had trouble with pinch flats on it, that I haven't had come up on the one I only ride for fun or training.

    I guess I'd also ask if you feel that jackhammer thing all the time, or just when you plow through a section of particularly bad pavement. As with mountain bikes, you need to post when the going gets rough.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  18. #18
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    because of my weight (260+) i tend to ride a bit higher in the pressures. I tend to inflate to MAX recommended PSI then back off till I find a sweet zone. for the one road bike I was on for more than an afternoon (The specialized... I want to say Roubaix? no idea.) I was at around 105 in the rear and 100 in the front. I don't remember his exact tire size. but I'd put it at around 28. not the stock rubbers but still specialized.

    with my weight pinch flats and torn casings tend to happen if I run at the pressures a 170 pound person does.

    With the roubaix, on the streets I commute (suburban and surface) that jackhammer was at the slightest bump. I always felt at the edge of control. I did check my fit on the bike, and while not ideal it was more than good enough to get an idea of it. my turning radius was enormous and traction was abysmal.

    so lets start with what I'd like. Lighter weight, tons of acceleration, turns on a dime. lets me haulass when I want to but rides smooth enough my wrists and posterior don't kill me 20 miles in.

  19. #19
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    Re: How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    really?
    Yes, it really is not normal to have the back wheel skid out on every corner when running a road bike on asphalt. I would guess that given your weight, the tires were severely underinflated. (For 28s I'd start at about 130 pounds.) For a lower pressure you'd need a bigger tire (like the 35s I suggested earlier). For a built bike, look at something like the Jamis Bosanova. There's a good market these days for that sort of bike, with relaxed road geometry, ability to mount larger tires, fender & rack mounts, etc.--you're not really describing something novel. You'll generally find the manufacturers filing them under something like urban/commuter/multi-use.

  20. #20
    Squeaky Wheel
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    Titanium Cross Bike. Goes fast, rugged but lightweight, disc brakes for wet weather, attachment points for all your commuting goodies.


  21. #21
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    Seems to me like there are a lot of road bikes out there now that will take wider tires. I can fit 35's on my Casseroll, and that has regular road brakes (long reach).
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  22. #22
    Fat-tired Roadie Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    because of my weight (260+) i tend to ride a bit higher in the pressures. I tend to inflate to MAX recommended PSI then back off till I find a sweet zone. for the one road bike I was on for more than an afternoon (The specialized... I want to say Roubaix? no idea.) I was at around 105 in the rear and 100 in the front. I don't remember his exact tire size. but I'd put it at around 28. not the stock rubbers but still specialized.

    with my weight pinch flats and torn casings tend to happen if I run at the pressures a 170 pound person does.

    With the roubaix, on the streets I commute (suburban and surface) that jackhammer was at the slightest bump. I always felt at the edge of control. I did check my fit on the bike, and while not ideal it was more than good enough to get an idea of it. my turning radius was enormous and traction was abysmal.

    so lets start with what I'd like. Lighter weight, tons of acceleration, turns on a dime. lets me haulass when I want to but rides smooth enough my wrists and posterior don't kill me 20 miles in.
    Don't you already have a road bike? I forget what it was...

    Anyway, IMO you need to keep going bigger on the tires until you find something big enough to let you use less than max pressure. I think you need to let go of "light" from the bike and understand that acceleration comes mostly from you, hauling ass comes mostly from you and also from getting you out of the wind, and handling comes to a large degree from you, but you need not to be fighting the bike.

    What's the biggest road tire you've tried? They're available up to 40 mm or so - touring tires at that point. They're not all "fast," but the truth is that it doesn't make all that much difference. The Schwalbe Marathon is popular with a lot of people. Looks like Maxxis goes pretty wide on some slick hybrid tires.

    The next problem is that you need a frame that clears them. You can do a 29er like CommuterBoy's, you can do a cyclocross or touring bike, you can do something from Rivendell, you get a couple options in Surly (Cross Check for a narrower tire and, supposedly, quicker-handling bike, LHT lets you go up to a 2.1" tire if you do the 26" version) the Salsa Fargo may have "Agwan" written all over it, I think Jamis has something... as vmps says, this is not such a rare type of bike.

    If I were having your problem with being able to get a smooth ride, what I'd be looking for is the ability to fit a big enough tire to use "my" pressure. What I'd be trying to keep from a road bike would be the drop bars - these are a big part of sustaining higher cruising speeds on the flats and also contribute to comfort on a longer ride and accelerations - and some aspects of the geometry, particularly a top tube length that plays well with drop bars, a steep head tube relative to a mountain bike (though it's really only about a degree) and a bit lower bottom bracket, again relative to a mountain bike.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    The smoother ride is achieved with frame inserts Specialized calls them Zertz....I have riden a bike with them it was an older Tricross...

    Seems like this is the model nowadays.

    Specialized Bicycle Components

  24. #24
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    I am a big fan of bikes that bend or break stereotypes.

    I have an On-One Pompetamine that is really a road bike that I built up with wheels durable enough for the trails (Shimano 29er - M529 or somesuch -specific hubs with bigger flanges for strength and reflective Velocity Dyad rims).

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8007861@N04/8489759289/" title="DSCN2682 by mtbikernate, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8236/8489759289_ef592beb3b.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="DSCN2682"></a>

    It does handle like a road bike, though. Slow speed turns are not a strength. But if you lean into a turn with some speed, it'll carve. As pictured, it's got 32mm tires. I have 38's with more tread that I can put on it if I want. It's SS right now, but I'm considering making it 1x, maybe using an IGH for a new rear wheel build or putting a cassette and derailleur on it for a more traditional 1x build.

    I have fun with this bike. I don't have fun with it the same way I have fun with a mtb, though, so I don't want it to be one.

  25. #25
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    I'll just throw another wrench into the mix based on some riding I've been doing lately. I'd like a bike that has an ~80mm suspension fork, a road bike like pedaling position, drop bars, and 700x32c tires. I'm sure I could build one up like this, but the pedaling position and efficiency is pretty important.

    The reason why is that there are several pavement/dirt road rides in my area that offer great fitness challenges. I've ridden them on the road bike but have to be really careful about pinch flats going down and end up with numb hands/feet on the fast dirt descents. On the flip side, I've taken my MTB up there which is fantastic on the dirt sections but a heavy tank and inefficient pedaling position on the road, plus non-aero position and low geared. A cross bike is not going to cut it, I basically have a cross bike now with 23c road tires on it.

