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Paging Steve_O - Kelly questions(10 posts)

Paging Steve_O - Kelly questionssfrider
Aug 15, 2003 9:03 PM
I just bought a Kelly cross frame and will be building it up as soon as it's painted. I have a few questions:

- What is the headset set up - 1 threadless or 1/18 threadless. They list both on their website, I think it's a misprint.
- How did you build your Kelly - likes/dislikes? ( I hope I didn't ask you this before)
- Will they put the decals under the clearcoat as recommended in a post here?
- Are you using 135mm hubs? It seems easier to find prebuilt 130mm road wheelsets.
- Got pix?

re: Paging Steve_O - Kelly questionsjm3
Aug 15, 2003 10:07 PM
My recently purchased Knobby X came w/a 1 inch head tube. 1 1/8 would be a custom option, I believe. The frame is set for 135 mm spacing, and it's important to keep this in mind because it's also built for use of a triple crankset. So, you'll have the mount whatever cranks you're using on a nice wide bottom bracket. For instance, I'm using FSA carbon cranks (double rings 50/38) and the inner chainring & non-drive crank arm both have about 5 mm clearance from the chainstays using a 115 mm bottom bracket. This, even though I had them re-set the frame to 130 mm spacing before they shipped it to me.

Also, while I love the frame, my Pauls neo-retro brake is overwhelming the fork. It's pretty, but is also pretty flexy. After only two months I'm already looking at replacing the fork with something a bit more stout.

As for the decals, yeah it would be nice to have them under a clearcoat, but I don't believe they clearcoat their frames (unless you're getting a custom paint scheme).

This is a great frame - I'm having a blast riding steel again after 13 years of carbon bikes. Kelly was a great company to deal with. Have fun w/yours.
Thanks - are mtb components an issue?sfrider
Aug 17, 2003 8:17 AM
Thanks for the info, do you have any pixs of your bike? Also, since I don't really have any components, I think I will build up the bike with mtb parts as they recommend. Are there any issues/disadvantages with using mtb components on a cross bike other than the weight of a triple? Also, what's the max chainring size I can run with an XT or LX crank?
hey SF riderjrm
Aug 18, 2003 7:09 AM
Im on Alameda and
I have a 1 year old Kelly 55cc rootbeer cross bike. Unless you want to go with new stuff i have a complete LX drivetrain and brake set, kelly takeoffs, and Ritchey bio pro bar. Or you can buy the bike complete with the OE WTB wheelset and a 130mm road set. E me if this sounds good to you.
Aug 18, 2003 5:58 AM
jm3 answered a look of your questions so this is just a recap...

- Kelly's Headset is 1" threadless. So is their fork. You could probably go custom on an 1-1/8" HS but you'd probably be looking at a different mfrs fork.

- My current build for the Kelly looks like this:

Frame - 55x55cm
Fork - Kelly
Brakes - Suntour XC Comp Cantilevers (See Pict)
Stem - Salsa threadless
Bars - Salsa Bell Lap 44cm
Shifting - Ultegra
Cranks - Shimano 105 175mm with alloy chainring bolts and Ritchey rings 38/48t
Chain - SRAM
Cassette - Ultegra 12-27t
F Derailleur - Ultegra
R Derailleur - Shimano XT
Wheels - XTR hubs, Wheelsmith spokes, Velocity Fusion Rims (See Picts)
Post - Thomson
Saddle - Flite

- Likes and dislikes -

Likes - Stiff frame, sealed tubes (no water flows into the BB shell, Breezer style dropouts, Price (shop deal), matching fork, powder coat paint.

Dislikes - fork could be a little stiffer, decals are exposed to the elements, Kelly could update their website more often ;-)

- Decals - I'd rather have the decals under a clear coat instead of exposed. Some people claim that the exposed decals are easy to replace if they get damaged (makes sense). Since I have a few of the decals peeling (3 years and 6k miles) I called Kelly a while back to ask about new decals. A set is $30. Based on that price and the fact that the performance of the bike isn't hindered I probably won't worry about decals until I sell the bike. If I had to do it over again though I would have probably asked about the option of having the decals under the clearcoat (assuming a powder coated frame can be clear coated). Best to ask Kelly on this one...

