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  1. #1
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    Birth of a Commuter: A Documentry

    Ever since I bought my SS 29er and current all-around bike I decided that I should slap some of the old/replaced parts on to a frame that I could then use as a commuter with dirt drops for the occasional off-road romp. I wanted a road or cross frame initially but I have a pair of 240/517/Revolution wheels from my days as a failed weight weenie that I just retensioned. They, along with some other stuff that I have decided not to use since my choice to use a Midge, dictated the frame choice in the end. I found a well used but still in good shape Gunner Rock Hound on Ebay and picked it up for around $200. Not bad for an 853 frame in my size (20.5 and a long TT). The Ebay pics didn't show the missing braze-ons on the down tube and all that was left of them were two rusty sockets. There were some dents too that you should be able to see in the pics. I guess 853 is some thin stuff. Not to worry, though. I just had my friend, Scott Paisly, at Blue Wheel Bikes in Charlottesville, VA take care of that for me for 20 (end blatant plug). I prepped the area with emory cloth and then went to work on some rust just to make sure that it was merely superficial. I sanded over the dents to see how deep they were too. Now the bike is at the powder coater and should emerge in a beautiful shade of olive green. More to come...
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  2. #2
    To legit to quit
    Reputation: dansjustchillin's Avatar
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    sounds like a pretty sweet comuter
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  3. #3
    passenger/engine
    Reputation: Mycle's Avatar
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    A great start!

    Quote Originally Posted by AteMrYeats
    I sanded over the dents to see how deep they were too. Now the bike is at the powder coater and should emerge in a beautiful shade of olive green. More to come...
    What will you do with the dents? Fill them with bondo? I ask because I have an otherwise lovely ss frame with one cosmetic dent on the downtube just above the bottom bracket shell; I have been thinking of sanding it out with a dremel tool, filling it with bondo and then using touch-up paint to "finish" it. A whole new powdercoat would be nice, though.

    I use a Midge bar on my off-road fixie bike. I use a Nashbar stem, 40 degree, 130mm, with the Midge; it was cheap and it works great (I have an extra that I'm not using).

    I look forward to seeing the finished project.
    "Look for your breath; it's always there... Make friends with your breath." Thannisaro Bhikku

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycle
    What will you do with the dents? Fill them with bondo? I ask because I have an otherwise lovely ss frame with one cosmetic dent on the downtube just above the bottom bracket shell; I have been thinking of sanding it out with a dremel tool, filling it with bondo and then using touch-up paint to "finish" it. A whole new powdercoat would be nice, though.

    I use a Midge bar on my off-road fixie bike. I use a Nashbar stem, 40 degree, 130mm, with the Midge; it was cheap and it works great (I have an extra that I'm not using).

    I look forward to seeing the finished project.
    I was thinking of filling the dents with bondo but I'm just going to have the frame powder coated and say, "the hell with it." It's funny that you mention the Nashbar stem because that is the exact stem that that I was looking at to get the right position for this new bike.
    Last edited by AteMrYeats; 07-15-2005 at 08:31 AM.

  5. #5
    passenger/engine
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    Sounds like a good plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by AteMrYeats
    I was thinking of filling the dents with bondo but I'm just going to have the frame powder coated and say, "the hell with it." It's funny that you mention the Nashbar stem because that is the exact stem that that I was looking at to get the right position for this new bike.
    I have PM'ed you with some spam.
    "Look for your breath; it's always there... Make friends with your breath." Thannisaro Bhikku

  6. #6
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    The parts have started to roll in. In this package were a Midge, a Tange suspension corrected fork, and some DiaCompe levers. In the mail is a Kick Ass Cog and a spacer kit from Endless. Still to buy:
    Seatpost
    Saddle
    Chainring
    Melvin
    Tires tubes
    brakes
    headset
    bar tape

