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  1. #1
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    Custom Fat Bike frame/build..share your thoughts

    Hey everyone,

    I have a pretty unique opportunity. I am about to start my Framebuilding 101 course taught by Paul Brodie. Just a few short days ago, I was told the jigs were going to be altered so fat bikes can be made on them! 170 rear spacing and 100mm bb are really the only stipulations (that I know of at this point). I needed a rear wheel to build the frame around so I have hope pro 2 fat hubs getting laced to rolling darryls. Frames can be TIG welded or Brazed. I was thinking of a brazed frame because I love the way the joints look when they are all smoothed out!

    If anyone has suggestions on what I should try to include on the frame, please share your thoughts. This in a beginners course but having a list of ideas can't hurt!

    I'll mostly be riding this as a snow bike. Potentially share winter commuting duties with my Crosscheck.

    Andy

  2. #2
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    No thoughts other than Wow! To be able to ride away on a bike you built yourself!
    If you need me I'll be at the bar

  3. #3
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    I, too, love brazed frames, so I'd go that route as well. Hopefully, I can build my own frames some day.

    As far as suggestions, maybe do some cage-mount braze-ons on the fork, a la Salsa Mukluk, Fargo. I like those on my Fargo.

  4. #4
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    Awesome opportunity! Very cool.

    A couple of thoughts, coming more from a versatility perspective, that I would do if I were building one for me:

    1) low/sloping top tube for standover clearance in deep snow
    2) rack mounts on rear
    3) bottle mounts inside main frame and on the downtube
    4) anything cage mounts on the fork and rack mounts (or just use a Salsa fork)
    5) 1.5" headtube (so it would be capable of running suspension in the future)
    6) 31.6" seat tube (so you could run any seatpost including long travel dropper models
    7) bolt on dropouts to allow for different axle standards or drivetrain configurations (E.g. 12mm through axle)
    8) 15mm thru axle front end

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by drofluf View Post
    No thoughts other than Wow! To be able to ride away on a bike you built yourself!
    Imagine how I feel

    I've been interested in this course since it started 3-4 years ago. Timing and cost were always issues having a family and full time job. October 21st is the first day of the course and I don't think I've ever been more excited to go back to "school"!

    Quote Originally Posted by SocratesDiedTrolling View Post
    I, too, love brazed frames, so I'd go that route as well. Hopefully, I can build my own frames some day.

    As far as suggestions, maybe do some cage-mount braze-ons on the fork, a la Salsa Mukluk, Fargo. I like those on my Fargo.
    I think a brazing set up at home is easier/cheaper than TIG as well...not sure about that one. I don't think I'll be able to stop at one frame so being able to set it up at home is a consideration.

    Should've mentioned that building a fork is not part of the course. Not sure why exactly but I think the course description mentioned something about lots of good forks on the market (I assume they are refering to "normal" bikes and not fat bikes). I have purchased a moonlander fork (non offset, 135mm) that I think should do the trick. Opinions on that are welcome of course

    Fargo = amazing! There is one sitting at a shop here begging me to buy it....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRALPH View Post
    A couple of thoughts, coming more from a versatility perspective, that I would do if I were building one for me:

    1) low/sloping top tube for standover clearance in deep snow
    2) rack mounts on rear
    3) bottle mounts inside main frame and on the downtube
    4) anything cage mounts on the fork and rack mounts (or just use a Salsa fork)
    5) 1.5" headtube (so it would be capable of running suspension in the future)
    6) 31.6" seat tube (so you could run any seatpost including long travel dropper models
    7) bolt on dropouts to allow for different axle standards or drivetrain configurations (E.g. 12mm through axle)
    8) 15mm thru axle front end
    1-4: check
    5,6: good call. I hope I have the choice of headtube size. 1.5 all the way. I think I have a 31.6 Thompson sitting in the parts bin so double win!
    7: I like this idea but again, not sure if there is an option other than vertical or horizontal drop outs. The Kona Unit has some nice sliding drop outs I'd love to use but not sure what the course will have.
    8: The hub I bought should be convertable to any standard (I think) so a non qr fork should be an option in the future.

    Are there issues with having a qr rear axle on a fat bike? I can't see it being too much of a problem?

  7. #7
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    Hey;

    Don't get bogged down in minutia. There is a tipping point here, and you've got bigger fish to fry. You will be plenty busy just getting to square one, so you might think of keeping it simple. You can always add all kinds of things after the fact as your skills improve. Most likely, the first one will end up only being wall art in short order as you discover you would like to build something better.

    TIG is indeed much more of a commitment for the home builder. Brazing is much simpler from a hardware standpoint. Conversely, brazing is FAR harder to learn to do even to a structurally passable level. You will likely save a lot of time and come up with a better product if you TIG it. Arguably, it might take more skill to get something that looks machined perfect in form and function like a truly gifted torch man can achieve. However, TIG'ing steel is quite easy, at least in terms of getting something you can ride. You will also learn some of the motor skills necessary to do brazing more effectively. Just some ideas.

    Yes, riding your own creations is indeed cool!

    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  8. #8
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    I agree with Trailmaker about what to build. You can always build another. You might not want to ride your first too far into the woods anyway. Hopefully it will come out fine, but your second/third/fourth will start to represent much improved knowledge of what is going on.

    I have always brazed, and I'm probably not going to learn out to TIG any time soon. There is a lot of info on the web on how to braze, and not so much about how to TIG. You have the opportunity to learn in school, so that's a big advantage. You can get an oxygen concentrator used and use propane and get a torch all for less than $500 -- assuming the oxygen concentrator is a reasonable price. TIG is a lot more.

    This thread inspired me to order a 100mm bb shell.

  9. #9
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    Trailmaker/unterhausen - thanks for the pros/cons between TIG and brazing. I think I get an intro to both and I'll see what I like. When done well, both are works of art!

    This will absolutely NOT be the only bike I build. There are so many options out there once I have some basic knowledge to start from.

    As for frame 1 being wall art....highly likely but will also be the nicest thing on my wall

  10. #10
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    One addition to the above, and it's purely optional: fender mount bosses on the underside of the down tube.

    I have these on my Jones, and the fender is very helpful
    Let the market decide!

    N42.58 W83.06

  11. #11
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    Just wanted to update my post. I finished the course a while back and finally got my parts together for the build. Here are some of the stand out features.

    Fillet brazed
    44mm headtube
    170 rear spacing
    paragon sliding dropouts
    68-69 degree headtube (designed using a endomorph tire and now using a bud)
    moonlander fork
    72ish seat angle with a 27.2 post. Only seat tube size available for the course.

    We've had a good dump of snow here so I've had a chance to test it out. So far it's amazing. Can't compare to other fat bikes but I love the angles and length. Switching to 1x10 right away but need to figure out the proper from ring size.

    Andy
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Custom Fat Bike frame/build..share your thoughts-img_20131209_134627.jpg  

    Custom Fat Bike frame/build..share your thoughts-img_20131209_134555.jpg  


  12. #12
    ride more
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    Turned out nice, love the color



    Sent from my RM-915_nam_usa_228 using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Nice work.
    Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.

  14. #14
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    Hope you enjoyed it! looks cool!
    (Make it fit a 4.8" tire is the only thing i could come up with...)

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