Category Archives: Bike Builds & Upgrades

Fat Bike – 9:zero:9

finished fat bike

My 135mm offset 9:zero:7 is finally all put together. It has Large Marge Light rims laced to a Shimano XT hub at the back and a Surly hub at the front. It’s mainly SRAM x7 drivetrain components, except for a Shimano XT E-type front derailluer. We also have blingy Race Face Turbine cranks.

Brakes are Avid BB7 mechanical discs.

The tyres are 45 North Husker Dus, and I’m running 29″er tubes because the Surly tubes were out of stock.

The bike weighs 13.4kgs, not bad for a fatty! I haven’t had a chance to ride it far yet but it is pretty fun to ride in the sandpit at the park across the road and not worry about digging in and falling off! I do want some Crudcatcher mudguards though as the HuDus seem to pick stuff up and fling it at me as I ride.

Anyway, off to ride it now.



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9:zero:7, bringing a bit of Alaska to Perth

Finally my beautiful Carver O’Beast fork arrived from the USA, so did a small amount of assembly. At this point the frame/fork/stem/bars feels light. Of course the heaviest component is to come…. the wheelset.

9:zero:7 and o'beast

After much deliberation I decided to get a Large Marge Light wheelset built by – I thought about ordering the parts and doing the build myself but it turned out that the Bikeman price for a custom built wheel is highly competitive.

I’ve also got some RaceFace turbine fatbike cranks on their way – I got the red ones because they were the only ones in stock that were 170mm and they look pretty cool. Not sure how they are going to go with the orange frame, but I think they’ll be OK. People aren’t going to look much past the 4 inches of rubber anyway.

At this stage I’m aiming to have the build finished by the start of March, just in time for it to start cooling down and the beach crowds to start thinning out.


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Random Bike Builds – Urban Singlespeed MTB Commuter

I wrote about this bike before, and before I get started on my next expensive project, I thought I better get this on-the-cheap one going.

About a month ago we had a nice, unseasonable, warm weekend and I took the opportunity to break out the spray cans.

My theory is that the best temperature to paint in is somewhere between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius. It’s also good to leave the cans outside in the sun just before you plan to use them so that they can warm up a bit. The paint will then come out in a more uniform way and it will minimise drips.

Multiple thin paint layers also minimise drips and drops. I laid down 2 coats of flat black on the frame and the fork, then some sparkly green highlights, and a couple of coats of clear. Due to the nice warm temperature outside the paint was drying quickly.

I let the frame cure for about a week before I decided to build it up. I put a set of steel square taper cranks on the bike, removed the outermost ring (with my handy dremel to cut the heads of the ‘bolts’ holding it on), and ran the chain from the granny to the 10t microdrive on the back.

It has fat tyres on it at the moment as they were what I had lying around. The fat tyres and the 28T – 10T gear ratio makes the thing a bit tall in terms of gear inches, but with some nice thin tyres on it it should be a great ratio.

The front wheel needs truing as well, so there’s a bit of work to do. This is going to be a cool little commuter.


Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Bike Builds & Upgrades


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Random Bike Builds: Single Speed MTB urban commuter

I have done a few bike builds lately, basically I start with a frame that gives me some inspiration and seek to make something of it. Most of the stuff I have is what serious roadies consider obsolete trash. This new project makes use of the Cromoly steel frame and fork from my first real mountain bike. It has an old style 1″ threaded steerer, but it’s not heavy, and because I am short it’s actually quite hard for me to find frames that are the right size for me on the second hand market.

I stripped this frame some time ago and I put a coat of primer on it, mainly for storage. I did an order with Wiggle for some bits and pieces.

SS MTB Build

I decided to lay all the parts down to help with the motivation process

So here we have a Halo Combat wheel with a 10T driver, SRAM Truative cranks, Wellgo platform BMX pedals, Token lock on grips, Clarks brake cables, the frame of a 1999 Malvern Star Vertigo, bars and stem from the Repco out the back which I picked up off the verge, a seat post from the Vertigo…. and a cheap saddle.

I’m going to paint the frame/forks/seatpost/bars/stem flat black. Tomorrow I will acquire some paint. I have some nice Halo stickers that came with the wheel to put on the fork.

The budget for this bike is $250. I am going to get pretty close to it. A lot of people would say ‘why bother, you can get something for $350 and not have to do any work’.

I am just attached to the frame & fork, and I hate to see things go to waste. Old road bikes make good singlespeeds because of their horizontal dropouts – the problem is that old road bikes that fit short people like me are very few and far between … so this bike is kind of an alternative to the hipster singlespeed for short people. We shall see how it turns out.


Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Bike Builds & Upgrades


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My Bikes: Upgrading the CRX2

The CRX with shiny new hoops

The CRX2 was looking and feeling a little bit tired, so when I saw someone selling a set of very lightly used DT-Swiss 1800s off their Giant TCR I decided to snap them up. I am fairly happy with the performance of the DT1800s on my TCR, so I thought they would have to be better than the R500s the CRX came stock with about 13,000kms ago.

The DT1800s roll smooth like butter and it’s really given the CRX a new lease on life. It’s my favorite commuter again. They also have a unique kind of hum when they are rolling – it is amplified by the fat tubes on the TCR, so they are a bit more subtle on the aluminium CRX.

It’s amazing the difference a wheel upgrade makes to a bike that is feeling a little tired.

The R500s will go onto a gaspipe Repco Mixte that I picked up off ebay for $10. The Mixte came complete, except for wheels. I stripped it last autumn, but it’s been too cold and wet to actually paint it, since I have to paint outside. I enjoy painting frames, so decided I would rattle can this instead of sending it to the powdercoaters. Hopefully I will get a chance to actually paint it in the next month or so!

The Repco Mixte


Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Bike Builds & Upgrades


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