Issue 153 Tech Head: When It’s All Your Own Fault

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A custom-built bike is a dream for many, but how hard is it to choose (and then live with) your exact, perfect machine? Words As told to Chipps Photography Credited...

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For over 20 years Singletrack has been a source of information, news and entertainment for millions of mountain bike enthusiasts and as an important focal point for an amazing community of like minded riders from around the world. But it has also been a provider of jobs and income for dozens of families of our team as well as a source of revenue for hundreds of freelance contributors.

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Chipps Chippendale

Singletrackworld's Editor At Large

With 22 years as Editor of Singletrack World Magazine, Chipps is the longest-running mountain bike magazine editor in the world. He started in the bike trade in 1990 and became a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the last 30 years as a bike writer and photographer, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish, strengthen and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

More posts from Chipps

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Issue 153 Tech Head: When It’s All Your Own Fault
  • sillyoldman
    Full Member

    Jon’s V2 is very nice. Look forward to seeing V3.

     

    And look forward to talking about them over a few beers even more so,

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Good read that. Whilst I’ve had some custom stuff made & painted (took me months to decide on a Paint job), I’ve never messed with the geometry of a frame. Figure the folk make it know what they want it to do, and if it matches my needs I’m good to go. If not, something else will.

    Only thing I might have changed is a frames material. Eg same geo as a steel frame, but in Ti or carbon.

    mick_r
    Full Member

    Really enjoyed that bit, and also the new look mag in general. I know there is extra content online, but it really needed some bigger / better photos. That one of Jon’s bar / stem from above shares absolutely nothing about how it was made or works.

    Does everybody else enjoy this bit or just a minority of us bike geeks? I avoid explaining what I want to recalcitrant frame builders by just making it myself 🙂

    dRjOn
    Full Member

    hi there – the bar stem was made by Whit at Meriwether cycles in the USA – it is a titanium double bend bar with a 19 degree sweep, notched to the radius of the bar and welded to a paragon titanium steerer clamp – pretty nifty!

    rootes1
    Full Member

    got any more pics of it? Is it a bit like the Peter Verdone stuff?

    inbred853
    Full Member

    Some more detailed pics of the build would have been great, might take up a bit to much space though on the mag, however could be included in the members feature??

    I ordered a Rallye frame from Thom at Dawley bikes at the end of last year, I just asked for a couple of geo changes to his online order process and job done, great service. Just awaiting some other custom finishing parts to start the build.

    Second custom frame I’ve had built, the other being a gravel/road frame from Singlebe, this one being based on a Liteville 4-One with a few geo changes in nice 853/Columbus steel.

    I like fettling with and building my own bikes, might be a bit more expensive dependant on if I recycle or buy new parts. Luckily Mrs Inbred just laughs and calls them Triggers Broom bikes.

    jameso
    Full Member

    Brilliant stuff, love it.

     

    dRjOn
    Full Member

    errrr. yeah, but to hand I have the bar stem for the next Dawley – it has a longer front centre and steeper head angle…and the bar has a single backwards bend so keeps the xyz of me on the bike in the same place – less flop, less trail…. same idea but the version on the bike in the article has a double bend in the bar so it has slightly more reach built into it… IMG_7617IMG_7618

    dRjOn
    Full Member

    this is the fork for version 3 – again, made by Whit – the tubes Thom uses are essentially at their limit in terms of usable length on these frames – v3 has a ‘reach’ north of 540mm.  in order to make it all work and keep tube profiles sweet we dropped the front of the bike. because it is rigid specific, with a shorter fork, the top and downtube can be made shorter, and so reach the head tube!  the fork is a ti unicorn also by Meriwether. 40mm offset, 450 a-c – it does mean ill need to use 40mm of headset spacers, but I can live with it….I was out on v2 today. you cant quite describe what it is like to ride an old school xc front end geo on a looooong f-c bike. wicked fast and agile but so forgiving on the down. the thing about Thom is he gets this. fundamentally understands what im wanting to do and hits the nail on the head with really sweet skills on the build. IMG_7638

    rootes1
    Full Member

    Quite different fork geo  and shape to the Jones Unicrown fork I used as the basis for my build (the black Curtis in the article). You can see the dims above in the article, but 451mm a/c and 76mm offset and with 150mm OLN spacing for a fat front hub. Like yours rigid specific.

    Did look to get some made but generally builders want o do straight leg forks and I knew from previous Jones ownership the spring on the unicrown forks was very nice to have.

    rootes1
    Full Member

    @dRjOn

    I assume you have seen the stuff on here:

    https://www.peterverdone.com/bicycle/

    Also from long reach short stem stuff

    Peter is what you call… opinionated! No idea is any of the stuff he says is correct, but still i like to read.

    mick_r
    Full Member

    Thanks for the photos Jon, and always love seeing what you guys are designing and having built.

    I appreciate that frame builders have to make a living, but the whole point of custom is the opportunity to do things a bit differently. And with some imagination this doesn’t need a fortune in tooling – e.g. some hinges and MDF:-

    DSC_0602

    P1040099

    zerocool
    Full Member

    Lovely article and some interesting bikes there guys. I have a few ideas, but need to finalise my plans and save a bit more cash. But custom is in my future

    jimmy
    Full Member

    I had a semi-custom frame built by a reasonably well known frame builder in the late 90’s. It was a disaster. It rode terribly (I had no idea about geometry / fork lengths) and was made of cheese (braze ons fell out, headtube buckled) – but looked bloody lovely.

    It got passed around a bit as a pub bike between pals and I would quite like it back but has long since disappeared.

     

    speaker2animals
    Full Member

    Is that green bike at the start next to Chipp’s Fuquay/Pub bike a Chipp’s bespoke? What is it please, more info needed. Had to do a double take on the cassette on the Fuquay. Whereas the dinner plate sprockets gone? LoL.

    Great feature and would love more of the same about folks customs.

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