    Here's one of those rides. About 50% nice pavement, 25% terrible pavement, and 25% dirt roads

    Honey Run -> Sawmill - > Centerville - A bike ride in Chico, California
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  26. #26
    A God Without A Name
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    Dat ^

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Seems to me like there are a lot of road bikes out there now that will take wider tires. I can fit 35's on my Casseroll, and that has regular road brakes (long reach).
    On the subject of road bikes which the OP excluded, but which I think could be good unless disc brakes are needed. If one is handy with tools, a steel 27" classic butted Reynolds 531 or Columbus 4020 can be cold set to 130 mm, and it will fit 35 mm 700 C wheels and tires no fenders on narrow rims or with fenders on Dyads or A23s. Stay away from the competition frames with their tighter geometry and you get a great ride.

    An example, if a bit overdone:



    Tires make a huge difference. The Tourguard tires with Kevlar belt ride hard compared to the unbelted or the Soma New Xpress (also made by panasonic).

    BrianMc

  28. #28
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    Would also be killer to rig up a bike that was light enough to take on century rides. I like my road bike, but it's nothing special. Just an aluminum frame roadie around the 20# mark. I've had thoughts of building up a 29er and using almost all my parts from the roadie. I just wonder what 29er frame would have a pedaling position that would be efficient enough for decent times on a 100 miler.
    "Got everything you need?"

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    Would also be killer to rig up a bike that was light enough to take on century rides. I like my road bike, but it's nothing special. Just an aluminum frame roadie around the 20# mark. I've had thoughts of building up a 29er and using almost all my parts from the roadie. I just wonder what 29er frame would have a pedaling position that would be efficient enough for decent times on a 100 miler.
    I basically did that with a Nashbar 'cross frame. I put 38's on it, and it was very plush. Did my first century on this bike.
    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-commuter.jpg


    That said, I woudn't hesitate to do a century on my Ogre now, or on the Access I had before with drops on it. I did a 7 day tour on that bike, loaded and with a trailer, and it was very comfy for some long days in the saddle. Riding position is very comfortable on a 29er with drops, and you can play with spacers/stem to dial it in for comfort. My drop bar Ogre is THE bike for some of the Chico rides you describe.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  30. #30
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    My issue with using mtb frames for the road is that in general I don't think they handle as nicely at road speeds. I notice this almost anytime I ride one of my mtb's downhill on pavement. But I also found this to be true when I set up my Karate Monkey for the road (42mm tires) and my Miyata 26" mtb frame set up as my daily commuter.

    Actually, for what I use the commuter for, it's fine, because I'm generally not going that fast or riding that aggressively, and I'm often in slow, tight situations. But if I could do the commuter over again (and I might at some point) I will base it on a road frame, something like my Casseroll, but better suited for heavy loads.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  31. #31
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    I much prefer discs. not necessarily for the power. that Roubaix could lock wheels in a split second. it's more for icy, wet weather conditions. I'm not sure I can trust Rim brakes then.

  32. #32
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    I wonder if there are any suitable CF 26" hardtail frames that would work well. Something like the Sette Serum Carbon with a decent 80mm fork, wheelset and disc brakes? I currently ride a 17" frame, and the 29ers I've tried all feel a bit clunky. Maybe that's a good thing at speed, but losing a couple pounds for the climbs would also be nice.

    Sette Serum Elite Carbon Hardtail Frame at Price Point
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  33. #33
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    I thought about the idea of building up a MTB frame with road parts. When I started looking at the geometry, I ended up giving up on the idea.

    I was starting to write a longer post, but actually there's a pretty simple answer to the road bike with suspension idea - Fargo, and be happy.

    I don't think starting with a little heavier frame really kills the project of making a relatively light bike. The swing in weight among decent-quality non-suspension frames is never all that big, so as long as the rest of the build is sensibly light...
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  34. #34
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    Maybe I should scrap the idea of a fork; it's extra weight and adds a lot of money to the build. With some wide 700c tires at lower PSI, that should enable me to tackle some gnarly roads but still keep the weight low. What do you think of a Surly Cross Check build with most of my current road parts swapped over?

    Frame: Surly Cross Check 52cm - $440 w/ fork
    Wheels: Vuelta XRP Pro (have) - pretty heavy but strong
    Tires: Kenda Happy Medium 700x40c - $35 x2
    Shifters: Ultegra STI 6700 3x10 (have)
    Derailleurs: Ultegra 6700 (have)
    Cassette: Ultegra 6700 (have)
    Crankset: FSA Elita Triple (have)
    Brakes: Cane Creek SCX-5 Cantis - $40 x2 (or Paul Comp since I live in the same town)
    Headset: Cane Creek 40 (have)
    Bars: Ritchey Pro Logic ergo (have)
    Seatpost: FSA carbon 27.2 (have)

    So around $600 total to move into a more multi-purpose bike. I could still ride fast on the road, even with a couple extra pounds over my Al frame and CF fork. And with the fatter tires and steel frame, I'm hoping it would offer a smoother and more controlled ride on the gravel roads (especially the downhills). Anyone do a build like this? Worth it?
    Last edited by TwoHeadsBrewing; 03-07-2013 at 05:32 PM.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    Maybe I should scrap the idea of a fork; it's extra weight and adds a lot of money to the build. With some wide 700c tires at lower PSI, that should enable me to tackle some gnarly roads but still keep the weight low. What do you think of a Surly Cross Check build with most of my current road parts swapped over?

    Frame: Surly Cross Check 52cm - $440 w/ fork
    Wheels: Vuelta XRP Pro (have) - pretty heavy but strong
    Tires: Kenda Happy Medium 700x40c - $35 x2
    Shifters: Ultegra STI 6700 3x10 (have)
    Derailleurs: Ultegra 6700 (have)
    Cassette: Ultegra 6700 (have)
    Crankset: FSA Elita Triple (have)
    Brakes: Cane Creek SCX-5 Cantis - $40 x2 (or Paul Comp since I live in the same town)
    Headset: Cane Creek 40 (have)
    Bars: Ritchey Pro Logic ergo (have)
    Seatpost: FSA carbon 27.2 (have)

    So around $600 total to move into a more multi-purpose bike. I could still ride fast on the road, even with a couple extra pounds over my Al frame and CF fork. And with the fatter tires and steel frame, I'm hoping it would offer a smoother and more controlled ride on the gravel roads (especially the downhills). Anyone do a build like this? Worth it?
    I picked up a 600 dollar fork for free, i just waited till they went inside and rode off with it.

    Pshhhh i dont need no stinking federal reserve notes. All i need are two arms and two legs.

    Dont leave that nice bike alone, i might gank it. Hell i heard of dudes just rollin up on huffies with tazers and riding back to the hood on brand new fs bikes.

