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  1. #1
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    Curtlo does 650b?

    Oh yeah, Curtlo does 650b! Got my custom 650b softtail today:






    More pics as the build progresses...

  2. #2
    rmb
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    Beauty, definitely more pics.

  3. #3
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    Very nice. Looking forward to more pics, ride report, close up shots, etc.

  4. #4
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    Gorgeous paint on that thing!

  5. #5
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF
    Oh yeah, Curtlo does 650b! Got my custom 650b softtail today:.
    Nice!
    I had an awesome summer on my 26'er, Doug builds great frames.
    definitely post back with some final build pics and impressions.

  6. #6
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    What wheelset are you going to run?
    Tires?
    Fork?

    More details please!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    What wheelset are you going to run?
    Tires?
    Fork?

    More details please!!

    Sure! I have a set of Stans 355 rims laced to XT disc hubs for wheels. Going to run Pacenti NeoMoto tires 2.3" front, 2.1" rear. White Bros Magic 650b fork, 100mm travel and a drivetrain mix of good old square taper-bb Shimano XT cranks, new SRAM X-9 derailers and grip shifters. Avid BB-7 brakes with old SRAM 9.0 gripshift-compatible V-brake levers. (2nd generation ones-still made of composite material/plastic, but with externally adjustable cable pull) Thomson stem and post, WTB saddle, OnOne Fleegle bars (trimmed a bit) and King Sotto Voc (sp?) headset...
    Last edited by SteveF; 11-12-2009 at 07:20 AM.

  8. #8
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    sick!!!!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    sick!!!!!!

    Nah, it's pretty boring cross country stuff, isn't it? Just the stuff I've used for years that I know works for me...

  10. #10
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    Steve, is it built yet?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelbike
    Steve, is it built yet?
    It's coming along-bolted on some parts and snapped some more pics!

    Nice that the Eggbeater spring matches the paint!



    Starting to look like a bike!



    Check the smooth joinery at the bottom bracket shell...



    Shock and seat tube cluster:



    Plenty of rear wheel clearance!




    More zoomable pics in my photostream:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/40738390@N08/

    That's about it for easy bolt on parts. Probably knock off there and start fresh in the morning. I work better with coffee and breakfast in my belly than beer and tacos.

  12. #12
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    It's done!

    Trails are pretty wet here--rained all day yesterday and most of friday, but I got out for a little noodle around in a park nearby. Hoping to take it out next weekend for a real ride...



    In the woods at last!



    Check the o-ring on the rear shock--softail works!



    Parts breakdown:

    -Custom 650b-wheeled Curtlo Softail frame.
    -White Brothers 650b Magic fork, 100mm
    -Salsa Relish rear air shock
    -Shimano XT disc hubs and cranks (old school square taper) Tange bottom bracket.
    -SRAM/AVID BB7 disc brakes, old 9.0 brake levers, X-9 derailers and grip shifters, SRAM chain
    -Stan's 355 650b rims, Pacenti NeoMoto tires, 2.3 front, 2.1 rear.
    -Jagwire cables and housing, old WTB -SST-X saddle, OnOne Fleegle handlebars.
    Thomson stem and post
    -EggBeater SL pedals
    -Ergon grips, CatEye Enduro 8 computer
    Last edited by SteveF; 11-05-2009 at 08:58 AM.

  13. #13
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    Very nice. Definitely a one of a kind bike.
    It will be interesting to read the ride report.

  14. #14
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    Color Code for Curtlo? And when did you order? I placed a deposit in April of this year, but have heard nothing yet (not surprised though).
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manicmtbr
    Color Code for Curtlo? And when did you order? I placed a deposit in April of this year, but have heard nothing yet (not surprised though).
    I don't know the color code, but it's "lollipop blue," on the left near the bottom here:

    http://www.curtlo.com/paint.html

    I sent in my deposit around thanksgiving last year, so it took about 11 months. Hope you see yours soon! Which model did you order? If you haven't seen the curtlo thread in the custom builders forum below, it's worth perusing for some background on the waiting period and other insights...my longer than anticipated wait was a lot less stressful knowing more about how Doug works.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manicmtbr
    Color Code for Curtlo? And when did you order? I placed a deposit in April of this year, but have heard nothing yet (not surprised though).
    Did your Waltworks arrive yet? If so, where are the pics?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    Did your Waltworks arrive yet? If so, where are the pics?
    MMcG,

    If anyone would have caught that I got stupid and ordered TWO custom frames in the same month, I figured it would have been you.

    Let me explain. I contacted both Doug and Walt about building me a SS frame at the same time. I have admired both bike builder's work for quite some time. Walt got back right away and considering he is a well known 29 builder, I went with him. Doug came back about a week later and his price is so good, I decided I could just sell some old bike stuff and have one of each. This was the end of April.

