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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have recently put down my deposit for a custom commuter frame and fork. I purchased a Cross Check a while back, and have slowly been transforming it into my ideal commuter, but I am running into some frame/fork limitations. These I hope to solve with the custom. This is my "car" bike. I go to and from work, the grocery, everything (as I don't own a car).

My current wants on this new frame are:

Longer Headtube- My CrossCheck has too much saddle to bar drop, and I would like to not have to run a high rise stem for purely aesthetic reasons.

Rear Rack Mounts Further Out- Limiting heel rub

Light Mount on Headtube- Clearing up some space on the bars (possibly to run a top mounted set of brake levers as well as the drop levers).

Dedicated BOB Mounts- Recently saw this thread on MTBR (I know, who goes over there right:p). He put the BOB mounts directly on the frame, so I am free to use whatever quick release I would like. Thought it was a good idea.

I also want to eliminate the toe overlap I am currently experience (exacerbated by fenders). I know that most people are saying it shouldn't really matter, but for slow speed stuff with the trailer attached and loaded, I think it gets to be a real hassle.

So give me some more ideas. What else should I have him add to the frame/fork. Anything cool you can dream up. I am still up in the air about disc vs. canti. It will be geared only.
 

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SleeveleSS said:
So I have recently put down my deposit for a custom commuter frame and fork. I purchased a Cross Check a while back, and have slowly been transforming it into my ideal commuter, but I am running into some frame/fork limitations. These I hope to solve with the custom. This is my "car" bike. I go to and from work, the grocery, everything (as I don't own a car).

My current wants on this new frame are:

Longer Headtube- My CrossCheck has too much saddle to bar drop, and I would like to not have to run a high rise stem for purely aesthetic reasons.

Rear Rack Mounts Further Out- Limiting heel rub

Light Mount on Headtube- Clearing up some space on the bars (possibly to run a top mounted set of brake levers as well as the drop levers).

Dedicated BOB Mounts- Recently saw this thread on MTBR (I know, who goes over there right:p). He put the BOB mounts directly on the frame, so I am free to use whatever quick release I would like. Thought it was a good idea.

I also want to eliminate the toe overlap I am currently experience (exacerbated by fenders). I know that most people are saying it shouldn't really matter, but for slow speed stuff with the trailer attached and loaded, I think it gets to be a real hassle.

So give me some more ideas. What else should I have him add to the frame/fork. Anything cool you can dream up. I am still up in the air about disc vs. canti. It will be geared only.
Hmm. Slightly sloping top tube to get the bars higher; 3rd set of bottle bosses; two sets of eyelets on the dropouts; perhaps mid-fork braze-ons depending on choice of rack; fork braze-on to route cables for running to a generator hub; pump peg; 650b wheels to eliminate TCO); longer chainstays to eliminate heel strike.
 

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I don't see a reason why not to do discs. You can get both mounts I guess, if the aesthetics don't bug you.

What about material? Also, you didn't mention any handling characteristics you might like? Want it more stable? You could slacken the HT angle. This would also reduce toe overlap, I imagine. Alternatively you could quicken the handling by getting a custom fork with more rake. This would also decrease toe overlap, but produce drastically different handling traits.

Low or high BB?

Tire clearance?

I would want 700c for the tire and wheel selection, personally, but if the tires you want are available in 650b I suppose it's an option.

I agree with the slightly sloping tt idea to increase the HT length.

Oh, and how about guides for full housing?
 

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SleeveleSS said:
Longer Headtube- My CrossCheck has too much saddle to bar drop, and I would like to not have to run a high rise stem for purely aesthetic reasons.
you could also go with a larger frame in general- a traditional fit will allow you to get the bars up level with the saddle without the need for a technomic.

SleeveleSS said:
Rear Rack Mounts Further Out- Limiting heel rub
Or have yer builder design you a set of racks that match your needs- it is custom, after all...

SleeveleSS said:
Light Mount on Headtube- Clearing up some space on the bars (possibly to run a top mounted set of brake levers as well as the drop levers).
Again, a custom front rack might help with this...

