Finished: Cruiser 29er- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Finished: Cruiser 29er

    Hello all,

    Back in August I started to get interested in 29ers, never had one, but I'm a tall guy and it seemed there were many benefits. Then, after seeing Adamlivi's Uber-Cruiser, I knew right then I would build a Ti 29er cruiser. That thing pulled all the right strings for me.

    Worked with Gene Spicer for nearly 30 days off and on to get the thing how I wanted. It's surprising how long it takes to get the frame just right. My goal here was to make a lightweight geared cruser. While cruisers make a handsome SS, I'll save that for a future mod. Not sure I'm ready for that yet.

    Some unique features include the curved Jones H-Bars, Paul thumbies with 9sp Dura Ace barcons, Vuelta Mag V brakes, which I bought mostly for the long levers, and the cable routing, which is surprisingly simple, yet was the most consuming part of the whole project. Cables are all frame colored, underneath top tube mounted with zip tie guides. At most angles, only one cable is viewable on the frame. Also, the curved down tube is totally clean.

    Lots of "firsts" for me. First 29er, cruiser, ti frame and fork, H-Bars, and first rigid in 12 years. Also "first" (and last) attempt at running Stans. If you read my other post, you know what happened there.

    The finished bike weighs 22.8 pounds, with tubes and slime. It feels way light. Lots of Ti, including frame, fork, bars, post, BB, seat rails, hubs, and skewers. While bike has ISO tabs for disks, V's are all I need for the bike. My Heckler takes care of everything else, though I will confess it looks like a pathetic circus bike with those tiny wheels on them!

    Build list: Custom Spicer Ti frame & fork, Jones H-Bars, Pauls thumbies/dura ace shifters, Vuelta Mag brakes, Easton EA-50 stem, Cane Creek Headset, WTB Laser Stealth saddle, Spicer Ti post, Truvative Stylo Team cranks, FSA Plat Ti BB, PC-99 hollowpin chain, XTR derailers. Wheelset: Dyad/XTR, 14/15 32 hole front, 14/15 36 rear, with 14/17 non drive side.

    Thank you all for your helpful posts. Thanks Adamlivi for the inspiration. This forum is so awesome, I built what for me is the perfect bike, yet never even rode a 29er before. Just "did it". Pics below.
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  2. #2
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    A couple more pics

    A back view and a couple of pics of how the cables are routed.
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  3. #3
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    Wow--super nice. Where in Kansas can we find you riding this beauty and see it in person?

  4. #4
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    congrats

    super nice bike! Enjoy...

  5. #5
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    That's really nice.

    Couple questions for ya:
    I just got my H-bars the other day, with the Paul's Thumbies & DA shifters also. Was the set up of those mounts/shifters as easy as Paul's directions make it look? Also, I was just on Spicer's website today looking at his Ti seatposts for $99. Seems like a decent alternative to a Moots. Is the clamping mechanism pretty simple? (that's what I hated the most about my old Moots post...swapping saddles was a ***** because of the clamp).

    Besides that, congrats on the sweet ride!

  6. #6
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    All I can say is WOW!

    That thing is beautiful and I can't believe it is that light. Even if you decided to run suspension it would still come in sub 24. Trick, super trick! Go get it dirty, that's what it was built for.

  7. #7
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    cruisin' in style!

    well done!
    a real beauty. i would have spec'd her with Magura Marta discs and gone SS, but then that would be MY dream bike and not yours.
    let us know how she handles the dirt- and maybe get us some "dirty" pics, too!
    Spinning and Grinning...

  8. #8
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    Long time ago I spent as much time gazing at a single bike's pictures. That is a piece of art, and the rider takes most of the credit. Man, that thing is visually balanced! The weight surprises me. Did you ever weigh the frame alone?
    That bike looks like it would fit my 6'4" azz, how tall are you? I've never ridden a 29" ti bike, let alone in my size, but I can just TASTE how sweet that ride must be.

    This may be an exception to the rule that bikes don't work to get chicks. Can I borrow it for an easy ride over a campus?
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  9. #9
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    Not the MTB capital

    Quote Originally Posted by Chic
    Wow--super nice. Where in Kansas can we find you riding this beauty and see it in person?
    Wichita area, really not that great for MTB. One pretty good trail here, but within a 45 min drive, some great trails in Ark City. Also go to Clinton Lake, Perry Lake, Dornwood Park, and get as far KC several times a year. Just rode Landahl Park this fall. That was very nice. Oklahoma has good rides, the 12 Miles of hell is in only six weeks! Big thing for me is Colorado, which is only 9 hours to Winter Park when you're movin'. Going to Fruita this spring for the first time.

