So, after the best part of 2 years since I'd first came up with the plan, I've finally got this thing built up - one of these days I'm going to get help for my procrastination problem.
My plan was for it to always be a bit of a hack bike - and everyday bike, perhaps a bit sacrificial in terms of how I use it, or being prepared to take it places / lock it up at places, and use it with trailers or bike towing kit.
Use of parts has changed a few times - it would have been easy to fall into the trap of getting enthused, and making a half-decent job of things - well when I say easy, I guess I really mean between apathetic and being spiked with speed - but I had to firmly remember why I was putting together a very much hack / sacrificial / use-all-the-time-and-anywhere type bike. So I deliberately chose to use parts I care least about - which is why the shifters and levers are Alivio, and it's got V brakes on - first time I've ever built-up a bike to specifically run Vs - I had to say several Hail Marys and an Our Father for that, I can tell you...
Other bits have been liberated from my first 95 Apex, either so I could complete it or so that the original gets the refresh of any new bits. That includes the tyres, as by the time my original 95 Apex had been stored due to a temporary hiatus - it was shod in Tioga City Slickers - and they're still in reasonable condition (sidewalls feel a bit grainy, but they seem fine right now...). The red braces just seemed to crumble in my hands, though.
Headset and crown race have been changed several times - the frame came with the stock (Tioga Alchemy) headset zip tied in - which looked in reasonable condition, with nice, clean grease. For some reason, <deity> knows why I just didn't look, I assumed it was without a crown race - so set to with the idea of trying to buy a NOS Tioga Alchemy headset, put the crown race on the forks I was going to use, then I'd have spare headset should I ever want to replace. I ordered one, but it was a different version - silver with cartridge bearings. I'd also ordered one in black, but when it came to sending it out, they didn't have stock, and substituted it with a Cane Creek S8 (which is what's currently installed).
Initially I went with the new silver, cartridge bearing Tioga Alchemy - but for whatever reason (not sure if there isn't something missing, although it was fully boxed up, and clearly NOS) when it came to tightening everything up, the stem / forks wouldn't sit nicely, they just seemed to squirm around. So out it came, and I went back to the black Tioga Alchemy it came with (realising I actually had the crown race, when I removed it...). Problem with that, is I couldn't dial out the slop - it was either too tight and binding, or the forks had some fore / aft movement when testing it against the front brake (I assume wear - either bearings or race(s)). So in went the Cane Creek S8 - and perfect.
The forks were kind of curious, too - they were from a 95 / 96 Apex, purchased on the bay of E, some time back. I suspect they may have been for a slightly smaller frame, because steerer length is just about tenable with the thinnest, "special" / keyed spacer that comes with the Cane Creek headset, and a low stack height stem (well the lowest I had available...) But the odd thing - there's no SFN installed, nor can I see any evidence of scoring of one ever being installed. I've used a Hope Hed Doctor rather than star finagled nut.
My original choice of stem was slightly shorter than the 130mm one now on, but stack height was just that bit too much. This one was just perfect, stack height wise, but I did have concerns that it may be a bit on the long side - then I measured the stock (Tioga Alchemy) stem on my original 95 Apex, and that's slightly longer at 135mm, so it's all good, really (said in the style of Ian Fletcher from 2012 and W1A...)
Anyways, back to this bike. Kinda thrown together a bit, but always seems to take me more time than I'd hoped - whether it's a bit of lack of organisation with my parts stash, and not being that on top of whether I've got every single little thing required, or whether it's all totally suited to the bike I'm working on. That analogy (like Hal in Malcolm in the Middle) of it being rather liberating, throwing paint at a wall and seeing what the results are, this is they...
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I like it more than I thought I would - guess that's always the case for something you've toiled a bit to get built up - although the intention was to be almost a designed, fugly, mismash of parts - as in the title, the intention was that it was always going to look a bit bleh - I think I'm going to christen it my Warren Zevon bike - you know, "My Shit's Fvcked Up" (can I get away with using cuss words when I'm quoting a song title, I'm never sure? Anyway, I did use the ancient Roman spelling of the eff word...)
But since it's finished, I have enjoyed riding it, so it's met my intentions, even if not entirely disposable, the intention was to use it as a day-to-day bike, and kit it out with parts I care least about. Problem is, once you've invested a bit of time and effort, you can't help but grow a bit attached to it, even if you wouldn't take it to meet your mum.
It's reasonably light - the frames are a moderate weight (this one is 2130g / 4.7lbs including headset) and the forks were 888g, so a reasonably light basis for the rest. Nothing else on it is that lardy - I mean of course there are some lighter options - there always is - but the fundamentals are reasonably light, and the rest of the kit isn't plastic coated steel. Haven't bothered weighing it, but I think the stock weight for the model was 24.5lbs, whether any of the choices I've made when building up this one have had much impact, I don't know, but it's feels reasonably light to heft - in the spirit of enduring mediocrity, it'll do.
1995 Diamond Back Apex frame - True Temper TT-Lite custom short butted
Forks - they're from a 95 / 96 Apex and are really Spinners, but badged as DB butted blades
Mavic X222 rims on LX 563 / 565 hubs
STX RC (MC40) chainset / cranks
STX front mech
Deore (510?) rear mech
Tioga Surefoot VI pedals
Avenir thinwall chromoly seatpost (actually a Kalloy one, stock from a 91 Apex)
WTB SST X2 saddle
Cane Creek S8 headset
FSA OS150 stem
Tioga Power Stud bar ends
Alivio shifters and brake levers
Alivio (I believe) V brakes
I've done a fair few bimbly rides on it, now - slight snafu at one point with front mech adjustment, and the chain slightly overshooting / getting jammed on the outside of the big ring, and kinda scarring the outside of the chainset, but a bit of fine tuning, and it's all working very nicely. Feels reasonably light and responsive, yet not twangy and flexy.