SleeveleSS said:
Dedicated BOB Mounts- Recently saw this thread on MTBR (I know, who goes over there right:p). He put the BOB mounts directly on the frame, so I am free to use whatever quick release I would like. Thought it was a good idea.
sounds awesome!

SleeveleSS said:
I also want to eliminate the toe overlap I am currently experience (exacerbated by fenders). I know that most people are saying it shouldn't really matter, but for slow speed stuff with the trailer attached and loaded, I think it gets to be a real hassle.
this means making the top tube longer or making the head tube angle more lax- could mean issues with fit or handling...

SleeveleSS said:
So give me some more ideas. What else should I have him add to the frame/fork. Anything cool you can dream up. I am still up in the air about disc vs. canti. It will be geared only.
How about internal wiring for a generator hub and a dedicated kickstand plate? Seriously think about custom racks- you could get exactly what you want instead of having to modify a generalized design.
 

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Internal wiring? I`ve heard of that- seems to me Ispoke has it on his new bike. How does it work? I mean, is there usually a tube inside the frame tubing to pass the wiring through, or is it just fished in somehow? And where does it enter and exit?

That Bob mount looks like a great idea. Also, I never wished for a chain hanger, but now that I have one I really like it. Then again, I suppose it wouldn`t do much for you if you`re going SS.
 

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my wishlist

SleeveleSS said:
Longer Headtube- My CrossCheck has too much saddle to bar drop, and I would like to not have to run a high rise stem for purely aesthetic reasons.

Rear Rack Mounts Further Out- Limiting heel rub

Light Mount on Headtube- Clearing up some space on the bars (possibly to run a top mounted set of brake levers as well as the drop levers).

Dedicated BOB Mounts- Recently saw this thread on MTBR (I know, who goes over there right:p). He put the BOB mounts directly on the frame, so I am free to use whatever quick release I would like. Thought it was a good idea.

I also want to eliminate the toe overlap I am currently experience (exacerbated by fenders). I know that most people are saying it shouldn't really matter, but for slow speed stuff with the trailer attached and loaded, I think it gets to be a real hassle.
If I were doing that kind of bike full custom, I think I'd add:

Internal cable routing. Makes is much easier to strap on battery packs for lights.

All eyelets possible, including low rider fork mounts, fender mounts, third bottle mount under the downtube.

Definitely build in disc brake mounts as well as canti for maximum flexibility in the future.

Kick ass paint scheme, but something tough, like powder. Maybe chrome the rear triangle, which is really nice to avoid screwing up your paint on the drive side chain stay from chain slap or when changing wheels.

Sounds like you'd want as pretty long wheel base.

Bob mounts are a great idea. Never would have thought of that.

As long as you are doing long wheelbase and fender clearance, maybe add in a kickstand mount between the chain stays?

As someone mentioned, go ahead and have custom rack built, too, maybe stainless steel tubing. As long as it's custom, have them add a couple of different tail light and battery mounts on the back.

Stick with a standard 27.2 mm seat post. Makes finding a replacement much easier.

I'd go threaded fork. Makes adjusting handlebar height very easy, as long as you leave plenty of cable length if you want to raise the stem.

No lawyer tabs on the fork. They are a pain. Get chromed drop outs or an entirely chromed fork.
 

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Get all of the mounts and braze-ons you think you might ever need. My Bob Jackson World Tour is loaded with mounts, and I love it. Standard it has front and rear mounts for racks and fenders, a third water bottle mount under the downtube, canti brake mounts, and fender attachments on the brake and chain stay bridges. Installing fenders on the frame was a breeze, and that is usually a chore.

Personally I would steer away from disc brakes unless you live in a very rainy climate and never plan to tour. Disc brakes could be hard to fix on a tour, plus they can make it very difficult to install racks. For similar reasons I would avoid 650b wheels, although some swear by them. I would hate to have to replace a 650b tire in the middle of North Dakota (or just about any rural area).

