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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many thanks to all the great info and advice recieved from this forum:thumbsup:

Some of you may remember a few posts of mine as I was trying to get my first frame rolling... it rolls... nicely.

Heres a few thoughts that have stuck with me after the process, perhaps they might help the next newbie with his first frame -

-You do NOT build your own bike frame to save money (fortunately I knew this going in). Tube set (basic Dedaccia oversize MTB tubeset ~$100 +$50 to replace fubared tubes), Paragon BB shell and sliders (~$150) basic 80/20 frame jig (~$250 in parts), misc supplies (files, filler etc ~$100), paying a shop to ream/face HT, ST and BB ($125).

-Tig welding thin wall chromolly bike frames is harder than I thought. Low amperage, tiny beads, out of position, keeping track of sequence to avoid warping, ooops, burnt another hole:madmax:

-After coping your tubes, be sure to square off the sharp edges. I'm pretty sure that leaving the thin, sharp edges increases your chances of burning holes.

-Do not expect to ride your first frame:D

-Do not use expensive Paragon dropouts on your first frame

-It is absolutely amazing how strong thin wall tubing with crapy welds actually is

-Bottom bracket shells have a drive/non-drive side (oops again)

-Don't be too worried about the allignment of your first frame. I purposely have not checked allignment on mine (I don't want to know), but the tires don't rub, and it rides just fine.

-Triple, no make that quadruple check fork (including lockout knob) clearance to down tube. C'mon, who REALLY needs a lockout knob?

-That first ride on a frame "I" built... How's that saying go? PRICELESS

Anyways, heres a few pics -

Copied what I like about my current ride (Ventana El salt), added attributes from an El Toro, and tweaked it to be a bit like an Independent fab custom. Then tweaked it some more to better fit me -

Built a jig outa 80/20 -



Crappy welds and backwards BB-


Ready to RIDE!


Cant wait to find an excuse to build my next frame:thumbsup:
 

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Fantastic!

There is nothing like riding a bike you built yourself for the first time. I still remember my first ride - an other wise pretty mediocre spin around Walker Ranch here in Boulder. I couldn't get the grin off my face and couldn't shut up about how great it was afterwards...

Maybe a sticky for "my first frame" pics and stories? That might be a fun alternative to the "roll call" we've got now...

-Walt
 

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Like you said, "PRICELESS"

Good job. #2 will cost you a lot more money in parts and tools, but it will also turn out quite nice by comparison. You will continue to make mistakes, but you crossed the biggest hurdle.

Don't paint #1 with anything but rattlecan. Save the money for #2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Walt, you nailed it.

The first ride is almost hard to put into words. I was 90% sure the frame would break at the dropouts as soon as I sat on it, they didnt. So I rode accross my backyard, down 4 steps, dropped into the local singletrack and was absolutely shocked that it was still unbroken.

It felt fast, really fast, handled better than I could have imagined and the most shocking was how well it climbed (granted I havent ridden anything other than a full susser in years). By the end of the ride I was beating on it, hitting ruts, jumping 3' gaps. I was absolutely grinning from ear to ear.

My main riding buddies roll their eyes and walk away when I talk about it:rolleyes: They don't get it.

PVD, This frame will only see WD-40;)

Right you are about the second frame, I'm allready keeping one eye on Craigslist for a horizontal mill. Pulser for the Tig, allready ordered. Wonder what it will cost me to make a set of heat sinks? Jig to mill the seat stays together...

Schmitty, Good eye. I walked every isle in HD looking for "cone shaped objects". The plumb bobs worked out great. I think I'm going to drill them for backpurging on the next frame.
 

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Solamar said:
Walt, you nailed it.

The first ride is almost hard to put into words. I was 90% sure the frame would break at the dropouts as soon as I sat on it, they didnt. So I rode accross my backyard, down 4 steps, dropped into the local singletrack and was absolutely shocked that it was still unbroken.

It felt fast, really fast, handled better than I could have imagined and the most shocking was how well it climbed (granted I havent ridden anything other than a full susser in years). By the end of the ride I was beating on it, hitting ruts, jumping 3' gaps. I was absolutely grinning from ear to ear.

My main riding buddies roll their eyes and walk away when I talk about it:rolleyes: They don't get it.

PVD, This frame will only see WD-40;)

Right you are about the second frame, I'm allready keeping one eye on Craigslist for a horizontal mill. Pulser for the Tig, allready ordered. Wonder what it will cost me to make a set of heat sinks? Jig to mill the seat stays together...

Schmitty, Good eye. I walked every isle in HD looking for "cone shaped objects". The plumb bobs worked out great. I think I'm going to drill them for backpurging on the next frame.
Nice job. I love the ride of my first (and only) bike too. I amazed myself that it's still together...lol.
Great idea with the plum bobs...Home Depot here I come....
I think I may have to pursue and 80/20 jig. It seems like it might be just easier to start from scratch then adapt my partial plate jig.
 

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Holy Crap - that looks like an excellent first frame to my untrained eyes (well except the bb thing - but that sounds like something I'd forget to do also!)

Nice work and congratulations. Pretty nice jig you've got going on there too. Well done Sir, well done!
 

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Gorilla Evo
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I agree with mmcg, that is a nice looking frame, you should be proud of it. when I read your first thread I thought the frame would be terrible. so not be so harsh on your self. you have done a fine job. ride it and be happy (sure you will) and start planning your second frame.
nice jig by the way.
 

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I had thought about the plumb bobs too at one point. I ended up finding a set of cones made for chopper building on ebay for $30.

Other things I looked at for centering were acorn nut style lug nuts for semi trucks and muffler pipe expanders on longer threaded stock (doubles as a heat sink...).

Another cool option would be these machinable collars (9966K12 on mcmaster.com) with the machinable face turned to a taper.
 

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The Matt
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cones

I went through the hardware store here and thought about the plumb bobs but the cones you can get on eBay end up cheaper. I was also a little worried about melting them as they looked a lot like the brass that I was brazing with. I did end up with a couple of muffler expanders. None of them fit the bb but I removed the wedges at the ends and used them as cones. It still would have been cheaper to buy a couple more cones on eBay and they look very professional.:thumbsup:

I am still riding my first (and only) frame to work every day and have more than 250 miles on it. I made a lot of mistakes and think that no matter how hard you try you are going to do something really stupid. (like brazing in crocs). Warping the bb,ht,st and really making an ugly rear disc mount. Oh and my chain hits my tire in low gears. I could go on.

With all of these problems I still show it off to every one I know.

My biggest problem with my second frame is deciding what to make. Now I see all of the possibilities and cant choose. On my first frame I could see all of the things that I needed to do so I really didn't feel as free to be creative. I made what I thought would be the easiest frame that no one could compare to anything they have ridden before.:D

Matt.
 
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