New drop-bar 29er- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New drop-bar 29er

    Well, after months of buying parts and pieces I finally got my new drop-bar off-roader built. Its new to me, but not "new" as in brand-new. This badgeless Black Sheep frame has been through a couple of other owners that frequent this forum. Here is a pic of the bike in its current build.



    If I end-up feeling comfortable enough with the size/fit I will go ahead and have James build a ti fork for it, but at this point the jury is out on fit until I can put some additional miles on the bike in varied terrain.I did a quick 12 mile loop today consisting of some double track (some smooth, some pretty rutted and rough), and some nice single track sections with lots of tight twists, drops, climbs roots and rocks. I can't say that I wasn't a bit apprehensive entering the single track sections considering that I have never ridden a 29er until today, much less a drop-bar version with a high front-center top-tube.

    Overall the ride went really well. Better than anticipated actually. As I had expected, based on road bike and CX riding, the big hoops really carried speed nicely in the flats and on the downhills. The correlation between the drop height to saddle height which was a guesstimate when I purchased the IRD stem felt close to perfect. When I jumped into the single track I was amazed at the amount of control I had over the bike. Threading through twisty rocky and rutted trail sections was better than I had expected, and the bike really climbed well with the transition from seating to standing being a very natural movement and the power of hammering up a hill while in the drops felt great. The mix of riding a 29er for the first time, and with drop bars off road for the first time was a pretty weird feeling though. I felt a little bit like a kid who was riding something he shouldn't on trails.

    The bike felt good, and it handled and rode great, but it also felt big. I am sure part of that is just not being used to riding a 29er. Probably the biggest concern for me though, is the high front/middle top-tube. Normally I always have a generous amount of room on my mtbs when I come off the saddle forward, but not on this bike. Its snug, and in fact I can imagine myself getting severely racked in the wrong situation. From a few other conversations I think this is the nature of this kind of purpose built "drop bar" off-road beast, but I sure wish I had a 34" inseam instead of a 32". I originally built this bike a as a double tracker and training bike, but not using it for the trails seems like a waste. Maybe a bar pad would be a worthwhile investment, anyone know where to get one?

  2. #2
    old part timer
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    Congratulations. What a great reincarnation for that bike. Makes me want to do something now with the drop bars in my parts bin.

  3. #3
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    Great build - looks like a ton of fun on the trail!
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  4. #4
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    Wow. Nicely thought out build. Drop bars, 1x9, Ti frame, rigid. Yummy.
    I want a head tube just like that, please.

    Enjoy.

    C.
    I'm covered in beer.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the kind words folks! The current build is oriented towards functionality and not the masterpiece that 2xPnue built originally with drop ar hydro brakes and Rohloff.

    If the bike ends-up being what I need it to be then I will continue to refine the build with a few choice pieces and parts. For now though I am sure it will provide a lot of fun and get me back on the riding and fitness track I fell off of this past winter.

    A few key parts credits go to Shiggy for the Midges, and Kelly at Skagitcycles for the obscure 73x116mm bottom bracket needed for the mondo chainstays.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by N10S
    ...and not the masterpiece that 2xPnue built originally with drop bar hydro brakes and Rohloff.
    Ohhh, it's that bike. Cool. That incarnation was gorgeous, but you've definitely come up with a functional build yourself. Those Middleburns look nice in black.
    C.
    I'm covered in beer.

  7. #7
    jmw
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    now that's a classy looking drop-bar build I must say....

    got any more pix?
    future nature

  8. #8
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    Looks very nice

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLONG
    Ohhh, it's that bike. Cool. That incarnation was gorgeous, but you've definitely come up with a functional build yourself. Those Middleburns look nice in black.
    C.
    Yeah...that original build would be a hard act to follow. Its nice to know whats possible on the extreme edge though. I can certainly see upgrading back to the BS ti fork and maybe even a ti BS stem, but I was hesitant to pop for those items until I have had time to confirm whether the bike fits me right, Other than that a nice brooks Swift might be cool as well. The Middleburns have been great cranks, now if I could get a boone ti spiderless 32T ring I would be set!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmw
    now that's a classy looking drop-bar build I must say....

    got any more pix?
    Here are a couple of additional pics. No action shots, but at least a few more perspectives.




    Got out on the trail again tonight and felt a bit more comfortable on the single track sections cleaning most of the dicey stuff this time. Definitely a different experience, and capable of some serious trail carving at speed which I would not have believed before actually having a go at it a couple of times. Being in the drops and sort of "in" the bike makes you feel like you are attacking the trail. Fun stuff for sure, although I know there are limits for a bike like this, and at 50 yrs I need to practice reasonable caution. Its kind of hard though...well you guys know what I mean!!!

