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1996 Koga-Miyata SilverAce Project

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1996 Koga-Miyata SilverAce Project

Old 08-23-19, 06:38 AM
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1996 Koga-Miyata SilverAce Project

At the beginning of this year I was looking for a new project to build a C&V inspired commuter for myself.
I have a soft spot for drum brakes and IGH's so a 3-speed bike was a good basis to start with.

I came across a 1989 Koga-Miyata RoadAce that seemed like an excellent start for this.
Bought it, rode it home and left it sit for a few months while I finished up my girlfriend's birthday present, a Reynolds 531 ST Gazelle Lausanne hybrid that I turned into a classy mixte, ready for all-weather commuting.
She is a summer child so it wasn't until recently that I managed to look at the Koga-Miyata again.

Long story short, it was a dud.
The frame must have been rear-ended once but that wasn't helped by the fact a previous owner ground off the weird Trelock frame lock and made some holes in the rear seat stays...

Anyway, time for a new bike and a new project!

The Bike:





Koga has been making 3-speed city/touring/commuter bikes since the early 80's and up until 1997 they made a lugged steel model called the SilverAce.

This is the 1996 model and also one of the IMHO more desireable models.
Koga-Miyata designed tubing together with Miyata in the form of chromoly Hardtlite FM-1 tubing for the frame and "sport" Hi-Manga steel for the fork.
7-speed Shimano IGH with Rollerbrakes and sidewall dynamo lighting.

Paint seems pretty good, though it could use a good clean and everything runs smoothly.
While almost 18kg (40lbs) might seem fairly hefty you have to keep in mind this is a Dutch commuter bike. Similar models at the time were often 5kg heavier and even my current aluminum commuter from 2009 weigh a whopping 23kg (50lbs)!!!

At the very least it feels notably lighter.

Background info on the bike:


Information on the tubing is a bit spotty at best but generally it seems to follow these lines for Koga-Miyata:
EDIT 2020-jan-16: Miyata confirmed most of what I mentioned below, the SilverAce should have splined tubing.
EDIT 2020-May-19: I did a bit more research on the tubing and wrote what I found in the Show us your Koga-Miyata!-thread.
  • Hardtlite® FM-1: Chrome-Molybdeum Splined Double-butted/Triple-butted (STB) tubing.
    • Highest quality grade,
    • Comparable to Columbus SLX, roughly comparable to Columbus TSX or Reynolds 753
  • Hardtlite® FM-2: Chrome-Molybdeum Double-butted tubing on the main frame.
    • Comparable to Reynolds 531 or Columbus SL
  • Hardtlite® FM-3: Chrome-Molybdeum (non-butted) tubing.
    • Non-butted, wall thickness 0.8 mm for seat tube and top tube, 1.0 for down tube and head tube.
    • Simplest grade, comparable to Columbus Cromor/Aelle or perhaps straight gauge Reynolds 531



Brochures are a bit unclear on what is on this bike as they sometimes explicitly mention butting or spines, and sometimes not.
EDIT: Miyata confirmed that this bike should have splined triple butted tubing, at the very least on the main triangle.
Lugs are "cold soldered" (cooler than 600°C / 1112°F) by hand and frames are treated to 4 layers of paint on top of an anti-corrisive layer.

Brochure Description:
"The SilverAce has all the qualities of a top-quality tourer. Look at the stable frame with special chain tensioning system, stainless steel rims and spokes and its 32mm touring tyres. The drivetrain is also outstanding: the seven speeds are completely integrated into the rear hub an because of that practically free of maintenance and enable shifting from the handlebars. Isn't it a beautiful sight?"
Original Specs:
  • Frame: Handbuilt chromoly Hardtlite® FM-1 tubing. Special Koga dropout
  • Sizes: 56, 58, 60, 63
  • Fork: "Sport" Hi-Manga
  • Color: Dark green metallic with green metallic
  • Handlebar: I.T.M. Turismo Alloy
  • Stem: Koga
  • Brakes: Shimano Nexus Rollerbrakes
  • Headset: Primax roller bearing
  • Wheels: van Schothorst stainless steel rims with Sapim 14G spokes and Continental Touring Plus 32mm tyres
  • Crankset: Shimano Nexus 33T + chaincase
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Nexus 7-speed, 16T sprocket
  • Fenders: Esge
  • Lights: Halogen head light + B+M LED with standlight
  • Frame Lock: Trelock
  • Weight: 17.8 kg (39 lbs) for the 58cm model.
Future plans:
I was looking for a lightweight steel commuter and I've found it. First test ride (a race to get to the train station in time ) shows it rides really well, but the rear dropout needs some tightening.
I plan on building new, lighter wheels for it and throw on some new fenders and saddle. The handlebar will be switched out for something a bit more sporty, probably inverted North Road bars and the lights will be upgraded to something a bit more modern. I plan to use some parts from the RoadAce but other than that I expect (hope) most things will be fine with some disassembly and regreasing.

