Saturday, 28 January 2017

Chris' new bike build

I’ve wanted to put all my ideas into a frame for a long time, to make it exactly the way I want it to be – it’s occupied a lot of my thoughts. When it’s done I know some people will think it’s over the top, but I’m not concerned with that, it’s going to be exactly what I like. So here we go…

 I recently went to the local steel merchant and picked out a bunch of tubing at the lengths I needed – which I’d already spent a lot of time working out!

I’ve always liked little details that aren’t too in your face, so I started right at the front. I took the neck of the frame to a local machine shop – Arch Engineering in Newport – with an idea. They’re a great father and son team, Keith and Charlie, and they did a killer job of making my idea into a real thing. They also machined the single downtube of the frame with these subtle grooves that I was after, which came out really nice.

Once all of the machine work had been done it was time to get all the tubes bent up into shape. I took most of these angles from the hardtail frame that’s currently home to my ’75 cone shovel.

The next step was to set the rake of the front end. Over time I’ve become a massive fan of high steep necks, so on this frame I’ve settled on a 24 degree rake with 5″ up on the downtime.

At this point I was already starting to get excited as I could see it all coming together!

So I set the rake on the jig and locked it down, positioning the neck 5″ higher than the stock neck. Then it was a lot of work to cut the angles into the downtube to fit around the shapes in the neck. It was a painstaking processes to make sure I didn’t grind too much off.
So that’s where I’m at now.
The next step is to place the engine mount jig back on, set the seat post angle, get the top tube in place and then make the engine mounts.
I’ll write some more when I’ve done some more so stay tuned…