    If anyone has some advice on picking a good ratio for 650c road wheels I'd apreciate it. I figured 42-44/18 but I don't have any experience with this stuff.
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  7. #7
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    I got this from Endless a couple of days ago. The frame should be back from the powder coater early this coming week. I have a saddle (Bel-Air) and some Avid Ultimates on the way. Sorry if I am boring anyone but this is my thread and I'll post if I want to.
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  8. #8
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    If anyone has some advice on picking a good ratio for 650c road wheels I'd apreciate it. I figured 42-44/18 but I don't have any experience with this stuff.
    On my Hard Rock townie junker, it's 44x17 fixie, w/ Conti Gran Prix 1.0" tires.
    Last edited by Drevil; 07-25-2005 at 05:23 AM.
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | bikecentric | ssoft

  9. #9
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    Well, look what came in the mail today: the only really chi-chi parts (not counting wheels) on the whole bike. And chi-chi they are indeed. I needed V-brakes, so what did I do but go and buy one of the most expensive sets out there. The Ultimates. I considered the Pauls but I knew a guy once who had the Ultimates and they are without a doubt the best I have ever used. So, no discs for this commuter; I swore I would never go back but the allure of the Avids almost makes it worth it...if you're gonna go, go with a smile! Next is the best saddle I've never owned but always wanted to. The venerable Bel-Air. The Flight I am using on my 29er is in it's sixth season and showing no signs of stopping but the Bel-Air has a nice shape that agrees with my butt and it was cheap, even with ti rails. So no new Flight. I got a bunch of other parts too, but they are not really worth showing. The list stands as follows:
    tubes
    bar tape
    rim strips
    seat post
    chain ring
    cables and housing
    thats about it...oh, and a frame that isn't back from powder until the second.

    Thanks to Drevil for the ratio suggestion. He and I ride basicallly in the same area so I will take it in the upmost consideration. I can almost feel the hatred from maniac SUV drivers already. I was planning on refurbishing the Gunnar with it's original decals but the cost fourty dollars...never mind that. I think this will be a Dirt Rag stickered commuter.
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  10. #10
    Cold. Blue. Steel.
    Reputation: OneGearGuy's Avatar
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    Starting to get truly exciting now, you big tease!

    Think you'll have it done this weekend? You know, in time for your Monday commute?

    OGG
    Spinning and Grinning...

  11. #11
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    The frame won't be back from the powder coater until next Tuesday and I may be out of town anyway. Sorry for the teasing, it's just that these Mid-Atlantic summer days are so damned disgusting I feel like I need to do something to pass the time not-on-bike. Anyway, thanks for watching, and stay tuned...

    BTW, you still up for some Pisgah action next month? If so, give me some possible dates and I'll cross reference my own calander.

  12. #12
    Steamroller
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    Great minds think alike

    Your project looks really cool and very similar to what I have in the works. I was about to pull the trigger on a SS cross frame and partial build kit but, a swap opportunity came my way to get a very nice Ti frame. It is a 26" wheeled MTB frame but, it has room for 700c rims and some big cross tires or smaller 29r tires. I have already picked up a midge bar. I have a long tall stem that should work great. Avid BB7s are in the mail, I'm running discs. I'm not sure on the levers yet, I have SD7s, but would really like to run road levers if they will work. Gearing will start at 38x16. This is planned to be an on or off road commuter. I'm up in the air still on the tires, I want to get the frame in my hands and then go shopping when I know for sure what will fit. I hope to be able to ride home from work, riding part of my local dirt loop which I can catch about 2.5 miles from work and get off about 1.5 miles from home. I will be watching for progress on your build, I'm interested to see what you end up with.
    [SIZE=2]Two Wheeled and Too Big[/SIZE]

