Friday, March 24, 2006

Got the BREW built up.

It's interesting, it is the same bike as it was a few months ago, but it just seems better. It's the Orange, I'm telling you. And by golly, it is really Orange.

This is a custom frame built by Steve The Brewmeister Garn at Brew Racing Frames. This is my second custom from Steve. My first one was built more than 13 years ago. It is interesting how many more custom builders there are these days than back then. There weren't too many mtn bike custom builders on this coast. Brew, Ted Wojick, and a few others.

Steve is just the greatest guy. A million irons in the fire with an OEM shop making BMX frames and custom motorcycles. He also started a frame building class. His writeup of the experience shows in a nutshell what makes him tick. He was just so into it.

An interesting thing to me was that only one of the frames in the first class was a traditional bike (a cross bike) the rest were BMX, dirt jumpers, urban bikes. And I have no clue what those bikes are. There is an entire world of cycling that is incredibly foreign to me. Just flipping through BMX magazine is a trip. I see mail order with frames, cranks, etc. But none of it is familiar. And here are 4 of the 5 participants (who paid a decent amount of $ to do this) building BMX type bikes. That is just cool.

And with all this going on, he will still chat on the phone about anything bike related.

This one was built about 5 or 6 years ago. Steve's Trademark customization includes putting your intials on the BB

This frame has been ridden hard, with a nice dent on the top tube from Massanutten. As any good high end steel frame, it will last a lifetime with care.

It weighs in at a respectable sub 4 lbs.

Realistically, 3.5lbs is probably as light as a steel frame can go and still be used for more than a season. This one has an externally butted seat tube that was specified for my uncanny ability to break frames, seatposts and saddles. At 130-135lbs you'd think I could ride a little ligher.

Unfortunately, the hardtail is getting the second hand and ghetto parts like a $10 crankset and $10 rear derailleur. It is set up 8 speed now, which actually works really well. It will get any hand me downs from the Dually.


Yes, it does look a little funny with all the spacers on the steerer tube. But I am trying to mimic the position on my Hollowpoint
In terms of saddle position relative to BB, reach to the bars and drop from the saddle to the bars.

This is a decidedly un-XC position, but it works for me due to my inflexible hamstrings. My power position is more upright. Plus I get an added handling benefit from the high bars and short reach.

Though something isn't quite right on the hardtail. Still need some tweaks on the saddle position. The seat tube angles are different between the two frames so I need to jury rig something together to measure a reference from the tip of the saddle to the bottom bracket. Once the saddles are in the exact same position relative to the BB than I can verify the reach and drop are the same. It might turn out that a longer stem may be more optimal on the hardtail. With the dually, I can place more weight on the saddle and rear and let the rear suspension take it up. On the hardtail you definitely need more finesse and dynamic body position.


Not bad considering the boat anchor cranks set and pedals. My $100 almost 1500g wheelset and no tubes helps out a lot.

I remember when not too long ago 24lbs was the benchmark for being considered a weight weenie hardtail. Now it is 20lbs or so.

So far it has only seen commuting to work, but it will get dirty soon enough.


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