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(This post has been months in the making so please excuse my extreme wordiness)
I'm looking to start a new bike build and have decided to use Walty to make a custom frame. I have been scouring the threads here and the rest of the internets piecing together my exact specs over the last few months, and now I need a little help nailing down the last few details. I made this decision based on a number of factors, but mostly because none of the bikes out there have all my requirements.
What I want the bike to do:
Perhaps I'm being too ambitious but here goes. I want the bike to do everyday road, mixed surface and gravel riding (everything from well groomed fire trails to non-technical single track), Bikepacking and bike touring (both short and extended), as well as long distance rides (audax, ultracycling, randoneuring, etc.). I have decided the best way to do this is with three sets of wheels ( I have built up a set of Pancenti Forza 700C rims, I'll build up a 650B/ 27.5" set (likely Blunt SS rims), and a set of 700C 50-60mm deep carbon wheels) , I'll attach a Fred Bar with Aerobars for distance riding, and perhaps two forks ( I already have a Curve Cycling gravel fork (
plus another lighter 12mm thru axle fork for ultradistance
I have been riding the gravel and off road around my town for many years on my current titanium bike; a Van Nicholas Yukon. It's a great bike and after almost 10years and three different incarnations (road, touring, gravel) I still love it. However, it's never been the perfect fit and now I want something that can do that little extra. I love underbiking and so the Yukon has been many places it shouldn't. My main reason for the new bike is to get disc brakes and larger tyres.
At a local lookout after a 200m 30%+ gravel pinch
Bike touring somewhere in Hokkaido
I have attached an Excel spreadsheet comparing my current gravel bike to the prospective new frame.
Stack and Reach:
The issue I have with my current geometry is that I feel like I'm falling forward and putting too much weight on my hands. I also tend to ride with my hands on the transition area between the hoods and tops. This leads to hand numbness. (However, I get hand numbness sitting on the couch as well so this may not be a bike issue). I tried moving my saddle back behind KOPS but this just led to knee pain. I've been focussing on rolling my pelvis forward and keeping a straighter back which feels like it might help in time.
My body dimensions seem to be within the normal range, but the frame sizes that are usually suggested always seem a little big. For reference I am 172cm/ 5'7.7", cycling inseam 81cm/ 31.5", 66kg/ 145lb, 179cm/ 5'10.5" armspan (longer arms). In most brands' frame size guides, Competitive Cyclist's guide, and a bike fit some time ago, this equates to a frame size of 54cm and an ETT of 545mm or more. However this has always felt a little big. My Yukon is this dimension and was comfortable with a 110mm stem slammed (road and touring format). When I raised it 25mm and shortened the stem to 90mm (for gravel), it was more comfortable but because of the lower speeds and less power I put more pressure on the hands which causes numbness (something I don't think will ever go away.)
(My current road bike is a Dogma F8 in a 515 size and has ETT of 525mm but a much lower stack. I regularly do 200km+ rides on this bike and always feel comfortable even with the ~10cm/4" saddle-bar drop. However, this aggressive position probably isn't useful when loaded up and hitting the gravel.)
Perhaps I'm fishing for confirmation here, but do the new measurements on the spreadsheet seem logical in terms of bringing the reach back a little and the stack just slightly higher?
Head Tube and Headset:
My current bike has a 135mm HT, a CK no thread set, and then 25mm of spacers. This yields a total length of (135 + 25 + 25) = 185mm from the crown to the bottom of the stem.
With the new frame I have all the head tube options open. After doing plenty of reading, I'm no closer to deciding which way to go. The fork I'm using has a tapered steerer (1.5" - 1 1/8"). Am I better off going with a longer, cleaner looking internal headset, an integrated/ zero stack headset, or a straight 44mm HT with the classic looking external cups? Someone sell me on a particular variant. I'd like to end up using no more than 20mm of spacers so that I have the option of removing the spacer, dropping the handlebars (for a more aero position) and adding the Fred Bar/aero bar on top.
Am I crazy for going with a T47 BB? Here's my reasoning.
This bike will be running a mixture of groupsets. I'm determined to run a Campagnolo hydro group with an XT shadow+ 10s RD (with a JTek Shiftmate). It will probably swap between a Campagnolo 50/34 and FSA Adventure 46/30 or 48/32. I've had bb30 in the past and don't want to deal with press fit BBs in a frame. T47 allows me to simply change the cups over between Campagnolo and BB386EVO as well as any other combination I might choose in the future. It also allows for a 34.9mm seatpost and a big down tube.
I've always ridden frames with a 74deg seat tube, and this seems standard.
Head tube angle is 71.5deg on my current yielding a trail of 65mm with 32mm tyres and 45mm offset fork. I'm thinking slackening this to 71deg so that the trail figure is the same with the new 51mm fork and large volume 650B tyres.
I don't like the look of very long chainstays and given that I want to fit 45mm 700C rubber, I think 430-435mm seems appropriate.
Seat Tube Length:
I know that standover height has no bearing on real frame geometry but having shorter legs means that I never end up with much seat post exposed. This isn't just an aesthetic issue it leads to not having enough post for bikepacking saddle bags. However, I'm trying to maximise the front triangle space for a frame bag. My current standover with 32mm tyres is fine but the new bike might have 45mm tyres at times. I would also like the slot for clamping to be front facing. I was thinking of dropping the C-C measurement on my current frame from 500mm to 480mm and the C-T from 540mm to 530mm. I'm not a fan of steeply sloping TTs but it's the only way to get to the goal of more exposed seatpost.
As I mentioned before this will have mixed groupsets in order to get the aesthetic and gearing I want.
Campagnolo H11 brakes, shifters, and front deraileur.
Shimano XT Shadow+ 10s SGS rear deraileur with JTek Shiftmate
Cassette: choice of 11/32, 11/36, 11/40
Cranks: Campagnolo 50/43, and FSA Adventure 46/30 or 48/32
Bars: Easton EC70 AX 42cm
Wheels: 700C 50-60mm carbon rims, Custom 700C Pacenti Forza rims, 650B Blunt SS rims
Stem: 90mm shockstop
The rest is yet to be decided or unimportant.
Whew! That's it for now.
Any help that anyone can give me is much appreciated. Hopefully when I've eventually got the thing together I'll make a post about it.
Yukon vs Walty.xls
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V1 or V2 ? And did you ride it ? The V1 is one of the lightest ti gravel frame due to butted tube (even on custom frame, it's not common).
It's the V2. I didn't even set it up. I unwrapped the frame, put a seatpost in it, and sat it on a set of rims. It just seemed too big, and the size down seemed too small. The seatpost only had about 4" of post showing (which has no bearing on anything but just looks odd to me). It also looked like I would need to use about a 70mm stem which seemed far too short. The frame is still sitting there (around 12months) waiting for me to eventually move it on. It has almost everything that I want and by all reviews is a great frame. I'm just not in love with it. I can't exactly pin down why.
For the stem, and it's helpful for your first question on this thread, the geometry of the ATR have a long top tube and it have to match with a short stem. The idea is to have the stability and toe clearance of a slack head tube (high trail) but get back responsiveness by this short stem (MTB inspired geometry).
For the seatpost, it's normal to have it shorter because of the low BB but normally it's higher on the V2 and it don't have to be as short as you describe. Sure you put it right ? With a low BB it's a good idea to put short crank and 165mm it's plenty enough: ground and toe clearance, saddle little higher, better hip mouvement, more easy to get low on the drop without have knee on the chest, etc.
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