APR46's descent into custom bike maddness

Who are you (no off-topic talk please)

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apr46
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2021 1:46 pm

by apr46

I think the Ti road bike is done for now. I didnt realize how much a narrow bar position would impact my reach so i swapped on a longer stem.
Image

Geo of the bike with the fully sorted components. It's aggressive and fast.
Image

Wildstyle5000
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:33 pm

by Wildstyle5000

apr46 wrote:
Sun Nov 27, 2022 9:58 pm
Hi all, long time lurker here who has slowly started to participate more. I've learned so much from you all and though I keep waiting to do an intro post until my small collection of bikes is a bit more stable, its a rainy day here nursing a post black friday hangover...

My current chapter with bikes started in 2017, when I moved to Washington, DC, realized there was an amazing exploring to be done by bike and built up a gravel bike. At some point those regular weekend rides started to hit 100+ miles and I decided it would be a fun idea to do Unbound. This bike has since carried me across the finish line of the Unbound 200, SBT Gravel Black, and Belgian Waffle SD among other events. Its has a lot of miles on it, but will hopefully be replaced soon by a custom Ti frame from Mike DeSalvo. Its been 17 months--but I am hopefully getting close to the front of the line.
Image
Highlights are:
  • Guerciotti Brera, size 52 frameset
    2 wheelsets with Berd spokes, one is 27.5 and the other 700c
    Sram Red AXS levers, Force wide derailluers
    Vision 4d MAS handlebar with disconnects for blip shifters on the extensions
    Easton EC90 crank, now with a Bingham built spider and Praxis 48/32 chainrings

Photos of some different configurations of it are here: https://imgur.com/a/6YPitOk
Weighs about 7.8-8kg (w/ pedals and cages, no bottles or lights) depending on configuration

After putting down a deposit with Mike, I decided I to build a single speed cross bike. Its used around town and will be used for some racing if I ever get around to it. The big thing here was learning how to paint decently using a rattlecan. This bike is a 52cm Van Dessel Aloominator made by the now defunct Zen Fab of Portland, Oregon. The fork stem and seatpost was done with mostly Spray.bike paints. The single speed is made possible by an Squid Oner eccentric BB. Its running a regular road wheelset with gearclamps on the HG hub to hold the singlespeed cog in place.
Image
More photos are here: https://imgur.com/a/VVN3dWN

Just before the pandemic I had picked up a Wahoo Kickr bike and during it, I had started to use it to play with my fit using the Myvelofit app as a measuring tool and translating those into bike geometries using BikeCad. This was at first more confined to helping me decide what road bike to eventually buy. However, the fits were agressive and started to get me into the area where small bike frames seem to have compromised handling. The math was very hard for me and was a barrier to figuring how to characterize the different options. The ability to play with the BB height via the eccentric on the Van Dessel convinced me to give this a more serious effort and I ended up designing a frame with my own geometry and having it built. This is the result:
Image
Image
There are also some really custom things going on with this bike. The highlights are:
  • Ti frame with Carbon ISP (they upsold me on this) and X12 dropouts
    Custom geometry w/ 80mm BB drop, 405mm stays, and a 73 degree head angle
    Modified 3T Fundi 50mm offset fork, resulting in a trail figure of ~51mm. I shaved and plugged the cable port then partially painted fork, finishing it with an air dry matte clear Cerakote (using those painting skills from the prior build!)
    Enve SES Aero 40cm handlebars
    FSA ACR stem with custom MFJ printed glass nylon spacer that allows for the front brake hose to be run up and into the fork steerer. This mates to the newer, double depth, composite DEDA DCR 36 degree spacer which in turn fits into a Cane Creek ec44/40 lower headset (being used as the upper). The Bottom is a Cane Creek ec44/33
    Sram Rival AXS, with a 1x drive side 165mm crank mated to a road / "standard" width 165mm power meter crank + a Croder 5x 110 spider + Praxis 12 speed rings (a thing I liked from the gravel bike)
    Bottle cages and mount from Silca
    Woodman ISP topper w/ MJF glass nylon shim held in place using a Extralight expander
    Zeno couplers in the stem and frame allow me to disconnect the hydro lines to drop the fork, remove the bars and work on the headset should the need arise
    Ascent Polaris 69mm wheels (currrently running 28s)
More photos are here: https://imgur.com/a/464Jt9O

Frame was produced by XATW / XACD after talking to a few overseas factories and hunting down examples of their work IRL. The reason for this was partially cost, but also shorter lead times. That latter didnt end up really being much of a benefit due delays from additional covid lockdowns, as the frame took nearly 5 months from order to get to my door anyway.