    Five finger discounts baby, the hood pumps out quality parts at dirt cheap prices.

    All those white kids with nice bikes way out in the sticks, easy pickins for a poor roughneck.

    Psh, you know what i say when i see that? Would you just look at that, just look at it.

  36. #36
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    Yep, just look at it.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    Anyone do a build like this? Worth it?
    Uh ... not exactly but somewhat similar. I recently put some road parts (drop bar, Sora brifters) on my pavement cruiser, a '92 Marin Bear Valley 26" rigid with Continental slicks. I considered purchasing a road or cx ... but I just love this steel bike! So I thought I'd simply turn it into a more capable road ride.

    As AndrwSwitch mentioned, the geometry needs to be right to pull it off. On my bike, it has a relatively long top tube, short head tube, 74 deg STA and 70 deg HTA. While the front end might seem slack, the fork has a fairly small offset (37mm) which keeps the trail at a reasonable 6.7cm, i.e. steering is not at all heavy.

    I'm currently waiting on a set of mini v brakes to complete the build which should be a better match than the full-size v's it currently wears. If building from new, though, I'd definitely opt for road-specific disc brakes.

    As for off-road performance, I'm not a fan of hybrid/dual-purpose rubber. On pavement, they add rolling resistance and, on the loose stuff, only provide adequate grip. So I'll switch to knobbies if I want to try it out on some trails. Fit should not be a problem.

    I've only been out for a few rides (damn Chicago winters) but I was very pleased with its performance. With the 1.6" slicks at 50 psi and its long wheelbase (104cm), it produces a fairly compliant, yet, lively ride. In the drops, I actually felt a bit more confident in high-speed corners, cut through the wind with relative ease and they were surprisingly comfortable over small pot holes or train tracks. And being able to spin fast while descending is a blast.

    As you can see, below, I have the same Ritchey drop bar you plan to use. I've replaced the mountain crank with a 48/38/28 FSA and the saddle with a Specialized Avatar Comp Gel (thank god for Craigslist and eBay!). Can't wait for Spring to see how it works off-road but, for its primary use, I think my re-purposed mtb will continue to get her done.

    Last summer


    26 lbs without pedals or accessories


    Now


    Will weigh it, again, after I install the new brakes
    Last edited by joeinchi; 03-07-2013 at 08:58 PM.
    Joe
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    My idea? Lightweight 29'er with cruiser slicks. probably rigid, with a road bike drive train.
    29 incher mountain bike with fast tires like Vulpines. Just add some teeth to the largest ring and learn to spin faster as needed. Problem solved. I used to think cyclocross bikes with "big" 35 road tires were the bees knees for such a role but larger twenty nine inch (50x700) tires just roll over anything effortlessly with as much speed as 35x700 tires and far more comfort and enjoyability and that's what it's all about. When it's all fun all the time you'll want to ride more and will end up doing so. You can add drop bars and other "monster-cross" features if you want to but you don't need to. With semi-slick tires like the Vulpines you can also competently ride trails too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    Maybe I should scrap the idea of a fork; it's extra weight and adds a lot of money to the build. With some wide 700c tires at lower PSI, that should enable me to tackle some gnarly roads but still keep the weight low. What do you think of a Surly Cross Check build with most of my current road parts swapped over?
    Friends of mine with the Cross-Check go through a lot of different builds over time. Seems to be a big part of the fun with that frame - it won't fight you on being repurposed.

    I have both road and off-road time on my 'cross bike. It's really all about the tires. I actually never had anything bigger than a racing tire (35 mm, give or take) on it, but it's got clearance for more. It's moving into a role as my primary road bike lately, with some skinny slicks.

    Hard to say if it'll change your feeling about riding gravel roads. Not something I do much outside the context of also riding singletrack, so I'm typically on my mountain bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    I'd like a bike that has an ~80mm suspension fork, a road bike like pedaling position, drop bars, and 700x32c tires.

    Here's one of those rides. About 50% nice pavement, 25% terrible pavement, and 25% dirt roads
    There have been a few road bikes on the market with suspension forks (not sure if any had that travel), but they didn`t sell enough, and never lasted long on the market. You might be able to dig one up if you look patiently. I think Cannondale Silk Road was the closest to a success and most prevalent of those.

    Mmmm... nice looking route. That wandering snake labeled Centerville Rd looks downright delightful. Is it paved? Can`t zoom in enough to tell from sat images.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I thought about the idea of building up a MTB frame with road parts. When I started looking at the geometry, I ended up giving up on the idea.
    Andrew, you probably have enough parts stashed to pull that off. You might just ignore the published geo and give it a shot with an old rigid bike. You could end up with a nice surprise, and if you don`t like it you could always just swap the original cockpit back on and resell, getting back both your money and your parts stash. I honestly don`t understand geometry specs very well, but love the ride and handling of my rigid Schwinn beast- have had it up to over 50 MPH both loaded and unloaded with not a worry. The one road bike I`ve owned in my adult life was gorgeous, but somehow just didn`t feel right to me. I`ll probably try another in the next couple years (or sooner if I can`t keep my dumb a$$ off Craigslist), but so far I haven`t been able to top that overloaded tank of an mtb.
    Recalculating....

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    ^^^
    You'd be surprised at how little bike stuff I have, actually. I just dropped from five to four bikes, and I've been pretty good about keeping my parts shelves to direct spares of wear parts.

    Now, bring it up again when I've lived in a house of my own with a bit more storage space for a few years, and it may be another story...
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    @rodar y rodar: Centerville Rd is paved up until the real squiggly part and then it turns to well maintained gravel. It's actually not bad riding UP on the road bike, but going down it is where I get the numb hands and feet. Not sure if anything short of a MTB with fatties is going to be able to provide a nice ride at 20mph though...
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    ^^ I'm telling you, rigid drop bar 29er with something in the 2.0 range for tires. It's glorious. Like riding a Cadillac.
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    26" hardrock with 2.5" hookworm tires is a nice heavy trainer, my 29er is faster and has a lockout fork option which is missing on my hardrock. However, these hookworm tires are very nice on the road at 65psi, but heavy. I think that a cyclecross bike would be a nice choice for a fast do all commuter such as this one.

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    That's a great suggestion on the Specialized Tricross! I hadn't even thought of that bike, but it would be within my budget if I swapped parts and sold my existing road bike. From the reviews, it sounds like a good all-rounder. With my Ultegra drive train, I think it would be a really nice do it all bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    ^^ I'm telling you, rigid drop bar 29er with something in the 2.0 range for tires. It's glorious. Like riding a Cadillac.
    I've actually thought about doing that, even to the point of speccing out a build. A really spendy, carbon fiber build! Unfortunately, I'm saving up for a trip to Kaua'i so I don't have that much to spend.

