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  1. #1
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    A Modern Approach to a Vintage Theme, Part 2 (or, Rhygin Redux)

    Sherman, set the wayback machine to 1994, when I read an article on small frame builders in Bike Magazine and came across a local company called Rhygin. It was a perfect bike for my style of riding: northeast singletrack. I was riding a custom 1993 Bridgestone MB-2 at that time and wasn't ready to retire such a great bike. Plus, I didn't have all that much of a favorable experience with my first time round using suspension, a 1992 Wicked Fat Chance with a Rock Shox Mag 21 (or 20). I had Ritchey 2.35s on the MB-2 and that was all the suspension I needed.

    But there was something about the Rhygin that just kept calling my name. After two years of looking at a frame that was hanging in my local bike shop, I decided to take the plunge. It is by far the best mountain bike I have ever ridden. It's light and nimble. It was made locally (all my bikes are). On average, I would get a new bike every couple of years, but when I built the Rhygin, I just didn't have the desire to replace or retire it. Until now. Okay, I'm not really replacing it, and certainly not retiring it, but wanted to build an exact replica. So that's what I did. Or, er, well, Independent Fabrication did (with a shout out to Roy @ Grace Bicycles).

    I brought the Rhygin down to Grace to get it measured and was surprised to find out that it had custom geometry. It didn't match any of the specifications from the catalogs I have. Possibly this frame was calling out to me because of this as it fits me perfectly. At first, I was going to have a titanium version built, but was informed I could get a 1-inch head tube, something I wanted if I was going to keep the Rock Shox Judy. With that bit of information, we went back to the drawing board and had the bike drawn up using steel, but with this configuration I'd be going back to my roots and would use a steel fork. It would be suspension adjusted as, again, this bike would have the exact geometry as the Rhygin.

    Even though the frame and fork aren't vintage, all of the components are. Note that the front derailleur is a placeholder as I had an NOS M910 in 28.6, but upon delivery of the frame, found out that it was a 31.8. Given my weight (135 pounds), I'm surprised IF used an oversized seat tube. That being said, I went back and forth as to what I wanted to do regarding collecting the parts for the project. I have stuff in my parts bin and I could complement those with items I could find on Craigslist and eBay. I also have my 1992 Fat Chance Yo Eddy, which was barely ridden, that I could use as a donor bike. Though I wanted to sell it to fund this project too. My mind is like New England weather; wait a few minutes and it'll probably change.

    I decided to dismantle the Yo Eddy and upgrade a few parts like the crankset and seat post. I really liked the Deore DX gruppo back in the day as it was less expensive and tough as nails. The wheels were hand built recently with some NOS Mavic 230 SBP rims, so the foundation was in great shape. The Syncros Revolution was sort of the Holy Grail for this project as I really wanted an NOS version and picked one up off of eBay (same guy I bought an NOS ProShift drivetrain). The Syncros titanium seat post was another eBay grab. I actually sold one of these last year, one I bought for my MB-2, though one of the bolts was frozen, so I was glad to get one that was in great working order. I had the Ibis titanium stem in my parts bin waiting for a home, so I slapped in on yesterday and really like the look.

    The only issue I have is the crankset. I initially ordered a Phil Wood titanium bottom bracket in 110.5mm, though it was far too narrow so Roy took the 123mm from the Yo Eddy. It's still tight, so I'm debating replacing it with a compact crankset. As I mentioned, the front derailleur is also going to be replaced. I'm searching for an NOS XTR M900 or Deore DX. Aside from these, the bike is perfect. I haven't taken it off road yet, though the little I've been on it, well, it just dreamy.

    Anyway, I'm done for the foreseeable future with building bikes. I've had quite a few projects in the past couple if years so I'm due for a respite from spending money hand over fist. Time to ride. I'm in limbo as I want to do with the Yo Eddy. The frame and fork are in amazing condition. Quite honestly, they look almost as good as the brand new IF Deluxe. I have a person oversees that really wants it, but I'm on the fence as what I want to do with it. For the moment, it's quite a lovely wall ornament. Possibly someday it will be included in the roster....