  10. #10
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    i want one! just looked on the spicer site and they should have your bike on their as a demo because the frame they show doesnt look nearly as impressive as it does built up the way you have it. awesome job.

  11. #11
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    Pauls install easy

    Quote Originally Posted by tamjam
    Couple questions for ya:
    I just got my H-bars the other day, with the Paul's Thumbies & DA shifters also. Was the set up of those mounts/shifters as easy as Paul's directions make it look? Also, I was just on Spicer's website today looking at his Ti seatposts for $99. Seems like a decent alternative to a Moots. Is the clamping mechanism pretty simple? (that's what I hated the most about my old Moots post...swapping saddles was a ***** because of the clamp).

    Besides that, congrats on the sweet ride!
    That little card you got with the drawing on it from Paul Component is all you need. All that extra stuff you got with your barcons is not needed. The weight of the left and right Paul shifter housings plus the shifters, including bolts, is only 133 grams!

    As for the Ti seatpost, looks great, works like any other clamp I've used. Can't remember the exact detail. but two bolt unit with a top cap that rotates. Saddle install was not an issue. Though was heavier than I expected. My 390mm post weighed 263 grams. It seemed to me that a lot of the weight was coming from the clamp. Other posts I've used had machined hardware, while this appeared to be forged aluminum.

  12. #12
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    Also working with Spicer on a Ti 29er cruiser

    Thanks for leading the way on this project. Gene has gained a lot of insight from this 29er experience and combined with his existing knowledge is really asking the right questions to make my bike perfect.

    I was psyched to see the Jones H bar on there. I am on the 2 year waiting list for one of Jeff's vertically compliant frames but am gonna get the Spicer 29 cruiser as a filler. Going SS, EBB on it and have asked Jeff to build me one of his truss forks to run on it.

    How is the ride? I want it for technical trail rides in Northern Jersey so the curved top tube creates some interesting standover issues.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kansasflatlander
    A back view and a couple of pics of how the cables are routed.
    Wowwwwww gorgeous. From where did you get the Vuelta brake levers? Are they 3-fingers long?

  14. #14
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    Stunning. Simply stunning. If you were this adventurous about immersing yourself in 29ers, perhaps you'll soon take the same approach to tossing out the gears?

    Also, do you have two front tires running on that thing?

  15. #15
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    Thank you kindly

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    Long time ago I spent as much time gazing at a single bike's pictures. That is a piece of art, and the rider takes most of the credit. Man, that thing is visually balanced! The weight surprises me. Did you ever weigh the frame alone?
    That bike looks like it would fit my 6'4" azz, how tall are you? I've never ridden a 29" ti bike, let alone in my size, but I can just TASTE how sweet that ride must be.

    This may be an exception to the rule that bikes don't work to get chicks. Can I borrow it for an easy ride over a campus?

    Frame weighs 1888 grams, or 4.1 pounds, including collar and Ti brake posts. I hate to add fuel to the fire here for you, but I am just your size, a tad over 6'3". Main frame dimensions are 24.9" TT, and 20.5" seat tube. I was trying to achieve a decent standover height of 32", which was hard to do with that upward curve of the TT. I am using a 10 deg. 120mm Stem. All this said, the effective top tube + stem length is 29", which is what I use on all my bikes. Fork is 611 grams, or 1.4 pounds, suspension corrected, with ISO tabs and Ti posts. Knock yourself out with the drawing below. Man, I can see that thing in my sleep!
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  16. #16
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    Vuelta Mag brakes...

    Please tell us how you like the Vuelta Mag brakes, and where you got them from!

  17. #17
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    I have the Vuelta's Mags as well, but never mounted them. Nino on the weight board has or had them, search for it, it's also in the classifieds. The Vuelta brakes and levers are not available, but Nino still manages to find a few sets from time to time. I got mine with a very effective bolt tuning kit, so the powerful V's are around 121g inclusing all, per end.
    The supplied Mag levers (166g untuned) have a bit more initial rach than the LX "servo wave action" levers I have here. Also, a full finger more room. I rode the LX 2-finger, so I guess the Vuelta's are 3-finger. Not cheap, though.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    I have the Vuelta's Mags as well, but never mounted them. Nino on the weight board has or had them, search for it, it's also in the classifieds. The Vuelta brakes and levers are not available, but Nino still manages to find a few sets from time to time. I got mine with a very effective bolt tuning kit, so the powerful V's are around 121g inclusing all, per end.
    The supplied Mag levers (166g untuned) have a bit more initial rach than the LX "servo wave action" levers I have here. Also, a full finger more room. I rode the LX 2-finger, so I guess the Vuelta's are 3-finger. Not cheap, though.
    Thanks for the tip, Cloxx. I have some Paul's 2.5 levers currently. Does anyone know if the Vueltas are longer than these?

