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Thread: My first frame

  1. #1
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    My first frame

    For my first frame im pretty much mimicking my current trek/gf marlin (with a small adjustment to the HA) I have no experience with metal work and will be doing all of this under the close eye of a buddy of mine who has built about 8 or so frames. It'll have a 70.3ish HA with a RS reba RLT 29er g2(51mm offest) 16.75 CS with a just a smidge left with 2.35's.

    Im using a Nova 29er tubeset, 35mm DT 969. Also got 700mm of thicker headtube since I thought the one from the set was kind of thin for my first build (and now i have head tubes for my next bikes)

    I would comment on each photo but i dont know how to put text in between photos so i guess theyll all be as one, but here is my progress so far, please feel free to critique or give advice, id like to learn as much as possible.

    Commence photo dump
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My first frame-2012-11-28_21-55-13_411.jpg  

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    My first frame-2012-12-05_16-38-25_11.jpg  

    My first frame-2012-12-05_16-38-48_592.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Looks like a great start!

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    More filler!

    Great start!

    Do some more practice joints. You've got waaay less filler there than I think you probably want (unless you're planning to add more once the DT is on) and you've got tons of high spots/low spots and probably plenty of voids you can't see. Braze a bunch of stuff together and make big, fat fillets until you can do it consistently without having half the filler run off away from the joint or onto the floor. Cut those practice joints in half and see how you did inside the fillet and tube as well.

    Once again, awesome start. But I think you should do a little more practice before doing the actual frame. Cruise over to Garro's site (coconinocycles.blogspot.com) and check out some of his joints - that's what you're aiming for.

    -Walt

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Great start!

    Do some more practice joints. You've got waaay less filler there than I think you probably want (unless you're planning to add more once the DT is on) and you've got tons of high spots/low spots and probably plenty of voids you can't see. Braze a bunch of stuff together and make big, fat fillets until you can do it consistently without having half the filler run off away from the joint or onto the floor. Cut those practice joints in half and see how you did inside the fillet and tube as well.

    Once again, awesome start. But I think you should do a little more practice before doing the actual frame. Cruise over to Garro's site (coconinocycles.blogspot.com) and check out some of his joints - that's what you're aiming for.

    -Walt

    I did do a few practice rounds before I started, but i've already cut into these tubes so theres not much turnin back from here. That was only supposed to be the 'tinning' but i got a little carried away, when im ready to put the whole front triangle together it's definatly going to get a serious fillet.
    Thanks

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    Nice. Also, what kind of flux is that?

    It looks a lot like the silver flux that I tried using when I started. If it is, at least go get some higher temp stuff. It will make a huge difference.

    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beatniqwood09 View Post
    I did do a few practice rounds before I started, but i've already cut into these tubes so theres not much turnin back from here. That was only supposed to be the 'tinning' but i got a little carried away, when im ready to put the whole front triangle together it's definatly going to get a serious fillet.
    Thanks
    I'd take that joint out and finish it before moving on. You'll be able to cut more material off the DT to match the fillet and have a good joint to start with. I'm a TIG guy though so YMMV w/ brazing but there's no way I'd finish the DT/BB/ST joint with that inside the DT.

    Other than that, it's looking like a good start on #1. I'd also echo more practice, cut tubes aren't going to change size now. Just get more proficient and then go to the tubes again. One of the biggest things I learned is that getting in a hurry is the quickest way to ruin a frame. You'll be happier in the long run the slower you go on the first ones.

  7. #7
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    Good start, I'm interested to see more of the process. I've built a lugged frame and I'd really like to try my hand at fillet brazing soon.

    In order to add pictures in line with commentary use the little yellow icon with a mountain and a moon "Insert Image" instead of attaching files. You will need to upload the photos to an online storage system (I use Photobucket) but you can add text between the IMG tags.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay_ntwr View Post
    I'd take that joint out and finish it before moving on. You'll be able to cut more material off the DT to match the fillet and have a good joint to start with. I'm a TIG guy though so YMMV w/ brazing but there's no way I'd finish the DT/BB/ST joint with that inside the DT.

    Other than that, it's looking like a good start on #1. I'd also echo more practice, cut tubes aren't going to change size now. Just get more proficient and then go to the tubes again. One of the biggest things I learned is that getting in a hurry is the quickest way to ruin a frame. You'll be happier in the long run the slower you go on the first ones.