    Here's an idea for a build with a Motobecane Fantom CX for under $500 - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...3c&usp=sharing
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I thought about the idea of building up a MTB frame with road parts. When I started looking at the geometry, I ended up giving up on the idea.

    I was starting to write a longer post, but actually there's a pretty simple answer to the road bike with suspension idea - Fargo, and be happy.

    I don't think starting with a little heavier frame really kills the project of making a relatively light bike. The swing in weight among decent-quality non-suspension frames is never all that big, so as long as the rest of the build is sensibly light...
    The Fargo or the pricier Comotion Divide would be pretty close to my ideal for this type of bike. I ride a Salsa El Mariachi, with an 80 mm Reba, which is close enough for now. If I was doing long rides on paved and gravel roads I'd want the drop bars for sure and I could live with a rigid steel fork.

  48. #48
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    Sweet Dreaming

    You guys remember Sakurama`s BadBoy? Post 1606 in the Post Your Commuter sticky.
    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-dscf3928-x2.jpg
    Joeinchi, I like your Marin. Prettier than either of my roadie mtbs. I`m curious to find out how it weighs out for you- an 89 Rockhopper is the lighter of my two, at just about 26# in the lightest mode I ride in (tool/tube bag and pump attatched but no rack or water.)
    Recalculating....

  49. #49
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    im using this

    This bike has room for some bigger tires.. And its belt drive .. wooo


    Commuter Bike | Civia Bryant Belt Drive Alfine
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  50. #50
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    Thanks, will update when done.
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    These are couple of bikes that I've built from scratch as all-year/all-weather/all-sh*t UK roads training/commuting bikes.
    They make far more sense than most of "proper" road bikes IMO.
    The one on the right (used currently) is based on mid 90s Corratec frame.
    MTB frame needs to be one or two sizes smaller for the right reach (hoods/drops).

    They both ride brilliantly and float over everything and the level of comfort, grip and confidence is in a completely different league to road bikes.
    I have no idea what the angles are and I tend not to over-analyse it but handling is best with 2" tyres in this case Kojaks run at 20-25 PSI FR and 40-45 REAR, (175lb) tubeless on Flow rims.

    I don't really think that building a bike like that is big deal. There are plenty of retro frames/bikes on Ebay that would make great candidates...

    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-img_3643.jpgHow do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-img_3645.jpg
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    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-4580145056.swf.jpg  

    Last edited by Barteos; 08-25-2013 at 02:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barteos View Post
    MTB frame needs to be one or two sizes smaller for the right reach (hoods/drops).
    That's about what I'd thought looking at the geometry on paper.

    What size MTB do you ride? I'm typically on a 17", and something that bothers me about the 13" size is that often, the geometry gets kinda wonky and I think I'm not reducing the reach as much as I'd need to.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    I ride a 17.5 Soma Groove. Set up in much the same fashion as above... but that has already been stated in this thread.

    My next bike is a Cross Check, though I sorely wish it had discs,literally everything else about it is too my liking.

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    Sorry, my "you" in post #52 was Barteos.

    Agwan, if you wish the Cross Check had discs, why don't you buy a disc bike? I think the Traitor Ruben or Soma Double Cross keep a lot of the Cross Check's positives. For a complete bike, maybe the Redline Metro Classic or whichever of Jamis' bikes it is.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    I`m curious to find out how it weighs out for you
    The bikes weighs about 1/2 lb less or 25.5 without pedals/acc. I lost about 4 oz going from full size V brakes to the mini V's. Bar with tape saved a few more ounces vs flat bar with Ergon grips. Brifters were a wash. I still have original Araya rims, so I might be able to go a little lower.

    Huge improvement in performance with the Tektro RX5 minis vs Avid V brakes. RX5 arms measure 80mm vs the Avid's at 100mm


    They also "fit" the smaller tires better. Clearance down to 7mm for the Conti SportContacts 26x1.6 (1.5 actual). Still room for a 1.75.
    Joe
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    @AndrwSwitch

    Regarding frame size, I think it makes sense to go to a smaller size but ONLY if the frame you're considering has a relatively long top tube. A lot of those 90's bikes definitely have "road like" geometry but not all contemporary bikes feature a shorter top tube, e.g. Gary Fisher Genesis. I'd suggest you, first, confirm the ETT that works for you and then adjust from there.

    As for hood/drop reach, keep in mind that road bars are about 10" narrower than a modern 700mm mtb bar. You'll increase your physical reach by simply holding the bar nearer the stem.

    Then there's the matter of drop from saddle to bar. For every 30mm you raise the bar, you decrease the reach by ~12mm (or 1/2"). If you plan to set the road bar higher than your current mtb setup, then you'll want to adjust accordingly.

    To limit some of the guesswork, I'd suggest you use a compact/shallow reach handlebar like the ones on Barteos's bikes. They're similar to an FSA Omega Compact which has a flat top (great for cruising on the hoods) and isn't much more forward or lower than your current bar.

    I think you'll enjoy the project. Those old steel frames are great, especially when matched with some fast, comfy road rubber. As Barteos wrote They make far more sense than most "proper" road bikes
    Joe
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    That's about what I'd thought looking at the geometry on paper.

    What size MTB do you ride? I'm typically on a 17", and something that bothers me about the 13" size is that often, the geometry gets kinda wonky and I think I'm not reducing the reach as much as I'd need to.
    I'm 5'11 and always ride L, 19.5"-20.0" MTB bikes with 620-625mm effective TT and 100mm stems.
    Eff top tubes on my road bikes need to be 560mm-570mm (110-120mm stem, shallow bar)
    Last edited by Barteos; 03-17-2013 at 05:43 PM.
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  58. #58
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    LOL, way too many "yous" running around this thread. It may stilted, but this is part of why I've been trying to get into the habit of writing "one" instead of "you" when I don't mean someone specific and don't mean to address my reader directly. "One does not simply walk into Morder..." as opposed to "You don't simply walk into Mordor." Because maybe I do simply walk into Mordor. And better yet, "I hate it when I bang my knee on my pedal," and not "I hate it when you bang your knee on your pedal." Because while I don't wish ill on anybody, I usually don't even know whether or not someone else bangs his knee. Now if only we had a pronoun that didn't imply gender, didn't refer to a group, and didn't refer to an inanimate object. Because women bang their knees too, but a woman doesn't bang their knee, that would be a group of women.

    Anyway, at least it's not scientific writing. The part of me that earned a BA cries a little whenever I have to spray passive voice all over a paper for one of my engineering classes.