    Frame/Fork: 2009 Independent Fabrication
    Rims: Mavic M230 SBP, 32-hole
    Hubs: Shimano Deore DX, HB-M650 32-hole
    Quick Release: Cook Bros. Racing
    Tires: Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.4 tires
    Crank: Syncros Revolution w/QBP Engagement rings
    Chain: SRAM
    Rear Cogs: Shimano Hyperglide, 12-28, 7-speed
    Bottom Bracket: Shimano 123mm
    Front Derailleur: Shimano XTR, FD-M953
    Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore DX, RD-M650
    Shifters: Shimano Deore, SL-MT62, 7-speed
    Handlebars: Specialized
    Grips: Pedros Blackwalls
    Stem: Ibis Titanium
    Headset: Shimano 600
    Brake set: Shimano Deore, BR-M650
    Brake levers: Shimano Deore BL-MT63
    Saddle: Sella Italia Flite
    Seat Post: Syncros Titanium
    Paint: Tangerine Yellow
    Size: Custom
    Serial #: 177D916
    Place of Origin: Somerville, MA

    Attachment 459221

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    Attachment 459230
    Last edited by misterdangerpants; 12-23-2011 at 04:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Training for vacation
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    Anyway, I'm done for the foreseeable future with building bikes.
    Jesus thats pretty.
    Glad to see that you have found your perfect bike.
    I'll miss your build posts though.

  3. #3
    CS2
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    Love the bike. I always thought the seat that high in the air was a newer fad.

  4. #4
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    nice one!

  5. #5
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    I don't think I've ever seen a better looking DX group. Those parts look NOS. And I don't think I've ever seen a DX group look that good after install. I'm sure the frame & fork have something to do with that. And the Ibis stem. And the Syncros cranks. Nice build!

  6. #6
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    Thanks a bunch, folks!

    Yeah, the donor bike was in such good condition, the parts really look new (or pretty darn close). Don't know if this is perfect, but I imagine it will be fun!

    Attachment 459258

    The inspiration:

    Attachment 459268

    Last edited by misterdangerpants; 12-23-2011 at 04:57 AM.

  7. #7
    The Crazy Cat Lady of VRC
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    MDP,


    Beautiful bikes, and well built. I always liked the DX group, (bought a fulll DX set from a mail order house BITD, and had to send it back before I installed it 'cause I didn't have enough money left for rent... ).



    Hardwood floor in the garage is a bit over the top though...





    Steve

  8. #8
    underachiever
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    Quote Originally Posted by eastcoaststeve
    Hardwood floor in the garage is a bit over the top though
    Ha, I wish! That photo was taken in a real shop (where I ordered the IF).

  9. #9
    artistic...
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    ok. so what custom geometry are talking about? numbers please. i am a sucker for geometry numbers not to mention this is MY SIZE!.
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  10. #10
    Relax. I'm a pro.
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    Beautiful bike(s) and not a dropbar in sight! I dig it.

  11. #11
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    Dangerpants!

    1. Awsome, as usual!
    2. Keep the Yo. Really. KEEP IT.
    3. Had to copy my Indy paint, didn't ya? (yes, I know about your road bike)
    4. Did you consider going with the rasta paint theme?

    Hope your elbow is good, now mine is bad...matches my knee now...sucks getting old.

  12. #12
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    NIcely Done!

  13. #13
    JmZ
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    Another nice one MDP.

    But now wondering what you ever did with the Ted W?

    It should almost be a crime to have that many lustworthy bikes.

    Jmz
    JmZ

    From one flat land to another.

    Advocate as if your ride depends on it...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JmZ
    Another nice one MDP.

    But now wondering what you ever did with the Ted W?

    It should almost be a crime to have that many lustworthy bikes.

    Jmz
    Thanks! Here's the Ted in its current configuration, which basically changes by the month.

    Attachment 459753
    Last edited by misterdangerpants; 12-23-2011 at 04:57 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad
    Beautiful bike(s) and not a dropbar in sight! I dig it.
    You just have to look a little harder!

    Attachment 459754

    The paint on the IF Deluxe matches my 2008 IF titanium Crown Jewel.

    Note: Sorry for the crappy photo, but I still haven't figured out digital cameras yet.
    Last edited by misterdangerpants; 12-23-2011 at 04:57 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDXdog
    Dangerpants!

    1. Awsome, as usual!
    2. Keep the Yo. Really. KEEP IT.
    3. Had to copy my Indy paint, didn't ya? (yes, I know about your road bike)
    4. Did you consider going with the rasta paint theme?

    Hope your elbow is good, now mine is bad...matches my knee now...sucks getting old.
    1. Thanks!
    2. On the fence. It really is in amazing condition.
    3. Is your IF Tangerine Yellow? I remember seeing it out at the reunion ride. We'll have to hook up and compare and contrast!
    4. Yeah, I considered the rasta paint theme, but really liked the paint on my Ti IF CJ so much, I wanted that. The weird thing is they didn't put the "Made in Somerville" decal on the seat tube. Very strange. I didn't notice it until yesterday. Going to write them tomorrow, though put a Fat Chance "Made in Massachusetts" decal there in the interim.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1
    ok. so what custom geometry are talking about? numbers please. i am a sucker for geometry numbers not to mention this is MY SIZE!.
    The seat tube and top tube didn't match anything in the specs in the catalog, so I'm assuming it was built for someone and they never picked it up. I'll dig up the CAD for the IF and post he figures along with the Rhygin.