  19. #19
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    If you measure along the 90 line from the outside line of the lever clamp, the flat part of the blade you put your fingers on, is 30mm away. The flat blade is 55mm long.
    Pivot to cable hanger is just 32mm, which should make for powerful braking.
    If you buy a classifieds ad, and ask the Weight forum to sell you their Vuelta levers, you'll be PM within hours. They were part of the V-brake deal, mos bought them for the brakes, not the levers, as weight is all to those nuts. That includes me sometimes.
    The Vuelta levers are not exactly Avid Ultimate quality, but I guess they're ok.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  20. #20
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    Sure appreciate your feedback

    Okay, I'll confess here. I like talking about the bike. Thank you all for the compliments. It was the compilation of a lot of the good I've learned here on this forum. Responding to some questions above:

    Vueltas - Well, the Vuelta Mags was a splurge. I bought from Nino, passionately known as the weight weenie king. As I mentioned earlier, I bought really because of the longer levers, which are nice because of where the levers are mounted on the Jones HBar. I wouldn't say that the levers are three fingers, but they are 7mm longer than my SRAM 9.0 levers. Indeed they fit the bike nicely, and look great on a ti bike. The pics don't show it but the arm look like ti, so blends in well. The brakes were expensive, and are light, light, light! Weight 282 grams total for front and rear, including all hardware, pads, noodle, and the rubber thing. Levers are still light, but more than Pauls, for example. Comes in at 161 grams for both. Sorry, I have no serious time on these yet, so can't say how they perform. They do have longer arms that a normal V, and they get a lot of power through more leverage than a normal V.

    Tires - Yes, Mythos XCII front specific on both front and rear. Read somewhere here where many of you had success with this, so I tried it out. Rear Mythos was more of a paddle than I wanted. Read here about how Stans worked!http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=72583

    Jones - Yes, I almost bought the Jones bike. Very close. But got the H Bars only. Man, do I like how comfy these things are! Also feels like you get power out of these things. However, since I previously had never ridden a 29er, I can't tell how much is bike and how much is bars!

  21. #21
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    What you have there, I could have bought 2 or 3 years ago when I had spare cash. Boy do I feel stupid I didn't back then, 2 years on that bike...

    Only now I see the drawing come up. Wow, that incredibly light, must be some thin tubes on that baby. 611g fork, oh that would so help me on a weightweenie racer project!
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  22. #22
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    Can't wait to see it

    Quote Originally Posted by seandurk
    Thanks for leading the way on this project. Gene has gained a lot of insight from this 29er experience and combined with his existing knowledge is really asking the right questions to make my bike perfect.

    I was psyched to see the Jones H bar on there. I am on the 2 year waiting list for one of Jeff's vertically compliant frames but am gonna get the Spicer 29 cruiser as a filler. Going SS, EBB on it and have asked Jeff to build me one of his truss forks to run on it.

    How is the ride? I want it for technical trail rides in Northern Jersey so the curved top tube creates some interesting standover issues.

    Seandurk, hope you have as much fun as I did. Gene makes it fun. I'd like to see your drawing if you don't mind sharing.

    Will provide a ride report soon. We've been frozen over, but looks like for a nice weekend.

  23. #23
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    Good job! whoa...

    ...that's one nice looking cruiser. Congrats!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kansasflatlander
    Seandurk, hope you have as much fun as I did. Gene makes it fun. I'd like to see your drawing if you don't mind sharing.
    I will send the drawing when its done. I have to stop changing my mind on chainstay length and BB height.

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    How is the overall?

    How is the overall build? Are you happy with it? I talked to Gene today for the first time. I understand his stuff is made off shore, but I heard some of the Litespeed and Merlin stuff is too. His pricing is right, I have been talking with Ti builders that are twice that price. Let me know how you feel about the whole expierence from Gene as a builder, build time, tubing/weld quality. My word for your bike would be "Clean"

  26. #26
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    Good job! Working with Gene

    I have worked with other builders, where after a short conversation with me, the whole process kind of went on cruise control. I may have had input into the basic dimensions, but some of the small details were the builders choice. That works, but Gene sensed that I wanted to be in the details, and that's what he gave me.

