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Frek Story Video (Youtube)

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Frek Story Video (Youtube)

Old 02-13-23, 03:24 PM
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Frek Story Video (Youtube)

Pardon me if this has been posted before but I didn't recall seeing it in the past few days
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Old 02-13-23, 04:57 PM
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Enjoyed the video; thanks for posting.
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Old 02-13-23, 07:53 PM
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He is here on our very forums! @lonesomesteve is his name.

I love his attitude. Framebuilders and cyclists are too cultish about frames, building, and modification. It really is just metal pipe, as long as you don't go crazy on it. I made my Trek the same way, teaching myself as I went. I got my inspiration from Steve's work - but it helped that I shared his attitude about it! We mustn't be too precious about things. I prefer to coat mine in linseed oil and leave it looking all burnt, but that's because I know I'll want to add or move something soon enough so there's no sense in paying for the paint just to strip it off. The Mad Max look has grown on me.
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Old 02-13-23, 10:47 PM
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Thanks for posting a link to the video, rgvg !

​​​​scarlson , I totally agree that we mustn't be too precious about things. They're just bikes. I build them to work well for the kind of riding I like to do. But, I'll admit that I also like it when they're pretty.

I had a ton of fun building this bike for Ben (the videographer) and making the video. Ben is a great guy, a talented videographer and a heck of a strong cyclist. Here are some pics that Ben took on the bike's inaugural ride:





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Old 02-13-23, 11:05 PM
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@lonesomesteve was one of my early inspirations to get into "bike butchery". I wish I was as inspired to ride as hard and long as he does!
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Old 02-13-23, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie
@lonesomesteve was one of my early inspirations to get into "bike butchery". I wish I was as inspired to ride as hard and long as he does!
Gugie, I'm proud to have been an early inspiration. You're cranking out some next level butchery! I hope to see you on another Unmeeting or something one of these days so we can swap stories.
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Old 02-14-23, 12:55 AM
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Thought I'd add one more photo of the new Frek and its happy owner...

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Old 02-14-23, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by lonesomesteve
Thought I'd add one more photo of the new Frek and its happy owner...
Nice! Fremont Bridge is up I see. Gasworks?
EDIT: oops yeah now I see the gasworks in post #4, so that was not such an impressive deduction of the location on my part. Still a nice pic though.

Cheers
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Old 02-14-23, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by lonesomesteve
snip . . .




I enjoyed the video and your posts on BF. I had 2 questions:
(1) Why use Mafac Raids as opposed to say cantilevers? The Raids look retro cool but they're expensive.
(2) Why mount the light behind the seatpost? I've seen a number of randonneurs set up like that. No doubt it's a strong place to mount a light and the idea is to put weight in a front bag but what if you run a rear bag? The way this light is set up, even a rear rack might interfere with the light? No big deal if it does as there are always alternative ways to deal with this but I was curious about the thinking behind this. Maybe it's an attempt to capture the look of an old French rando bike?
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Old 02-14-23, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
I enjoyed the video and your posts on BF. I had 2 questions:
(1) Why use Mafac Raids as opposed to say cantilevers? The Raids look retro cool but they're expensive.
(2) Why mount the light behind the seatpost? I've seen a number of randonneurs set up like that. No doubt it's a strong place to mount a light and the idea is to put weight in a front bag but what if you run a rear bag? The way this light is set up, even a rear rack might interfere with the light? No big deal if it does as there are always alternative ways to deal with this but I was curious about the thinking behind this. Maybe it's an attempt to capture the look of an old French rando bike?
Thanks!
(1) The RAIDS have the reach needed for 42 mm tires with fenders, and personally, I find the performance of RAIDS to be far superior to any cantilever brakes I've ever used. Plenty of power and excellent modulation. Now, I'll admit that may be because I'm no good at setting up cantis. Which brings me to reason no. 2 for preferring the RAIDS to cantis. They're way less fussy to set up.
(2) The main reasons for putting the light on the back of the seatpost are that it's extremely well protected in a crash or an accidental tip-over, and it minimizes exposed wiring. And as far as carrying luggage on the back of the bike, you're right, the light is going to be blocked. Mostly, I just don't do that. In 20,000 miles over the past few years on my personal bike I can only think of a couple times a needed to put my Carradice bag on the back. In those cases I just clipped a Planet Bikes Superflash on the bag and Bob's yer uncle. Certainly you'll want to find a different place for a light if that's how you usually carry stuff.

