I’ve started building frame #6. It’ll be very similar to the last frame – a 19″ 29er MTB – but this time with a 44mm head tube from Paragon and shorter chainstays (430mm/17″). I’ve also shortened the front-center to 685mm but kept the head tube angle at 69 and the seat tube angle at 72 so it’ll be toight! I used to be a fan of long top tubes, but for a 29er ‘trail’ bike that has just doesn’t work. A touring or fire road flyer it still works well but not for the kind of ride I’m looking to simulate right now!
I offset the seat tube this time to 7mm which is pretty far. In fact, there’s some gap issues in the miter so I think i’ll stick with 5mm from now on. A hammer took care of the part of the mitered tube that was sticking out too much but not something I’m too into replicating from now on.
To fit the really big head tube, I had to tinker. The Access 65 doesn’t have cones that fit a 44mm (inner diameter) head tube – only 1″ and 1-1/8″ head tubes, but luckily I found some on eBay that fit perfectly! They are for a motorcycle jig but they fit the inner bore of the head tube rod perfectly. So I flipped the HJ cones around, slid on the new bigger cones, and voila’.
The PMW head tube is a total beast. Totally overbuilt for what I’ll be riding but it’ll allow me to enter the 21st century of bicycling components (zero stack headset (ZS-44) from Cane Creek). It’s 115mm in length and with a suspension fork I should be able to get the same stack as a bike with a 105mm head tube with external cup bearings. We’ll see. I can’t buy a new fork so hopefully it’ll fit fine. Let this be a reminder to y’all…don’t cut the steerer too short!