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Friday, October 05, 2007

Building a custom bike, Part III

This is the final revision. What happened was that my fork builder, Black Sheep Bikes gave Carl different dimensions than the actual fork itself, so when the fork itself showed up, Carl measured it and revised the drawing. Everything looks good (now the head tube is longer), and it's almost time for me to start buying parts for the new bike. Since the parts are mostly coming off the Fuji Team SL, I'll really only need a new stem and some spacers. (Carl's also selling me a silver Chris King headset to go along with the frame)

If this is a replacement for my touring bike, why am I putting the Fuji's parts on it? The theory is that this will really be my do-everything bike. The Fuji's parts are lighter, and I'm not looking at any major bike tours in the near future, so I might as well make this the light day riding bike first. For daily commuting, STIs work just fine, and I can swap in the seat post, wheels and lights from the Heron. On weekends, lighter wheels on the bike, the lights come off, and I put on the carbon seat post instead of the B-17. The entire transformation should take 10 minutes.

For touring, I'll swap in a triple chainring crank, a bottom bracket to go along with it, bar-end shifters (a whole new handlebar set, actually, with carbon brake levers, etc), and the bike will be ready to go! If I have to do this a lot I'll work out some cable splitters and find a way to switch between double and triple cranks easily (this can be accomplished with the external bearing integrated cranksets, but unfortunately a move like that will cost a lot!). Either that, or learn to live with a 27" gear, which might be feasible if the bike is light enough. I will have to run a light tour in February or March to figure that out.
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Jim G said...

Why did you have to have another builder make the fork -- doesn't Strong build forks?

Piaw Na said...

No, Carl does not build Ti forks. He would have built me a steel one, but that would weigh more than twice as much. Blacksheep is one of the few that will build Ti forks.

Unknown said...

How did the BS dimensions differ than the original spec? Was it just slight variations (~1-2mm?) based upon sloppy tube mitering or something more significant like added rake or length?

Piaw Na said...

The distance from the crown to the dropout was wrong. Basically, they spec'd a way longer fork than it should have been, so in the revised diagram (you can compare the last two diagrams), my head tube is way longer.

So it's significant, but won't affect the handling or anything. In short, getting the fork built first and then the frame is the right thing to do.