Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Choosing a steel frame...

Old 06-03-19, 09:58 AM
  #51  
RyanAK
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No worries, idiotekniQues. (did I spell that right?...)

Ben (79pmooney) - the original Retroshift is now the Gevenalle AUDAX and is set up with friction Dia-Compe shifters. https://www.gevenalle.com/product/audax/

So, I pinged the iBOB and 650b google groups over the weekend with my search for a frame. Interesting responses for sure. Lots of suggestions to build up an old frame. I'm just interested this time around to pick up a new (or new-ish) frame to build as I haven't had a *new* bike since I bought the 820 to go to college in 1997. A bunch of forgettable used misc. bikes for bumming around came and went through the years.

A couple of mentions of frames over on the google groups that I'm looking for opinions on are the Soma Wolverine and the BMC Road+.

The Wolverine came up early in my search because I have a thing for orange bicycles. Reading up, it seems like a lot of people do a lot of interesting builds with these frames. But then I ran across several reports of cracked chainstays, fixes, redesign, etc. on the orange version, so I sorta put it off the list. Not sure if it was satisfactorily corrected or not. Wondering if anyone over here at bikeforums has input on the Wolverine.

Road+... iBOB respondents especially think highly of the Road+ over the Monstercross or MCD. And of course it's becoming apparent that everyone loves Mike. That means a lot. I wasn't keen on the Road+ initially because of the highly sloped TT, but a lot of people really seem to like this frame as well. BMC is currently sold out of my size, so there's time to contemplate.

Still watching for a used Elephant NFE, otherwise currently deciding between a BMC Monstercross or a VO Polyvalent.

The old Trek is finally stripped down and ready for Spencer and I to paint. He insisted that Daddy should have a dark blue bike like him. Ok, buddy. We'll paint it up.

R
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Old 06-03-19, 10:44 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I like! My Peter Mooney has done fast club rides, days to 140 miles both geared and fixed, toured, served as an exquisite farmer's market bike, and done gravel both geared and fixed. Looks like your bike can do all of the above! (And being steel, if it needs a braze-on or two for the next adventure 25 years from now when that sweet pink is getting tired, no problem!)

Edit: How do you like those Gevenalle shifters? Can they run friction mode?

Ben
Hi Ben..I did like the Gevenelle's.. They were set up with Microshift 10 speed shifters,which were able to run friction. Currently, my bike is set up with Campy Potenza 11 speed with Potenza ergo's... John
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Old 06-05-19, 04:43 PM
  #53  
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https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...0b/Db7-diGQr1M

Blue Polyvalent frameset with fenders for sale. 54cm.
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Old 06-06-19, 02:48 AM
  #54  
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I built this Centurion ProTour for some where around $1500. I ride in Cambodia.

IMG_20161122_124629931 by Bwilli88, on Flickr
My costs;
Frame from BikeForums - $225.00
Wheels Deore LX hubs, Velocity Dyad rims from BikeForums - $225.00
Shimano 105 RD-5701 Road Bike Bicycle Rear Derailleur 10 Speed $33.15
Shimano 105 FD $6
Shimano 105 5700 Triple shifters - $105.00
Shimano CS-M771 MTB 11-36T 10-speed Cassette - $46.00
Sakae CR Triple Touring Road Bike Crankset 28/46/50 T 170mm $39.99
Tires Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour 700c X 42 $78
Thorn proof tubes from BF shipping $12.95
Velo Orange VO Zeppelin 52mm Fenders 700c Set Polished Silver Aluminum Alloy- $28.56 + $8.49=$37.05
Nitto M1 Mark's Rack Rivendell - $85
Nitto 42cm struts - $22.00
KMC Chain 10 speed $28.00
Brooks Flyer and Cannondale leather bar tape $120.00
Sakae riser stem $15.65 + $5.90 = $21.55
Velo Orange Mojave Bicycle Bottle Cage $24.94 + $6.80 = $31.74
DIA COMPE FRONT CENTER PULL BRAKE CABLE HANGER 1" $7.99
Dia-Compe 1501 Ss Top Tube Casing Clips 25.4 Silver 3 $12.98
Shimano Down tube cable stops $2.00 + $5.95=$7.95
Acorn Med Randonneur Bag $195.00
Acorn Tool Roll $72.00
Cables, housing from Lancaster, Pa Co-op $15
$1417.10
__________________
My Cambodia bikes; ?? Zunow, 81 Centurion Pro Tour, 85 Gazelle Mens Market bike, ?? Maxwell Allroad, 12 Fuji Stratos.

Last edited by bwilli88; 06-06-19 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 06-06-19, 07:52 AM
  #55  
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tangerineowl - looking at the geometry, I think I'd go with a 57cm on the Poly to get the bars up even with the saddle without overly long stem. That is a tempting deal if a 54 could fit... maybe a call to VO to discuss sizing.

bwilli88 - fantastic build! Beautiful frame! I do like what can be done with an older, quality frame, but this time around I'd like something new or slightly used of recent manufacture. Lots of inspiration from your bike though!