My biggest reason for ordering a custom frame would be to get a taller head tube, which is always a problem for me with standard frames as I like to run my handlebars about level with the saddle height.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks a bunch for the replies guys. First off, just want to make it clear this isn't going to be a touring bike. It is going to be for lack of a better term, a "car bike." The BOB mounts are for the trailer I use for groceries and big item trips. I have a set of Ortlieb FrontRollers I use on the rear rack, and I have no heel strike issues currently. They are plenty big enough for what I need most of the time, but it would be nice to know I could use BackRollers if I needed to.

As far as disc vs. canti's, I'll probably get mounts for both. I dislike canti's for their shuddering, and general lack of power. I dislike my BB7 mech. disks on my mountain bike (I know everyone seems to love them). They are really heavy, even just compared to hydraulics let alone rim brakes. They never seemed to be adjusted right, though that is probably due to my ignorance in set up. I want to try the Paul's NeoRetro/Touring combo before I decide.

No real desire for 650b wheels. I'm 6 ft., and I just don't think they should be necessary to eliminate toe overlap, even with fenders.

Internal routing sounds like a great idea. I saw on the Clockwork website (btw, not my builder) some internal routing, and it looked great. Neat process for sure, and right now I am always fiddling attaching my battery to the top tube just like you mentioned.

Paint is going to be straight up black powdercoat. I'm going to have him put on his headbadge, but no other logos. When I build up a touring bike aesthetics will play a much bigger role, but for the "car bike" I want it to be as inconspicuous as possible. My bags, rack, Brooks saddle, etc. are all black.

Front rack is still up in the air. I don't really have any experience with them to tell what I like, or even if it's necessary. For the rear rack I was planning on reusing the Axiom I have on my CrossCheck. It is definitely the nicest rack I have ever seen for $40, with actual tubing connecting it to the frame at the front (unlike some of the cheaper racks with those flat plate connectors). It also has a huge weight limit, and is nice and narrow.

Tire clearance isn't a huge issue. I'm running 32's right now, and that's really all I can see being necessary. I'll probably just plan for 40+fender clearance, and call it good. Again, I'm not trying to make this bike be too versatile, as I am looking forward to other customs for other uses. :thumbsup:

I know the pump peg is fitting for this style of bike, but I'm having a hard time bringing myself to asking for it. I have one of those CO2 inflators, and it works beautifully. The only downside I can find to it is the cost, as it is a little expensive to use a $3 cartridge every time. Other than that, I couldn't ask for more. I used it extensively when I was commuting on my road bike (ProRace 3 with 7 flats in two weeks) and it always worked like a charm. Now that I'm on some proper tires, I don't see flats being as much of an issue.

@m_s
It's going to be steel. Probably a low BB, since it's not going off road, and that will help with saddle to bar drop. The slightly sloping top tube would help with this as well as you mentioned, but I really like horizontal top tubes. It would have to be VERY slight. :D

@$1.50
I'm not opposed to a larger frame in general, but every frame I've been on I feel too stretched out. Maybe it would be different on frames without as much saddle to bar drop, but I just don't have any experience to know. I have looked at shallow drop bars, as well as dirt drops to help in this. Any advice you might have would be appreciated.
 

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SleeveleSS said:
@$1.50
I'm not opposed to a larger frame in general, but every frame I've been on I feel too stretched out. Maybe it would be different on frames without as much saddle to bar drop, but I just don't have any experience to know. I have looked at shallow drop bars, as well as dirt drops to help in this. Any advice you might have would be appreciated.
Just remember, it's custom- as long as you don't ever plan on trying to get any money back selling it, you can do whatever you want...tall but short is probably possible, though yer overlap problems wouldn't go away... Sloping top tubes might help too.

Talk to yer builder and really get into what you want this thing to do...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
buck-50 said:
Just remember, it's custom- as long as you don't ever plan on trying to get any money back selling it, you can do whatever you want...tall but short is probably possible, though yer overlap problems wouldn't go away... Sloping top tubes might help too.

Talk to yer builder and really get into what you want this thing to do...
I plan on it. Just put the deposit down so I'll be a while before it's "my turn," and I don't want to bother him when it's someone else's turn. He's been great so far. Just looking for things to think about. Thanks for all the advice guys.
 
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