Frame #12 – TK’s 29er touring machine

For the next frame I’m building my buddy TK a 29er MTB set up for touring (TK is who I started MTB riding with on Mt. Tam in the 80’s as kids).  This bike isn’t too custom, it’s his favorite geometry from his current carbon Orbea frame but handmade in steel by me with the addition of certain ‘toury’ things like eyelets for panniers, 3 water bottle cage mounts, and low mount Paragon dropouts so the rear disc caliper doesn’t get in the way of the pannier.

Only 2 pics to date, but i’ll post more when i take em.  The downtube is a pre-bent 35mm, 9/6/9 from Nova and I wanted to try this out on this frame since it’s a pretty compact front triangle and he’s putting on a 100mm Fox F29 (with a tapered steerer and 15QR) so this bent tube will help the fork clear the downtube.  It’s not totally necessary but allows me to place the downtube lower on the head tube than I’d be able to with a straight downtube resulting in a stronger front triangle (in theory).  Plus, it also kinda looks cool.  But holy crap, it a pain in the ass to miter! Maybe it’s just me (likely), but getting it in phase so that the bend is not going out to one side was more of a problem than I’d anticipated.  My mitering setup isn’t the latest and greatest so I ended up filing a bunch to make this fit while using the angle finder on the tube blocks while in the frame jig to get it all straight/in phase. I guess it’ll only get easier now that i’ve done it once, right…?

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