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My gravel bike project

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weasley
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PostPosted: 09:53 - 05 Nov 2018    Post subject: My gravel bike project Reply with quote

My current project.

Over time we have accumulated a number of bikes in our household. One of them was an old Trek 830 (circa 1997) which was picked up many years ago for around £20 for my wife to ride. Over time I moved up from a 26er alloy hardtail to a 29er c/fibre hardtail, so my wife got my 26er, making the Trek redundant. It has sat in the shed for years and moved house twice but never been ridden. So it is now my little project.

It's not worth much as a retro/vintage MTB, isn't especially rare or desirable but is a nicely-made cromoly steel frame in slightly scruffy but sound condition. Over the last few months I have been scrounging, finding and where necessary buying parts to turn it into a mongrel bike. I am aiming for a CX/gravel type of thing with drop bars.

Here is how it started:
http://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4260/34649939254_e53df54715_c.jpg

And after this weekend, here's how it now stands:
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4917/31844738028_3453fc0a8a_c.jpg

First I stripped the frame of all components (except the bottom bracket, which is a very solid square taper running smooth and free, so I left it alone).

Then I punched out the threaded headset and pressed a 1 1/8" threadless headset into it - this was to open up options for a replacement fork; I had the headset already.

A friend I ride with donated a fork he happened to have lying about, which had disc brake tabs on; it'll need the steerer cutting down as you can see.

I had a spare stem and picked up some cheap 'bars from a cycling forum.

The alloy seatpost is from the original bike, topped with a Charge Spoon saddle also picked up from the cycling forum.

The wheels are 622x19c disc wheels, picked up from eBay - the biggest unknown I faced was whether I could fit 700c wheels with chunkyish tyres into the frame - they fit with room to spare. The Schwalbe CX Pro 30mm tyres came from a local selling group on Facebook.

That is how the rolling chassis now sits. Next I have to:

Fit the brakes - I have some TRP Spyre mechanical disc calipers from eBay but still no levers; I am after a 10-speed Shimano STI set and still looking. I'll also need an IS-to-post mount adaptor on the front and an A2Z disc brake adaptor for the rear (this is one thing I am uncertain on whether it'll work). I'll also need some compressionless cable housing.

I need a crankset - the one that came off it is three-ring but the rings are riveted onto the spider and the BCD doesn't match any common standards so I'm hunting for a cheap, square taper crankset for a single ring set-up.

I need a 10-speed cassette and chain. I have a derailleur to try out.

I need to set the stack height and cut the steerer tube.

I need to wrap the bars (I'm looking at red).

And then it is just finishing touches.

I know it won't win anything. I also know it'll end up being worth less than the parts I bought for it and may not even ride very well, but that isn't the point. It will be my bike, that I designed, with solutions to challenges unique to this bike. It is something to keep my mind and hands busy and so far has served that purpose well.

I'm in no rush - it has been over a year to get to this point (that is over a year of waiting, bidding, finding, researching and gathering and about 2 hours building this weekend). It may take another year to find the parts I want for the money I want to spend (ie very little). However, so far I am pretty pleased with how it is turning out.
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Last edited by weasley on 15:45 - 05 Nov 2018; edited 1 time in total
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thx1138
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PostPosted: 11:05 - 05 Nov 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was admiring a bike at a running event yesterday. The guy made it to be as low maintenance as possible, it was the first belt drive bicycle I'd seen
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 21:06 - 05 Nov 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't cut that steerer yet. You may well find you need all the available length.
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ďRule one: Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know.Ē
I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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garth
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PostPosted: 01:23 - 06 Nov 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinkwheel wrote:
You may well find you need all the available length.


Story of my life
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weasley
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PostPosted: 08:31 - 06 Nov 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinkwheel wrote:
I wouldn't cut that steerer yet. You may well find you need all the available length.


Good point, thanks - Iíll get some spacers on it and see where it ends up; that was just a loose build and I am not a big fan of the slammed stem (looks or comfort!).
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weasley
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PostPosted: 20:01 - 18 Nov 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some small updates today:

- fitted a disc to the rear wheel; it clears the chain stay by a few mm, so all good there
- offered up the A2Z disc caliper adaptor; looks like itíll work with a small amount of fettling
- fitted a road 10-speed cassette I had lying about, just until I can get a wider range one
- fitted some new crank arms with a narrow-wide 34t chain ring
- fitted the pedals off of the old MTB, just for somewhere to put my feet until I can get some SPDs
- fitted a XT derailleur
- added some spacers to the steerer; stack height feels good so I can cut the steerer I think
- offered up the front brake caliper; seems to line up ok with the disc.

To do:

- fit the front caliper; I thought I didnít have any M5 bolts to fit them but it turns out the bolts from the old canti bosses fit perfectly, which I only realised after I had downed tools for the day
- fettle and fit the A2Z; itíll need a little bit of trimming with a Dremel grinding tool to sit flush against the dropout
- acquire another IS to post adaptor to fit the rear caliper to the A2Z
- acquire and fit a cassette (looking for 11-36 ideally) and chain
- acquire and fit some shifters/levers and compressionless cabling
- wrap the bars.

With the cranks and pedals fitted I took it for a brief freewheel up and down the drive and across the road. In the very limited Ďrideí it felt pretty goodn it rolled, balanced, steered and generally behaved like a bicycle should. Iíve never built a bike before, so canít wait to actually ride it.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4858/45026819595_61bd4205ef_c.jpg

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4803/45214853144_7e0512a6a5_c.jpg
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 21:39 - 19 Nov 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd strongly suggest either incorporating extra gelpads or double wrapping the relevant bits of bar.

Take this from someone who rides a ridgid 29'er. Once you get some speed up on a ripled forestry track, vibes can get pretty intrusive. To the point you may struggle to work the brake levers. Then you are in deep doo-doo.
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ďRule one: Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know.Ē
I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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weasley
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PostPosted: 00:33 - 20 Nov 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thatís a good shout, I had thought about thicker bar tape but some gel pads would be a good idea too.
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Sload
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PostPosted: 20:12 - 26 Nov 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thumbs Up
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Honda Varadero >> Triumph Speed Four >> Honda CBR1100xx
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Sload
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PostPosted: 20:39 - 04 Dec 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently have 3 bikes and Tempted to chop two and build or buy a "gravel bike".

Vintage RB frames are very accommodating for these projects by all accounts Smile.
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Last edited by Sload on 13:30 - 05 Dec 2018; edited 1 time in total
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weasley
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PostPosted: 00:13 - 05 Dec 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have nearly everything to finish it now, just need time to get it together. I have some Tiagra 4600 levers, a 11-36t 10-speed cassette and chain, a cable set (in yellow Cool) and some red bar tape. I have to build it outside so need light and weather (and free time) to get on with it.
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