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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.
    -Adam Sklar
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  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

    MR. 36er TROLL

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

  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
    Reputation: G-reg's Avatar
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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
    Reputation: golden boy's Avatar
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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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