    Grammar geek rant aside, (it's really about clarity, I swear!) if "you" is me, FWIW I have some proper road bikes and I'm actually very happy with them. I guess right now, I only have sort-of proper road bikes, I have a Trek Portland - marketed as a touring bike - and a Kona Jake, which is a 'cross bike.

    I feel like part of the impetus for threads like this is that racing bikes sell. The first road bike I owned, which I vandalized with a bad flat bar conversion, was an old sport/touring bike. Actually a really great class of bike, but, like station wagons, they're not really sexy and they're not quite a pickup truck. I've also had a racer, a different '70s 10-speed, a fairly racy '80s 12-speed, and the current slightly chunky road bikes.

    I gotta say, I've ridden a lot of dirt on the 'cross bike and the Portland does well with the loads I ask it to and is great in the rain. That's my commuter right now, and I think that Trek is a gang of idiots for not keeping it in their line, even if the CrossRip is pretty much the same bike with a black paint job.

    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-0109turtlesamantha02.jpg

    So good for Surly for releasing some road bikes that fit decent-sized tires and still have all the right fittings even during periods when the other guys are only doing racers.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  59. #59
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    I hate it when one bangs your knees on my pedals!

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinchi View Post
    The bikes weighs about 1/2 lb less or 25.5 without pedals/acc. I lost about 4 oz going from full size V brakes to the mini V's. Bar with tape saved a few more ounces vs flat bar with Ergon grips. Brifters were a wash. I still have original Araya rims, so I might be able to go a little lower.
    Wow, quite a drop for your brake change. If I were going to keep my Rockhopper, I`d have put mini Vs at least on the rear (heel interference), but there are a few other other things that didn`t work out with it. It`s going back to flat bars and back on CL. I just "did" that bike over the last couple months, weighed everything that came off it and everything that went on. It lost about 3.5 pounds going from flat to drop with no special parts- I just picked the lightest I had on hand that would work. Most of the weight loss came from tires (and it already had 1.5 "townie" tires), a good bit from the saddle, and the rest just little by little.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    What size MTB do you ride? I'm typically on a 17", and something that bothers me about the 13" size is that often, the geometry gets kinda wonky and I think I'm not reducing the reach as much as I'd need to.
    I was going to suggest that older mtbs weren`t as far off from road bikes as modern ones are, but Joeinchi beat me to it, along with some extra info that I hadn`t considered. Good point about the bar width! One that didn`t get in Joe`s nice summary was stem length- look how long the stems are on most of those old rigids. Andrew, I hope you get a chance to play with one someday, but it really does take some patience, and it`s helpful to have a nice stash before diving in, because there will most likely be a few little things that just don`t quite work out and require experimentation. The first bike I did that to just clicked, and we`ve been a happy couple since then. The second one didn`t work at all, so I`m going back to the drawing board.

    FWIW, my Beastie Bike should be too long for me, in theory. I have a very short reach stem that sticks up really high, and it works. I love the handling. For the next try, I chose a smaller frame to start with, and I think the overly quick handling that I don`t like is mostly due to the weight distribution being oriented too forward oriented, a direct result of that shorter frame. I could be wrong, of course.
    Recalculating....

  60. #60
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    I just went with ETT... I did not wind up ordering a smaller MTB Frame for my drop-bar bikes.
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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    I hate it when one bangs your knees on my pedals!
    LOL, me too. My knees end up hurting, you're wondering what I'm doing at your house, and there's some odd person running around who orchestrated the whole thing!
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    I found this in the "Cross Check Photos" thread: Cross Check pics please

    A build like that, and then an extra set of sturdy wheels with some fatties seems like a good place to start. Maybe some Woodchipper bars after that.

    "Got everything you need?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Most of the weight loss came from tires (and it already had 1.5 "townie" tires), a good bit from the saddle, and the rest just little by little.
    Yep, tires were big for me, too ... 1/2 lb off each rim.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    For the next try, I chose a smaller frame to start with, and I think the overly quick handling that I don`t like is mostly due to the weight distribution being oriented too forward oriented, a direct result of that shorter frame. I could be wrong, of course.
    It sound like you realized some wheel flop. The one thing about mtb geo is that, while the extra fork trail makes for a more stable ride in rough terrain, it also make the front end sensitive to load. As you surmised, any course correction is somewhat amplified when you have excessive weight on the bars.
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    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?

    Commuterboy...Where did you get your fenders?


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    Quote Originally Posted by p08757 View Post
    I would agree. On asphalt my road bike will corner as good or better than my XC mountain bike with slicks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    I'm not sure I understand the "corner like cruise ships" comment...my road bike will out corner my mountain bike or commuter (Cross Check) any day of the week....
    This is interesting -riding in and out of San Fran, many times overnights up the coast, Hwy 1, doesn't matter. My Bridgestone MB-1 w 1.5 slicks bests every road bike we encountered on fast-fast, curvy downhills. And no, it's not just about weight. As for manic-inner city, no contest there either, of course.

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    I guess my next bike will be pretty boring. A black cross check with 29x2.00 fat franks in brown. brown seat, Shimano 105 black and Linear pulls...

    the two things I've not settled on are the rims, and the bars.

    I'd like a cheap 29er wheelset that's plenty wide for the Franks. And at least a compact drop up front. so I can pretend I'm a roadie from time to time.

    Is there a good wheelset for this idea? also bars?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ordinaryguy View Post
    Commuterboy...Where did you get your fenders?

    sorry, missed this... I think Tree Fort Bikes:

    Planet Bike Cascadia 29er Black Fenders in Tree Fort Bikes Fenders (cat143)
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  68. #68
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    How do you figure that`s boring, Agwan? Sounds pretty killer to me
    Recalculating....

  69. #69
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    For a rural application that would be the bees knees. I love doing big ol FR grinds on my 9er up in the sierras but for city riding i'm sticking to my roadie. Its just too fast, agile and quick.

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    I've gotten a couple pairs of good beefy Mavic 29er rims with less than top-end hubs from pricepoint for pretty cheap. They've been great.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    I guess my next bike will be pretty boring. A black cross check with 29x2.00 fat franks in brown. brown seat, Shimano 105 black and Linear pulls...

    the two things I've not settled on are the rims, and the bars.

    I'd like a cheap 29er wheelset that's plenty wide for the Franks. And at least a compact drop up front. so I can pretend I'm a roadie from time to time.

    Is there a good wheelset for this idea? also bars?
    bicyclewheelwarehouse.com can be pretty good for complete wheelsets. A 17-19 mm rim would do the job for you.

