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Is this a good frame-set?

Old 06-28-22, 10:45 PM
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Polaris OBark
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Is this a good frame-set?

Jenson has it for $2K in my wife's size.


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Old 06-28-22, 11:04 PM
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Define good? It definitely looks good.

This review of a full build is favorable. Depending on what she wants, though, the frameset is limited to 700Cx40 tires, which should be noted are a tight squeeze in the fork. It mentions a different frame that goes sup to 50mm or 650bx2.4” called the Storm King.
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Old 06-28-22, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
Define good? It definitely looks good.

This review of a full build is favorable. Depending on what she wants, though, the frameset is limited to 700Cx40 tires, which should be noted are a tight squeeze in the fork. It mentions a different frame that goes sup to 50mm or 650bx2.4 called the Storm King.
Thanks!

I guess by "good" I mean reputable. I don't have any titanium bikes, but my understanding is that a frame-builder really has to know what they are doing or the welds might fail.

Both this and the Storm King are about $5.5 K on their website. I didn't realize the fork would be a tight squeeze for 40mm. I have an Enve CX and that thing is wide. I wonder if 650b wheels might be a better option. For the stuff we ride, 40mm should be adequate, but it might be nice to have wider options.
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Old 06-28-22, 11:13 PM
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I scanned the review fast…width isn’t always the limitation for tire size, especially with 700c. The “close” dimension could be the fork crown.

I have no experience with Sage frames, personally or anecdotally from others that I ride with. Based on their website, where they’re located, and that Jenson is selling it, I wouldn't be worried about buying one.
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Old 06-28-22, 11:23 PM
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Good, because I just did.
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Old 06-29-22, 09:00 AM
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It would probably be most fitting (pun intended) to equip it with Barlow Pass RH tires.
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Old 06-29-22, 11:23 AM
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Enve rates the clearance on that All-Road fork officially at only 38mm for 700C, so that is a bit of a disappointment.
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Old 06-29-22, 11:35 AM
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I’ll be honest with ya, 38s are fine for gravel, IMO. Build it, and go have some awesome adventure with your wife.
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Old 06-29-22, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
I’ll be honest with ya, 38s are fine for gravel, IMO. Build it, and go have some awesome adventure with your wife.
This is a bit of an unusual use case.

Her knees have been deteriorating, so she got a Canondale road/gravel e-bike, which I spent a bit of time pimping out to make the off-road experience enjoyable. It now has a suspension stem and seat post, and 700C X 42 Hurricane Ridge endurance tires. She uses this primarily to commute (about 1/4 gravel and 3/4 very steep minor and ill-maintained paved roads), and sometimes for recreation rides, which she wants to do more of. This e-bike has helped both psychologically and physically, and now she wants a lightweight, non-e-bike, for both on and off-road. I currently have a custom steel bike which is in essence analogous to this frame. Barlows are the widest 700C tire I can fit in the frame, and it is fine for much of what I ride. (When it isn't, I have a second, 650b wheel-set, with 42mm back and 48mm front tires.) Her main complaint with my bike is she finds the 38mm tires (Rene Herse Extra Light Barlow Pass) to be "too sluggish." I think that is delusional, but the main point is I don't think she wants tires any wider than 38mm on what she hopes will be a lightweight bike. She took a close look at Trek's Checkpoints, but found the reach too elongated and the ride a bit ponderous; if I were to get another gravel bike, I would have found that ideal.

I bought a set of Di2 Ultegra shifters/hydrolic brakes for $199 on sale about 3 years ago on impulse, figuring I would have a backup for mine, or do something else with them. So I might use these for the build.

Maybe I should morph this into a build thread?
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Old 06-30-22, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
I guess by "good" I mean reputable. I don't have any titanium bikes, but my understanding is that a frame-builder really has to know what they are doing or the welds might fail.
Make sure you understand the warranty. Lynskey is "reputable" but I still hear of their frames cracking occasionally (presumably because of the difficulty welding the stuff).
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Old 06-30-22, 04:18 PM
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Well, it arrived today. Package was mercifully unmangled.




The fork was just tossed in there, at the bottom of the box, no protective wrapping, and the rear through-axle was just sitting there like that as well.




