Lately, I have been riding more, wrenching less, and practicing N-3+1. Here is +1.
I have been intrigued by some of the new "Gravel Grinders" on the market, particularly the Salsa Ti Vaya. So, before I dropped serious cash on the Vaya, I wanted to see what I could come up with. Besides, it's more fun that way and keeps me from engaging in antisocial behavior.
So, I began searching for just the right Ti MTB frame. For a drop bar setup, it needed to be a fairly large, older frame (shorter TT) built for a rigid fork (more HT). This really put me in the late 80's and early 90's (C&V).
I finally found the right frame -- a 1990 Russian frame manufactured for a Dutch bike company. The very kind and knowledgeable Dutch seller described the heritage to me as follows:
[INDENT][INDENT]Many thanks for your shown interest ! A Dutchman ( Gijs van Tuyl) took up the idea to go east and have frames built from Russian army spec titanium. The early frames were also built at army facilities , I think this was near Novigrod. Later van Tuyl got EU money to start also other eatern Europe production facilities. Comparing the frame with other brands is difficult , I tried to make the description in the auction as honest and detailed as possible . In short: well built (good proportions , well welded) with many integrated details , the shaping of the tubes could have been better . The bike you built with this frame will be a good versitale ride.[/INDENT][/INDENT]
The frame arrived last week and I just finished the build. The components are a combination of old and new that I like and had around. The design is really function driven. My most specific design detail was to stick with the threaded fork so I could use a tall (VO) stem adapter with threadless stems. The combination of several inches of useful stem plus a choice of threadless stems of different lengths and angles gives me a great deal of fit flexibility for different conditions.
I am also considering whether it would be possible to convert the bike to 700 wheels so I could pool different wheel/tire/cassette combinations with my cyclocross bike.
Does anyone make long reach cantis that would work for the conversion or how about V-brakes.
At any rate, it's hit 60 degrees here and I'm out the door to grind.
Have a great weekend.