There's really nothing about these bikes that is intentionally meant "to capture the look of an old French rando bike." I just use the ideas from those bikes that work well for the style of riding that I do.
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Old 02-14-23, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
The Raids look retro cool but they're expensive.
Steve nailed it on his reply, but I should add that a pair of MAFAC RAIDs can be had for under $100 including shipping through eBay France sellers. The "4 dot" brakepad replacements are readily available for $25 (made by the Oregon company Koolstop). I have them on a few bikes, and I like their good balance of stopping power and modulation over cantilevers, as Steve pointed out.
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Old 02-14-23, 02:33 PM
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If you are brazing on posts, can"t you position them to use regular Mafacs?
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Old 02-14-23, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
If you are brazing on posts, can"t you position them to use regular Mafacs?
Not sure what you mean by “regular Mafacs.”
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Old 02-14-23, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by lonesomesteve
Not sure what you mean by “regular Mafacs.”
Must be referring to the much-easier-to-obtain Racers, but it doesn't look like Racers would swallow all of that tire and fender, regardless of the position of the posts. Is that correct?
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Old 02-14-23, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
If you are brazing on posts, can"t you position them to use regular Mafacs?
"Regular" Mafac Racers are great for 35 mm tires, clearance is getting tight at 38 mm tires. For 40+ tires ya gotta have Raids. 48+ is where ya gotta have cantis, or discus brakes, which apparently are made from ancient Greek frisbees. I don't use them myself obviously.
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Old 02-14-23, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie
discus brakes, which apparently are made from ancient Greek frisbees.
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Old 02-14-23, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie
48+ is where ya gotta have cantis
A bit off on a tangent... for about 40 years now I've been thinking of trying Mafac Tiger centerpulls with a wider tire, looks like they can handle 50 mm or more, but only on brazed pivots.

This is "off-label" usage, Mafac never intended them to be used that way, that I can determine. They were marketed as racing-bike brakes for skinny tubulars. Then why so wide? (Even wider than a Raid.) Dunno, maybe to look powerful. But the etrier, aka the yoke that holds the two pivot posts when mounted to the crown and bridge, severely cuts into the clearance under the brake, so this only works for fat tires/fenders if you delete the etrier. And this is not a great candidate for brazed pivots, because the pad height isn't adjustable at all — other than by angling the pads, which results in pads hitting the rim at an awkward angle. So it might be do-able, but the posts will have to be brazed on at exactly the right height to hit the rim correctly. And not just when the pads are new, but throughout the useful life of the pads. Different rim widths might be hard to accommodate too.

They were not popular, and only lasted on the market a few years, early '60s. The rarity makes them expensive when you can find them, but I do have a few sets I picked up over the years. I think, though a bit impractical, they could allow centerpulls to be used on tires that are too wide for a Raid. And look [rhymes with witchin'] doing it, which as we all know is super important.

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Old 02-14-23, 04:07 PM
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All the bike butchery usual suspects are in attendance in this thread. Love to see it. Once I have a workspace, I myself hope to pick up the torch one day.
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Old 02-14-23, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie
A bit off on a tangent... for about 40 years now I've been thinking of trying Mafac Tiger centerpulls with a wider tire, looks like they can handle 50 mm or more, but only on brazed pivots.

This is "off-label" usage, Mafac never intended them to be used that way, that I can determine. They were marketed as racing-bike brakes for skinny tubulars. Then why so wide? (Even wider than a Raid.) Dunno, maybe to look powerful. But the etrier, aka the yoke that holds the two pivot posts when mounted to the crown and bridge, severely cuts into the clearance under the brake, so this only works for fat tires/fenders if you delete the etrier. And this is not a great candidate for brazed pivots, because the pad height isn't adjustable at all — other than by angling the pads, which results in pads hitting the rim at an awkward angle. So it might be do-able, but the posts will have to be brazed on at exactly the right height to hit the rim correctly. And not just when the pads are new, but throughout the useful life of the pads. Different rim widths might be hard to accommodate too.

They were not popular, and only lasted on the market a few years, early '60s. The rarity makes them expensive when you can find them, but I do have a few sets I picked up over the years. I think, though a bit impractical, they could allow centerpulls to be used on tires that are too wide for a Raid. And look [rhymes with witchin'] doing it, which as we all know is super important.

Mark B
Not a bad idea!! I'd like to see it.

