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Discussion Starter #1
I am the owner of perhaps the rarest of all Vanilla frames. A used Vanilla.

I was the winner of a fillet brazed road frame off of Ebay about a month ago and it is finnaly up and running.

When I saw the frame on Ebay I also did not like the color. But it is much nicer looking in person and the more I thought about it I do not think I have ever seen a bike this green.

I was also a bit worried about the sizing but After measuring up my other bikes I knew it should work fine. Even thou I knew it would work, with that much head tube I was a bit worried it might look a bit odd. Well it does look a bit odd but in a way it also looks very cool.

I do a lot of long distance rides. When I say long distance I mean 200-400 miles in a day. I do brevets and also have a 24 hour time trial coming up. Not that that is what this bike is for but I have gotten used to having my bars up toward my seat level for long distance comfort. Although the head tube is tall, it gets my bars right where I need them without a bunch of spacers nor a up angled stem. I actually get to use a 17 degree stem pointing straight out instead of straght up : )

For parts here is how I went:
It came with a Alpha sub 3 carbon fork and Ritchey WCS HS

off Ebay
Shimano 105 shifters/brake levers because I wanted all black
Black unknow bar and black tape came with the shifters all built up.
Shimano 105 black short cage rear der
FSA compact front der (mostly chrome with a bit of black)
FSA carbon compact 50-34 cranks and FSA BB (again black)
Cane Creek black brake set
Use Alien Aero seatpost and SLR 135 gm seat ( got this off my tri bike for now)
Ultegra 12-25 9 speed cassette (not black yet)
Chris King black hubs laced to black open pro rims
Michelin Axial pro 700x23 green and black tires (the green almost matches the frame)
What did I forget???

I took some pictures so let me see if I can post them. A few of the pictures are before I got the rear der, whereas, the others are from my first ride yesterday. I have to say the fit is just right with the bars right up where I like them. As you get older your bars start rising and the gears start to get smaller.

It looks like two pictures are small enough but the other 4 are slightly too big for this forum to allow. If anyone knows how to knok the file size down a bit let me know and I will try to repost those.

Willy in Pacifica
 

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Discussion Starter #2
ride

Yesterday I took it out for a quick 20 miles and it rode very well. Similar to my Merlin which is also a compact design. It rode very stable and I was able to ride no hands very easily.

After installing the rear der we weighed it at the bike shop and it came in under 18 lbs without pedals, 18.5 with. I was very surprised of the weight. Not sure what type of steel it is made of but I think it said so on ebay. Must be a very light steel.

I am very happy with the fit and can't wait to get it out on a weekend. But have to wait until next weekend as I have a 300k tommarrow. Very tempted to take this bike but I am sure it would be a mistake for a second ride to make it almost 200 miles. So tommarrow I will have to settle for my even lighter Merlin.

willy
 

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Wow, That is a really fly ride. I bet you'll have many many miles of bliss on that one.

Tell us your thoughts on the ride and handling when you get a few miles in.
 

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Can't say that's plain vanilla

My favorite color and definitely a dream of mine that's never likely to be fulfilled. There is nothing more artistic than a Vanilla! BTW...What did the frame go for used?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
vanilla

Yes the frame is green. About as green as you can make it without going florecent.

I bid on it last second and got it for $1,366 plus shipping of $60. For me it cannot be considered custom but it fits damn close. I would have had the tt shorter by 1cm but a 1cm shorter stem can deal with that. But the thing I like about it is that the head tube is tall enough to get my bars up without a lot of spacers or without a high standover. Hard to find a road bike frame designed to allow your bars up as high as the seat without a bunch of spacers or a steep angled stem. I do a lot of long distance riding and you need the bars up higher than a trditional racing bike for comfort. Plus as you get older your bars come up and your gears get lower.

Althou the headtube/TT slope looks a bit odd, Ithink it looks better than a tall stem or a lot of spacers.

I have my deposit in for another come next january. it will be for a lugged frame which cannot be too compact. I think there are 6 degree lugs out there but nothing as drastic as this frame. I really want a lugged vanilla but if htis fits over time I may reconsider and go with either a fillet brazed frame or go with a lugged polished BB and fork crown and have him fillet braze the head tube and seat tube.

Fillet brazed frames are very beautiful. Beside this frame My Santana Triplet and Bilenky tandem are both Fillet brazed.
 

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Did you get the story from the seller about what he had the bike designed for and why he was selling it?

Here's a pic of my Vanilla. It has the bars up near the seat height, too. Mine got there with a quill stem and a relatively high stand-over height, which help maintain traditional lines. Mine is a great brevet bike, too...