Future updates, including a short history of this model and its predecessors will be coming soon!

Update 2020-May-24:
The bike is now finished and ready to ride and I am pretty happy with it.


Current Specs:
  • Frame: Handbuilt Hardtlite® FM-1 chromoly splined triple butted tubing. Special Koga dropouts
  • Fork: "Sport" Hi-Manga
  • Size: 63cm
  • Weight: 18.4 kg (40.5 lbs) as pictured. But without the front rack (1kg / 2.2lbs), frame lock (0.75kg / 1.6 lbs), fenders (0.8g / 1.7 lbs) and saddle bag (0.5kg / 1.1 lbs) this would be a 15.3 kg (33.7 lbs) bike
  • Color: Dark green metallic with green metallic
  • Handlebar: Velo Orange Porteur handlebar
  • Stem: Nitto Technomic NTC-225. 120mm reach
  • Seatpost: Procraft classic 2-bolt 26.8mm seatpost with a Lepper Tourer saddle
  • Bell: Crane E-ne bell in matte brass
  • Brakes: Sturmey Archer 90mm drum brakes front and rear. Jagwire braided gold brake lines
  • Headset: Primax roller bearing
  • Front Wheel: H Plus Son Archetype with Sturmey Archer XL-FDD dynohub. DT Swiss Alpine III spokes + brass spoke head washers + Pro Head brass nipples. Schwalbe Delta Cruiser cream 37-622
  • Rear Wheel: H Plus Son Archetype with Sturmey Archer drum brake hub. DT Swiss Alpine III spokes + brass spoke head washers + Pro Head brass nipples + Sapim HM nipple washers. Schwalbe Delta Cruiser cream 37-622
  • Crankset: Sturmey Archer 33T + BlueLug brass self-extracting bolt + MKS BM-7 Next pedals
  • Drivetrain: Sturmey Archer XL-RD5(w) 5-speed IGH, 17T sprocket + Hesling chaincase
  • Fenders: Gilles Berthoud stainless steel fender in 700C long 50mm wide. Honjo 'Dove' rear fender stay and tarpulin mudflap set in large
  • Lights: Modified Busch + Müller IQ Cyo Premium T & Secula Plus rear. Wired up with SON coaxial cables and connectors
  • Rack: Pelago Commuter stainless steel front rack
  • Saddelbag: Carradice Junior
  • Kickstand: Esge Pletscher
  • Frame Lock: Axa Victory
  • Chain Lock: to be determined


Other threads:

Last edited by JaccoW; 05-24-20 at 04:28 AM.
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Old 08-23-19, 10:34 AM
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What a great bicycle! It's hard to believe city bikes of this quality were being manufactured in the 90s. All I remember from my youth was mountain bikes....everywhere. Have you ridden it yet?
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Old 08-23-19, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
What a great bicycle! It's hard to believe city bikes of this quality were being manufactured in the 90s. All I remember from my youth was mountain bikes....everywhere. Have you ridden it yet?
I have! First impressions are that it is a stiff but comfortable bike and that it really wants to move. Unfortunately the rear axle slid forward under my hulking legs and the wheel slid forward, causing some drag.
Not uncommon for me and I will fix it by the time I'm done.

It feels like a last tour de force of handbuilt Dutch bikes before frame production shifted to Asia.