    We had serveral phone calls, and in each I had something to mull over. Stuff like BB drop, BB type, chainstay length, standover, fork length, brake type, tire clearance, cable routing, cable ties, rack mounts, and on and on. I did not just pick, for example, what kind of cable ties I wanted, but also how many millimeters apart, how far from the head tube or seat tube, the distance between each one, the angle of placement, etc. Of course, Gene guided me, but the point is that I got whatever I wanted. If I felt I wanted a hood ornament welded on there, he probably would have accomodated me. Gene took care of stuff over my head, like fork trail, for example. After most of the details were done, Gene sent me a sketch with the dimensions. Then, after my approval, a formal drawing was generated (see above). Man, that is a drawing. Then after a second approval, the order was turned in and the building starts.

    As for the end product, not a detail was missed. The finish quality is awesome.

    Gene was wonderful to work with. An eye for detail, honest, and friendly. His wife Jessica works with him as a team. I got the feeling that Jessica is equally important in the business. I received timely updates during the build. Phone calls and e-mails always returned. Very satisfied.

  27. #27
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    More details

    How long was the build process after you approved the drawing till it showed up on your doorstep? Also do you know if the tubing used in your bike is seamless or seamed?as in flat sheets rolled together and welded, then finished out? Sorry I' such a detail guy.

  28. #28
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    That bike is gorgeous!! Do you plan on putting a Ti stem on it at some point to complete the Ti look and theme?

  29. #29
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    WOW...Stunning!! I can't get enough of the Cruiser look. What's the story on those thumbies? Are they indexed? Are they fairly intuitive to learn? I'm a gripshifter and find rapidfire style shifters a bit awkward to use. They look a bit vulnerable in the event of a crash.
    What the EFF is "All MOUNTAIN"???

  30. #30
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    Vcyclist: {How long was the build process after you approved the drawing till it showed up on your doorstep? Also do you know if the tubing used in your bike is seamless or seamed?as in flat sheets rolled together and welded, then finished out? Sorry I' such a detail guy.}

    Took about two and a half months. I say that in general terms now, but would have given you days and hours if you had asked me a couple weeks ago. I have no idea on what type of tubing, just that it's straight guage 3AlV4 stuff. Gene could probably tell you.

    MMcG : {That bike is gorgeous!! Do you plan on putting a Ti stem on it at some point to complete the Ti look and theme?}

    Thank you for the compliments. Thought about Ti stem, but bought the Easton to save cost in case I needed a different size or angle for the Hbars. I read somewhere on the boards that a Ti stem is very flexy, especially the longer sizes. Would like your comments if you have any experience with this.

    Aquaholic:
    {WOW...Stunning!! I can't get enough of the Cruiser look. What's the story on those thumbies? Are they indexed? Are they fairly intuitive to learn? I'm a gripshifter and find rapidfire style shifters a bit awkward to use. They look a bit vulnerable in the event of a crash.}

    My last three bikes were gripshift, so I like 'em. However, I really like the thumbies also. Very intuitive. While called "thumbies", I only use my thumb to shift into low gears. The left side of my index finger knuckle pushes the lever back into higher gears. The thumbies are Dura Ace nine speed barcon shifters. To get them to work on a MTB, Paul Component makes a mount for them, called Paul thumbies. It is nothing but a machined piece of aluminum that slides over the bars with an interface to hold the nine speed shifters. Also has a barrel adjuster on it. The rear shifters are indexed or friction, selectable on the shifter. I run indexed. Works perfect with any 9speed cassette and Shimano derailer. I don't know if the new rapid rise stuff makes sense or not with thumbies. I am using the older 952 XTR derailer (non rapid rise). The front derailer shifter is friction only. I really like that. They are no more vulnerable in a crash than any other shifter. From the photo, it looks like they stick way out. Actually, my brake levers would hit first in a crash. One thing to add about the nine speed shifters is that they are hard to find now that the 10 speed road grouppos are out.

  31. #31
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    Sweet!

    Your cruiser just gave me wood. Thanks for sharing.

  32. #32
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    Atta boy!

    You have done well my son ... go forth and spread the work ... 29", Ti Cruisers are simply the coolest... and Gene is the man to work with.

    Very Impressive indeed!

    I'll post some new pics as I just completed the custom decals and finished my stem bent wooden fenders...

    Adam "Uber-Cruiser" Livingston

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    How is the ride of the bike?

    Kadnsas Flatlander, I grew up NE of Wichita and now live in Nashville TN and am strongly considering Spicer's Ti retro for a single speed. The trails around here are very similar to those in the KC area, heavy roots, few rocks. How is the ride of the bike with the rigid fork. In addition if you don't mind me asking, what do you weigh? Thanks for all of the help.