    Are you saying to put a big fillet around the ST/BB and make it smooth, and then adjust the miter on the downtube to make up for the extra filler?

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    I can't tell from the image, but it seems that you drew the fork rake incorrectly on your print. Rake is measured 90* to the fork length, not parallel to the axle line. If you did this, and build the frame to those numbers, when built everything will be about a degree steeper and the bb a little bit lower than you planned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beatniqwood09 View Post
    Are you saying to put a big fillet around the ST/BB and make it smooth, and then adjust the miter on the downtube to make up for the extra filler?
    Yes. That would be my preference. Again, I'm not a fillet guy, but that's how I would do it. I suppose having a fillet guy chime in here to confirm would be valuable.

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    I'm a fillet guy. I usually tin the joint/internal braze. So a really small fillet, then fit the DT and then put a big fillet down when I braze in the DT and CS's.

    I am pretty sure that this is the way most fillet guys are doing it. The joint will be stronger if you are mitering steel to steel rather than steel to brass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RCP FAB View Post
    I can't tell from the image, but it seems that you drew the fork rake incorrectly on your print. Rake is measured 90* to the fork length, not parallel to the axle line. If you did this, and build the frame to those numbers, when built everything will be about a degree steeper and the bb a little bit lower than you planned.
    Oh wow. I cant really say right now because my buddy who's teaching me did the majority of the math on this and the drawing is at his house but I'll definitely confirm this with him before I do anything else.

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by adarn View Post
    I'm a fillet guy. I usually tin the joint/internal braze. So a really small fillet, then fit the DT and then put a big fillet down when I braze in the DT and CS's.

    I am pretty sure that this is the way most fillet guys are doing it. The joint will be stronger if you are mitering steel to steel rather than steel to brass.
    That's what i thought, so should I file down the tin near the tips of the DT so as to get as much steel on steel as possible?

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    It looks like you're probably ok. Some cleaning up definitely wouldn't hurt. I usually soak it and take off the old flux and do some minor clean up if needed. Your fillet looks like you need to keep your torch moving more and work more brass into the joint, but it's hard to tell from that pic.

    Take your time, really take time to think things through, take more time and it should turn out good.

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    I would suggest using more flux. Personally I put a thin coating of flux on any part of the tube that is going to get hot. That means a few inches away from the joint in all directions. I keep the paste flux very thin and use a powder flux on the brass rod. I fing this keeps clean up easy, protects the tube and places just the right amount of flux at the joint. If you don't have good powder flux just add a bit more paste around the joint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RCP FAB View Post
    I can't tell from the image, but it seems that you drew the fork rake incorrectly on your print. Rake is measured 90* to the fork length, not parallel to the axle line. If you did this, and build the frame to those numbers, when built everything will be about a degree steeper and the bb a little bit lower than you planned.
    Figured it out. The rake (which is the same as offset correct?) was measured at the headset and drawn down from there

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    Turns out yall were right. Did some check measuring before i got started today and found my BB had moved a few mm out of line. So we got it reset and went to cold set the seat tube so it fit back in the jig and the fillet cracked on the acute side. My buddy seemed fairly confident that we could re-braze the cracked side and still form a solid joint.

    I think my problem lies with temperature control and knowing that the thicker tube will require more heat, as opposed to heat straight into the joint

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beatniqwood09 View Post
    Figured it out. The rake (which is the same as offset correct?) was measured at the headset and drawn down from there

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    Hey;

    I've had a ton of variously related fabrication experience behind me before building my first frame 6 months ago. The bicycle specific concepts - components & geo - were the only things really new to me. To be starting off at total ground zero with no experience in either is a mega leap!

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    Still needs some miter work but slowly coming together
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My first frame-2012-12-07_17-50-21_872.jpg  


  21. #21
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    I've only built one myself, but I remember quite well all the worrying and not knowing quite what I was doing. The frame is into its 3rd season and I'm riding it tomorrow morning.

    Yours looks like its coming along quite nicely. You'll be pretty stoked when you ride it.

    I agree completely with Walt about more filler. (and more flux from 'sore legs') When I did mine there were a few joints that needed three separate hits before I had enough filler. All that reheating to brazing temps can't be good for the metal.

    Drew
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    Hey;

    Is it an optical illusion, or do the TT & DT seem to nest very close together, relative to the length of the HT?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailMaker View Post
    Hey;

    Is it an optical illusion, or do the TT & DT seem to nest very close together, relative to the length of the HT?
    They were designed that way and the HT was left long so a had a little wiggle room for error and brazing. It will most likely be lopped off after the brazing is done. Are there any potential issues having them that close?

