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Planning my next bike build for retirement

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Planning my next bike build for retirement

Old 03-14-12, 01:22 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by John_V
BD,

Since you're not sure on what you want yet, no point in jumping in on the N+1 part of the post. So for part two, congrats on the June retirement! Even if you don't go to work part time for an LBS, you will love it. I retired for the second and final time in October and I'm loving every minute of it. It's nice to think that every day can be a Saturday from here on out.
Thanks, but if I don't go to work somewhere, I won't be loving it for long.
I have a young wife who'll still be working for several years, one son still in high school and another about to start grad school. Not to mention a growing bike habit that needs the benefit of employee pricing. Without something feeding the kitty, my pension won't go far and I'll be out of savings far too soon.

But I am sure looking forward to leaving the corporate existence and being able to bike commute at non-rush hour times.
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Old 03-15-12, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
Thanks, but if I don't go to work somewhere, I won't be loving it for long.
I have a young wife who'll still be working for several years, one son still in high school and another about to start grad school. Not to mention a growing bike habit that needs the benefit of employee pricing. Without something feeding the kitty, my pension won't go far and I'll be out of savings far too soon.

But I am sure looking forward to leaving the corporate existence and being able to bike commute at non-rush hour times.
Yep, there is the financial aspect that one has to consider. I'm just glad that I had very well paying jobs over the past 30 plus years and didn't pi** the money away on things I didn't need at the time. I'm fortunate enough to have taken most of the money I made and pay everything off. I've been debt free for the past 10 years and that is a very rewarding feeling.
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Old 03-15-12, 10:58 PM
  #28  
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congratulations
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Old 03-18-12, 09:22 AM
  #29  
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My thoughts lately are veering towards a more traditional (if there can be such a thing) Monstercross rig. Black Mountain Cycles sells a Monstercross frame by that name. Steel, cantilever brakes, room for 700 x 48mm tires, nearly horizontal top tube and good dimensions for me in the 59 size (580mm ETT). The designer, Mike Varley, has a good pedigree, having designed bikes for Haro and Masi for several years before opening his own shop and designing his own line of frames. I first learned about the frame from Guitar Ted, the web's guru of all things gravel grinder related. He is using a Monstercross frame for many of his gravel grinder events this year.

My biggest concern from the geometry chart is that I may need more spacers and/or more of an upsweeping stem than I'd like to get my desired fit, but I'm going to discuss that with Mike and see what he thinks. Also, the BB drop at 65mm is about 10mm less than my preference, but that is not a dealbreaker.

One thing I really like about this option is that I can move the wheels and most components over from my Casseroll, saving quite a bit of money. My thought is that I can use this to test the concepts and take note of everything I want different when I later go to a custom builder to make the ultimate dirt road bike for me.


Cross 003 by BMC Mike, on Flickr
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Old 03-18-12, 04:11 PM
  #30  
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Have you considered Titanium?
https://www.sevencycles.com/traveler/expat-sl.php

Maybe this model with the taller head tube and adding disc brakes.
https://www.sevencycles.com/traveler/expat-s.php
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Old 03-18-12, 05:52 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by GFish
Have you considered Titanium?
https://www.sevencycles.com/traveler/expat-sl.php

Maybe this model with the taller head tube and adding disc brakes.
https://www.sevencycles.com/traveler/expat-s.php
Ti would be great, but I don't think I'll be spending that much.
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Old 03-28-12, 04:54 AM
  #32  
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I placed the order yesterday for the Black Mountain Cycles Monster Cross frame. Should be here in a week.
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Old 03-28-12, 07:54 AM
  #33  
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Good choice BD. Will the frame be custom made to your specifications or one the keep in stock? either way I hope you enjoy completing your build.

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Old 03-28-12, 02:42 PM
  #34  
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It is a low volume stock frame. The geometry is very close to my ideal and I was very impressed by the email and phone conversations I had with the guy who designed the frames and had them built. Seeing a picture of a frame he set up to match my specifications was the clincher for me.

I'm going to set it up initially with wheels and drivetrain from my Salsa Casseroll. After a few months of riding it and analyzing it, I will likely upgrade the components and dial in the gearing. This is going to be a lot of fun.
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Old 03-28-12, 04:20 PM
  #35  
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Nice choice on the Black Mountain!!

I think you should come out and visit the shop before they ship your frame. Have you ever been to Point Reyes**********???

There is one other frame builder in Point Reyes, Steve Potts is still building magnificent titanium frames there. https://www.stevepottsbicycles.com/bikes.php

To say that the riding (both road and mountain) in that area is good is a gross understatement.

Congrats on the retirement and the new bike, I'm sure that you'll love both.
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Old 03-28-12, 08:25 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Shifty
Nice choice on the Black Mountain!!

I think you should come out and visit the shop before they ship your frame. Have you ever been to Point Reyes**********???

