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Old 05-11-14, 10:39 PM   #1
eicca
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First build: "Frankenbike" -- I'm pretty proud of myself :)

She began as just a frame and bars (and a fork, bottom bracket, stem, 8-speed integrated shifters and grips) sitting in an apartment in Washington. My old Costco bike just wasn't doing the trick, so I took the opportunity and scooped her up.


I scrounged wheels, rotors, a rear caliper, a cranket, a cassette, derailleurs and a seat and post from friends, acquaintances, and an old busted Schwinn. Some of my bike-loving family members graciously donated a front caliper and new pads for the rear. I had to swap the rim on the rear wheel and completely buy a new front wheel thanks to bearing damage, but after that I picked up a Walmart cable set, threw everything together, added tires, and TADA!


From there, I gradually replaced the entire drivetrain bit by bit trying to chase down a shifting issue (and for the fact that I bent the Suntour crank and the front derailleur wasn't the correct fit). I went from an old, floppy Deore LX RD to a brand-new Deore Shadow, switched to non-integrated shift triggers so I could have a working barrel adjuster (the Shadow is direct-connect), and threw on some proper shifter cable housings. The Walmart stuff is crap.





Then I spent three months trying to figure out why shifting was inconsistent. I could get it so it would downshift but not upshift, and vice versa. Finally I figured out that the frame is so old the dropouts actually bend inward, so I had to bend the hanger by sticking and Allen wrench in the RD mount bolt and aligning it by eye. Then, once I figured out that I had accidentally mixed grease in my shift cable housings and it had turned into glue , I was able to get the thing shifting like a newborn



Since this picture, I've picked up a new saddle to fit my skinny butt, some not-worn-out bar grips, a new set of tires (ruined the Hutchinsons on a huge chunk of glass), proper alloy platform pedals and a Rockshox XC30 fork.

She's a little unstable when climbing thanks to the slacker head angle, but she shreds the downhills like a beast. All in all, I've spent about $250 and I'm deeply in love with my devious creation

So if anyone needs help tracking down shifting issues, I'm your man...


Last edited by eicca; 05-11-14 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 05-11-14, 11:25 PM   #2
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Congrats, you built yourself up a good looking bike. Enjoy.
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Old 05-11-14, 11:47 PM   #3
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The ones you build are the best.
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Old 05-12-14, 06:29 AM   #4
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How do you like the Rockshox XC30?

And what is a proper platform pedal?
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Old 05-12-14, 09:27 AM   #5
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How do you like the Rockshox XC30?

And what is a proper platform pedal?
Compared to the RST I replaced, the XC30 is phenomenal. Compared to the Fox I tested on a Trek Remedy, it's ok. Bottom line, it's good for entry-level stuff. I like it, I'm not a very hardcore rider/I don't weight a lot so it does the job for me very well. It's got a lockout with an overload valve and preload/rebound adjustment. Bang for buck it's pretty good. Goes for about $150 on Amazon. And it comes with a sticker

The proper platform pedals are a set of alloy Diamondbacks I got from a trash frame my friend gave me. They grip well but they're not the toughest. I've already busted one of the little grip studs out of them on a rock.
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Old 05-12-14, 09:29 AM   #6
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That is a great looking build! Have you gotten it out on the trails yet? How does it handle on gravelly turns, the front looks a tad tall. Just wondering.
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Old 05-12-14, 09:33 AM   #7
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That is a great looking build! Have you gotten it out on the trails yet? How does it handle on gravelly turns, the front looks a tad tall. Just wondering.
It handles much better in gravel now that I have a fork that doesn't bend around like soggy pasta. It is just a little tall, more so now with the 20mm-longer Rockshox, but the trail handling is so much better. Downhill she's very stable. Fun to carve berms

Hydraulic brakes are the next upgrade I'm planning to do, should give me some more control
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Old 05-12-14, 05:46 PM   #8
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Thanks for the report, you have a good reason to be proud.

Hydraulic Brakes are awesome. But be careful, they grab REALLY WELL!
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Old 05-12-14, 06:06 PM   #9
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BTW, Daspydyr, your sig quote made "Quote of the Day" on my Facebook with resounding success.

I am hoping the lightness of the hydraulic brakes will ease some wrist tension/ache that I get after shredding trails for a while. Anyone that can confirm?
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Old 05-13-14, 10:19 AM   #10
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I remember a difference. I went straight from cantilevers to XT Hydraulic brakes. Quality costs, but there is a difference. I haven't tweaked with my derailleurs in a couple years. Its kinda boring, I used to love tuning up the shifting. Same with the brakes. Nothing to mess with.
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Old 05-17-14, 12:11 AM   #11
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Nice restore eicca. I have wondered what i could do to my 4300 to make it better. I used it mainly for fitness when i first bought it, but after buying a new bike and ring it I decided to order 711mm handlebar, grips, new flat pedals and some tires to make it better for my nephew to ride when we go trail riding. I bought some cheap cross country tires also so i can continue to use it for exercise.

I ordered most of it for cheap from jensonusa for almost half of what my LBS wanted.
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Old 05-17-14, 10:21 AM   #12
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Nice restore eicca. I have wondered what i could do to my 4300 to make it better. I used it mainly for fitness when i first bought it, but after buying a new bike and ring it I decided to order 711mm handlebar, grips, new flat pedals and some tires to make it better for my nephew to ride when we go trail riding. I bought some cheap cross country tires also so i can continue to use it for exercise.

I ordered most of it for cheap from jensonusa for almost half of what my LBS wanted.
I'd highly recommend a high-end drivetrain. That's the biggest thing I notice when I ride other bikes, my drivetrain is the best
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Old 05-17-14, 11:30 PM   #13
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Good going!

Try getting yourself yourself some chainstay protection. An old inner tube should do the trick.
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