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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:17 am 
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I've had my original 95 Apex since, um, 95 - and have always been very happy with it. It was bought, then, as a replacement for my then 91 Apex that finally lost it's fight against crime (in 95).

Some time back, somebody was flogging a 95 Apex frame on t'ebay for what I like to euphemistically think of as a very good price.

I ponied up the dough with the intention of building up something from whatever suitable spares I have, or acquire over time. Never really did anything, but as I'm in the process of building up my 91 Axis, I thought I may try and exploit whatever fleeting periods of motivation I can find for putting bikes together.

This was sold as just the frame (although has a stock headset in), not long after buying it, I was lucky enough to win an auction for a stock pair of (rigid) forks that would / should (although the steerer still seems a bit tight on length...) fit this frame and size. Unfortunately, they were in the alternative colour (gloss red) whereas the frame is the main colour for 95 (matt blue).

I'm purposely building this as something of a thrown together thing - in that there will be some bits that don't truly match - or even worse, clash, just a bit - but hey, Rudy can't fail, right?

So these are to be the main bits:-
Image
95 Apex True Temper TT-Lite frame. Reasonably light and pingy.

Wheels will be non matching - the current one built up (also a cheapy from t'ebay) is a Mavic D521 laced to a Deore DX hub, radially. That aggression just will not stand, in the immortal words of The Dude (aping the less than immortal George Bush Snr). So I plan to rebuild that on to an (as of yet un-acquired) Shimano 36h parallax rear hub (most likely an LX one). The other rim is a NOS Mavic X517 (also 36h) rim which I'll build onto a NOS Deore LX (M570) front hub.

Rear mech will likely be a NOS Deore one I've never found any other use for. Front mech will be something selected from a number of new, decent Shimano front mechs I bought ages ago as a job lot.

Shifters will be NOS M748 XT rapidfire plus.

Brakes I'm think I'm gonna go with some NOS Suntour XC pro cantis, and XC Pro levers (I have a set I'm going to use on my Axis, and another complete set I can use here).

Chainset I'll probably need to acquire something suitable.

Think I've got a NOS UN54 that'll fit.

Stem is a new FSA something-or-other, handlebars are Tekken or Token or something like that - they were cheap in a sale from CRC at some point, so bought them. Sort of ideal for a hack bike.

Seatpost will be a new Deore DX one - saddle, probably need to get something - not something I've ever had much in, in the way of spares.

Pedals will be a set of Tioga Surefoot VIs.

Yeah... so... some bike builds are just thrown together a bit, some are given more care. But then there's something a bit liberating about throwing some paint at a wall, and producing a hack bike. So then you are free to use it out and about, and can afford to care a bit less about it, or whether some ne'er-do-well 'alf-inches it for a pack of smokes and a can of wife-beater.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:21 am 
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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...

Attachment:
IMG_20140530_134934.jpg
IMG_20140530_134934.jpg [ 148 KiB | Viewed 747 times ]

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.

Kit list:-

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
HG70 cassette
UN51 BB
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
Token handlebars
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.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:29 am 
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Pretty enough I'm sure the smile on your face is whilst riding it mate.

Nice job with all the purpose built into it.

Thrash her with no worries.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:14 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:58 pm
Posts: 2362
Location: Bournemouth
my 94 Axis (192C-T) is 23.5lb with pedals, so I'd like to think your Apex isn't far from that. Looks like a rider to me :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:01 pm 
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For me, no matter how fugly the bike is, if I enjoy riding it, I will be attached to it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:42 pm 
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Pyro Tim wrote:
my 94 Axis (192C-T) is 23.5lb with pedals, so I'd like to think your Apex isn't far from that. Looks like a rider to me :)

I'll probably get my original 95 Apex complete this month, which won't be quite as hack-ish, build wise as this one intentionally was. It'll be mildly interesting to see if there's much difference in weight - I suspect they'll both be very close, given they're the same size, and the wheels are a similar pair (NOS Mavic 238s on LX 563 / 565 going on that one).

The stock Mavic 230s need a rebuild, not because there's anything wrong with them, but due to some oddness that used to go on with mix and match wheels, with a previous hack bike that got nicked, the front one wasn't the original (for some reason, I used to sometimes switch over front wheels with my then hack bike, as they were the same rim, although STX hub). So the wheels that were on it, ended up being a rear 32h, and front 36h which I didn't realise until I'd delaced the front and started relacing in onto a slightly nicer hub, then stalled when I thought I'd had a Withnail moment.

I procrastinate more with wheel builds, than I do bike builds.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:52 pm
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Location: Cheshire
Nice to see a couple of diamond back builds.
I have recently acquired a 1993 overdrive comp frame in perfect condition. Unfortunately it didn't come with the original rigid forks.
Do these forks ever show from time to time?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:44 pm 
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emjay wrote:
Nice to see a couple of diamond back builds.
I have recently acquired a 1993 overdrive comp frame in perfect condition. Unfortunately it didn't come with the original rigid forks.
Do these forks ever show from time to time?

I've seen the Overdrive Comp in the 92 brochure - that was a 700c hybrid type thing. If the 93 model year version is the same, original forks are probably a bit thin on the ground - there were probably less sold than the more popular, 26" MTB models.

Every now and again, I've seen rigid forks for various early 90s Diamond Backs on ebay. The red Apex forks on this Apex were sourced from ebay (I discovered them, in a serendipitous manner, quite shortly after buying the frame on ebay). I've managed to pick up the odd other pair, too - although the one I'd really like to find is a pristine pair of 91 Axis forks (in black spangly).


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:47 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:58 pm
Posts: 2362
Location: Bournemouth
ask fignon, he might now of some, if anyone does


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