RikeBike 002 – Mountain Bike
This is my second complete bike frame, and first mountain bike. I started building this frame last year (2013) and totally fubarred the main triangle so I scrapped it. I finally got around to giving it another crack and overall in the spring of 2014, it turned out reasonably well. This was my first fillet brazed frame and that was a lot of work. As I was initially laying ugly fillets and then filing and sanding them, I thought to myself I never want to do this again. Shortly after I finished though, the desire to master fillet brazing really took hold so I think I will be doing some more fillet brazed frames.
What went well: the frame turned out pretty straight, with very little post-construction alignment required. It fits well and rides well. I built it with a 69 degree head tube, and like the way it handles. The fillets look good, and the frame is holding up well. I had it powder coated at Performance Powdercoating in Prescott. It is a rust color with a mildly textured and matte finish. I think its a pretty good color for a mountainbike. I figure a subtle color in the woods is always good.
What I would change: The dropouts I used have the wrong angle between the seatstays and the chainstays and I don’t like the way that looks. I used these dropouts because they are horizontal in case I want to run it as a single speed and they were cheap. I did not want to spend a lot for some fancy dropouts seeing as how this is only my second frame and I was not sure how it would turn out. I used the rounded corner of my workbench top to put the curve in the seatstays. That worked, but the seatstays are not perfectly symmetrical, although you have to look pretty closely to tell. I need to figure out a more precise bending solution.
This bike has 26″ wheels, which I will continue to run on future bikes for several reasons. One, I have lots of 26″ parts. Two, 26″ parts I do not have can be purchased cheaply. Three, there is no objective evidence to suggest that 27.5″ or 29″ wheels are faster. Four, smaller wheels will accelerate more quickly and change direction better-that’s just simple physics. Five, I will not be a slave to marketing that makes perfectly good parts obsolete solely for the purpose of making me buy new bike parts.