Enjoy your ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
sizing

the effective TT is 56 to 56.5. This is what allowed me to get the frame. According to the original owner it is 60cm effective seat tube.

If it was 60cm seat tube and a straight tt there is no way I could ride it, or at least get off it. But by having this geometry it allows me the proper standover, and the proper bar height without a bunch of spacers. the only way to get a frame like this is to have it custom made as there is no company out there willing to build a frame like this since it would not fit many folks off the street.

This is the perfect frome for someone like me who likes the bars up near seat height without a bunch of spacers or a steep stem. It would also fit a tall person who would have a more aggesive set up with the seat a good 4-6 cm higher and a lot more flexible back.

Being that I ride for distance I believe this frame will work very well for not being custom for me. Plus a lot of folks probably looked at it on Ebay and thought it looked kind of weird and stayed away.

I think it looks "weird beautiful"

Other than the Vanilla's I saw at the big cross race in SF last month this is the only vanilla I have seen in person. Can't wait to get out and ride it over in Marin.

I have a 24 hour TT in April that I may use it for for the first leg of 160 miles. I have a set of carbon Profile clip on aerobars coming in the mail and will see how those work out. In long distance riding the aero bars help a bit in aerodynamics but mostly you use them for a different position and a place to rest your arms for a while. Most long distance riders use traditional road bikes with clip on aerobars as a TT specific bike would get way to uncomfortable over a long distance.

Willy
 

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wily in pacifica said:
I think it looks "weird beautiful"


Willy
I agree.

I normally ride a 56 with about 5cm drop from seat to bars. This would probably work for me too. Congratulations on a good find!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
vanilla

I have been looking at yor on his site as my brevet bike he will build for me for PBP nerxt year will have Chris King mango disc hubs and HS. SO I have been trying to figure out what color to have it painted. Mine will have mostly black parts so it is hard to tell with your silver rims and sidwalltires if the orange color will look good to me.

The thing i have to visualize is if the color will look right with matching fenders. A white bike may look great but not if you put white fenders on it. hard to visualize.

I alerady have the hubs so now I am stuck. If I had picked green or blue hubs it would be easier but I always wanted to get a set of those hubs and now is my chance.

I ride a plum colored Co-Motion for my brevets now with the Schmitt hub and a couple E6 lights.

You doing PBP in 2007?
 

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Pacifica, CA?

Can't say I've seen a Vanilla in the Bay Area.

Nice win. Looks like a similar scheme to my orange Steelman.

Congrats and enjoy. I LOVE Vanillas, I can't wait to see 'em next week at the Handmade Bike Show. I'm also considering getting one next year for my bday...
 

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yeah you outbid ME at that last second

i really hate sniping--nice job though--but that is ebay these days.
what was the fork rake originally--did you get a steel fork at all?
I had it pegged as my dream steel ride--and have a record 10 group sitting around now.
it looks very nice and glad you like it--and you will likely put more miles on her than i as it would have competed for saddle time with all my others.
i ended up getting a waterford r33 frame instead.
happy riding
jim
 

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That is probably the worst looking vanilla I have ever seen (IMHO). The color with those tires, with that crazy sloping top tube, with that seat post, with that shorty stem? Those bikes are normally drop dead hot. I do hope you really enjoy it and get tons of miles, though.
 

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That seat must turn your ball* to meat in a few hours

200-400 hundrend a day. Wow! I would be crying like a baby.

Jaybo
 

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lampshade said:
That is probably the worst looking vanilla I have ever seen (IMHO). The color with those tires, with that crazy sloping top tube, with that seat post, with that shorty stem? Those bikes are normally drop dead hot. I do hope you really enjoy it and get tons of miles, though.
sounds like jealousy ... some people simply have wierd body proportions. I remember the website of one high-end custom carbon cycling shoe manufacturer which said if you think your shoes look funny, it might have something to do with the reason you needed custom shoes in the first place.

I have to say I don't really dig the green, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
vanilla

The green in the pictures on Ebay did not appeal to me either but if I won the frame I figured I could send it back to Vanilla and have it painted a different color if it really bothered me. But I figured I should go ahead and build it first before I made the decission. I never would have ordered a frame this color but now that it is built up I like it way more than I thought.

If a paint job cost $100 I would have had it repainted, but at probably $300 to $400 it looks better than fine to me. I have never had a bike custom made for me so I have never been able to pick the color. That will change next year when my next Vanilla will be built and to tell you the truth it will be the toughest decision.

I think if anyone saw it in person they would say it looks better in person then in pictures.

Willy in Pacifica
 
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