Ryan
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Old 06-07-19, 01:34 PM
  #56  
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Been looking at gravel framesets myself to replace my Fuji Cross (want wider tire clearance) and came across some affordable frames from companies in the UK. Here are a couple:

https://fairlightcycles.com/?v=7516fd43adaa

https://www.cotic.co.uk/product/escapade

I really want a Mason Resolution frameset, but the price is just a little too high for me to justify right now.
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Old 06-10-19, 07:00 PM
  #57  
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Hey, all. Hope everyone had a great weekend. I somehow managed to find some time to just sit and think about what I want out of this bike, and the Elephant NFE really checks all of the boxes.

I keep reading the description of the NFE on the Elephant website and it perfectly sums up what I’m looking for:

“...the ideal bike for long days of spirited riding on dirt roads. While designed to carry a small load over the wheel for day supplies, the NFE also handles well with low-riders and a rear saddle bag for overnighting.” And “...the NFE is light and responsive...”

Can’t afford a new frame, so I’ve decided to actively poke around for a used one, hopefully within budget. (Yeah, I know...) And I’ll keep an eye out for a Crust as well. If one doesn’t come around after a few weeks, I’ll take a hard look at the Black Mountain frames and the Polyvalent and make a decision. I think the Monstercross, Road+, MCD or Polyvalent would each make a fun bike to explore with. I appreciate the thoughts and guidance, and if anyone has anything else for me to consider, by all means, please chime in.

Best,
Ryan
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Old 06-11-19, 01:48 AM
  #58  
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Used NFEs seem to go for around $1100 for the frameset.


https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/243368/?offset=200
If this thing ever sells, I'm grabing it (UK build).
I noticed your height/inseam at 5'10"/33.5". This is quite a tall inseam for your height. Very similar to mine at 5'9.5"/34".
That NFE custom frame would fit us both very well.
#115 for the geo sheet. #223 for a side-on pic.
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Old 06-13-19, 05:46 PM
  #59  
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https://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=238827

I am a member there, if anyone wants a contact.
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Old 06-15-19, 08:48 PM
  #60  
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Cross Check feedback

Ryan- I'm in lot of the same places as you on the choices, wanted to chime in with my experience. I recently picked up a 54cm Cross Check w/ a Straggler fork (disk and lots of braze-ons), very well setup as 2x9 w/ beefy wheels. Found on the local CL for $250, pretty much a steal. Added racks and fenders, just did 330+ gravel miles over 8 days on it. Impressions- bike is very versatile, but also _very_ heavy. I had to start deciding which things to leave off due to weight w/ full bags. My ride was flat (GAP/ C&O Canal), I wouldn't have wanted to climb anything with it loaded. All in all a good way to get started, but it's not my endpoint.
Hope this helps.
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Old 06-18-19, 04:20 AM
  #61  
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Been just reading this entire thread and really enjoyed the positive supportive banter and all the photos.
Only contribution I can make is if you have a 34-46 crankset consider going 11x40t on the cassette. I had the stock 32t max and even with 36t you may find it too big especially with any gear, particularly on gravel as the hills can just be that much steeper than any paved roads here in Canada.
Got the newer 11 speed Ultegra (105 now exists too) with clutch and it works up to 40t despite the shimano spec. XT cassette 11sp 11x40t,Fyi.

Thanks! Can't wait to see more builds.

Ps. Have an older rocky mountain hybrid with V brakes and lots of clearance that could make a great 650b 1x build someday... Heavy aluminum frame but heavy duty for sure!
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Old 06-18-19, 07:59 AM
  #62  
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Hey, fellas.

tangerineowl - I may have typed my inseam incorrectly... 32.5"/825mm. It's just an inch, but it could be an angry inch as far as standover. Jimmy and another guy both offered up Endpoint Hunter/Gatherer frames. They look great, but slightly out of budget. I would stretch for a good NFE frame because I really have it bad for that bike, but otherwise I'm trying to stay under $800. The 'root beer' color H/G frame that was offered was very tempting though...

aeshultz - thanks for the impressions. They help. I had considered a CrossCheck for quite some time. There are a LOT of happy owners. Other frames took my interest though. From Surly, the Pack Rat is the one that keeps me thinking.

jeremybart - appreciate the thoughts. I've been concentrating on a frame for now, but I do have a lot of notes scribbled on drivetrain. I'll circle back to that once I have a frame on the way!

A lot of interesting frames have been offered up since I posted the WTB on a National Forest Explorer over on the iBOB and 650B groups, including the Endpoint H/Gs, canti- Polyvalents that would be too small, and a very nice Rawland Nordavinden. (That one would be going all-in on low trail). Right now my list sorta looks like this (in order of preference):
  1. Used Elephant National Forest Explorer frame
  2. Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross, MCD or Road+
  3. Used Crust Nor'Easter, Romanceur, or Bombora. (I haven't started to sniff around for one of these yet...)
  4. VeloOrange Polyvalent or Endpoint Hunter/Gatherer
Of course, I'm always interested in something else that someone might think will fit my requirements. If not for people offering up the Nordavinden or Endpoint frames, they wouldn't even have been on my radar. Heck, one guy on the google lists pointed me to his build of a Soma Fog Cutter with a low-trail fork. People do cool stuffs with bicycles.