I've been riding this bike since August and I am pretty happy with it. While its not an aero bike as I wanted a more classic look, I did take care to minimize the round tubes facing the wind and my narrow position on this bike is extremely fast. It also gave me more confidence that the new(ish) Domane RSL has a similar geo with a similarly narrow cockpit and is also optimized around 30mm tires.The downside is that its heavy, as the whole bike as pictured weighs 9kg. After swapping to road pedals, I am down a little, but its the heaviest bike I have owned in a long time. I will also be swapping the stem from 90mm to 100mm as having that narrow of a cockpit seems to have increased how far I can reach with my arms.
Your titanium bike is a very nice build. Really special. Well done! I am very interested in your solution regarding the headset/cable integration. As I understand from your above post you are using a ec44/40 as an upper, but how does this fit to a 28.6 fork steerer? What parts did you use to fix/Center the fork in the 40mm bearing? Would be great if you could share some insight's!

by Weenie


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Wildstyle5000
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:33 pm

by Wildstyle5000

apr46 wrote:
Sun Nov 27, 2022 9:58 pm
Hi all, long time lurker here who has slowly started to participate more. I've learned so much from you all and though I keep waiting to do an intro post until my small collection of bikes is a bit more stable, its a rainy day here nursing a post black friday hangover...

My current chapter with bikes started in 2017, when I moved to Washington, DC, realized there was an amazing exploring to be done by bike and built up a gravel bike. At some point those regular weekend rides started to hit 100+ miles and I decided it would be a fun idea to do Unbound. This bike has since carried me across the finish line of the Unbound 200, SBT Gravel Black, and Belgian Waffle SD among other events. Its has a lot of miles on it, but will hopefully be replaced soon by a custom Ti frame from Mike DeSalvo. Its been 17 months--but I am hopefully getting close to the front of the line.
Image
Highlights are:
  • Guerciotti Brera, size 52 frameset
    2 wheelsets with Berd spokes, one is 27.5 and the other 700c
    Sram Red AXS levers, Force wide derailluers
    Vision 4d MAS handlebar with disconnects for blip shifters on the extensions
    Easton EC90 crank, now with a Bingham built spider and Praxis 48/32 chainrings

Photos of some different configurations of it are here: https://imgur.com/a/6YPitOk
Weighs about 7.8-8kg (w/ pedals and cages, no bottles or lights) depending on configuration

After putting down a deposit with Mike, I decided I to build a single speed cross bike. Its used around town and will be used for some racing if I ever get around to it. The big thing here was learning how to paint decently using a rattlecan. This bike is a 52cm Van Dessel Aloominator made by the now defunct Zen Fab of Portland, Oregon. The fork stem and seatpost was done with mostly Spray.bike paints. The single speed is made possible by an Squid Oner eccentric BB. Its running a regular road wheelset with gearclamps on the HG hub to hold the singlespeed cog in place.
Image
More photos are here: https://imgur.com/a/VVN3dWN

Just before the pandemic I had picked up a Wahoo Kickr bike and during it, I had started to use it to play with my fit using the Myvelofit app as a measuring tool and translating those into bike geometries using BikeCad. This was at first more confined to helping me decide what road bike to eventually buy. However, the fits were agressive and started to get me into the area where small bike frames seem to have compromised handling. The math was very hard for me and was a barrier to figuring how to characterize the different options. The ability to play with the BB height via the eccentric on the Van Dessel convinced me to give this a more serious effort and I ended up designing a frame with my own geometry and having it built. This is the result:
Image
Image
There are also some really custom things going on with this bike. The highlights are:
  • Ti frame with Carbon ISP (they upsold me on this) and X12 dropouts
    Custom geometry w/ 80mm BB drop, 405mm stays, and a 73 degree head angle
    Modified 3T Fundi 50mm offset fork, resulting in a trail figure of ~51mm. I shaved and plugged the cable port then partially painted fork, finishing it with an air dry matte clear Cerakote (using those painting skills from the prior build!)
    Enve SES Aero 40cm handlebars
    FSA ACR stem with custom MFJ printed glass nylon spacer that allows for the front brake hose to be run up and into the fork steerer. This mates to the newer, double depth, composite DEDA DCR 36 degree spacer which in turn fits into a Cane Creek ec44/40 lower headset (being used as the upper). The Bottom is a Cane Creek ec44/33
    Sram Rival AXS, with a 1x drive side 165mm crank mated to a road / "standard" width 165mm power meter crank + a Croder 5x 110 spider + Praxis 12 speed rings (a thing I liked from the gravel bike)
    Bottle cages and mount from Silca
    Woodman ISP topper w/ MJF glass nylon shim held in place using a Extralight expander
    Zeno couplers in the stem and frame allow me to disconnect the hydro lines to drop the fork, remove the bars and work on the headset should the need arise
    Ascent Polaris 69mm wheels (currrently running 28s)
More photos are here: https://imgur.com/a/464Jt9O

Frame was produced by XATW / XACD after talking to a few overseas factories and hunting down examples of their work IRL. The reason for this was partially cost, but also shorter lead times. That latter didnt end up really being much of a benefit due delays from additional covid lockdowns, as the frame took nearly 5 months from order to get to my door anyway.

