Stan’s Steel Dirt Road Bike

Stan is practically my neighbor and our kids go to school together.  He told me that he used to ride a lot and wanted to start riding again.  We talked about the benefits of custom frame versus mass-produced frames and different types of frame materials that are utilized in the bicycle construction such as steel, aluminum, carbon fiber and titanium.  Each of these materials have different characteristics, however, all could be shaped into similar quality ride by a frame builder.  The major thing to consider here is the price of the material, its weight and durability as well as geometry and proper fit of the bike.  Also, wheels play major part on how the bike feels and rides.  Although, steel is “real” and steel frames offer the best balance of cost, weight and durability as well as its unique more forgiving ride qualities due to properties of the steel, there is no clear choice what frame material is better or worse.

Stan’s bike frame was constructed around the fork (built-in house) geometry with axle to crown measure between cross and road bikes and clearances to accommodate wheels with 34 mm tires.  We used True Temper’s OX Platinum steel tubing and Paragon Machine Works’ dropouts and braze on components to build the frame.  Internal cable routing for derailleurs and brakes housing.

The bike is equipped with Shimano Ultegra 6800 group and hydraulic disc brakes, PRO cockpit components and cyclocross/gravel Rolf Prima ECX disc wheelset with hand-made 30c Challenge Strada Bianca tires.

I am a little behind on this post.  Stan was riding this bike for about three months now and this is what he had to say after his first ride:  “Just tested 22 miles.  Awesome bike.  Runs great.  Need to adjust saddle.  Thank you.  Bike is insane!!!”

Enjoy the photos of the bike and stay tuned for a next post on our dirt fat bike.

Vlad

 

 

 

Rigid 29er/CX Flat Bars Bike

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Cyclocross bike with flat handle bars?  Well, rider wanted a custom frame and fork with Cyclocross geometry, however, no drop bars.  The bike is going to be used half of the time on-road and half of the time off-road, primarily hardpacked dirt.  No long distance rides or bombing down steep mountain hillsides.  In addition, frame required to have lots of stand over, disc brakes and stand out from the crowd.

To achieve above objectives, we fabricated bent top tube and bent wishbone seat stays for extra stand over and desired aesthetics out of 0.035″ aircrcaft 4130 chromium-molybdenum steel alloy tubing.  Down tube, chain stays, head tube and braze-ons were supplied by True Temper, Columbus and Paragon Machine Works.  We prepared the tubes to run internal cable routing for cleaner lines.  As usual, Vicious Cycles did a great paint job on the frame and fork.

Frame was built with CX geometry.  We fabricated steel fork with 395 mm axle to crown measurement and 47mm rake with clearance to run WTB 40c Nano tires.  Currently, bike is equipped with Rolf Ralos XR 29er wheel set and Clement LAS 33mm tires.  Clement LAS tires allows speed on road and hardpacked dirt due to its file tread, and cornering on off-road due its small side lugs.

The bike’s drivetrain is a combination of Shimano CX50 (cyclocross) and Shimano Deore XT 10-speed (mtb) drivetrains.  Shimano CX50 includes crankset, front derailluer and two 46/36t chain rings.  Deore XT parts consist of 10 speed cassette, rear derailluer, shifters and disc hydraulic brakes.

Mission accomplished, and that’s why we do what we do…because we love it!  Thanks for checking in and enjoy the pictures.  Visit Chicagoathlete and Oldglorymtb for more coverage on this bike.

Stay tuned for more on our next Road/Gravel project.

Vlad

 

Oleg’s Cyclocross Bike

Oleg wanted to start cycling after his shoulder injury that made him almost quit one of his favorite sports, volleyball.  He asked me to build him a custom bicycle frame to make sure that the bike will have correct fit considering his past injury.  However, Oleg wasn’t sure what type frame he needed.  So, we started a conversation.  After learning what type of riding he wants to do, I suggested to him to build a Cylclocross (CX) bicycle.  CX bike resembles a road bike, but it has larger clearances for tires that allows to ride off-road, and slightly different frame geometry with a slacker head tube/seat tube angles and fork’s longer axle-to-crown distance.  After taking Oleg’s body measurements and then applying them in Bike CAD Pro, we agreed on the design and I started to work on the project.

I used light-weight True Temper’s OX Platinum steel alloy tubing to build main triangle and Columbus Zona tubing for stays.  His bike has internal routing and equipped with Shimano’s mechanical disc breaks and Shimano CX drivetrain.  In addition, I built for him a custom CX steel fork with True Temper’s fork blades, steerer tube and Paragon dropouts.

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