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattman
    Your project looks really cool and very similar to what I have in the works. I was about to pull the trigger on a SS cross frame and partial build kit but, a swap opportunity came my way to get a very nice Ti frame. It is a 26" wheeled MTB frame but, it has room for 700c rims and some big cross tires or smaller 29r tires. I have already picked up a midge bar. I have a long tall stem that should work great. Avid BB7s are in the mail, I'm running discs. I'm not sure on the levers yet, I have SD7s, but would really like to run road levers if they will work. Gearing will start at 38x16. This is planned to be an on or off road commuter. I'm up in the air still on the tires, I want to get the frame in my hands and then go shopping when I know for sure what will fit. I hope to be able to ride home from work, riding part of my local dirt loop which I can catch about 2.5 miles from work and get off about 1.5 miles from home. I will be watching for progress on your build, I'm interested to see what you end up with.
    I have to say that I'm really jealous about this "dirt loop" as I don't think mine will be able to perform double duty--yet. Aside from gearing, the two hardest decisions I had to make with this build was the fact that I felt like I had to use the mountain wheels I already had (which also meant no discs) and weather or not to buy the Midges since I have some nice bars and a stem already. Since the trails close to my house are pretty tough when I was running 32/18 on my 650c mtb SS, I figured that this commuter would have to be a dedicated road set-up or maybe a 1 by 9. Then I heard about the Paul Melvin which allows for a 2 by 1 witha 20 tooth difference, so maybe I'll try a 32/42 by 18 soon. At any rate, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Midge from one dirt drop virgin to another. And some pics too.

  14. #14
    Steamroller
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    thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by AteMrYeats
    I have to say that I'm really jealous about this "dirt loop" as I don't think mine will be able to perform double duty--yet. Aside from gearing, the two hardest decisions I had to make with this build was the fact that I felt like I had to use the mountain wheels I already had (which also meant no discs) and weather or not to buy the Midges since I have some nice bars and a stem already. Since the trails close to my house are pretty tough when I was running 32/18 on my 650c mtb SS, I figured that this commuter would have to be a dedicated road set-up or maybe a 1 by 9. Then I heard about the Paul Melvin which allows for a 2 by 1 witha 20 tooth difference, so maybe I'll try a 32/42 by 18 soon. At any rate, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Midge from one dirt drop virgin to another. And some pics too.
    I have the Midge in possesion but have not ridden it yet, I was struck by the fact that the drop is shallow and the flat portion of the bottom of the drops is quite short, my hands just fit. I bought them anyway, because I had heard such good things about them.

    I'm hoping to get some 42s to fit for tires. As far as the gearing goes, it will likely cause me to walk a hill or two that I could climb on my Waltworks, but it has to do dual duty so, I guess that ok. the thougt has crossed my mind to build a 700c wheel with a Nexus rear hub, keeping the SS asthetics, but gaining some gear choices.
    [SIZE=2]Two Wheeled and Too Big[/SIZE]

  15. #15
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    Well, the frame has been back from the powder coater for about a week now and the parts have started to migrate from the cardboard box to their place on the bike. The first thing I noticed is how strange a very large 26" wheeled bike looks. This frame is listed as a 20.5" with a 25" virtual top tube. That's .2" longer than my custom 29er with 2" more standover clearence. I wonder how well stock geometry really works as a general solution to the innevitible problems with different bodys? Anyway, I ran out of money for a while and I still need a couple of parts but they are now on order. I should have them in a couple of days and then the riding will ensue. The powder coat reveals the two small dents in the down tube better than the wet paint before it but they are smaller than I thought; I can also see the exteranl butting profiles of the top and down tubes aesily too which is cool. Maybe it will be up and running before next week. We'll see. Until then, thanks for viewing.
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  16. #16
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    Who did the powder coat?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by abqnick
    Who did the powder coat?
    It was done by ASCO in Manassass, VA.

  18. #18
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    How is the quality? I've been looking for a powder coater in the DC area for some time. How much did it set you back?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by abqnick
    How is the quality? I've been looking for a powder coater in the DC area for some time. How much did it set you back?
    The quality is pretty good. Everything is even and thick looking. I assume it will hold up to off road use. They stripped it using media blast and powder coated it (they have a bunch of chips in the office to chose a color from) for $115.00. I'm pleased with the results.

  20. #20
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    Finally finished and ready for my fall commute. Thanks to everyone for the advice and for looking. See you all out there.
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  21. #21
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    Very nice. But it would look dead sexy with and ENO on the back.

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