I noticed something similar in the Gazelle Lausanne from 1995 that many Dutch bike manufacturers were really pushing out great examples of lugged steel, even for city/commuter bikes.

We probably lost a good bit of knowledge from that time on how to build frames like this

Last edited by JaccoW; 08-23-19 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 08-23-19, 10:59 AM
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History of the SilverAce model and its sister models

Since I've been scouring Marktplaats (local eBay/Craigslist) for the last few weeks I dug into the fine details of the different models.
Koga actually has a very nice publicly available list of scanned brochures all the way back to their beginnings in 1976. That's not to say they are perfect, the 1987-1991 brochures lack the added technical details that some earlier and later brochures had, but it has been fascinating and a lot of fun going through them.

As such I thought I would share a short history of Koga-Miyata's forray into Dutch commuter bikes.

History:
The company started building racing models in 1974 and added a touring model (GentsTouring) in 1976.

In 1982 they introduced their first Dutch commuter bikes in the form of the SilverAce AL (Aluminum) and SilverAce ST (Stainless steel), both with Sturmey Archer 3-speed drum brakes.
Both were fairly lightweigh bikes at the time at 16.8kg (37lbs) and 17.2kg (38lbs). For comparison, many contemporary bikes were easily 5-6kg (11lbs) heavier.

Lugged steel Hi-Manganese might not sound like much but it certainly was no gaspipe tubing. Most were double butted and fairly expensive at the time at Hfl. 1145,-. That is about €950 or $1050.

By 1984 they switched over to Hardtlite FM-2 (double butted) Chromoly frames with Hi-Manga HM-2 forks and replaced the SilverAce name with RoadAce. There was some brief experimentation with Shimano 3-speeds and Karasawa drum/belt brakes but mostly they stayed with Sturmey Archer.

Unfortunately, Sturmey Archer wasn't really pushing the best designs between 1990-2000, leading up to its near bankruptcy and eventual sale to SunRace.
Between 1989 Koga-Miyata switched to Sachs as a supplier for their 3-speed drum brakes and later 5-speed models. The bikes are now made out of Hardtlite FM-3 tubing, probably double butted, but it might be fancier than that as evidenced by 1991's FM-3, Splined, Triple Butted (STB) model. Then again, that might just be a typo.

By the time 1994 rolls around everything is Shimano 7-speeds and the RoadAce name gets dropped for the classic SilverAce model.
Another interesting addition at the time is the introduction of the RoadTourer model. It is essentially a 7-speed IGH with Shimano STX cantilever brakes, as is fashionable at the time, but still a fully enclosed chaincase. It manages to drop a full kg (2 lbs) of weight and is probably great for people in more mountainous terrain, except the bike comes with a 44x21T or 33x16T drivetrain leading to ~33-88 gear inches. I guess that's decent.

With more gears, more options and even some automatic 3-speed hubs (!), weight starts creeping up and even though they switched over to their fanciest (splined triple butted) Hardtlite FM-1 frames in 1996 they still were no match for the early aluminum alloy frames.
1997 sees the introduction of the 7005 alloy double butted LiteAce model which drops a good 1.8kg (3.9lbs) (17.8kg vs. 16kg) of the weight for the exact same type of bike.

Not even the addition of the unfortunately chosen Sachs Elan 12-speed hub could save the model name as it too was redesigned as an aluminum alloy frame. The hub had a history of breaking and at 3.4kg (7.5lbs) it was a fairly heavy addition to a bike that saved a bit of weight over its chromoly predecessor meaning it was now even heavier than it ever was before.

With the removal of the 12-speed hub from the lineup in 2000 also came the end of the SilverAce name... until its reintroduction in 2004.
Koga kept using the name until 2013 after which only the LiteAce continued next to several other models.

Interestingly enough they kept the Hi-Manga unicrown fork for a very long time. Well into the time where most bikes had aluminum frames they used the Hi-Manga fork. In fact it wasn't until 2005 that all city bikes either had aluminum suspension front forks or 'Wide Bone aluminum' forks.

Models:
Comparison:

Just for fun, here is a comparison of material choice per model and a weight comparison throughout the years.
Note the dramatic drop in weight once aluminum comes into play.