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    Remember that if you're cutting HT off of the bottom, you are lowering your front end.
    And that looks fine to me. I've seen plenty of builders making frames with the head HT extending further beyond the TT and DT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adarn View Post
    Remember that if you're cutting HT off of the bottom, you are lowering your front end.
    And that looks fine to me. I've seen plenty of builders making frames with the head HT extending further beyond the TT and DT.
    Thanks, the definitely makes sense. Just gotta decide whether i want to leave it and not run spacers and cut it down and put spacers. Any opinions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beatniqwood09 View Post
    They were designed that way and the HT was left long so a had a little wiggle room for error and brazing. It will most likely be lopped off after the brazing is done. Are there any potential issues having them that close?
    The more spread you can provide between the DT and TT joint the better. Having them join the head tube at the same place is a bad idea because it will make a weaker joint. What you want is two independent joints so the head tube will be well supported and not prone to catastrophic failure..

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    Quote Originally Posted by adarn View Post
    Remember that if you're cutting HT off of the bottom, you are lowering your front end.

    Also, before you take any off the bottom, so a test fit or mock-up with your headset lower cup and Reb fork to make sure there is no risk of contact between the fork adjusters and down tube.

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    Everything was placed around the bottom of the HT so I definitely wont be taking any off the bottom

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    Quote Originally Posted by febikes View Post
    The more spread you can provide between the DT and TT joint the better. Having them join the head tube at the same place is a bad idea because it will make a weaker joint. What you want is two independent joints so the head tube will be well supported and not prone to catastrophic failure..
    Indeed;

    This was my concern, and the reason I questioned it. You should think of the fork, and by extension the HT, as a lever arm. Under braking, that is exactly what it is. The farther apart the TT/DT are on the HT, the less focused and localized the force will be. If you think of the junction of the TT/DT as the fulcrum of a teeter totter, the closer they are to each other, the easier the teeter will totter. The farther apart they are, the harder it is to get it to tip over either way because the load is spread wide. With teeter totters, you like the fulcrum narrow. With HT junctions, not so much.

    I'm not saying it will be a problem for you, but it is something you should at least consider. My Clydesdale HTs at 7" long give me lots of space. I could nest yours INSIDE of mine!
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    I think one or two spacers is fine, but a bunch on a custom frame is silly.

    conventional wisdom says the longer the HT, the easier it is on the headset bearings. However, with the HT that much higher than the TT, I'd have to think about if it's worse for frame longevity. I think the answer is that it might be worse for certain impacts in which the lower headset cup = fulcrum; wheel = load #1, upper headset cup = load #2.

    To clarify: I'm talking about the current TT/DT configuration. To eliminate the above issue, I'd do as others suggested and raise the TT. You can probably do this by simply lifting it up (looks like there's plenty on the ST) and potentially shaving just a bit off the HT/DT miter -- will only alter the TT length a tiny bit.

  31. #31
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    The super close DT/TT/HT joint doesn't really work out that great for OEM's. I'd look at either getting another TT and re-miter a fresh tube so it fits higher on the HT. Or shorten up the whole front end enough to re-miter everything so you can have as much distance as possible between the DT/TT along the HT that your fit allows. If your fit demands a super short HT...think about not using 29in wheels.

    I've been just tinning the ST/BB and then getting a fat fillet between all once the DT is in place. If able I tack the ST/BB as step one. And tack the DT and chainstays in one sitting to reduce the number of times I bring my torch near the frame.
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    These are the threads anyone considering the close DT/TT approach should read - Failure analysis and Frame Failure, Be Careful

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    To be fair

    Compound TT/DT joints can be done safely (ie, fully join the DT, clean your tubes before you join them, use appropriate tubing, etc).

    If you can, a longer HT is a good thing, but lots of both production and custom builders have done compound joints at the head tube for decades. It works fine if you do a good job.

    -Walt

    Quote Originally Posted by TigWorld View Post
    This is the thread anyone considering the close DT/TT approach should read - Failure analysis

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    Been a busy few weeks, what with exams and helping the family prepare for the holidays. Needless to say havn't had a ton of time to work on my frame. Anyway here are some updated pics of my joints(teehee).

