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First ever road bike, First bike I've ever built(29 posts)

First ever road bike, First bike I've ever builtninelittlepiggies
Jun 4, 2003 9:43 AM
Thank you all for the help and reviews during the last few months.

I too am a mtn bike racer convert. RB's are SO fast when you've been riding mtn bikes your whole life.

I built the frame from using 7005 Al after a lot of practice with the jigs, and the torch. (Some of the guys helped me on the final product I must admit). It is a 56.4cm with curved seat stays, and I had it powdercoated in CA. Time Sprint Fork, Cinelli Alter stem, Thomson SP, Flight saddle, Kysrium Elite, and Campy record/chorus mix. I wanted black brake calipers (stealthy look), but couldn't fork out for the $$ for the Mavics, so used the black Shimano 105's. Tips the scales just shy of 18lbs (sans pedals, H20 cage, and bar tape). Since it was my creation, I decided on Ice Axe Bicycles for the name brand ( a holdout to my other passion - mountaineering), and designed all the decals.

It has been in the making for quite a while, after extensive test rides on many other bikes. Rides like a dreamy rocket ship. Pretty tight geometry. Thanks again to everyone.
nice bikeDougSloan
Jun 4, 2003 9:46 AM
Nice. Looks like a hospital there. what's up?

nice bikeninelittlepiggies
Jun 4, 2003 10:07 AM
Ya, it is the Pediatric ICU in Portland, OR. I work there, so at least I'll get a discount when I wrap this thing around a tree.
Good Job!!!!!!!!!Lazywriter
Jun 4, 2003 9:47 AM
You actually welded the bike???? Impressive to say the least unless you do it for a living. Pretty nice set up too.
well, geez louise. how are we ever going to compete with that?bill
Jun 4, 2003 9:51 AM
maybe you have a future in this, son.
That is just too cool!!TNSquared
Jun 4, 2003 9:52 AM
I wish I had that much ambition. I'm trying to convince myself that I can even build up a frameset.

BTW - Do I spy Shimano R122 shoes? Excellent choice (what I have :))
That is just too cool!!ninelittlepiggies
Jun 4, 2003 10:03 AM
You should totally build up your own frameset. It was a lot easier that I thought it would be. I've done a bunch of mtn bikes, and this was no different. Nowadays you really don't need many special tools. I had the shop press the Headset and cut the steer tube. A headset/BB tool, crankpuller, and a set of allen wrenches did the job.

Ya those are Shimano's. I lost my toe to frostbite while mountaineering (hench the screen name ninelittlepiggies), and those were the only ones that I could wear.
Man, either get back to work or go ride already! (nm)rockbender
Jun 4, 2003 9:53 AM
re: Build me one, please.GFocker
Jun 4, 2003 9:59 AM
That is pretty cool to say you've actually built your own frame. Nice work!
re: Build me one, please.GFocker
Jun 4, 2003 10:12 AM
I live in Tualatin so you can just drop it off when your done :)
Jun 4, 2003 10:25 AM
Outstanding job! The bike looks GREAT! Very, very impressive! Whole new meaning to "I built my own bike up..."

re: First ever road bike, First bike I've ever builtSnowbird
Jun 4, 2003 10:36 AM
Beautiful bike,9LP! Can you post some detail pics?
I guessed right on the origin of your name. My toes are still very sensitive to cold after a winter mountain biking trip several years ago. Do your remaining piggies experience a greater sensitivity to cold after your exposure?
more pics by requestninelittlepiggies
Jun 4, 2003 10:48 AM
The toes do get very cold, but I've just learned to suffer through it. My worst problem is my fingers now. They turn blue a lot when I mountaineering. Rockbender can vouch for that. You may be developing Raynaud's Disease/syndrome. It is pretty common for cold weather junkies as it is aquired through many "freeze/thaw" cycles that your extremities go through in the mountains. There isn't a lot known about it though. Keep those chemical hand warmers in your jersey, and tape one to your ankle when your toes get unbearably cold.

Hope it helps
Cold feetnoveread
Jun 4, 2003 11:30 AM
My feet are the bane of my existence here in WI. My feet get so cold so easily, it really is a downer for my cold weather riding. In 50 degree temps with shoes and wool cycling socks my feet get very, very cold! Although for me it is not a result of a winter activity, but rather a summer activity: a 700 mile canoe trip in the NWT a decade+ ago...

one more pic by requestninelittlepiggies
Jun 4, 2003 10:49 AM
AL frame question....ClydeTri
Jun 4, 2003 10:42 AM
Dont you have to have the whole frame heat treated after welding on AL?
AL frame question....boyd2
Jun 4, 2003 11:12 AM
Damm, that is great. I almost built a lugged steel frame back when I was in college and worked at a bike shop. I really wish that I had done it now.

On the heat treat issue I would think that a post weld heat treat would cause alot of distortion, but I do not know how it is normaly done.