    Thanks again for all of the nice comments guys!

    Jeff

  11. #11
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    i love used black sheeps with big head tubes (picked one up from this board a couple of years ago, but steel).

    I bet the fit would feel a lot better with a non-suspension corrected fork. I'd try that first.

  12. #12
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    well that's certainly a unique bike!
    Only boring people get bored.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by steevo
    i love used black sheeps with big head tubes (picked one up from this board a couple of years ago, but steel).

    I bet the fit would feel a lot better with a non-suspension corrected fork. I'd try that first.
    Ahh..you have the steel twin. When I spoke with original owner of this bike he asked if I had the steel or the ti frame, and that there were two built. James at Black Sheep asked me the same question, so I have wondered who had that bike.

    The original blueprint for the frame calls for a (iirc)tall 475mm axle to crown fork, and the Zion fork that came with the frame is 471mm so I figured it was pretty close to design. That said though, I have absoutely wondered what the bike would ride like with a 10mm shorter fork. It would definitely fit me better. I like the way the bike rides and handles but coming off the bike in sketchy up-hills is a real adrenaline rush. I am interested in what kind of fork you settled on and how it rides.

    Thanks for chiming-in!

    Jeff

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    Quote Originally Posted by N10S
    Ahh..you have the steel twin. When I spoke with original owner of this bike he asked if I had the steel or the ti frame, and that there were two built. James at Black Sheep asked me the same question, so I have wondered who had that bike.

    The original blueprint for the frame calls for a (iirc)tall 475mm axle to crown fork, and the Zion fork that came with the frame is 471mm so I figured it was pretty close to design. That said though, I have absoutely wondered what the bike would ride like with a 10mm shorter fork. It would definitely fit me better. I like the way the bike rides and handles but coming off the bike in sketchy up-hills is a real adrenaline rush. I am interested in what kind of fork you settled on and how it rides.

    Thanks for chiming-in!

    Jeff
    It's hard to tell from the pictures but now that I look again, it looks like the heat tube angle on your bike would be very steep with a shorter fork. Maybe that's what the orignal owner had changed from the steel version?
    I ended up just putting a cross check fork on there, i had it lying around and I needed something with a 30 cm steerer to fit that gigantic headtube. I don't use this bike off road and don't have plans to. I like it for commuting and for long aimless road rides. Here are some pics from when i first built it up. It has a shorter stem and Mary bars on it now.
    Enjoy your new bike!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
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    steevo that thing is sweet.

    Quote Originally Posted by steevo
    It's hard to tell from the pictures but now that I look again, it looks like the heat tube angle on your bike would be very steep with a shorter fork. Maybe that's what the orignal owner had changed from the steel version?
    I ended up just putting a cross check fork on there, i had it lying around and I needed something with a 30 cm steerer to fit that gigantic headtube. I don't use this bike off road and don't have plans to. I like it for commuting and for long aimless road rides. Here are some pics from when i first built it up. It has a shorter stem and Mary bars on it now.
    Enjoy your new bike!
    .
    Only boring people get bored.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    steevo that thing is sweet.
    Thanks JH. I think I bought it from the guy that built your purple bike.
    PM me if you can ride on a weekend mid morning.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by steevo
    It's hard to tell from the pictures but now that I look again, it looks like the heat tube angle on your bike would be very steep with a shorter fork. Maybe that's what the orignal owner had changed from the steel version?
    I ended up just putting a cross check fork on there, i had it lying around and I needed something with a 30 cm steerer to fit that gigantic headtube. I don't use this bike off road and don't have plans to. I like it for commuting and for long aimless road rides. Here are some pics from when i first built it up. It has a shorter stem and Mary bars on it now.
    Enjoy your new bike!
    Yeah, thats a fine looking bike Steevo, but in comparing the angles definitely a horse of a different color frame geometry-wise. My top tube doesn't curve but slopes a lot more dramatically. The head and seat tube angles on my frame are such that I think using a shorter front fork would really make it too steep and I agree that the handling would suffer.

    I originally purchased and built the bike for use on rough double track, rail trails, and asphalt bike loops for winter training.For those purposes it is spot-on. Now that its finally built, winter is close to being over and my eyes are focused much more closely on the single track. Fortunately this bike does handle really well for off-road so I can't complain too much other than needing about an inch or two on my 32" inseam in dicey "get-off" situations. I have a few other bikes I can ride for regular technical single track riding so I will just have to decide whether this one will be a keepr for me or not.

    Thanks again for posting the pics of your Steel BS!

    Jeff

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