I’ve posted a couple of pictures of this newly-finished bike here, but it was pointed out in a 69’er thread in the main forum that I didn’t have a build thread on it.
While the bike is now “done”, it’s build is an interesting story and a little different than most of my fleet. I bought this in a eBay auction in April 2005. It was a complete bike with some interesting parts but for a variety of reasons in languished unridden and un-worked on in my storage room for about 5 years.
The bike had been owned by a regular customer of a southern California shop (Pacific Coast Cycles) that were big proponents of WTB and NorCal bikes in general. Highlights of the bike as I purchased it:
- PCC mod of the BB shell to convert it from thread-in to #6003 press-in BB bearings
- Heavily modified RockShox Judy fork with a rare WTB brace that allowed for mounting of WTB RollerCam style brakes. It had a very unusual (and probably knock-off) version of Charlie Cunningham’s then-new LeverLink brake linkage.
and then a few low-lights as well:
- The original owner became frustrated by the fact the seatpost tended to slip. He didn’t like WTB’s (good) advice to sprinkle a little fine dirt into the grease on the post and so he instead hack-sawed off the seattube’s “ears” and used a clamp instead.
- Perhaps related to his hacksaw work, that same owner decided to refinish the bike and had a really, really bad powdercoat job done on the bike.
In around 2010 I finally decided to do something with the bike. My three main “rider” bikes are all pretty similar in terms of parts/setup: All rigid, Type-II fork, Roller/ToggleCam brakes and as many era-correct WTB/Cunningham/Potts parts as I can manage. I could have easily done the same on this one and it would have been fine -- a nice steel frame counterpart to my Aluminum and Ti-framed bikes.
But then I got to thinking about Charlie Cunningham’s “69’er” that is one of his favorite rider bikes. It’s a frame he built in the early 90’s to test suspension forks. After a few years he decided he didn’t really care for any of them and made a very special “crownless” Type-II fork for that bike that allowed him to run a sorta-29” front wheel with a relatively skinny Panaracer 45c tire.
I started to talk with Charlie about such a plan for my suspension-corrected Phoenix frame. He cautioned that most 29” (and even 650b) “conversions” seriously compromised the bikes handling because they jacked up either the head tube angle, BB height or both. He had to go to extraordinary lengths to make sure his 69’er didn’t have those issues and that was only possible because of the small 45c front tire. We then focused on the possibility of using a 650B front wheel and decided it would be ideal for this application. He made a new custom Type-II fork for the bike that would yield what he considered the optimal geometry.
With that key decision made -- and clearly not vintage-correct, it prompted me to pursue a build that would best be described as a “resto-mod”: modern or whatever favorite parts I wanted on a vintage frame. The build is basically:
- Some frame repairs/enhancements by Steve Potts
- Dupont Imron paint (Molteni Orange) by Joe Bell and “restoration” decals by SSSink
- Every single current handmade part that Charlie can make for a bike
- M980 Shimano XTR drivetrain in 1x10 configuration
I’ve taken a lot of (somewhat good-natured) knocks from my friends for the super-long stem and seatpost. This was the biggest frame WTB made at the time and Charlie was highly supportive that it was FINE in terms of geometry. It rides great and I love it.
Here’s a full gallery of the finished bike:http://www.flickr.com/photos/halaburt/sets/72157631964949945/
Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have any pics of the bike in its original state (at least not pre-2010 or so after I stripped it down and started working on it).
Here’s the build spec:
Frame: 1996 WTB Phoenix SE 18” (Steel) #96444
Fork: Cunningham Type-II, 650B-specific, 115mm dropout spacing
Headset: Chris King NoThreadSet (Old-Cup, No Logo), Cunningham tapered spacer
Stem: Cunningham Flat-Bar (threadless-style)
Handlebar: Potts Titanium Flat-Bar
Grips: Magura Ergo (Cunningham-modified)
Brakes: Cunningham LeverLink w/Cunningham Bridges (F&R)
Brake Pads: Kool-Stop Thinline Salmon
Brake Levers: Suntour XC-Pro BL-XP01
Shifters: Shimano M980 XTR (R)
Front Derailleur: N/A; Cunningham Chain Guide
Rear Derailleur: Shimano M985-GS XTR
Cassette: Shimano M980 XTR 11-36t
Chain: Shimano M980 XTR
Cranks: Middleburn RS7 180mm
Chainrings: Middleburn Uno 32t Hardcoat
Bottom Bracket: Phil Wood 6003 Press-In Bearings, 108mm JIS-LP Stainless Axle
Pedals: Shimano M985 XTR Clipless
Hub Skewers: Cunningham Slo-Release
Rims: Velocity Synergy 650Bx32h (F), 26”x36h (R)
Hubs: Cunningham/Hi-E 115mm 32h (F), WTB New Paradigm 140mm 36h (R)
Tires: Pacenti Neo-Moto 650Bx2.1” (F), WTB ExiWolf 26x2.1” (R)
Saddle: Cinelli Unicanitor “Track”
Seatpost: Cunningham Fixed-Angle
Seatpost QR: Cunningham Lightweight
Bottle Cage(s): Cunningham/Nitto “XL”
Chainstay Protector: WTB Repro (Cunningham-modified)
Pump: Zefal Solibloc, seatpost/internal (Cunningham-modified)
Happy to answer questions --- and possibly find/take better pics of anything that catches your attention.