As almost all of my bike projects begin, I found a for-sale ad on the interwebs. NOS Marin frame, located a 1 hour ride outside of Copenhagen. The owner didn’t know much about it, but when I went to have a look, I could tell it was nice because of how light it was. Totally pristine, only a few marks from storage, and at a silly good price too. I think its a 1993 Team Issue or something. I had a good Kona P2 fork for it, and decided a mix of purple and blue components would be fun. Plunked in the upside down chris king and FSA headset on day one, and it ended up sitting around for over a year.
The plan was to build a super reliable all year commuter, that I could use a front child seat on for my son. My Nishiki which I previously used for riding with him in the Yepp Mini chair has a pretty short toptube, making me need to flare my knees out tons while pedaling. This new Marin frame is nice and long, so there will hopefully be more room for him and proper pedaling. Combined with a sweepy bar, I’ll be able to sit nice and comfy, without having my chest knocking his head around while riding.
I was initially planning on running disc front and V rear, but after i built up the wheels, I couldn’t get my self to do it. I had the good Sam at RedFox Cycles weld a disc tab on the back. Side note: It seems adding disc tabs to bikes is a bit of a gamble each time, in terms choosing the right tab/mount, position, rotor size and fit. The disc tab on Johan’s Specialized ended up working really well on the top of the seatstays with a brace in the triangle. This time we had a post mount that worked perfectly on the inside of the triangle, positioned for a 180mm disc without an adapter. So #deepcustom, and I was even envisioning big rotors from the start too. He also crimped the chainstays even more to make room for the extra tire width given by the super wide rims.
The wheels were my first proper wheel build. I’d been replacing spokes at up to about 8 at a time on bikes before, so I was confident enough to start with such a posh build. They turned out better than I’d hoped, stiff, true, and with a wonderful sense of satisfaction. I used this youtube tutorial. I actually bought the King hubs with a broken flange, but because Chris King is rad, and now has life time warranty on everything, I sent them to Cosmic Sports (the european CK HQ) and they returned with two completely new hub shells, and serviced internals! The rims are Rockmann rear 26″ trials rims. 48mm wide, cutouts for weight saving, and heavyduty rim tape to make sure the tubes dont come bulging out. Trials riders run crazy low pressure, and very fat sticky tires, often banging the rim on railings, rocks, and other stuff. The wide rims help avoid pinch flats and rolling the tire off the rim. It’s nice to know the wheelset can take a beating. Real floaty, and confidence inspiring. Oh yea, and I used straight gauge 2mm spokes!
Sram shifters, always. The cachunk audio and physical feedback you get when pushing those trigger paddles simply beats everything else out there. The 9 speed stuff happens to be the best at this, but Im running 10 speed on this setup. Might upgrade to 9s later on. 38t narrow wide on 26″ wheels is the perfect commuter gearing. The hillyness of my surroundings and intended use determines the cassette range. 11-36 in this case is plenty. Sunrace cassette, black, extra #cool.
The Middleburn cranks came up on ebay not too long ago, and had to have them. Combined with those colourful self extracting bolts and a Superstar Components chainring, it was perfect. The price was far too high, but was acceptable after negotiating the used chainrings out of the deal. Getting a good bargain has almost become a requirement for all of my bike related purchases now. I guess that says something about the hoarder like volumes of stuff i have, but also from knowing that the good deals ARE out there, you just got to be patient.
I have no idea what the seatpost is, some people say american classic, some say USE, i think its a cheap ebay thing. I bought it used ages ago for nothing, and happened to fit the weird seat tube diameter of this frame. Shimano poorman’s bling brakes (MT-500) for that proper mtb feel without the cost. ESI grips, Brooks All Weather C17 Carved of course, Specialized Pizza rack, and these sick plastic Omnium pedals.
The cockpit is special. The retro GT stem with a 25.4mm clamp and double bolt faceplate, featuring a hidden internal steerer clamp. It’s sporting the faux Salsa decals made by the cool folks at 100tacos. The bars look a lot like the Velo Orange Klunker, but I happened to find these for sale years before they released theirs. Hand made by the guy I bought them from, who was a chopper/cruiser bicycle builder. Thats a whole different world that not many know exist.. woah. The cross bar is a bit crooked, and there’s some metal debris in there rattling around. That’s a part of the charm.. i guess.
I think the Maxxis Holy Roller 2.4 is my new favourite tire for this kind of bike. The tread’s got that brapp moto/dirtjump vibe, decently fast rolling, decent depth for when things get loose, not light not heavy. They make you want to yank the back brake and skid, unlike thunderburts which feel paper thin compared to these.
Mudguards! My go to is usually SKS, but im not a fan of the plastic safety release feature on the front, because it makes everything a lot less sturdy. This time, I tried the Curana C-Lite, and I could’t be more stoked. The stays are shown to be mounted on the inside of the guard which is a no go for me. Debris snags and builds up in there, and makes it tough to get a tight fenderline. I was banking on the attachment mechanism allowing to be flipped in order to mount the stays on the outside. I banked right. It is possible, and the stays are long enough too. They are not disc specific, so something to bring it out or drop the stay to clear the caliper is required (such as a 2 Kroner coin). The length coverage is however pretty weak, so some flaps are mandatory if you want to stay dry. I’ve collected a number of different plastic and rubber materials throughout time, and ended up using three different flaps on these mudguards. The most important one at the bottom of the front guard, is made from a 1.5mm thick sheet of rubber from ebay. Getting that as low as possible is crucial, and really saves your feet, BB, chainring, and entire drivetrain from the elements. The stiffness is out of this world, even riding one handed with a big heavy flap at the bottom, the stays stay right where they should be! Decent price too!
I was planning on sticker bombing it to the point of no bare spots, but realized I had a handful of nice clean white and black stickers, and couldn’t get myself to cover up those nice clean steel tubes. Fixie-king.dk is the old danish messenger (and other bike nerds) forum that died a while ago (r.i.p, this is where it all started for me), FISTA STKLM is a rad bunch of skids in Sweden who also are the masters of DIY racks and frame mods seen on their FISTA GARAGE page. THLP is custom mess bags, SAVE THE RAT BIKE is the good @bankiren who sent me lots of these stickers, and #SKITFOLK is this original gangster @god__galland. High Vol is the rad Kade from the US who dedicates his profile to great photos of bikes with big tires! He happens to be the man pumping out my Ride slow die whenever stickers, on his very own personal vinyl cutter. And finally, the KØR DØR sticker is the legendary Hulsroy who’s made this his mantra. He’s also the man behind the torch on Jesper’s All Road Bike, where you can read more about the KØR DØR story.
I think ill stop now. Most of you just look at the pictures anyway <3