  34. #34
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    Looks smokin!
    Why doesn't anyone trim those devil horns off the h-bars..
    the portion that sticks out in front of the bars...they seem useless/functionless...why not save the weight and add to a more smooth/refined look?
    Just wondering....

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Why doesn't anyone trim those devil horns off the h-bars...
    From a man of the cloth...

  36. #36
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    That is the coolest bike I have ever seen!! My eyeballs popped out when I saw it. The only thing I would change are getting rid of those pesky gears.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kansasflatlander
    ....I knew right then I would build a Ti 29er cruiser. That thing pulled all the right strings for me. .....This forum is so awesome, I built what for me is the perfect bike, yet never even rode a 29er before. Just "did it".
    GREAT BUILD!!! Hands down one of the best builds in cosmetic look and function I've seen on the boards.

    Now a word of advice - don't listen to all those youthful knees trying to talk you into making that ride into a SS on this forum. Once they all have the scope on the knees and hear the Doc say "sorry, I couldn't repair the meniscal tear - you'll just have to live with the way it feels after I removed the torn cartilage" - they'll coming limping back to the real thing: gears.

    http://www.knee1.com/care/procedure20.cfm/13

    BB

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    Sweet.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown
    GREAT BUILD!!! Hands down one of the best builds in cosmetic look and function I've seen on the boards.

    Now a word of advice - don't listen to all those youthful knees trying to talk you into making that ride into a SS on this forum. Once they all have the scope on the knees and hear the Doc say "sorry, I couldn't repair the meniscal tear - you'll just have to live with the way it feels after I removed the torn cartilage" - they'll coming limping back to the real thing: gears.

    http://www.knee1.com/care/procedure20.cfm/13

    BB
    Now now....don't knock it till you try it:-)

    My knees have never felt better:-)

    B
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown
    Now a word of advice - don't listen to all those youthful knees trying to talk you into making that ride into a SS on this forum. Once they all have the scope on the knees and hear the Doc say "sorry, I couldn't repair the meniscal tear - you'll just have to live with the way it feels after I removed the torn cartilage" - they'll coming limping back to the real thing: gears.
    BB
    Try and tell Bob that...He's 73 now...starting riding at about 60 something... was able to avoid double knee replacement as a result....He's done the Vision Quest aboard his singlespeed 2 years back...
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Try and tell Bob that...He's 73 now...
    For some reason that pic makes me think that there actually is hope for the world...

    Great Pic - I love the stories of those old local guys who still kick butt!

    We have a 58 year old guy that <b>WON</b> the sport solo class in our local 12 hour race last fall. He mainly rode his Blur, but I think he did a few laps on the SS...

    Good Stuff

    LP

    On Topic - Nice Cruiser

  42. #42
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    First Ride Report, questions answered

    I have a few hundred miles on the cruiser now, but most are road miles, as the trails have been very wet the last couple months. For the few times that the bike has been on the trails, I am simply amazed at how this thing rolls over terrain. The traction is incredible on climbs, far exceeding any 26" wheel I have used to date. Being fully rigid, I was expecting a harsh ride, but am pleasantly surprised. Maybe its the combination of a Ti fork, frame, seat post, and the 29er tires. I am also running 32 PSI, which further increased traction and ride quality, with no pinch flats. Another unexpected surprise is how fast the 29" Mythos rolls over the pavement (I am running front tires on front and rear). Also, very low wear for all the pavement miles. The bike also handles very nicely in the tight singletrack. I attribute this to the light weight (~23 lbs), head angle (71 deg), short chainstays (17.5"), and the marvelous Jones H-Bars. Unbelievable how comfortable these things are, and seems to aid in climbing. I don't know what it is yet, but it seems like it releases my upper body to get involved with the climbs. I really like the Dura Ace barcons and Paul Thumbie setup. Shifts great, looks great, and light.

    Okay, now for the best part. The bike turns heads. Everyone I meet wants to talk about it. All those sexy Ti curves. One thing I've noticed is that roadies DO NOT want to be passed by this thing. Most regulars see me coming and speed up. I like a good rabbit to chase.

    Overall, the bike needs a good wringing out on some long Epic trails. I am taking it to Fruita in April. I'll be able to make a much better review then.


    Quote Originally Posted by TN29'er
    Kadnsas Flatlander, I grew up NE of Wichita and now live in Nashville TN and am strongly considering Spicer's Ti retro for a single speed. The trails around here are very similar to those in the KC area, heavy roots, few rocks. How is the ride of the bike with the rigid fork. In addition if you don't mind me asking, what do you weigh? Thanks for all of the help.

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