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  1. #1
    veldrijder
    Reputation: jmoote's Avatar
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    New bike: True North custom 29er!

    Thanks to the folks at True North Cycles, my new bike has come together and in fine form. Hugh's frames are spectacular, and everyone involved has been excellent to work with. The initial test rides indicate it is a super quick race machine, but remains very comfortable thanks to the steel frame & fork, Ti seatpost and big tires setup tubeless. Definitely the most fun I've had on a bicycle in a long time.

    Photobucket

    Photobucket

    Credit for the pics goes to Dave; taken at the shop before I left. Click for larger versions.

    The specs:
    Headset: Chris King Nothreadset
    Stem: Rotor S1 (not pictured)
    Bar: FSA K-Force XC Riser
    Grips: Ergon GR2 Mag
    Seatpost: Eriksen Ti
    Saddle: fi'zi:k Arione Ti
    Pedals: Crank Brothers Egg Beater SL

    Crankset/BB: FSA Afterburner MegaExo
    Front Derailleur: Shimano XT (M-771)
    Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT Shadow (M-772) short (GS) cage
    Shifters: Shimano XTR (M-970)
    Cassette: Shimano XT (M-770) 11-34
    Chain: Wipperman Connex 908
    Shift cable housing: Jagwire Ripcord

    Brakes: Formula ORO K18

    Hubs: Shimano XTR (M-975)
    Rims: Stan's notubes FLOW 29er
    Spokes: DT Swiss Competition
    Front Tire: Schwalbe Racing Ralph 29x2.4
    Rear Tire: Schwalbe Racing Ralph 29x2.25

    It comes in at 11.0 kg as configured, with bottle cages. Still lots of room to go weight weenie on it, but I'm happy with it for now. Maybe one day I'll feel ambitious and go for under 20 lbs just to do it. Now if only the trails would dry out...
    Last edited by jmoote; 04-18-2008 at 07:33 AM.

  2. #2
    bi-winning
    Reputation: rkj__'s Avatar
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    As I mentioned in vern's thread, the bike looks stunning.

    Aside from the gorgeous paint job, and hand crafted quality, was there anything else that motivated you to go custom? Did you have any special details added in terms of geometry, or otherwise that you did not find offered in a stock frame?

    My road bike is about the same weight (11kg = 24.25lbs)
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  3. #3
    dirt roadie
    Reputation: zedfoto's Avatar
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    Wow that is nice! I can't wait to see it in person.
    I am a bit surprised though, that it is not singlespeed.

  4. #4
    veldrijder
    Reputation: jmoote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    Aside from the gorgeous paint job, and hand crafted quality, was there anything else that motivated you to go custom? Did you have any special details added in terms of geometry, or otherwise that you did not find offered in a stock frame?
    Hugh has these bikes dialed in for geometry on the Ontario style trails. There is a common characteristic to the 29ers he's been putting out, even though they're all fit to each rider. I chose a fairly sloped top tube/short seat tube relative to top tube length for more post extension. The Ti post flexes a lot (visibly, with just a bit of pressure from your hand) which contributes to the smooth ride. Not full suspension smooth, but soft-tail kind of smooth. Kind of like a really race oriented FS where the rear end is stiff but compliant over the little bumps.

    There's lots of little things too, like the rear brake hose guides on the right side because I run my brakes moto style. Custom frames are fun to do because you can literally chose everything.

    But honestly, the list of things you mentioned above is enough for me: beautiful paint, beautiful welds and brazing, top quality and lots of experience go into these bikes. It's pretty tough to find a steel frame near this weight and fit that haven't made some big compromises. Hugh and Dave are both engineering grads with lots of knowledge, and for being a fairly "retro" material these steel frames are pretty special in my opinion.

    As for the multiple gears, I know it's surprising. Most of the TN bikes being built these days run an EBB so singlespeed is at least an option. I considered it, but chose not to because I feel that I need one geared race bike and this would be it. My focus is on endurance events where I will want the gears. I can always run SS with a tensioner, and maybe a SS frame is in the (more distant) future.

  5. #5
    bi-winning
    Reputation: rkj__'s Avatar
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    Steel is pretty cool for hardtails. You might still be riding this bike 20 years from now if you don't do anything stupid. My road bike frame is from the late 80s
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  6. #6
    Bored
    Reputation: bigwheelboy_490's Avatar
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    Nice bike... but what is with all those hangy things on the rear? some sort of mechanism up front? Seems like extra weight to me.

    Enjoy the ride.

    Also, try the Racing Ralph in 2.4 on the rear as well as the front. Really rolls well. I'm around 200lbs and running about 28psi with mine.
    MTBR is serious stuff.
    You never get better until you get out of your comfort zone.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: somnambulant's Avatar
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    Have they switched to a new paint shop or artist or something? The more recent frames look REALLY good. They've definitely stepped up in that area.

  8. #8
    veldrijder
    Reputation: jmoote's Avatar
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    The paint has always been done by the same person. I don't really know if the quality has changed or not - the finish work on all the frames I've seen is nice, but I guess recently there's been less "plain" frames with just 1 colour.

    I did the design for this bike and presented it as a CAD drawing, and let Stefan work his magic.
    Last edited by jmoote; 04-15-2008 at 11:16 AM.

  9. #9
    Evil Jr.
    Reputation: garage monster's Avatar
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    That bike looks awesome! True North does some fine work.

    I'm planning on spending my very first pension check on a custom True North touring bike. Motorhomes are for old people.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  10. #10
    X-Ray Guy
    Reputation: Jawz's Avatar
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    That is just one really nice clean bike. All the parts fit well and blend well together.

    Congratulations on the sweet ride.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: somnambulant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoote
    the finish work on all the frames I've seen is nice, but I guess recently there's been less "plain" frames with just 1 colour.
    Oh yeah, all the ones I've seen in person have been of great quality, but as you said mostly just a plain single-color. I obviously can't see the quality of paint on your new bike, but assumed it's up to their usual standard.

    But I've seen a couple bikes from them lately that seem to have much more interesting paint schemes. I saw one at the Icebreaker last weekend, as well as yours here on the site. Very nice!

    Then again, I'd probably take some bare carbon like Dave D's cx frame without any complaints as well.

  12. #12
    veldrijder
    Reputation: jmoote's Avatar
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    There were 3 TN bikes at the Icebreaker in total. The one you saw I am guessing was Jasmin's 29er, then Dermont's CX bike and Nick's Ti 29er. All three belong to folks from the TN race team and all three took podium spots

    My excuse for giving up after 1 lap was that I decided not to get the TN dirty and rode an inferior bike

  13. #13
    Speedhub doc.
    Reputation: VernDog's Avatar
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    Very Nice, will we see this badboy this weekend at the p2a??
    Vern Dog the Bike Guy

  14. #14
    veldrijder
    Reputation: jmoote's Avatar
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    Nope, I will be on the 'cross bike for P2A. The 29er won't see a race for another few weeks, but I will certainly be riding it

  15. #15
    Speedhub doc.
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    A "TN' crossbike maybe??
    Vern Dog the Bike Guy

  16. #16
    veldrijder
    Reputation: jmoote's Avatar
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    Not this year...

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