There is one other frame builder in Point Reyes, Steve Potts is still building magnificent titanium frames there. https://www.stevepottsbicycles.com/bikes.php

To say that the riding (both road and mountain) in that area is good is a gross understatement.

Congrats on the retirement and the new bike, I'm sure that you'll love both.
I'd be there in a flash if it weren't for the little matter of a continent between here and there.
I was in the Bay area once in 2001, but didn't make it up that far. I saw the areas they get to ride out there. Quite amazing!

I have been drooling over the Steve Potts frames Mike Varley is building up at Black Mountain Cycles and posting online. If only I had the means, I sure have the will.
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Old 04-03-12, 09:11 AM
  #37  
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The frame is in a box in my house.

But I'm not there yet.
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Old 04-04-12, 08:01 PM
  #38  
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Old 04-05-12, 09:41 AM
  #39  
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The frame looks great.

I recently built a monstercross too. It's a Gravity Zilla. I liked the monstercross concept but wasn't intending to build one but the day after Thanksgiving the frame and for was $135, delivered, so I said what the heck and got it.

I had so many parts laying around that I knew I could build the whole bike for cheap. Someone had given me a set of 29er wheels, I had a Dura Ace group.

Now that I have it built and have ridden it a few months I think full size 29er tires would be overkill. 1.8 Kenda Kharma knobbies that I have will probably fit but I think they would be overkill too. My "adventure" rides have both pavement and dirt and knobbies are just too slow. I run Pasela 700x28 for road only and have 700x40 and 700x47 Michelin Citys.

I started off with Woodchippers but they didn't work for me. The reach is too short for road bike top tube lengths. It was designed for MTBs with longer top tubes. I use a WTB Mountain Road on an SSCX and it is better suited to road geometry. I thought about using it on the Zilla but tried a Nashbar moustache bar and like it even better. The drops are not nearly as comfortable on the WTB. I thought the drop of the Nashbar would be too shallow because of the tall head tube but it worked after all. I'm using a +20 high rise stem, flipped to -20.

I bought BB5s, 160/140 f/r, not realizing that there was a BB7 version. It's OK, I'm satisfied with them. I only ride the drops, access to the brake levers is much better than from the hoods or drops on a more traditional bar.

I would have preferred a steel frame but the fatter tires that would be run on this kind of bike mitigates the aluminum issue. I'm really happy with the Zilla, it really handles well.

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Old 04-05-12, 09:55 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by GeoKrpan
Now that I have it built and have ridden it a few months I think full size 29er tires would be overkill. 1.8 Kenda Kharma knobbies that I have will probably fit but I think they would be overkill too. My "adventure" rides have both pavement and dirt and knobbies are just too slow. I run Pasela 700x28 for road only and have 700x40 and 700x47 Michelin Citys.
+1 on not needing 29er tires.

Sizing up from 700x40 to a 700x45 will not offer an overall improvement, IMO. I’ll offer my experience concerning tire size & type. I’ve been using three radically different tires on gravel with a little single-track mixed in;

Schwalbe Smart Sam 700x47
Schwalbe Marathon Cross 700x38
Vittoria Randonneur Hyper 700x32

The Vittoria Randonneur Hyper is a smooth slick that I only use when conditions are bone dry and I’ll be on pavement as much as on gravel. It’s very fast and smooth on all surfaces. It corners very well on pavement and I can ignore most bad or damaged pavement. It is worthless on damp or wet gravel and on any loose or soft single-track.

The Schwalbe Marathon Cross is a superb all-around tire. Wet or dry, on pavement or gravel, it does very well. It’s heavier than the Vittoria and feels slower, but not by much. It rolls almost as well as a slick. The Schwalbe Marathon Cross is an ideal tire for wet-but-firm gravel. It does well enough on single-track but deeper mud and other loose and soft surfaces are not the best conditions for this tire. I’m also careful on fast corners while on pavement, the small blocks on the shoulder lack cornering grip on dry pavement compared to a slick tire like the Vittoria. I just need to remind myself not to lean over too far on faster corners.

The Schwalbe Smart Sam can also be used as an all-around tire. It’s slower and heavier on pavement than most touring tires, but it is faster and smoother than some overbuilt commuter tires I have used. I’m not reluctant to ride 10 miles on pavement to the gravel trail or single track. I would also use this tire on a tour, if the route was mostly dirt and gravel with some connecting stretches of pavement. The tire does very well on gravel, as anyone would expect. It also does very well on wet and loose surfaces. Moderate mud is also not much of a problem for the Schwalbe Smart Sam. However the added weight and slower rolling speed are a small but constant factor. The tire is always slower than the Marathon Cross. I just don't use a cross-bike on gnarly conditions enough to need this tire very often.