    Oh and in regards to the HT and DT being close together. After some beer and some thinking I realized that with my 70.3 HA and 73 SA, the HT and ST get closer together the further up on them you go. So i shortened up the TT a bit and slid it up a few more MM. I think i'm just about ready to braze the front triangle.

    Cheers!
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  35. #35
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    Your miters look very nice!

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    Just a small update, havnt had a ton of time recently. Anyway, I got around to tinning in the down tube and shortly after ran out of O2 so the brazing has been put on halt until we get more. So I started on roughing in the chainstays.
    Pictured are a tire clearance guide that i slapped together and how it stands as i left it this afternoon.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My first frame-2013-01-13_14-53-14_512.jpg  

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  37. #37
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    Uhuh...

    Startin to look like a bike!
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    Lookin good!

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    Things coming along nicely! Still need to... cut and miter the seat stays, braze the rear end, and lay fillet on head tube, plus all the small things.

    Planning on going to a friend of a friend's house to machine some faux headsets to help maintain headtube shape while i lay fillet on it. This may be unnecessary but with my novice brazing i'd rather play it safe.

    Pretty proud of what iv'e accomplished thus far and Im really excited to see it roll
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  40. #40
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    Cool;

    If I might suggest, just for aesthetics, do some serious carvin' on those DOs there. They look kind of... well... agricultural!
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailMaker View Post
    Cool;

    If I might suggest, just for aesthetics, do some serious carvin' on those DOs there. They look kind of... well... agricultural!
    Just once, I want to see you get rude on the internet.

    Try it! I want to see if you can do it. I think you are physically unable.

    On topic: woooot, keep it up, puts my first frame to shame!
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  42. #42
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    Hmmm...

    I can be rude when it is called for, and some posts certainly compel one in that direction. I just thought I would make a suggestion that might improve the look of an already good looking bike frame... in case he had not noticed. If your goal is the largest DO-to-Stay fillet welds of all time, then OK, but otherwise there's no reason not to take the opportunity for some creative expression with that much excess steel available, if it strikes your fancy. That's why we do this, eh?

    No snark intended. Just an opinion. Make use of it as you see fit.
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  43. #43
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    Wishbone

    So, its come to fitting my seatstays. the ones I got in the nova set are straight as an arrow and i have no access to a tube roller/bender of any type. Soo, what are yalls opinions on wishbone seatstays?

    Thanks

  44. #44
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    Hey;

    Do you know anyone with a bearing press?



    Some wood forms and ingenuity and you could coax a little bend into them, most likely. Are your stays round or tapered? I don't know where you are or exactly what you are looking for, but if you could provide an scale drawing and I had the right equipment for the tubing (die sizes), I'd be happy to tweak them for you. I have a draw bender and a HF roller with limited die sizes.
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    Looks nice, I would like to build my own frame someday. Seems like a really fun project

  46. #46
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    I've done one frame with the Nova wishbone stays. It was actually a softail, so I didn't have to miter the end of the "strut"* part to the seat tube, but I'd wager that it's world's easier than seat stay miters normally are. The ends of the wishbones came premitered. In my case, I had to open them up to make room for the larger OD shock mount, but it was pretty easy. I don't know if they're still premitered or not. I'd be surprised if not. If you don't have a notion of what size you want the strut to be, then I'd ask them what size the miter is for and then make sure you have/order the right tube to make your life easier.

    *by strut, I mean top/single part of the wishbone. I don't know if I'm using this term correctly or if there's another term.

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    Progress

    Made some progress this afternoon and got the chain stays and the dropouts tinned in. Going to try and get the seat stays cut and mitered in tomorrow.

    The weather is staring to warm up and I really want to finish this soon, plus Iv'e got a bunch of blingy parts lying around and some more in the mail.

    All these plus some paul hubs, stans arch ex's, and some dt swiss competitions
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  48. #48
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    Getting close;

    Only a million more details to go! Enjoy, take your time, and get it like you want it. It seems an eternity now, but it will all be over very soon and then you'll be getting the shakes wanting to build something!
    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  49. #49
    WIGGLER
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    Cool looks like your building this in the living room....keep on truckin!!!!!
    PAYASO 36er.....Live the Circus

    MR. 36er TROLL

    I'm sorry what part of "BIGLY" didn't you understand?

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by todwil View Post
    Cool looks like your building this in the living room....keep on truckin!!!!!
    Haha yea, the old volvo that was on its side in the garage is now back on all fours and getting motor and tranny. As you can imagine theres $#it everywhere. So i had to relocate to the bike room.

