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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Building a Custom Bike Part II

Changes from last time:
  • 3rd water bottle cage (mounted on the wheel side of the down tube). I asked Carl to draw in a 28mm tire just to make sure it would clear with room for renders. (Looks like it does!)
  • 43mm offset on the fork. The Bridgestone RB-1 had a 45mm offset. I've test ridden a fork with a 40mm offset on the same geometry, and to be honest I cannot tell the difference. I simply might not be sensitive enough to feel 3mm difference. The 43mm works fine on the Fuji (though the Fuji has never seen a load), but it handles just fine. I sent my Bruce Gordon low rider rack to Black Sheep for mounting and sizing, so that the low rider mounts will work exactly on the fork as specified. The built fork will be sent to Carl directly for final verification and building.
  • Not seen in the diagram: spoke holders for spare spokes! A nice feature on touring bikes but never seen on stock frames. This is another reason we buy custom.
Carl and I also explored having a horizontal top tube and a head tube extension, but it appears that this wouldn't work as I don't have enough room on the head tube. I can put up with a 9 degree top tube to ensure that my soft tissue doesn't get hurt when I put on 32mm tires, and to have good frame integrity.

Things to explore in the future: finish of the bike (Satin? Polished? Shot-peened?), possible head tube extension so I use fewer spacers? Pardo suggests that I go for a 72 degree seat tube so I can use a no-layback seat post, but the road feel is important to me, and I'm not sure I want a seat tube that slack, having ridden one like that on the Heron Touring bike, which feels unnecessarily sluggish to me when I put power to the pedals.

So far, Carl's been a pleasure to work with. There's a 5 week wait to delivery, but everything looks good. One note is that Carl is raising his prices for custom frames, so if you want one built by him, take note!
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