Rich’s stainless mountain bike

Quite a few firsts for me with this build! First stainless steel mountain frame, first stainless fork, first time using Paragon’s new 12mm adjustable dropouts, first time I needed to make a set of front dropouts (because there wasn’t anything suitable available). And first wheels built with Berd spokes….. Big thanks to Chris at Pacific Metal Polishing for his careful work to make it so shiny! Then Eric at Colorworks was equally careful to beadblast the logos in place.

The frame has an 86mm wide T47 BB shell to allow room for setting the chainstays wide enough to clear 2.35″ tires. The seattube is curved and set forward to maximise tire clearance. Ovalised toptube flows into tapered seatstays to the slider dropouts. The tubing is all US-produced by KVA, including the fork blades – these were barely long enough so I needed a long dropout, and I couldn’t find anything in stainless that would work. So I designed a modular thru-axle dropout with machined aluminium faces sandwiching the stainless center. Worked out great and means that the threaded part is replaceable should the thread ever get damaged. And lighter than a full steel dropout.

Rich wanted the ability to run the bike as a singlespeed or with gears. So I built him two rear wheels – with the same DT240 hub so that disc rotor spacing will be precisely the same. Then with two chains it is quick and easy to swap the dropout insert (with derailleur attached), remove the shifter and install the alternate wheel and chain. The wireless SRAM shifting is the part that makes this seamless!

The bike weighs in at 17.6lbs in singlespeed mode, and 19.4lbs with gears.

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