    On another note, I did wind up just getting some new s-bend seatstays so i wont have to worry about bending them or the wishbone idea. The way i have them now they fit just fine with no extra bends

  51. #51
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    Gettin closer

    Been making some good progress recently...

    Laid all the fillets around the frame except the rear triangle and started to get them cleaned up
    My first frame-2013-03-27_18-26-54_69.jpg

    Spent some time aligning everything. This turned out to be one of the most nerve racking things iv'e done thus far, but also pretty assuring since all my welds held up to the bending My first frame-2013-03-30_16-11-50_478.jpg

    Currently working on getting the seat stays mitered in, which has proven to be pretty difficult
    My first frame-2013-03-31_17-08-59_28.jpgMy first frame-2013-03-31_17-12-24_953.jpg

    Also have everything for the build now:
    Rock shox reba rlt 29
    Chris king headset
    Thomson post and stem
    Brooks B17
    White industries eno crankset
    CB eggbeater sl
    Shimano BB(to be replaced by W.I.)
    Chinese freewheel(to be replaced by W.I.)
    Paul hubs
    Stans ztr arch ex 29
    Dt Swiss competitions
    KMC Z chain
    Truvativ stylo bar(to be replaced by something carbon and american made(apparently the thomson bars are made in Taiwan?))
    Avid BB7 / g2 rotors
    Avid speed dial 7
    Jagwire carbon mtb cables
    American classic tubeless valves

    I originaly wanted for everything to be american made, but that has proven to be quite impossible...

    Can anyone suggest some american made handlebars?
    I'm aware of ENVE(a little more pricey than im looking but a possibilty), Thomson(bars made in taiwan), groovy(which is steel or ti and only comes in 25.4 and not 31.8. Are there any others that are carbon and 31.8(not looking to run a big'ol shim)

  52. #52
    Harrumph
    Reputation: G-reg's Avatar
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    I'm told most ENVE bars are not made in the US. Some of a certain model are made here, but there's really no way of telling.

    I'm mailing a check to Rody later today, for some Luv Handles... Pretty sure Ohio is in the US.


    Edit* woops I replied before completely reading your post.
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  53. #53
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    It lives!

    Still have a lot of clean up work on fillets and such... but for now we ride. Ill get around to doing that when i decide to get it painted

    Thanks for all the help along the way!My first frame-2013-04-19_20-54-27_545.jpg

    I would show a pic of it on the trail. but one of my tires has a pretty big rip in the sidewall. Funny how you dont notice that until you run tubeless. Needless to say the tire spews sealant every rotation lol

  54. #54
    dru
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    Thumbs up, Beat!

    Your bike looks good!

    I'm surprised that you didn't do what I did and just ride around with no disc mount for a month or so. Hopefully you've avoided all the dropout filing I had to do to get the rear wheel lined up properly.
    occasional cyclist

  55. #55
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    Nice!

  56. #56
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    Proper picture

    My first frame-301924_10151345356177610_2092059345_n.jpg

  57. #57
    Nemophilist
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    Looks Great!

    - How's it working?
    - How close did you come to your design intent?
    - What did you do "wrong?"
    - What would you change or do differently?
    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  58. #58
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    Thanks all!

    Man is it great to be back on a mountain bike! I had my shoulder strapped back together after a 3rd degree separation last september and had my first ride back on a frame i built while i was out of the game. Not gonna lie, it was a great feeling.

    Everything turned out just about as I planned except CS and SS clearance. I planned to be able to run 2.35's, but alas I am currently running 2.1's with very minimal clearance. I just didnt have access to the machinery needed to bend or dent stays. Also one of the seat stays is slightly out of phase I did manage however to keep the CS pretty short at 425mm and it really likes to go up, as i find myself inadvertently wheelying uphill.

    I cant say much for the 51mm offset as the only other 29er ive spent any time on was the same fashion. I did make a slight adjustment to the HA to make it steer just a tad quicker and it turned out quite nicely especially on the twisty rooty singletrack in my area.

    To be honest, i was really surprised something didnt break, for as little practice as i did and my utter noobness at metal work.... I think my next plan is to buy some straight gauge 4130 from a local supplier and practice brazing/heat control and maybe even try to learn to tig, and hopefully using the scraps to make some sort of 24in bmx/croozer/pump bike

    Cant wait to get some miles in on some different terrain, however its exam week and i gotta go study...

    cheers!

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