Not sure why I haven't blogged this yet. I've kept pretty busy the past couple of months building my first two bicycle frames. I know this is not a huge feat, but it took some figuring out. So a bike a month for 2 months seems reasonable. All my friends seemed to think that making frames would be inevitable for me, and I guess they were right. Its a new challenge, and with so many steps, I can now see how far from perfection any single frame can be.
VCF01 - 51cm comfort road for my wife, tall slack headtube, a mix of tubing with big chainstays and small seat stays. Its powdercoated dormant blue, which is anything but dormant in the sunlight. I built it with a modest mix of used parts, including new 9 speed Sora shifters.
That turned out alright, and I learned a few quick lessons I was able to apply to the second bike.
VCF02 - A large 650B all mountain hardtail for myself. Its designed to walk the line between xc bike and play bike.
The geometry is based around the newly released Fox 32 27.5" fork. Chain stays are 420mm, seat tube is 530mm, @ max extension the effective top tube is 630mm, and seat tube is 73°. Here's how it sits through the 130mm travel range:
POSITION, HEAD TUBE ANGLE, FORK LENGTH, BB DROP, TRAIL
max height, 68.5°, 517.5mm, 40mm, 91mm
30mm sag, 70°, 487.5mm, 50.4mm, 81.4mm
full squish, 75°, 387.5mm, 86.5mm, 48.9mm
It was definitely more challgenging to have to design it around a range of movement, rather than a static geometry. I can see how a proper full suspension bike can take years to design now. I'm pretty confident I got the angles close to ideal on this for my kind of riding, but only riding it will tell. I've got 90% of the tubes on hand to make a second revision in case A) I don't like something about the way this one handles, or B) I break it.
Hopefully I'll have it back from the powdercoaters next week. It is turning a crazy shade of mint (like the old appliances).
My fork and tires are still a couple weeks from hitting the shore however, so I won't be riding it until June probably. That's alright though, because it will give me time to savour the last few rides on my current Kona Unit hardtail before I decommision it.
I'm not taking orders for frames yet, as I still haven't proven to myself that I can weld up thin wall chromoly properly. Maybe soon though.
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