I'm thinking about trying Raids on my next build. I have a couple sets, but I am just not sure about their stopping power. Mounted on the crown via the horseshoe plate, even properly-adjusted, they feel pretty weak sauce in my experience. Do you mount them as low as you can, to maximize mechanical advantage? I like my bikes to be able to do a front wheelie. That's just the way I prefer them. A light touch, if you will.
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Old 02-14-23, 06:06 PM
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I enjoyed the video.

Thanks for sharing it.

I recently built up a 1982 Trek 614 frame .

It doesn't have all the cool braze ons but it is a terrific riding bike.

I wish I had a stay crimping tool like that.
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Old 02-14-23, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cooperryder
I wish I had a stay crimping tool like that.
They're easy to make! Steve used vise grips, Gugie used a C-clamp. I copied @gugie , but really anything will do. In the end, I think you don't even need to braze something up. Just file a hardwood block to cradle the outside of the stay and then position a C-clamp with some piece of metal or other inside as a die. You may have to file the piece of metal to get the right effect. It's super simple though. We only braze them together because it gets annoying to position everything without stuff falling out. But if you're only doing a one-off, who cares if you fiddle for an hour instead of half an hour?

There was some discussion a while back that a sharp crimp in the middle was better than a rounded indent. I think @bulgie was saying this?
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Old 02-14-23, 06:27 PM
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^This is how I crimp stays. I have a chunk of an old butcher block that I shaped and a half of a tube block. Put that in a vise and just count the turns. I've only done this on chainstays before brazing but it would work for a completed frame.
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Old 02-14-23, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by scarlson
They're easy to make! Steve used vise grips, Gugie used a C-clamp. I copied @gugie ,

There was some discussion a while back that a sharp crimp in the middle was better than a rounded indent. I think @bulgie was saying this?
Here's a link:
Crimping 753 chainstays
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Old 02-14-23, 06:32 PM
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I'm about to direct mount a set of racers to a 70's Bridgestone 400. After upgrading the bushings to brass they really are great brakes. Are there other sources for the braze ons besides RH? Not that I have an issue buying from them but it seems weird that he has the market cornered on them.
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Old 02-14-23, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
If you are brazing on posts, can"t you position them to use regular Mafacs?
If indeed you're referring to Mafac Racers, then noobinsf and bulgie nailed it. Racers mounted on brazed-on posts would be a great option for a bike designed around 700c x 32 tires with fenders, and as Bulgie says, you could maybe even squeeze in 38mm tires with fenders, but they don't give you enough room for the 42 mm tires and fenders on this bike.

Originally Posted by bulgie
A bit off on a tangent... for about 40 years now I've been thinking of trying Mafac Tiger centerpulls with a wider tire, looks like they can handle 50 mm or more, but only on brazed pivots.

This is "off-label" usage, Mafac never intended them to be used that way, that I can determine. They were marketed as racing-bike brakes for skinny tubulars. Then why so wide? (Even wider than a Raid.) Dunno, maybe to look powerful. But the etrier, aka the yoke that holds the two pivot posts when mounted to the crown and bridge, severely cuts into the clearance under the brake, so this only works for fat tires/fenders if you delete the etrier. And this is not a great candidate for brazed pivots, because the pad height isn't adjustable at all — other than by angling the pads, which results in pads hitting the rim at an awkward angle. So it might be do-able, but the posts will have to be brazed on at exactly the right height to hit the rim correctly. And not just when the pads are new, but throughout the useful life of the pads. Different rim widths might be hard to accommodate too.

They were not popular, and only lasted on the market a few years, early '60s. The rarity makes them expensive when you can find them, but I do have a few sets I picked up over the years. I think, though a bit impractical, they could allow centerpulls to be used on tires that are too wide for a Raid. And look [rhymes with witchin'] doing it, which as we all know is super important.

Mark B
Love it! Can't wait to see the results of this experiment!

Originally Posted by scarlson
Not a bad idea!! I'd like to see it.

I'm thinking about trying Raids on my next build. I have a couple sets, but I am just not sure about their stopping power. Mounted on the crown via the horseshoe plate, even properly-adjusted, they feel pretty weak sauce in my experience. Do you mount them as low as you can, to maximize mechanical advantage? I like my bikes to be able to do a front wheelie. That's just the way I prefer them. A light touch, if you will.
Maybe it's a preference thing, but I find RAIDS to have plenty of power. I mean, maybe if you want something that grabs like modern dual-pivot short reach calipers, or hydraulic discus brakes (thanks for that, Bulgie!) that allow you to brake with just your pinkies, then you'll be disappointed. Personally, I find brakes like that to be too grabby.
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