So for a very long time ever since I was a little kid I wanted a titanium mountain bike. Unfortunately paper routes + allowance money could never afford such luxuries. I remember reading Mountain Bike Action Magazines as a kid. Drooling over the pictures of Litespeeds, Merlins, Kona Hei Heis and King Kahunas. I actually was ready to buy a Kona King Kahuna reproduction for the past 2 years (2007 & 2008), but Kona never imported that frame to North America in 2007 and did not in 2008. Hence I went with a full squish last year. I had built up a full suspension bike last year to experience what full squishy is like. Prior to that I had only ridden hardtails, and I missed the shear sprint power that a hardtail brings.
Last year's build: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=427351
The 90s were days of anodized CNC'd parts from Kooka, Pauls, Ringle, Answer, Hope, TNT... I loved those days. My favorite color was definitely 3D Violet (3DV aka Purple aka my eyes hurt color). My dream bike back then was
3DV Chris King headset
3DV Ringle Hubba Bubba Hubs
3DV Ringle Post
3DV Kooka Cranks
Philwood square taper BB
XTR M952 front D
XTR M952 shifters
Pauls Rear Derailleur
Mavic 517 rims
For which I actually researched for many weeks trying to find NOS parts or even taking modern parts and re-anodizing them for the Lynskey frame. Thankfully the amount of effort required meant it was not feasible, and no one would do a custom one off purple batch of parts in Toronto. I even toyed with the idea of doing the anodizing myself, but questioned what I would do with all that acid afterwards and how to dispose of it.
The idea of lets spend stupid amounts of money and build a new bike when I had two perfectly good mountain bikes came from this picture:
The owner I believe posts over on the Vintage, Retro, Classic subforum.
So with the idea "Hey let's build your dream bike when you were a little kid." I fire sold my 2005 Specialized Stumpjumper Disc bike @ 22 lbs with every single part upgraded to put a deposit on the Lynskey frame.
Since Litespeed is a shell of what they used to be, and finding out that the Lynskey family had opened up shop after their non-compete clause with American Bicycle Group expired; meant my first seach went to http://www.lynskeyperformance.com/
The build started off with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
asking more about the M230 frame. There were some things I was looking for in the Ti frame. Breezer style dropouts, shaped tubing, under Top tube cable routing. The stock M230 frame that Lynskey offered on their site seemed to fit me perfectly. For a couple of hundred more bucks I got: slightly lengthened top tube, Level 2 bi-axially shaped downtube, the routing moved to the top. The discussion of selecting a Ti frame came to be in the thread below (thanks to all who contributed in that thread):
Jack from Lynskey was the guy I dealt with over the emails. This is what I told Jack during one of our email exchanges,
"What I want my bike to do?"
* Cut up the single track
* Climb like a mountain goat
* Win races
* Sub 17.5 Lbs race ready bike (sub 2.85 lbs frame if possible)
He responded. Not a problem. We traded emails back and forth regarding questions on BB height, angles, different cable routing, axle to crown measurements of the forks I wanted to use, color etc... The frame is basically a stock 2009 M230 17" frame with slightly longer top tube with shaped downtube and level 2 upgraded tubeset (butted tubes). Then I made the splurge and called him up with my credit card information to place a deposit.
One month later he sent me a PDF file of a CAD layout of my new Bike. We traded emails back and forth while I made redlines to each drawing revision until we were both happy and I gave him the Authorization to Proceed (ATP).
One week after ATP I got an email from Jamie who looks after all the post welding finishing to see if this is how I wanted the graphics to be laid out on my bike. Yet another PDF drawing for me to approve.
By end of November they had finished my frame. I had them get a copy of my bike's drawing autographed by Chris and David Lynskey.
Meanwhile the parts collection had started. Unfortunately the Canadian Dollar tanked against the USD right around the time the financial sector imploded. Crap. The parts come from various sources:
All fasteners came from http://torontocycles.com/
Tools and other odds and ends Universal Cycles & Mountain Equipment Co-Op
Hope Brakes from http://www.wiggle.co.uk/
Middleburn Parts from Chain Reaction Cycles
Tires and Cassette from http://sales.light-bikes.com/
Tune Parts http://www.royalbicycles.com/
Wheels by Jeremy and Sarah over at http://www.alchemybicycleworks.com/
XTR Parts and other odds and ends from Ebay USA and Ebay Hong Kong
Random items from Local Bike store: http://dukescycle.ca/
The idea behind the parts selection was, Light as possible without going stupid. I can not come to terms of buying thm clavicula cranksets, or Ax lightness saddles and posts, nor could I ever justify a schmolke handlebar. So I picked what I felt was the best parts that mainstream manufacturers today have to offer. The Hope brakes pay homage to the days of CNC'd bling parts. The Easton carbon EC90 seatpost and handlebar reflect that they were one of the first companies to offer carbon fibre parts to the bicycling industry and I always wanted one. The wheels are just simply amazing, originally it was just going to be Notubes ZTR Race. After talking with Jeremy Parfitt I was again convinced to go full custom like I have done on all my other bikes.
I'm not going to re-summarize the discussion on each and every part. I do thank everyone who has contributed their 2 cents on the pros and cons of each part I have asked about:
Hope Brakes: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=483371
Middleburn RS8 DUO: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=477043
Bottom Bracket sizing: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=493284
Manitou R7 MRD cable routing: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=494385
Tune hubs, Ti spokes: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=495867
So here are some pictures...
100mm Manitou MRD R7 Absolute
Middleburn RS8 ISIS DUO 29T/42T
Talc'n the tubes and inner tire (helps a bit for pinch flats, plus your bike smells nice afterwards)
The golden bling Ti cassette
Easton EC90 setback seatpost 31.6mm w/ Titanium bolt
Cycle King carbon saddle
Anything that didn't get copper antiseize got threadlocking compound. No threads were left bare.
checking to see if there is still a gap... .0015 feeler gauge
weight of remaining steerer tube
fork, stem, headset, spacers, cap installed
104g EC90 bar installed. If you have been following this forum you will know the story.
tuned w/ anodized aluminum gold bolts
Rear wheel put together
The bike being weighed
The final built weight
Those are my poorly taken pictures. Now for some beauties that my friend Bill took for me to use to submit to the http://www.light-bikes.de/eng/2009/02/06/bike-of-the-year-contest-2009/
The bike has been assembled following all the NASA standards, processes and practices for mechanical integration of space flight hardware for manned and un-manned flight that I have learned over the 4+ years as an Aerospace Manufacturing Engineer. Comments and criticisms are welcomed.