- 135mm Hubs - Having a 135mm hub makes sense for me since it builds a stronger rear wheel (I go 195lbs). The big issue is the availability of "off the shelf" wheels that are 700c/135mm spacing. I originally bought a set of SunRingle Cyclocross wheels but had countless problems with brokes spokes. At 1200 miles the rims showed cracking under the spoke eyelets. Since then I have simply chosen to build my own wheels. Any shop or catalog house should be able to build you a strong, light set of wheels using MTB hubs and 700c rims... And if you do it right often you will have a lighter, more durable wheelset then some of the prebuilt factory wheels...

- Picts - Frame Picts
thanks - road vs mtb components?sfrider
Aug 18, 2003 12:09 PM
Yeah,I figured it was a 1" headset, but it says 1 1/8" on their website - must be typo. I asked them about the paint and they don't use a clearcoat. I may go with XTR hubs (since they are on sale) and have a set of wheels built,I just didn't want to spend a lot of $$. Know of any good rims on sale anywhere?

I am still trying to figure out drivetrain components. Whay are you using road front derailleur, cranks, and cassette? They say their frame is designed for a triple mtb crank. Is there a disadvantage to running this versus a road crank other than weight? Can I put a bigger outer ring on a Shimano mtb crank? Any advice on road versus mtb drivetrain? I have the Kelly Take-Off shifters.
thanks - road vs mtb components?Chicago_Steve
Aug 18, 2003 1:00 PM
- Rims - Since Excel Sports has such a great deal on XTR hubs maybe talk to them about building up a wheelset for you? Otherwise try Mike Garcia at Mike has a pretty loyal following on MTBr and does good work... Or buy a Performance truing stand for $30 and you can do it yourself...

- Drivetrain - I started off with an XT FD, XT cranks, ES70 BB, 11-30T XT cassette, and XT derailluer. I'm not a racer (no CX series in the Chicago area) and I use my Kelly for 80% road, 20% offroad. The first thing to go was the XT FD. The cage of the derailleur would hit larger knobby tires when in the granny gear. A switch to an Ultegra FD fixed this issue. The next issue was the crank. I was starting to run out of high gears on the XT crankset when riding on the road so I went to a road crankset (first Ritchey then Shimano). To make a road crankset work without having the 48T ring hit the chainstay I used an Ultegra triple BB (118mm). I probably could have went to a 48t ring on the XT crankset (like you suggest) but the big ring/big ring chainline is a little ackward and I wanted to see if a road crankset would improve it (it did). The final switch was to an Ultegra 12-27t cassette. There are few hills in the Chicago area and this gearing seemed to suit me better.

There's nothing wrong with the MTB gearing (its what Kelly specs) just be aware that if you want to push bigger gears on the road, having a 46t or 48t big ring is nice. You can get these rings for MTB cranksets, but they are not real common for the current Shimano XT bolt pattern. To make matters worse I'm a tinker who doesn't mind switching around components here and there. Here is the bike after it was first built. I've probably switched out 80% of the components!
thanks - road vs mtb components?sfrider
Aug 18, 2003 10:03 PM
Thanks, how do/did you like those tires? Are they the Michelin Mud or Sprint tires?
Aug 19, 2003 6:03 AM

- Good traction
- Rolls better then expected
- sheds mud better then expected (maybe Michelins Silicium is not hype?!)
- tread wears fairly well over time.
- Tire is green!

- Tire is green?
- Sidewalls are a little thin (see pict)
- the 30c size is more like 35c
- Spendy

- Great race tire but a little spendy for training. I cut the sidewall on one and sewed it up but the tire eventually died a quick death.
thanks - road vs mtb components?Sadlebred
Aug 18, 2003 6:37 PM
An XTR Front Derailleur should be able to handle a 44 front ring.