Do you have a summary of the frame building process that you could post? I am interested in the construction of the jig, how you performed the weld, what you did to qualify the weld and where you got the raw material.
AL frame question....geeker
Jun 4, 2003 11:20 AM
I read somewhere that 7005 aluminum alloy doesn't always need to be heat treated, depending on thickness (thin/light needs heat treatment). Supposedly that's why there's such a wide range of 7005 frames: from $99 Nashbar models to $1000+ famous names.
Jun 5, 2003 5:28 AM
Heat treating (solution heat treating/age hardening) a frame will add significantly to the strength of the frame. The TIG welding process disturbs the crystal structure of the aluminium near the weld and a T6 or similar spec HT will realign the matrices. Problem is it is a staged process - after the initial heating/quenching the frame goes soft and needs to be jigged before the final hardening to ensure alignment. This adds significantly to the costs of the frame.
Impressive! Good job....nmrwbadley
Jun 4, 2003 11:12 AM
Impressive! Good job....nmboyd2
Jun 4, 2003 11:16 AM
One other question. Do you think it was cost effective? Or did you have to pay more to build one then by one?
re: First ever road bike, First bike I've ever builtAkirasho
Jun 4, 2003 12:20 PM
... impressive...

Be the bike.
Could I see a close up from under the bottom bracket shell?tempeteOntheRoad
Jun 4, 2003 2:55 PM
I would really like to see how you made that! This is a very nice looking bike.

Of course there would be no serial number... I just cannot believe you built such a nice bike!

Jun 4, 2003 7:33 PM
Like the stem. And it's short which is nice. Should we all just make our frames instead of buying? Can I borrow the jig? I'll give you my four pairs of climbing shoes (most need resoles)?
Nice Bike!ripper
Jun 4, 2003 10:00 PM
what hospital?
re: First ever road bike, First bike I've ever builtaliensporebomb
Jun 5, 2003 3:12 AM
Beautiful bike - looks like it came right out of a store.

Now I can't stop thinking about...boyd2
Jun 5, 2003 4:32 AM
building my own bike frame. My wife is going to kill me.
Some Answersninelittlepiggies
Jun 5, 2003 9:12 AM
Sorry I didn't get back sooner, I took it for the first good ride last night with the girlfriend. Here are some or the answers to some of the posed questions.

1.  Yes it is TIG welded with big FAT "snake scale" welds like you'd see on a mtn. bike.  Not some nice Colnago job.  And no I didn't weld everything (as stated in the post), I had a lot of help

2.  Cost:  Well that is a funny thing.  I'm friends with a guy that works for a local bike building company (sorry I can't say who it is cause we did it during off hours).  The owner of the recumbunt company is a father of a friend who lets him employees built their own bikes, but turns his head while they are doing it.  So the jig belonged to the welders and it is highly variable, almost like a pegboard where you can lock in your jig.  So the cost was $100 cash, 10 enlarged pictures (I do a bunch of amatuer adventure photography on the side) approx $100, 10 frames for the pictures (approx - $150), plus about 20 pints of Fat Tire (going market rate).  Was it worth it?  Depends, I've got my own bike frame specified for me.  The welds are big, and it doesn't have a warranty.  Plus it took a lot of time and practice and help. I have no idea what the cost would have been if I hadn't known anyone or gotten basically free tubes. I know UBI offers a Ti framebuilding class in Ashland, OR.

3.  The AL was already butted for me and I really don't know where to get the stock at, I just got it from the shop.

4.  I was not heat treated.  7005 does not always have to be heat treated (as seen in above posts).  I do know that powdercoating it exposes the frame to a significant amount of heat (I think), but I'm ignorant as to how hot.

5.  The BB shell does have a serial number on it, the same type of serial number as would be found on this companies bikes.  They have a whole shelf of BB blanks with S# stamped in them already.   I had to get
the correct size, then drill 5 holes in it.  2 for the seat stays, 1 for the ST, 1 for the DT, and one small one to attach the cable guide (tapped).

6.  This wasn't my first frame.  I made a bunch that turned out like sh!t. This was my first frame that I liked and came out well.

Pro and Cons:

-A bit heavier than production bikes
-Not a production bike
-Big fat (mountainbike-esk) welds
-No warranty
-A very long time to learn and produce
-Met some cool guys, who would have done everything for me if I didn't push them out of the way.
-I get to ride now.
-I wish I would have painted it, instead of powdercoated it.
-I'm worried the decals will fade even though they are clear coated.
-Lots of beer was consumered
-In hindsight, I wish I would have welded an AL bottle opener somewhere on the frame. It would definately give it a personal touch.

Went for my first ride last night.  So much fun - blissfull right now.
Jun 5, 2003 9:46 AM
Mitering the tubes is another big deal. You use a hole saw, then file the rest by hand. You do this when at the ends of the tubes (ex. the DT needs to be mitered so it fits snug with the circular BB shell).