    Handlebars are almost as much of a preference item as saddles, once you get into it. I really like FSA's compact bend shape. There are a few different handlebars in their line that are available in it. You can choose between carbon and aluminum and a round or flattened top section. Those are good for someone who has a fairly traditional attitude toward riding position - hands about shoulder width and on the ramps or hoods for general riding. I like the slight flare because it's a little roomier in a sprint, the shallower drop because I don't like to get that much lower than I am in the first place, and the tighter radius at the top of the bar because I think it plays really nicely with Shimano's hood shape. Be aware that if you want the same width at the hoods as a bar without the flare, you'd want to move up one size. FSA reports the width of their compact bars at the ends, which everyone else does, but not everyone else flared to get there.

    I know the appearance of your bike is important to you, but I think you'll get over it. One of the things I like about this sport is the primacy of the athlete. I decided to try track racing last summer and since I've been in school, I'm trying to be efficient with my use of money. So my racer is a sub-$1000 complete track bike that I picked up used via Craig's List. It's navy blue steel with 32-spoke clinchers and a cheap fixie crank, so probably even more boring than your new build, but it was good enough for me to move from 5 to 4 (actually pretty easy on the track) and it's been good enough for me to collect my first few upgrade points toward Cat. 3. Did it on the crappy stock tires, no less, although I do have some "faster" ones for this season.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    I guess my next bike will be pretty boring. A black cross check with 29x2.00 fat franks in brown. brown seat, Shimano 105 black and Linear pulls...

    the two things I've not settled on are the rims, and the bars.

    I'd like a cheap 29er wheelset that's plenty wide for the Franks. And at least a compact drop up front. so I can pretend I'm a roadie from time to time.

    Is there a good wheelset for this idea? also bars?
    Very cool bike! You might not be able to use the Fat Franks, though, since Surly does not recommend tires wider than 45mm (1.77"). Cross-Check Frame Highlights. Here's a thread covering the Monstercross Tire Options.

    As for handlebars, the FSA Omega Compact is a nice road bar with short reach/drop, slight flare (4 deg) and reasonably priced. Or the Salsa Cowbell which is a true gravel grinder bar with 12 deg flare.

    As for your other requirements ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    so lets start with what I'd like. Lighter weight, tons of acceleration, turns on a dime. lets me haulass when I want to but rides smooth enough my wrists and posterior don't kill me 20 miles in.
    Lightweight - Stick with tires less than 2" wide. A pair of Continental Cyclocross 700x35's weighs 720g (1.6 lbs) while the Fat Franks total 1560g (3.4 lbs).

    Acceleration - Keeping the rotating mass (wheels/tires) as light as possible will help. But efficient power transfer usually means stiff, lightweight, frame, fork and wheels riding on high psi tires. Your call as to how much comfort you're willing to sacrifice.

    Turns on a dime - If you're talking about traction while cornering at high speeds, then a relatively wide tire, 35-40mm, run at 70-80 psi will feel a lot more stable than a road tire, 23-25mm.

    Smooth ride for wrists and posterior - It sounds like you already know how to find the sweet spot on tire pressures that yields the best compromise between ride quality and puncture resistance. That's a good approach. The other area to focus on is bike fit. There are countless threads covering this topic but it may be worthwhile for you to get a professional fitting to ensure your setup improves long term comfort.

    And don't settle for a "boring" CC. Bling it out!
    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-surly-56cm-black-001-1024x768.jpg
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  73. #73
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    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-7314116966_8509cb0021_z.jpg

    Oh... they fit... and they're SEXY.

    My build on this has plenty of time. the Missus Is getting a Soma San Marcos (she has it as her wallpaper on her phone and laptop... as well as a printed out poster) And that thing is going to be her first NEW, Non borrowed, non hand me down bike. even with a mild Tiagra/Velo Orange build... It's gonna set us back a good 2,400.

    But worth it. when the lady friend finally gets into cycling... And has impeccable tastes. xD

    So my bike will probably be done, oh... January?

  74. #74
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    Here's how... I am always looking out for you folks that want to get to work faster....

    One Gear, One Goal: Bike Is 'Good To 100 MPH,' Builder Says : The Two-Way : NPR

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    A little update

    I've used Kojaks on my 26" "road" bikes for quite a while now and they are great all-round tyres but their rather basic stiff casing limits their performance both in terms of speed and comfort.
    It's the same story with almost all high volume 26" road tyres. Supermotos may be an exception but they could be still thinner and... available in 2.00" width.

    So... I did something I was going to do long time ago. To get thin and flexible 120TPI MTB tyres with no puncture protection and shave them! In fact it's not my first attempt of this kind. I tried using Furious Freds on the road but binned them after a puncture that didn't want to seal. Racing Ralphs 2.10 seem to be better candidates. Slightly more robust but of a similar rolling resistance.

    They are run tubeless on Stans Flows (54mm actual width) at around 20PSI FRONT, 30PSI REAR (15% tyre drop calc.) It seems very low but more than that only reduces comfort and doesn't make the bike any faster.
    BTW, I've always wondered what people riding smooth trails/XC courses with 40-60PSI in their tyres are trying to achieve...

    So how fast can you go on these?
    On my my 50min. commute I consistently clock 18-19mph on some broken country roads.
    That's with a commuting backpack, baggies and just 1.5" handlebar drop.

    Av speed usually doesn't mean a lot but I believe that in this case can demonstrate the potential of the tyres and change some misconceptions.

    If you'd like to make your own Shaven Ralphs then just inflate them quite hard and use side cutters to remove the tread. It's really that simple.

    P.S. 400g each after shaving
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-img_3650.jpg  

    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-img_3659-002.jpg  

    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-img_3661.jpg  

    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-img_3578.jpg  

    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-img_3608.jpg  

    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-img_3610.jpg  

    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-img_3611.jpg  

    Last edited by Barteos; 08-25-2013 at 02:33 PM.
    www.bartthebikeman.wordpress.com
    fast 26" road bike, shaven Racing Ralphs as road tyres, homemade "Paul thumbies"...

  76. #76
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    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?

    That is a lot of work

  77. #77
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    Wow, that`s light for such a fat tire, Barteos! You started with a brand new pair? You`ve got more nerve than I do to take a pair of clippers to such a big investment!
    Recalculating....

