• 05-23-2014
    No longer a pepper grinder.
    A friend of mine, who spanners in the LBS, had a frame custom built by Curtis bikes a few years ago. He wanted a bike that would do everything, from xc, light downhill, trail centres, even commuting, so he could basically have one bike to satisfy his itch to ride every now and then. Trouble was, it looked horrible. Imagine ticking every box on the order sheet, every option, every possible addition. It was like the demo bike at a trade fair, it had every possible add on, Rohloff, uppy-downy seatpost, long travel forks, it was a mess. It had no identity other than the 'special' bike ridden by the weirdo in the shop....

    Phil has slowed down on the amount of riding he does, and decided to break the bike, put the hub in a dedicated commuter, which also looks odd, and sell this frame. He listed it on the 'bay last week and I put a cheeky bid in.

    Four cable guides on the top tube, WTAF was he thinking?! A mess, but I always like the way it rode, he got the geometry pretty much spot on. He ran Fox vanillas, set with 140mm, so I will try it with the same for now.

    The plan is to get the thing going by using components from the parts bin for now, and borrowing a few pieces from other bikes. IF it works as well as I remember, I will keep it and spend out for some new parts. But Rohloff has no place in my heart, who wants to ride a pepper grinder anyway...
  • 05-23-2014
    What the pictures in the ebay listing don't show, is that because there are so many weld on cable guides on the top tube, the tube is actually ever so slightly bent. It was really hard to photograph, but easily noticeable in person.

    I knew this, I spotted it he day I first saw the bike, and have been ribbing him ever since. I also knew that it was repairable, but its really difficult to get the noisy tools out on something that has cost so much money. Not so difficult for me.

    Difficult to make out from the pics, but I made up a fixture that would allow me to jack the frame slightly, I needed to spread the load as widely as I could so as not to damage the frame anywhere else.

    Done. There is a fraction of a millimetre now front to back with a straight edge, not something that you can detect with the naked eye.

    Next up was to remove most of the cable guides. I need the guide for the rear brake, and chose also to keep a set for an uppy-downy seatpost.

    So many guides, sigh.
  • 05-23-2014
    I didn't take any photos during the dirty/noisy part as I didn't want the phone to get mucky, but this is the result.

    A quick dust over with some black paint to keep the rust at bay, and shes pretty much ready to build. While the paint was drying, I set about finding some suitable parts for the build. The front end whole is from the Foes, while everything at the rear is from the box-o-spares.

    Do need some crank bolts, cant seem to find any the right size. but the cranks are pressed on so the bike is rideable. First impressions are good, tho I think I need a slightly longer stem, 10mm should do.

    A better opinion tomorrow, and some crank bolts.
  • 05-28-2014
    Fitted an on-one 17t sprocket yesterday, and had to make my own spacers. Simple maths got it perfect.

    First proper off road ride last night, tried the blue at the fod. It's been a long time since I've ridden a single speed off road and it showed. Huge amounts of fun tho, I was able to tell it on some of the faster technical sections without worrying what gear I was in or if the chain would drop off.

    Front end could do with being a little sharper, I might drop the travel to 130mm to see if that helps.