Black Mountain Cycles and Mike seem to be universally loved. Owners are passionate about the bikes and Mike. That says a lot.

R
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Old 06-18-19, 10:19 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by RyanAK View Post
Of course, I'm always interested in something else that someone might think will fit my requirements. If not for people offering up the Nordavinden or Endpoint frames, they wouldn't even have been on my radar. Heck, one guy on the google lists pointed me to his build of a Soma Fog Cutter with a low-trail fork. People do cool stuffs with bicycles.
While its possible there are others with this setup, I would guess you are referring to spoonrobot who also posts here a lot. Red Fog Cutter with the Champs Elysees chrome fork.
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Old 06-18-19, 11:23 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
While its possible there are others with this setup, I would guess you are referring to spoonrobot who also posts here a lot. Red Fog Cutter with the Champs Elysees chrome fork.
That's him. Pretty nifty build.

R
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Old 06-18-19, 10:01 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
While its possible there are others with this setup, I would guess you are referring to spoonrobot who also posts here a lot. Red Fog Cutter with the Champs Elysees chrome fork.
That was me, but thereís at least two others out there. One guy contacted me through my blog and another did that as well and then started a thread in the long distance forum: Review/Check My Build - Low-Trail Soma Fog Cutter

They work so well together itís like the frame and fork were designed for each other. I actually sent an email to Soma suggesting they create some marketing around the combo or offer the frame and fork together as a frameset. Itís the bike a ton of people want but arenít aware exists.
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Old 06-19-19, 05:55 AM
  #66  
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Did Soma ever respond?
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Old 06-20-19, 12:03 PM
  #67  
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Hey RyanAK, saw your posts on 650b group - did you email crust about salmon nor-easter with threaded? When it was featured on Radavist - crust mentioned in comments that he has several frames for sale. If you really like it - I'd email and ask
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Old 06-20-19, 06:49 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by mongol777 View Post
Hey RyanAK, saw your posts on 650b group - did you email crust about salmon nor-easter with threaded? When it was featured on Radavist - crust mentioned in comments that he has several frames for sale. If you really like it - I'd email and ask
Huh... I seem to remember that as well, now that you mention it. That wasnít that long ago. Wonder what the chances are... I like quill stems and I was an Alaskan commercial salmon fisherman so the color would be perfect... Hmmm...

Off to shoot an email off.

R
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Old 06-21-19, 08:11 AM
  #69  
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Oh man... he has one in my size. Way out of budget. WAY. Time for soul searching...

1x specific drive. That's really the only thing I'm not so sure about...

First-World problems, eh?

R
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Old 06-21-19, 06:07 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by RyanAK View Post
I was an Alaskan commercial salmon fisherman so the color would be perfect... Hmmm...
Maybe a salmon? canti 700c New Albion Privateer frameset? They're available through the Soma site.

Or there's this satin-brown 650b disk New Albion Drake:-

https://business.facebook.com/newalb...type=3&theater

Poor man's NFE etc
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Old 06-22-19, 07:59 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by RyanAK View Post
Oh man... he has one in my size. Way out of budget. WAY. Time for soul searching...

1x specific drive. That's really the only thing I'm not so sure about...

First-World problems, eh?

R
Personally I find if I settle for something vs something I really wanted - there is always feel of regret later. Can you add to your frame budget from your build budget and get the frame only for now? You have a ride already, frame is really the only constant for the bike so I would focus on frame first. Although I am guilty as I am sure many others are - I started some builds having the handlebar I really liked or particular wheelset and I had to buy everything else based on that.
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Old 06-22-19, 08:40 AM
  #72  
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Family budget will allow for any single purchase of about $800. I could stretch a bit if the right frame came along. A single $1250 hit though... disharmony in the kingdom.

NFE, Endpoint H/G, Crust NoríEaster or Romanceur... list toppers are all just out of reach new. Tragic, eh?

R
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Old 06-22-19, 04:20 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by RyanAK View Post
Family budget will allow for any single purchase of about $800. I could stretch a bit if the right frame came along. A single $1250 hit though... disharmony in the kingdom.

NFE, Endpoint H/G, Crust NoríEaster or Romanceur... list toppers are all just out of reach new. Tragic, eh?

R
I hear you and fingers crossed for the right frame at the right price!
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Old 06-22-19, 10:48 PM
  #74  
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/Black-Mount...YAAOSwMQpdAt9-

One of the old (more horizontal top tube) touring frames. Rim brakes. 56cm.
Not sure of tyre clearance on this actual frame but on the BMC blog there's some front-on pics showing Compass 35mm clearance with different brake caliper models.

Last edited by tangerineowl; 06-22-19 at 10:49 PM. Reason: txt
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Old 06-24-19, 03:06 PM
  #75  
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Interesting. This isnít the Road or Monstercross frame, but something BMC did sometime in the past? Off to the google box to see what I can find about it.
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