I was inspired by Marcus’ Soma Wolverine to step up the frame game. So I went with a Velo Orange Piolet. Here it is mostly built-up with parts from the Soma Double-cross (which will shortly be for sale). The cassette was deeply gunked-up and required a deep cleaning with parts cleaner and a scraper. I’m not sure what lube produced that sticky sludge, but I’m suspecting the BoeShield. Maybe it’s not really suitable for real winter … In order to clear the chain stays, however, I needed a mountain crankset (73mm BB vs 68mm BB). That created weirdness with the chain line, so I ended up pulling a small (38t) chain ring from the parts bin and mounting it on the inside of the crank. Clears the chain stays, has a nice chain line, and allows the use of the Paul chain keeper. So, it looks a little weird, but seems to work like a champ. I went cheap and rugged for the fenders. The Planet Bike ones are just easier to work with than the VO fenders despite the VO ones being way better looking. I have the 42mm studs on for winter commuting, so there’s a lot of fender gap. That will disappear when I put Schwalbe Super Moto 29-er (2.3″) tires on. The steerer tube I left long (with a big stack of spacers) to see if a more upright riding position is easier on the back. That may come down in the future. I’m also digging the full length cable housing for the shifter. I was a foot-dragger for brake cables, but I came to like the “fully-contained-system-ness” of each component – and am liking that aspect with the shifting as well. It will make seasonal tear-down and clean sessions way easier! The cable clamp system on the underside of the down tube is cool too – nicer than the plastic clip approach.
My only gripe with the frame was that the geometry diagram on the VO website shows the seat tube measured from the center of the BB to the top of the TT. They actually measure to the top of the seat tube, a difference of 1.5″. So, the frame is a little smaller than I thought.
Anyway, here’s some pics of it out and about.