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  1. #1
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    Number 2 - Fixed-Gear Commuter with MTB Abilities

    Frame number one hasn't put me in the hospital yet so I decided it was time to make another. I've been commuting for years on a 1985 Bridgestone 400 which I also used as my gravel grinder/winter ralleye whip. Despite it's awesomeness, it was a little long for me and it destroyed 1" headsets with ease riding washboarded roads.

    I've been in a downsizing mode, so I wanted a bike that could do multiple things. I run disc fixed with a front hub as a rear hub so I needed to be able to fit a 42 tooth chainring up front with a relatively tight chainline...but I also thought it would be fun to build in clearance for mountain tires. Shown is the result with a more MTB build and lower gearing just to test before some finish work and painting.

    CS length - 425mm
    BB drop - 60mm
    ETT - 540mm
    HTA - 69.5deg
    STA - 73.5deg

    Number 2 - Fixed-Gear Commuter with MTB Abilities-100_3620.jpg

    Number 2 - Fixed-Gear Commuter with MTB Abilities-100_3621.jpg

    Number 2 - Fixed-Gear Commuter with MTB Abilities-100_3623.jpg

    Number 2 - Fixed-Gear Commuter with MTB Abilities-100_3626.jpg

    Number 2 - Fixed-Gear Commuter with MTB Abilities-100_3627.jpg

    I didn't take many process pics, especially that came out well, but this one captured the essence of a late night of filing in the garage. Also, it shows my awesome workshop consisting of a bench built from my neighbor's cast off bathroom cabinet (yes, my jig is bigger than my work bench).

    Number 2 - Fixed-Gear Commuter with MTB Abilities-100_3401.jpg

  2. #2
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    Number 2 - Fixed-Gear Commuter with MTB Abilities

    I like it. Very cool.

  3. #3
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    Nice, looks great!

    I have almost the same bike. My second frame and old SS got converted to fixie townie duty. Makes commuting a lot more fun.

  4. #4
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    I put some paint on number two and assembled it for commuter-gravel grinding mode. Somehow it seems much more legitimate with paint on it.

    Number 2 - Fixed-Gear Commuter with MTB Abilities-100_3667.jpg

    Number 2 - Fixed-Gear Commuter with MTB Abilities-100_3670.jpg

    Number 2 - Fixed-Gear Commuter with MTB Abilities-100_3671.jpg

    I took it out on our annual Pennock Pass ride this weekend to put it through the paces on some mixed surfaces - pavement, dirt, and snow. It proved to handle the range of conditions well. I was a little disappointed in how stiff the frame-fork combination was on gravel. The frame is probably a little overbuilt for my weight (but not brazing skills) - Nova 9-6-9 top tube (28.6) and down tube (35) - and the fork (Kona P2) is definitely stiffer than it needs to be. The feedback from washboard was much harsher than it's ever been with a lighter steel road fork with tapered, raked blades. For now I'll be running lower tire pressures when off road but I'd like to build a lighter fork for it down the line when I feel more confident in my fabrications skills.

    Number 2 - Fixed-Gear Commuter with MTB Abilities-100_3673.jpg

    And the bike has a rider. What a dork!

    Number 2 - Fixed-Gear Commuter with MTB Abilities-new.jpg

  5. #5
    Stokeless Asshat
    Reputation: jeff's Avatar
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    That Pennock ride is a beast geared. Good job.
    Zip ties? Not on my bike!

    Want:
    650B rims or wheel set. 80's vintage 32 or 36 x 135mm

  6. #6
    WIGGLER
    Reputation: todwil's Avatar
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    You bike turned out great, am I reading that right 84miles? WOW my legs are starting
    to hurt just reading this!!
    PAYASO 36er.....Live the Circus

  7. #7
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    Thanks. The frame turned out better than I expected.

    Yeah, that ride is a beast - definitely a good test of the bike. I wasn't the only one running a fixed gear either. I wouldn't come up with such a crazy idea on my own.

  8. #8
    Harrumph
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    Awesome! I've seen those roads back in the day on my sweet Nishiki Boulder looking for Old Flowers Road in my pre-car pre-internet days. And in those trips are some of my best memories, seriously.


    *edit* Adding a personal Ft.Collins framebuilding story: So, back in the day (around 1999ish) a good friend came across a nice early 90's Kona HeiHei. He found some local dude to weld horizontal drops into it....just some Dude welding your Ti frame. I remember, saying sarcastically at the time, "Oh sure, any old Fella can weld up your Ti frame in his garage..." Turns out this "Dude" evolved into a Ti framebuilder in Ft. Collins you may have heard of.
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  9. #9
    Ovaries on the Outside
    Reputation: umarth's Avatar
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    That is pretty awesome. I do have a question- with commuting in mind, why didn't you go with a lower fork a-c for fenders? Are you going to run suspension at some point?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth View Post
    That is pretty awesome. I do have a question- with commuting in mind, why didn't you go with a lower fork a-c for fenders? Are you going to run suspension at some point?
    I probably should have gone with a shorter fork but I already had this one sitting in the garage so I used it. I think something in the 420 mm A-C range could accommodate either 29er tires or 700c x 40 mm tires with fenders. I understand how useful fenders can be...but at the same time I hate fenders. I'm going to put a front rack on it which will block a lot of spray and I have one of those goofy down tube-mounted fenders I can throw on when it really gets nasty. We don't tend to get a lot of precip where I live so it's not a big concern for me.

  11. #11
    650b me
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    Nice work, especially considering your humble "shop." I had to laugh about your first sentence about not ending up in the hospital yet. I can relate as I finish up frame #2.

    I took notice of your handling of the seatstays. I'm doing the same thing with my second frame, since no one seems to sell stock seatstays with decent tire clearance and I don't have a tubing bender - yet.

    Paint looks nice too. Is that a rattle-can job?

  12. #12
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    I complained about the seatstay options too, but when you think about it, it's really hard to come up with a universal bend pattern that will work for many different sizes of frames. Unlike chainstays where people are working in a relatively narrow range of lengths, seatstay lengths are going to vary a lot with frame size. I think the stock s-bend options probably work just fine with L or XL frames.

    The paint is rattle can. I couldn't justify throwing down for a powdercoat yet. Maybe on #5 or 6.

  13. #13
    650b me
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    Very nice job on the paint. I rattle-canned my first frame. It turned out OK, but yours looks really good. Since my first frame is still intact, I was planning on powdercoat for #2.

    You're probably right about the seatstays. I cut about 3-4" off each end for my wife's medium-sized mtb frame.

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