    My Walt was finished about a month ago, but the powder coat was not perfect and there was a spot where flux was not cleaned off the seat tube and there was a bump. Walt offered me a few choices: 1) Send it as is and he would refinish it for free anytime I wanted. 2) take it back and have it fixed. I went for choice number 2 and I am hoping it will be ready to ship this week, but we shall see. I knew if it arrived here, it would never go back. Kinda wish I took option 1, but oh well.

    So no Walt yet, but hopefully soon. If you look back on Walt's blog from August, there are a few shots of my frame. The rear stays can be as short as 16.75 on a 29er in the most forward position. Pretty normal geometry - 71/73 geometry with a 45MM rake. I will post pics on the SS and or 29er board as soon as it arrives and get built.

    Back to the Curtlo here. Sweet frame and sweet color. I never would have thought the color on the Curtlo website would look this way on a frame. I like it. I knew the Curtlo process was long, but the price of his frames is 1/2 of some other frames out there, especially for a fillet braze frame.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manicmtbr
    MMcG,

    If anyone would have caught that I got stupid and ordered TWO custom frames in the same month, I figured it would have been you.

    Let me explain. I contacted both Doug and Walt about building me a SS frame at the same time. I have admired both bike builder's work for quite some time. Walt got back right away and considering he is a well known 29 builder, I went with him. Doug came back about a week later and his price is so good, I decided I could just sell some old bike stuff and have one of each. This was the end of April.

    My Walt was finished about a month ago, but the powder coat was not perfect and there was a spot where flux was not cleaned off the seat tube and there was a bump. Walt offered me a few choices: 1) Send it as is and he would refinish it for free anytime I wanted. 2) take it back and have it fixed. I went for choice number 2 and I am hoping it will be ready to ship this week, but we shall see. I knew if it arrived here, it would never go back. Kinda wish I took option 1, but oh well.

    So no Walt yet, but hopefully soon. If you look back on Walt's blog from August, there are a few shots of my frame. The rear stays can be as short as 16.75 on a 29er in the most forward position. Pretty normal geometry - 71/73 geometry with a 45MM rake. I will post pics on the SS and or 29er board as soon as it arrives and get built.

    Back to the Curtlo here. Sweet frame and sweet color. I never would have thought the color on the Curtlo website would look this way on a frame. I like it. I knew the Curtlo process was long, but the price of his frames is 1/2 of some other frames out there, especially for a fillet braze frame.
    Hope the Walt comes to you and you like what you receive.

  19. #19
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    Steve, Nice bike. Let me know when your taking her to Yankee. I'd like to check it out.

    Tom (Crash&Burn)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GR Mtn Biker
    Steve, Nice bike. Let me know when your taking her to Yankee. I'd like to check it out.

    Tom (Crash&Burn)
    Thanks, Tom--sure will!

    You interested in hitting Owassippi once more before it closes for the season?

  21. #21
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    Wow, that bike just looks "right". I swore off 26" bikes long ago and have fully committed to the 29ers but that bike does make my eyes stray... I just don't know if I could handle someone fondling my money for a full year before giving me something tangible for it.
    "I'll disintegrate over time if I expect my body to try to keep up with my mind" -BM

    Race, Rocks or Road...Just Ride

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manicmtbr
    MMcG, Back to the Curtlo here. Sweet frame and sweet color. I never would have thought the color on the Curtlo website would look this way on a frame. I like it. I knew the Curtlo process was long, but the price of his frames is 1/2 of some other frames out there, especially for a fillet braze frame.
    Thanks! Yeah, I just picked the darkest looking blue in his options and that's what I ended up with. I'm pretty pleased with it. Good luck with your custom(s!)...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by el-cid
    Wow, that bike just looks "right". I swore off 26" bikes long ago and have fully committed to the 29ers but that bike does make my eyes stray... I just don't know if I could handle someone fondling my money for a full year before giving me something tangible for it.
    Yeah, I like the scale of 650b wheels on bikes in my size, both road and mountain. That's one of it's primary appeals for me. Before that I was pretty satisfied with 700c on road bikes and 26" on my mtbs.

    Custom bikes do usually take some time--I have other bikes so I wasn't suffering too much. If it helps, most only require a partial payment up front...and it gave me plenty of time to collect the parts. Plus it took me most of that 11 months to choose a color!

  24. #24
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    Nice bike!

    Steve F,
    That is a great color! Love Curtlo's, bike looks great...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDtofer
    Steve F,
    That is a great color! Love Curtlo's, bike looks great...
    Thanks! It looks even better dirty. Ride report follows...

  26. #26
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    Well since it was warm and if not sunny at least not actually raining yesterday, I arranged to slip out of work a few hours early so I could finally give my Curtlo a real test out on the trail.

    After dealing with some initial set up issues, (fork was a bit underinflated and the BB7 disc brake pads weren't yet bedded in) I was able to get in a 20 mile ride at my local trail system. This involved a fair bit of heavy leaf cover over rock and root strewn twisties, some rock gardens, lots of log crossings, some mud and slick stuff, some fast, buff singletrack...pretty much everything except long climbs. But there are a couple of small hills that let me test the traction and climbing feel of the bike, too.