I find myself using the 700x38 Schwalbe Marathon Cross far more than the 700x47 Schwalbe Smart Sam. I'm starting to think that a tire larger than 700x40 is not really needed on mostly-firm surfaces.
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Old 04-05-12, 11:57 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
Nice. The full bore project now begins!
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Old 04-05-12, 02:42 PM
  #42  
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I'll be running the frame by the LBS Friday to pick up and install a Cane Creek 40 headset and use the Specialized stem sizing tool to help me settle on a stem and handlebar combination that works. Tonight I'll start stripping drivetrain parts off the Casseroll and cleaning them up for their transfer to their new home.
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Old 04-06-12, 02:25 PM
  #43  
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The headset did not get here, so I did a little rough fitup work on the new bike and I'm about to start stripping down the Casseroll and converting it back to its original singlespeed setup.

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Old 04-10-12, 10:38 PM
  #44  
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I made some progress today. Got the headset installed and added the cranks, wheels, stem and handlebars. The 35mm tires that looked so fat on the Salsa look too skinny here. I tried the Origin 8 Gary bars I had in the parts bin, but couldn't come up with a position I liked. The bars from the Salsa are better, but too much reach and drop, So I'll be getting new bars along with some fatter tires.


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Old 04-11-12, 05:24 AM
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Velocity A23 rims?
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Old 04-11-12, 06:44 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
Velocity A23 rims?
Yes. These are the wheels I built for the Casseroll in December when I took its CXP33 rimmed wheels for the bike I built for my son. The A23s build up nicely and their bit of extra width is nice for running wider tires.
A23 rims, Shimano Tiagra hubs, Sapim Race spokes, 32, 3-cross front and rear.
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Old 04-11-12, 06:51 AM
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Looks like it will be very fun to ride!
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Old 04-18-12, 06:56 AM
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I finished the build last night. I had been waiting for my handlebars, Salsa Cowbell 3. I have some fatter tires on the way for hardcore dirt road bombing and trail riding, but the 37mm Conti Contacts will be used on more pavement oriented rides.

I have been thinking for a while what to name this new bike, going through many monster references and other ideas. Nothing was really sticking.

While working on the final assembly, I learned the sad news that Levon Helm, my brother in throat cancer, is near death. I'm not sure of the details, but his family posted that he was near the end of his battle with cancer. I was not aware that he was battling cancer agin and I don't know if it was a recurrance of the throat cancer or something else.

I have long been a big fan of Levon's music with The Band and his later solo work. When I got sick in 2008, I was inspired by his story of dealing with a very similar case as mine and have considered him an older, more talented brother ever since. This news hit me like a ton of bricks and I must admit that I sat at my desk sobbing for a while. I flooded Facebook with videos of some of my favorite songs by Levon and The Band and listened while building my bike.

It soon became clear what my new bike's name would be. And he shall be Levon.

First ride is coming later today, along, I hope, with better pictures. It might be raing today, but Levon and I will be riding.
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Old 04-18-12, 07:04 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg


I finished the build last night. I had been waiting for my handlebars, Salsa Cowbell 3. I have been thinking for a while what to name this new bike, going through many monster references and other ideas. Nothing was really sticking.

While working on the final assembly, I learned the sad news that Levon Helm, my brother in throat cancer, is near death. I'm not sure of the details, but his family posted that he was near the end of his battle with cancer. I was not aware that he was battling cancer agin and I don't know if it was a recurrance of the throat cancer or something else.

I have long been a big fan of Levon's music with The Band and his later solo work. When I got sick in 2008, I was inspired by his story of dealing with a very similar case as mine and have considered him an older, more talented brother ever since. This news hit me like a ton of bricks and I must admit that I sat at my desk sobbing for a while. I flooded Facebook with videos of some of my favorite songs by Levon and The Band and listened while building my bike.

It soon became clear what my new bike's name would be. And he shall be Levon.

First ride is coming later today, along, I hope, with better pictures. It might be raing today, but Levon and I will be riding.
Perfect choice for a name, BD. News of his battle got to me last night. I was stunned but then humbled by his family's posting. It was something to the effect of please keep him in your prayers as he takes the next part of his journey. This is a most fitting name for your new build.

Eager to hear a ride report when it seems appropriate.
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Old 04-18-12, 07:12 AM
  #50  
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So sorry to read about Levon Helm here. I love the Band and Levon's music so much. I can hear my children singing along to "The Weight" in the back seat of our car when they were little. Here is a link to Levon's website, worth a look.

https://www.levonhelm.com/

The build looks great BD, hope you get a ride report to us soon. Enjoy the fruits of your labors and riding Levon.

Bill
__________________
Semper Fi, USMC, 1975-1977

I Can Do All Things Through Him, Who Gives Me Strength. Philippians 4:13



Last edited by qcpmsame; 04-18-12 at 07:19 AM.
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