Fortunately, the frame looks ok:




Let's weigh it (with rear axle now inserted, and the seat tube clamp):




That's about 4 lbs, for those that don't do grams.
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Old 06-30-22, 04:22 PM
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Looks like the previous owner had some issues mounting a brake adapter:




My cynical conclusion is that these were on sale because they were returns. No mention of that on Jenson.
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Old 06-30-22, 09:41 PM
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For those interested in tire clearance (what is possible, vs. what is a good idea):

I can get a 42mm wide RH Hurricane Ridge in both front and back, with about 4mm to spare on each side.

It also looks like I could get the 48mm version in with 650b, but it would be tight.
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Old 06-30-22, 11:53 PM
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I can't answer your question, but have you checked out Litespeed or Lynskey? Their frame and forks, when I bought one of each a year ago (GR300 for me, Watia for the missus), weren't much more than that, and they often have 10-20% off sales. 700X44 or 650BX51.

That said, it sure looks nice.
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Old 07-01-22, 10:02 AM
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Was actually considering the same frameset... Welds look good enough in pics. How do they look in person? Comments on overall quality?
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Old 07-01-22, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliwild View Post
Was actually considering the same frameset... Welds look good enough in pics. How do they look in person? Comments on overall quality?
The frameset looks great to me. It is basically brushed raw titanium with minimal decals that look very easy to remove or replace. It has a lifetime warranty (which I found out on their website only today when I was looking for something else). The welds look fairly smooth. I can try to take a close-up photo. There is a slight toothpaste-quality to it, but I've never really looked that closely at titanium welds before. Anyway, it looks solid. There are lots of options for wiring Di2, conventional cables, etc. I only just noticed it has 3 water bottle mounts, so that is a nice touch. If you want a front derailleur, it will need to be band-clamp (which I prefer, having cracked a steel seat tube at the braze-on in 1989). The only thing "negative" I can say about the frame is a 42 cm tire is about the widest you can cram in there with 700C rims; I doubt much wider for a 650b, because of the way the chain stays are shaped. The frame weighs 4 lbs, so it isn't the world's lightest titanium frame.
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Old 07-01-22, 04:23 PM
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Welds:



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Old 07-01-22, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
Welds:



Wow, those welds look pretty darn good... Thanks for the great review. I sure want a Moots but this is literally a third of the cost (if not more) of the Moots...
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Old 07-01-22, 11:16 PM
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When I had a custom bike built, I went for steel rather than titanium. I've never regretted my choice, but I have always been curious. $1K more would have got me titanium, which in retrospect was a pretty good deal. Maybe I should have done it. The frame I just bought is nearly the same size, so it will give me an idea if there is any difference. I definitely feel a difference between each of 4 steel bikes I have, so if I can somehow separate expectation bias ...

I think if I were to spend any more on a frame, I would have a custom one built.
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Old 07-04-22, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
Jenson has it for $2K in my wife's size.


Sage is great stuff
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Old 07-04-22, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
Sage is great stuff
Thanks. I finally figured that out. I just somehow had not heard of them.

I haven't had a chance to do more than unbox it, weight it, and look at it, and begin the process of agonizing about every part.

I started a separate thread about what drivetrain to use: Di2 options for a gravel bike?

I've got some Di2 shifters/brakes that I will probably use in the build, and they work with road, grx and mountain (all 11-speed) derailleurs, which is a plus.

My wife has started going down the wheel rabbit hole.
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Old 07-04-22, 08:31 AM
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This looks good:




At this point, we could probably afford the bar tape.
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Old 07-04-22, 12:50 PM
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Pretty bike. I almost bought the exact frame.
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Old 07-04-22, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
Thanks. I finally figured that out. I just somehow had not heard of them.

I haven't had a chance to do more than unbox it, weight it, and look at it, and begin the process of agonizing about every part.

I started a separate thread about what drivetrain to use: Di2 options for a gravel bike?

I've got some Di2 shifters/brakes that I will probably use in the build, and they work with road, grx and mountain (all 11-speed) derailleurs, which is a plus.

My wife has started going down the wheel rabbit hole.
your a lucky man she has good taste in bikes.
Do u ride?
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Old 07-05-22, 08:20 AM
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