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barteos View Post
    A little update
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Barteos View Post
    They are run tubeless on Stans Flows (54mm actual width) at around 20PSI FRONT, 30PSI REAR (15% tyre drop calc.) It seems very low but more than that only reduces comfort and doesn't make the bike any faster.
    BTW, I've always wondered what people riding smooth trails/XC courses with 40-60PSI in their tyres are trying to achieve...
    I like the 15% drop guideline, too, and find it works especially well for unpaved trails. If I'm sticking to pavement, though, I like to increase the pressure 10 psi, i.e. 45f/55r on 1.5" slicks. While rolling resistance doesn't change, the ride is less springy when I spin fast and hard. I feel I can generate power more smoothly with a bit more pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barteos View Post
    So how fast can you go on these?
    On my my 50min. commute I consistently clock 18-19mph on some broken country roads.
    That's with a commuting backpack, baggies and just 1.5" handlebar drop.

    Av speed usually doesn't mean a lot but I believe that in this case can demonstrate the potential of the tyres and change some misconceptions.
    Wow, you're moving at a pretty good pace! I'm not sure the avg roadie consistently cruises >20mph but it's nice to see the potential is there.

    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  79. #79
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    ^^ What kind of life do you expect to get out of those? I'm doing the math... figuring I'd be OK with arriving 3 minutes later if it meant I could get an extra 1500 miles out of my tires.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  80. #80
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    Tyres were second hand from Ebay so I didn't have much to loose. I wouldn't hesitate to do it to the new ones at all. Side cutters are really safe and it would be really difficult to damage the casing. The idea is to press quite firmly against the casing to make a relatively clean cut. It only takes 1.5h (both tyres) and a pair of blisters .

    Regarding pressure if the roads around my area were smoother I'd probably add 5 PSI or more but it probably wouldn't make much difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    ^^ What kind of life do you expect to get out of those? I'm doing the math... figuring I'd be OK with arriving 3 minutes later if it meant I could get an extra 1500 miles out of my tires.
    If I want to arrive to work quicker I can always pick a shorter (by 30min) route

    It's not about making a commute shorter. It's about making it faster and more comfortable - more fun especially as it's my only road bike on which I spend 90% of the riding time.
    Above all it's about experimenting, testing the extremes and proving certain concepts.

    I reckon the lifespan of such wide tyres will be probably better than a typical road clincher simply because the wear is spread over a larger surface.
    Also, thanks to the lower pressure the rear tyre won't end up square so soon.
    www.bartthebikeman.wordpress.com
    fast 26" road bike, shaven Racing Ralphs as road tyres, homemade "Paul thumbies"...

  81. #81
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    I didn`t think it would ever happen, but I`m feeling a bit disappointed in my 26 inch wheels. Diameter envy?

    Since I almost always ride solo, I don`t have much chance for comparison. Recently I`ve been out on a few organized rides, mixing it up with many other riders on a wide variety of bikes- all but mine 700c, and the tire range looks like everything from 23mm to roughly the same width as my 1.25s. Have noticed that I often have to pedal to keep up on a slight downhill when everybody else is coasting. That could be my crappy aerodynamics, but I mostly blame the wheels because some of those other bikes look even worse than mine from an aero standpoint. Somewhere, I`m being leached by inefficiency. Anyway, my next dropbar mtb project is officially on hold until I get some quality time with a road or cross bike under my butt.

    I`ve been watching Craigslist closely since even before I decided that, but there don`t seem to be any suitable bikes lately. I have no doubt they`ll show up by the dozens as soon as I`m not in the market, though! In the mean time, I`m hoarding up parts. I still need the big money parts (wheels and cranks) and a little bit of that piddly stuff that adds up. If I don`t find a frame by the time I get cranks and wheels, I`ll grit my teeth and buy brand new.
    Recalculating....

  82. #82
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    ^^ Can you cram 700c's and some 28's or so under the Schwinn? Some bikes of that era had plenty of clearance...
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  83. #83
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    IME, 700x28 tires are a slam dunk to fit in a 26" mountain frame of pretty much whatever vintage. They're not much bigger than a 26x2.1" tire and mud clearance takes it the rest of the way there.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  84. #84
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    I thought breifly about trying 700 x 28 in the frame that I already have waiting, maybe was too quick to dismiss the idea. My concerns were handling problems due to the "wrong" wheel size and brake fit. I bet Andrew is right that there isn`t that much difference in OD. The bike originally had 26 x 2.0 tires (still has them, actually). The difference between those and the 26 x 1.25 that I run on its twin is probably about the same as the difference between 2.0 and 700-28, just in the other direction. Worth a try as far as that goes.

    Brakes might still be a deal killer. I`m not going to take a torch to the fancy paint job to braze on new canti studs. I just measured the radial distance from dropout to fender hole, looks like I`d need 47 reach for the fork and 60 reach in the rear. I know sidepulls are available in those reaches, but not sure if I can just bolt them right into my existing fender holes. I don`t understand the business about "recessed" and Non-recessed" caliper mounts. Anybody know? I`m guessing that non-recessed are what I`d need (if they`ll work), but then would those calipers be incompatible if I later bought a modern sport geo road bike? Most spec for 57mm reach, so at least one caliper might be transferable. Maybe I could use a drop mount for 57s on the rear of my mtb frame also.

    As far as new frames go, I really have the hots for the Soma ES lately- takes 57 mm sidepulls, which I don`t have. Pake C`mute looks pretty nice too, and could save me save about two hundred between lower frame/fork prices and not having to buy brakes. Sidepull calipers are expensive!
    Recalculating....

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barteos View Post


    If I want to arrive to work quicker I can always pick a shorter (by 30min) route

    It's not about making a commute shorter. It's about making it faster and more comfortable - more fun especially as it's my only road bike on which I spend 90% of the riding time.
    Above all it's about experimenting, testing the extremes and proving certain concepts.
    I wasn't suggesting that the goal was arriving quicker. I was just wondering how long those are going to last you. I'd happily be slower if it meant I could get an extra 1500 miles out of my tires.... just wondering how long those will last compared to something like a Big Apple or a Serfas Drifter (both of which I've used for similar terrain). Your creation definitely has an advantage in the weight department... but I'd be very curious to know how many miles you get out of them. Please do let us know.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  86. #86
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    Most of my commuting is done on a 26er. Cheap-o carbon fork, old aluminium frame. Front disc wheel, WTB Vulpines, 1x8 setup... w/o the rack, it weighs 21.7lb. If I had a wheelset from this decade, clipless pedals, lighter seat, and no barends, it would probably be under 20lb.

    I've had a 17lb single-speed... I'll take a 22lb 8-speed any day.
    - The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    I know sidepulls are available in those reaches, but not sure if I can just bolt them right into my existing fender holes. I don`t understand the business about "recessed" and Non-recessed" caliper mounts. Anybody know?
    Sheldon do: Installing and Adjusting Caliper Brakes (page down to the topic).

