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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:16 pm
Posts: 433
I've ridden fixed since around 2007, the vast bulk of my commuting miles and my after work training has been done on a variety of fixed gear bikes- initially converted road frames, the inevitable lo-pro, and a variety of aluminium track frames.

Of them all my favourites were (prepare yourself!) a Langster and a Cannondale CAAD7 track - both of which are essentially road frames with track ends.

Prior to the Path Racer I'd just replaced my dead CAAD7 frame with a Ridley Oval 907C - an outright track frame, stiff as hell and totally uncompromising.

I have to admit I really didn't like it - apart from sprinting flat out, it was not in it's element, it beat me up over rough roads and the toe-overlap was "challenging" when weaving through traffic.

It now belongs to a chap who keeps it at the Velodrome- where I'm sure it's happier than it was when it was with me.

Now as a type of bicycle the Path Racer has honest claim to be one of the oldest- designed when a lot of roads were unmetalled, it was used to train on the road and raced on the track.

Hence it has a road biased geometry, yet it boasts a fixed drivetrain.

Sound familiar?

I decided to build one for myself, and if it worked, offer it as a model from Talbot Frameworks.

The geometry was lifted directly from one of my all-time favourite handling bikes, my Serotta CSi, with a slight lift to the BB to reduce the chance of pedal strike when cornering.

Tubing wise we went with 853 OS for the downtube, a Paragon Machine Works 44mm head tube, a swaged 853 seat tube (28.6 at the top, 31.2 at the BB), a PMW PF30 BB shell, Columbus MAX top tube (in a reversed orientation from how Columbus intended -more on that later), Zona chainstays and 14mm 4130 seat stays into a wishbone, with one short 16mm 4130 tube completing the rear end.

To allow (convenient use of) mudguards with a fixed drivetrain we used PMW rocker dropouts - once chain tension is set and the dropouts locked down the wheel drops out vertically.

For anyone who has had to fix a flat in the driving rain on their fixed-training bike with mudguards the ability to simply drop the wheel out and then put it back in without removing the mudguard and having to re-tension the chain should resonate.

Living in England a lot of my after work training is done at night, so we used a Shutter Precision dynamo hub, linked to Supernova E3 lights, running the cable through the top tube (Di2 grommets are useful for this) to keep things clean.

I used a Powertap G3 Track for the rear hub to record training load etc.

A Kinesis fork with mudguard eyelets but a road bike A-C measurement completed the picture.

Finally, being a fan of the older performance Volvos we painted it T-5R Gul yellow.

I have to cut the mudguard stays down still:

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Dynamo wiring through the frame, and both brake levers operate the front brake via the Problem Solvers device:

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Who can tell me what the Volvo reference is in this photo?

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A relatively modest 48/18 as there are (contrary to popular belief) hills in London:

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I'm a power-weenie, I admit it:

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Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:53 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:16 pm
Posts: 433
I honestly can't overstate how much I love the dynamo lights:

Image

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The MAX top-tube allows us to have the oval profile meet the 28.6mm seat-tube perfectly, with a nice large contact area and a smooth transition - yet it also flows perfectly into the 44mm headtube at the other end.

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The bike as-pictured has done 2,100 miles since we finished it (just in time- the paint was drying as we built it up) for this years Bespoked.

It was, in a funny way, our favourite bike there (despite us winning a prize for Dalsnibba) as it's all it needs to be, and no more.

It's also tremendous fun to zip about on, comfortable, forgiving, yet razor sharp when you need it to be, and with almost zero flex around the BB when you fancy having a dig.

It really is one of my favourite bikes - I can't see myself ever getting rid of it, or if I did it would be with an updated version.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:43 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Oldeholtpade
Quote:
both of which are essentially road frames with track ends.

But isn't that what made them epic?

Anyway rather cool and interesting bike! :thumbup: Is the front hub/dynamo 5volt? you could charge a garmin with it :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:25 pm
Posts: 149
Location: London, UK
That's outstanding, lots of nice details! Sounds like a great build for flying in/out and around London - I'll keep an eye out for it around town.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:25 am
Posts: 908
Location: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Very nice. Makes me want to go looking around scrap yards for old Volvo's.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:08 pm
Posts: 349
Location: Hull
Sorry if I missed it but what are those mudguards?
I need them in my life for my new build. :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:16 am 
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Posts: 6291
Location: Urbana, Illinois
Very amazing! Quite a blend of steel tubes and some fantastic thought process to compiling them into a frame. My latest toy is a 650B mountain bike but a step back in time with a steel frame and down tube panel for brand decal. A fine example of Modern/Retro. :thumbup:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:16 pm
Posts: 433
brearley wrote:
Sorry if I missed it but what are those mudguards?
I need them in my life for my new build. :thumbup:


They are Curana C-Lite, I've used three of them here:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:08 pm
Posts: 140
Location: Bremerton, WA
This bike is fantastic. Love the color. It looks like a lot of fun to cruise around town on. What is the weight?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:22 pm
Posts: 124
Location: UK - Hertfordshire
Awesome bikes mate.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:29 am
Posts: 3563
Location: Athens, Greece
That's cool!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:23 pm 
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Posts: 5896
Location: Drenthe, Holland
Great bike. And the Volvo reference is probably the dove gray garage door. [emoji16]

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:31 am
Posts: 50
Location: Brighton, UK
Tell me more about that dynamo front light! What's the weight & cost of the complete system?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:16 pm
Posts: 433
Weight - no idea I'm afraid, that wasn't a priority for this project.

It's a Supernova E3 Pro 2 front light, with the matching Supernova E3 tail-light.

Both of these are run from a Shutter Precision PV-8 hub, which in the UK are rebadged by Exposure and sold as their own model.

The whole thing works brilliantly - strong, clear light that's always there and never runs out of battery.


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Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:01 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:31 am
Posts: 50
Location: Brighton, UK
Thank you, definitely sounds like a worthwhile upgrade for a gloomy old British winter.


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