I've been riding this bike since August and I am pretty happy with it. While its not an aero bike as I wanted a more classic look, I did take care to minimize the round tubes facing the wind and my narrow position on this bike is extremely fast. It also gave me more confidence that the new(ish) Domane RSL has a similar geo with a similarly narrow cockpit and is also optimized around 30mm tires.The downside is that its heavy, as the whole bike as pictured weighs 9kg. After swapping to road pedals, I am down a little, but its the heaviest bike I have owned in a long time. I will also be swapping the stem from 90mm to 100mm as having that narrow of a cockpit seems to have increased how far I can reach with my arms.
Your titanium bike is a very nice build. Really special. Well done! I am very interested in your solution regarding the headset/cable integration. As I understand from your above post you are using a ec44/40 as an upper, but how does this fit to a 28.6 fork steerer? What parts did you use to fix/Center the fork in the 40mm bearing? Would be great if you could share some insight's!

apr46
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2021 1:46 pm

by apr46

You need this part: https://dedaelementi.com/compression-ring-acr and then i have a custom designed dust cover that captures the top 5mm of that spacer for a 5mm stack height. Then a custom spacer to adapt to the NS ACR stem.

Wildstyle5000
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 5:33 pm

by Wildstyle5000

Thanks for your answer. Bought the ring and a cane creek forty headset (ec44/33 and ec44/40). Installed everything to a d shaped Colnago V3RS (China copy) fork using a forza/Ridley expander and a standard stem (uno). Head to hone down the (plastic) compression ring by a few millimeters. All works well! Thanks for the inspiration a d the help. Will post a foto soon

Calps
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2023 9:30 pm

by Calps

This was a great read! Very interested to see how you got on with the zeno couplers - did they work as expected? Are you happy with them, or did you go another route? They're on my shortlist (along with the formula couplers). If you've any pictures you could share, that would be great.

apr46
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2021 1:46 pm

by apr46

Calps wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2024 12:36 pm
This was a great read! Very interested to see how you got on with the zeno couplers - did they work as expected? Are you happy with them, or did you go another route? They're on my shortlist (along with the formula couplers). If you've any pictures you could share, that would be great.
Happy with the Zeno couplers still. Fantastic product and its nice you can install them at least a few times on brakes lines before you cant use them anymore. The ability to place them where you want is also really helpful and the reason i switch from Formula couplers. They are also smaller than Formula couplers by just a little.

They are stashed inside the stem and honestly, thats not an ideal location for them as they are not easy to couple and uncouple placed there. On my next bike they will be located externally under the plastic cover of an FSA SMR stem. Will make for a bit of a fat looking stem, but will be neater and easier to use. Its really nice to be able to remove the fork for inspection just to make sure everything is still great in there.

mike
Resident Pro
Posts: 3067
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 9:42 pm

by mike

very nice pics. great bikes

User avatar
spokenwords
Posts: 383
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:21 am

by spokenwords

Descent into custom? Looks good enough to call it an ascent dont you think? :)
"Notice how the door closes when the chimes of freedom ring." Joe Strummer
"this goes to 11" Nigel Tufnel
Dont move to Austin
Major Taylor rules.

Calps
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2023 9:30 pm

by Calps

apr46 wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2024 6:57 pm
Calps wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2024 12:36 pm
This was a great read! Very interested to see how you got on with the zeno couplers - did they work as expected? Are you happy with them, or did you go another route? They're on my shortlist (along with the formula couplers). If you've any pictures you could share, that would be great.
Happy with the Zeno couplers still. Fantastic product and its nice you can install them at least a few times on brakes lines before you cant use them anymore. The ability to place them where you want is also really helpful and the reason i switch from Formula couplers. They are also smaller than Formula couplers by just a little.

They are stashed inside the stem and honestly, thats not an ideal location for them as they are not easy to couple and uncouple placed there. On my next bike they will be located externally under the plastic cover of an FSA SMR stem. Will make for a bit of a fat looking stem, but will be neater and easier to use. Its really nice to be able to remove the fork for inspection just to make sure everything is still great in there.
Thanks for the feedback, great to hear that they are working for you. I am planning a similar setup using an EXS aerover and their integrated fork, and hoping I can overcome the coupling issue you describe by unbolting the calipers when I want to connect/disconnect, and leaving as much slack as possible in the hoses during install.

A few bonus questions if you don't mind:

- Did you buy the end to end kit (with caliper and shifter connectors), or just the in-line connector and attach your own hoses?
- Was there much required for installation?

apr46
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2021 1:46 pm

by apr46

I bought the inline connectors.

This part
https://zenocycleparts.com/collections/ ... 6657923157
And this part
https://zenocycleparts.com/collections/ ... ick-insert

Literally cut the line, press in and tighten if you are using regular bike hoses. You do want a thin 8mm open wrench in addition to a standard thickness one.

If you are using a stainless hose you do want to strip off the PVC where you insert the hose into the coupler.

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