    BrianMc

  88. #88
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    Thanks, Brian. I guess the studs aren`t interchangeable, so you need to be sure you get what`s going to work out of the box. I have a set of 700c wheels on the way for N+1 (whatever it ends up being). If I can find some brakes at the bike junk yard that will work to stop the mtb with road wheels mounted, I might experiment with that. Two sets of center pulls on the Post Your Commuter thread will have me looking at those before sidepulls, but I guess either way would do the trick.
    Recalculating....

  89. #89
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    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?

    Sub

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    ... 700x28 tires are a slam dunk to fit in a 26" mountain frame ...
    +1

    My 26" MTB frame ... 26" 2.1" tyre ...
    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-20070902-yeti-arc-69er-htr-04-forum.jpg

    Same frame with a 700C 28mm Conti Gatorskin ...
    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-20121019-yeti-arc-700c-43-forum.jpg

    I did not get to the stage of putting on drop-bars ... loved my hydros too much

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Have noticed that I often have to pedal to keep up on a slight downhill when everybody else is coasting. That could be my crappy aerodynamics, but I mostly blame the wheels because some of those other bikes look even worse than mine from an aero standpoint. Somewhere, I`m being leached by inefficiency
    Do you still have an MTB crankset on your MTB road bike? Most road cranks feature a 50-53t high gear vs a 42t mtb'er. It not only produces a higher top end but gets you going pretty fast on descents.

    You may want to plug in some numbers into Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator to, at least, see what kind of speed you're giving up vs a typical road spec. I use an FSA 28/38/48 on my road-franken (now with white saddle/tape--done!).

    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinaman View Post
    Same frame with a 700C 28mm Conti Gatorskin ...
    Jeez, you`ve got loads of space. I`m still looking for a road frame, but getting so curious about how my bike would handle with your tires that I might not be able to stop myself from trying it anyway!

    Just got to thinking that the AC length of a nonsupsension mtb fork is probably pretty close to a road fork. I`ll measure my length and rake, see how close I can come to that in a prettier, less bowlegged version. Might even be able to compensate for whatever trail difference the wheel swap creates. With 28-622 tires mounted, the fat unicrown front end is what looks odd, the rear actually looks pretty normal.

    My new wheelset arrived yesterday. Nice parts, but really crappy asembly, will retension before mounting them on anything. Still need tubes and tires.
    Quote Originally Posted by joeinchi View Post
    Do you still have an MTB crankset on your MTB road bike? Most road cranks feature a 50-53t high gear vs a 42t mtb'er. It not only produces a higher top end but gets you going pretty fast on descents.
    Touring gears (24-32-48 with 11-28), but I`m talking about sub 25MPH cruising, where I`m not even close to being out of gears. I currently have a high gear of 107 GI, and can spin up to about 40. Though more would be nice, I could be happy with even less. Yeah, I have Sheldon`t gear calculator as a quick link on my computer and play with it several times per week!
    Recalculating....

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Yeah, I have Sheldon`t gear calculator as a quick link on my computer and play with it several times per week!
    LOL

    Maybe faster tires? As Barteos mentioned, a supple (often high tpi) compound translates into a faster, smoother ride. My Conti SportContacts are very soft (and fast) but I also tried some Specialized Nimbus Armadillo townies. They certainly looked the part--slick, 26x1.5, 595g--but holy shit, they rode like ass! The stiff sidewalls and hard, puncture-resistant compound delivered a harsh, sluggish ride. This lack of compliance at any recommended psi just made for a slow, bumpy tire.

    I didn't catch what rubber you're using but that might not be another piece that's slowing you down. Food for thought.
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  94. #94
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    I introduce the Giant Anyroad. Boom.

    Giant Anyroad Making Its North American Debut, this Fall

    So ugly it's awesome or just plain ugly?

  95. #95
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    I dig it, but of course there is some "flattery' re my set-up with 32s
    (put some Hutchinson 28c tubeless slicks on this would be nice too!)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-long-commuter-2.jpg  

    How do we build ourselves a fast road bike... that isn't a road bike?-3.4-rear-29road.jpg  


  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by limba View Post
    So ugly it's awesome or just plain ugly?
    Maybe some blue crankarms?
    Sheesh- even with seriously sloped top tube, I`d need a ladder to climb aboard if sizing by length. Must be for long legged people.

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinchi View Post
    I didn't catch what rubber you're using but that might not be another piece that's slowing you down. Food for thought.
    Usually 1.25 Paselas. Trying to get better reliability, I went a round with Sport Contacts and they did give me great reliability (zero flats is about as good as it gets), but I like the ride of the Paselas a lot better. I took off the Contis at about their half life and stashed them for occasions when I might want that skinny + bombproof combo. My paselas are doing better now that I`ve been more careful about watching the pressure, but they still like to puncture before they start looking obviously worn.

    I made an offer tonight on an 86 Miyata 710 frame that sounds like it`ll fit. Not exactly what I wanted, but close enough, and I love lugs. Now just waiting for morning in Texas to see if the offer flies.
    Recalculating....

  97. #97
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    Yep, I hear the Paselas are plenty quick. Hmmm ... maybe you just need to hammer just a little harder before the descent, i.e. upshift and out of the saddle.

    Miyata project sounds cool. Hope you score. A build thread would be nice.
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  98. #98
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    Looks pretty cool. I like the geometry. wonder if it will fit 35s or 40s...

    <img src=http://brimages.bikeboardmedia.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Anyroad_1_black-600x380.jpg>

  99. #99
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    No Miyata
    It was (is) on a trade thread on BFnet, but he says he doesn`t want to mess with packing and shipping, will wait for a local deal. Fine, I`ll keep looking. Also passed up a purchase from local CL this weekend. The seller pissed me off and I left- bike wasn`t my style (2005 aluminum w/ cheap carbon fork, STI, integrated headset, etc), but the price would have been good enough to buy, play, turn over. Now looking at an early Trek 520 that I THINK will be too small, but for $150 for a complete bike with 531 tubes, it`s a steal. Will kick myself if I don`t at least go try it on for size.
    Recalculating....

  100. #100
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    I'm wondering if you'll like the 520. I thought you were looking for something a bit quicker? A 520 is no lightweight, has slack geo, longish trail and even a smaller size comes with long (flexy) chainstays. It's built for comfort and I don't think will feel much different than your road mtb.

    How about something like this to go with your new wheels? $100 steel Allez on CL.

    Specialized Allez Sport 53 cm


    Of course, if the 520's components are in good shape, you may as well grab it for parts ... at the very least. Food for thought.
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

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