Last edited by JaccoW; 03-22-20 at 02:02 PM. Reason: added title to post
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Old 08-23-19, 11:12 AM
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Looks like a great commuter project.

Also, nice work collecting (and relaying) info about the bike.
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Old 08-24-19, 05:11 AM
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Thanks.

I hope to start disassembly next week and to make some photos of the unique parts on this bike, one of which is the rear dropout.

This one is not mine but does give you an idea how the rear wheel can be removed:
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Old 08-24-19, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
This one is not mine but does give you an idea how the rear wheel can be removed:
I'm full of questions. Does the cam lever loosen and you simply slide it up to free the axle? Trying to make sense of it - it doesn't appear to add tension as much as it helps to prevent the wheel from pulling forward.

-Kurt
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Old 08-24-19, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I'm full of questions. Does the cam lever loosen and you simply slide it up to free the axle? Trying to make sense of it - it doesn't appear to add tension as much as it helps to prevent the wheel from pulling forward.

-Kurt
That's my guess as well but I have not had much chance to play with it. The original owner will be sending the manual to me so perhaps that can shed some light on this.

EDIT: Instead of a horizontal dropout like is common on IGH bikes, this bike has a sort of L shaped horizontal dropout. You loosen the wheel nuts and slide the wheel forward to take tension of the chain. Then it just drops out vertically.

Last edited by JaccoW; 08-24-19 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 08-28-19, 02:50 AM
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It has been a busy week and I finally got around to doing a quick clean of the bike and to take some better pictures.

The original owner sent me the original booklet and service manual. I might do a scan later.

Bike assembled by Geert.




Model name


Close-up of the tubing decal


Handbuilt by Koga


Nordlicht 2000 sidewall dynamo (missing its rubber wheel)


Cable holders for brake and shifter cables.


Van Schothorst stainless steel rims
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Old 08-28-19, 03:15 AM
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Nice! I'll be following this

Koga's were always expensive, but very good/upper class (in tems of materials used) bikes.

Good luck with it!
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Old 08-28-19, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Millstone View Post
Nice! I'll be following this

Koga's were always expensive, but very good/upper class (in tems of materials used) bikes.

Good luck with it!
Thanks! A lot of the ones I've seen or bought seem to be sold by the original owners.
So they tend to either take good care of their bikes and bring it in for maintenance or they have low miles on them.

They do tend to use quality parts and have a tendency to slightly overbuild things but that's a good thing IMHO.
Not like some other Dutch manufacturers who tend to innovate, just to be different and just become expensive to maintain in the process.
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Old 08-28-19, 05:15 AM
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A lightweight frame with a built-in chaincase? Sign me up. Curious - how does the case mount around the BB area?

I wonder if there is any connection between Van Schothorst and Rigida. I have a pair of aluminum 26x1-3/8" rims that are stamped just like that - diamond markings around the size stamp and all.

-Kurt
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Old 08-28-19, 05:23 AM
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Sweet bike! I'll be watching this thread for sure.
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Old 08-28-19, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
A lightweight frame with a built-in chaincase? Sign me up. Curious - how does the case mount around the BB area?

I wonder if there is any connection between Van Schothorst and Rigida. I have a pair of aluminum 26x1-3/8" rims that are stamped just like that - diamond markings around the size stamp and all.

-Kurt
They are all part of Ryde nowadays. From their own history page:
  1. Van Schothorst bought Rigida in 1989, taking Rigida Group as their new name.
  2. Rigida Group buys Alesa and Weinmann in 1997.
  3. Rigida Group changes its name to Ryde in 2010.
Until recently you could still buy their wider Van Schothorst rims, a kind of Westwood style rim in stainless steel as many Dutch 3-speeds and classic singlespeeds use them.

As for the chaincase, I can probably show you in a few weeks when I start disassembly on the bike. It's a Shimano Nexus model apparently so there are bound to be manuals somewhere.
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Old 09-06-19, 09:13 AM
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Nothing big today but I received the front rack I plan to use on this bike, a Pelago Commuter front rack - size M.
It's a stainless steel rack with a narrower platform and a headlight mount included.