  18. #18
    artistic...
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdangerpants
    The seat tube and top tube didn't match anything in the specs in the catalog, so I'm assuming it was built for someone and they never picked it up. I'll dig up the CAD for the IF and post he figures along with the Rhygin.
    awesome! thks..

    does it have the 29 seatpost seattube or is it the 27.2?
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1
    awesome! thks..

    does it have the 29 seatpost seattube or is it the 27.2?
    31.8 seat tube with 27.2 seat post. Was a little surprised IF went with a 31.8 given my weight.

    Here's the CAD for the IF Deluxe. The only deviation from the Rhygin was that the chain stays are 16.7" versus 16.5" as I wanted to fit a 2.5" tire. After taking it out this past weekend, it's not even noticeable.

    On the Rhygin, the seat tube is 16.5" C-C/18" C-T and the top tube is 21.5" C-C (actual)/22.2" C-C (virtual), which matches nothing in the catalog. The top tube could be a small or maybe a small/medium, and the seat tube could be a medium or medium/large (depending on how they measured the geometry).

    Attachment 460237
    Last edited by misterdangerpants; 12-23-2011 at 04:57 AM.

  20. #20
    artistic...
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    wow! you like your bikes short and steep:
    that's an 18in mtb w/ a ... 40.2 wheelbase. add a 72 head angle and it's almost a road bike. now that's a QUICK steering bike.

    you are right. custom indeed. a SmallMedium Fat chance will have a 15.5 seat tube C-C, 22.6 virtual effective top tube, 41in wheelbase and 71 head angle. It is usually seen as a quick bike. yours is steeper and shorter.
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  21. #21
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    I'm sorry although the yellow one is quite pretty the tires are not vintage at all...try the skinwall the kind with the brown wall i think thats what their called in a 26 x 1.75 skinnier first then it will be vintage themed beyond that though great job..

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle0614
    I'm sorry although the yellow one is quite pretty the tires are not vintage at all...try the skinwall the kind with the brown wall i think thats what their called in a 26 x 1.75 skinnier first then it will be vintage themed beyond that though great job..

    the bike is new... not vintage. new steel tubes just welded together.
    even then: vintage tires should be 1.75?
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by colker1
    wow! you like your bikes short and steep:
    that's an 18in mtb w/ a ... 40.2 wheelbase. add a 72 head angle and it's almost a road bike. now that's a QUICK steering bike.

    you are right. custom indeed. a SmallMedium Fat chance will have a 15.5 seat tube C-C, 22.6 virtual effective top tube, 41in wheelbase and 71 head angle. It is usually seen as a quick bike. yours is steeper and shorter.
    Indeed it handles quite well! To quote the June 1994 Bike Magazine article, the Rhygin's were "super maneuverable, something even quicker than the Wicked Fat Chances and Bridgestone MB-1s." The head angle was designed to be "super-agile on tight, twisty singletrack." Considering I enjoy the Rhygin immensely, it made sense to create a modern version of the bike. Yeah, I have a S/M 1992 Fat Chance Yo Eddy, and it's not quite as nimble as the Rhygin, yet it's no slouch either.

    So, I just installed the M901 XTR derailleur so the bike is now completed.

    Attachment 462356
    Last edited by misterdangerpants; 12-23-2011 at 04:57 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle0614
    I'm sorry although the yellow one is quite pretty the tires are not vintage at all...try the skinwall the kind with the brown wall i think thats what their called in a 26 x 1.75 skinnier first then it will be vintage themed beyond that though great job..
    The bike is more an exercise in creating a specific feeling, rather than being vintage. Again, a theme. The frame & fork are brand new, though all the components, save for the tires, are from the early to mid-1990's. As for the tires, I only use new tires on all my bikes. Not really into the reproductions or NOS tires. I like the cushion that the 2.4s give so I'm sticking with those.

    Anyway, thanks for your advice, and the compliment, though.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdangerpants
    Indeed it handles quite well! To quote the June 1994 Bike Magazine article, the Rhygin's were "super maneuverable, something even quicker than the Wicked Fat Chances and Bridgestone MB-1s." The head angle was designed to be "super-agile on tight, twisty singletrack." Considering I enjoy the Rhygin immensely, it made sense to create a modern version of the bike. Yeah, I have a S/M 1992 Fat Chance Yo Eddy, and it's not quite as nimble as the Rhygin, yet it's no slouch either.

    So, I just installed the M901 XTR derailleur so the bike is now completed.

    Attachment 462356
    i rode the wicked today. it's so precise and balanced. east coast geometry is different indeed.
    want: Ibis ti handlebar. suntour 31.8 front derr. bottom pull

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