    First off, I'm very pleased with the bike. I honestly believe it's the best handling mountain bike I've ever owned! It's very predictable and precise, and went exactly where I wanted it to. Stable, not sluggish, quick but not nervous. Doug at Curtlo knows how to make a bike that just feels right.

    The bottom bracket is lower than I'm used to and I high-centered the chainring on several logs I usually clear, and also experienced several pedal strikes. I think this contributes to the excellent handling characteristics, though, so I'm willing to adjust to it.

    The softail takes a bit of the edge off small stuff but will still boot you in the butt on bigger hits--it's definitely more of a hardtail feel than a full suspension feel.

    It's a very efficient bike! I was easily able to reach and hold speeds a couple of ticks higher than I'm accustomed to on fast sections, and it scoots up hills in a most pleasing fashion. I won't rush to judge based on this fairly flat course, but I think this bike might be among if not the very best climbing bike I've ridden.

    The White Brothers fork performed out of the box as advertised--too much stiction--but it loosened up noticeable over the course of my 2:20 hours in the saddle so I'm confident it'll reach it's full potential in good time. It's certainly stiff enough in terms of handling feel, and to limit deflection on unanticipated obstacles inevitable when you ride through heavy leaf cover!

    I've been riding 650b wheels/Pacenti tires for a while now, first on my Rawland rigid singlespeed, then my converted Cannondale Rush full suspension. I'm sold on the wheel's combination of 26"ish quickness and 29"ish stability and rollover capability, and the traction afforded by the NeoMoto tread pattern. The Curtlo ups the ante with superb trail manners, excellent power transfer and, as my first custom-made frame, unparalleled fit and comfort. It's a keeper!

    I think there will still be a place in my quiver for a full suspension bike with more cush and clearance, but this bike will certainly be my first choice for long days in the saddle where efficiency matters more than extreme terrain capability.
    Last edited by SteveF; 10-30-2009 at 11:31 AM.

  27. #27
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    Awesome bike! I'm considering a Curtlo softtail with drops for multi-surface LD riding and the GDR (eventually). Thanks for the ride report. It gives me more confidence that this will be the right setup!

    PS-the ortlieb seat bags are great.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by intheways
    Awesome bike! I'm considering a Curtlo softtail with drops for multi-surface LD riding and the GDR (eventually). Thanks for the ride report. It gives me more confidence that this will be the right setup!

    PS-the ortlieb seat bags are great.

    Thanks! The GDR is one of my "someday," rides, too. Doug and I talked a bit about various handlebar options--he modifies the geometry of his bikes for customers that want to use drops so I think he'd be a good choice for your project. He also said that pulling a BOB trailer with my Curtlo wouldn't be a problem so you're covered there.

    Ortlieb makes good stuff--it's a little awkward to get into 'til you get used to the closure design but it works as advertised--waterproof and durable! That's the medium on my Curtlo--I have the large on my Rawland.

  29. #29
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    Well, I've got around 100 miles on this bike now and it continues to impress. The handling is really spot on--it just goes right where I want it to without any drama whatsoever.

    The White Bros fork is breaking in nicely--it was clunking a little toward the end of my last ride, and it feels a little sticky so I might freshen the oil and see if it improves. It's not quite due yet according to the owners manual but the last ride was very wet and sloppy so the oil might've gotten contaminated.

    I felt as though the bike was still performing pretty much like a hardtail so before this last ride I checked the rear shock pressure and compared it to Salsa's guidelines. Hmm, as shipped, the shock was inflated to 75psi. Salsa recommends around 20psi for my weight. Yeah, that might make a difference! I'm happy to report it was a much smoother ride at 20 pounds and the o-ring clearly showed that I was getting full travel. I still wouldn't call it plush but it really took the edge off the little stuff and I finally felt as though it was performing more to my expectations.

    I mentioned a messy ride--it rained then snowed all night the evening before last friday's "turkey burner," ride at Yankee Springs near Hastings, MI. The trail was all soggy leaves over wet, sandy soil. I have to say the Pacentis hooked up real well in these conditions.

    Here's a pic of the bike after the ride--pretty sloppy out there! It was a great ride...

    Last edited by SteveF; 12-17-2009 at 11:37 AM.

  30. #30
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    Cool bike. I have a hard tail Curtlo 29er love the bike. I just ordered a 96er soft tail from Doug today to go with the 29er.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by curtlo29
    Cool bike. I have a hard tail Curtlo 29er love the bike. I just ordered a 96er soft tail from Doug today to go with the 29er.

    Thanks! Yeah, I'm looking forward to getting it out come spring. It's been a pretty nasty winter here.

    You might consider going with a 650b setup--use a 29er fork with adjustable travel and you can move to a 29er up front if you don't care for it. A number of folks have mentioned running 650b back/29er front with great results...just throwing it out there.

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