I opted for the smaller version as this bike will be parked in Dutch bicycle parkings and a wide rack just won't fit most of the time.

Now, let's hope it stays dry around here so I can start disassembling it.

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Old 09-07-19, 10:52 AM
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Test fit before disassembly of the entire bike.

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Old 09-13-19, 07:15 AM
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Getting ready to build a wheel this weekend.

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Old 09-13-19, 09:41 AM
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While I wait for some new parts to arrive this afternoon I was thinking about the rest of the bike.

I'm probably going to reuse the stainless steel handlebars from the RoadAce but for colors I was thinking of using Jagwire Gold Medal housing for the brakes and shifter. (Like @Veloria used on her custom mixte)
Which brings me to the pedals on this bike;

After using the MKS Urban platform pedals for over a year they still spin smooth as butter. So when it came to this particular bike I was looking at their models as well.
Since they are 70 years old they are putting out lots of updated models of classic pedals like the MKS BM-7 BMX/MTB pedals. The BM-7 Next is the higher end model with triple cartridge bearings (and a more modern dust cap!) in a range of colors. Especially the gold and the blue catch my eye but I'm still thinking.

Any opinions on this?


Other fun, but totally unnecessary, additions could be brass self-extracting crank caps with the respective bolts.

Then again, I might be going slightly overboard on the gold theme here...
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Old 09-14-19, 09:42 AM
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Wheelbuilding isn't going that great right now so I switched over to disassembling the frame.
This gave me a good opportunity to weigh the frame itself.

While I did leave the headset on, I think 2105 grams (4.6lbs) for the frame and 872 grams (1.9lbs) for the fork is a fairly good weight for a size 63cm frame.
That brings us to a respectable 2977 grams (6.56lbs) for the entire frame with headset.

At the very least this indicates it is indeed a frame with butted tubing.

More pictures later this weekend when they are uploaded.

Last edited by JaccoW; 09-14-19 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 09-14-19, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post

After using the MKS Urban platform pedals for over a year they still spin smooth as butter. So when it came to this particular bike I was looking at their models as well.

Any opinions on this?
MKS rules? Yes.
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Old 09-14-19, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
The BM-7 Next is the higher end model with triple cartridge bearings (and a more modern dust cap!) in a range of colors. Especially the gold and the blue catch my eye but I'm still thinking.

Any opinions on this?
Can't go wrong with MKS - though their cup-and-spindle pedals (like the Sylvan and many others) tend to ship way too tight from factory. Shouldn't be an issue with these if they're cartridge.

From the looks of it, the blue ones might match the blue fade quite well. Just saying...

-Kurt
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Old 09-15-19, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
From the looks of it, the blue ones might match the blue fade quite well. Just saying...
Blue it is then.

As for this weekend;

After lacing and unlacing 3 times I finally managed to build the wheel. It took 4.5 whole turns after getting the nipples all the way up to the screw threading to even tension things up slightly so the ERD of the wheel might be smaller than mentioned on the H+SON website.
I already went for a shorter 274mm than I calculated at first but then again, there is a reason why they suggest going 2-cross instead of 3-cross on a large flange hub like this. Consider me warned for whenever I build the front wheel next.

It is a beauty though...



The entire wheel, including tubes and tyres weighs in at 3408 grams (120oz)


Next up: mounting it on the bike and seeing what it looks like!

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Old 09-15-19, 09:06 AM
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I experienced the same problem building the SRAM G9 into the Rigidas I have on the 1980 Raleigh Sports. Did you use the Sapim calculator, by chance? That thing seems to give measurements roughly 4mm longer than Edd.

-Kurt
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Old 09-15-19, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I experienced the same problem building the SRAM G9 into the Rigidas I have on the 1980 Raleigh Sports. Did you use the Sapim calculator, by chance? That thing seems to give measurements roughly 4mm longer than Edd.
I used DTSwiss. What is Edd? The SRAM G9 is a fairly beefy hub as well right?

I really like the look of this!


More glamour shots:



This 17T sprocket looks tiny on the giant hub.


Still need some small parts to make everything work and fit but that's alright.
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Old 09-16-19, 04:49 AM
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Very nice!
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