Thursday, 21 October 2010

3rd Time lucky

Sitting comfortably? Right as you know I broke my hardtail a while back so I checked t'internet for a cheap replacement, 18" ragley mmmbops have similar angles/lengths to the xc120 and only £155 so I'll get one. Ordered 4th Sep, got it on the 9th, I fit the headset - pain in the arse, scratched it up getting the cups in, fit the BB, hmm not quite right, both cups aren't flush, ah well, I fit the crank anyway but there's a tight spot when I spin them. Hmm speak to Brant he says see LBS about a tap and reface, LBS's don't have the tools plus they say it looks like the BB has been tapped at an angle so facing won't work. Return to CRC, they tap and face and send it back (postage refunded thanks) fit cups, nope LBS was right cups still aren't flush. Return frame. New frame with headset cups fit by CRC (phew) BB looks better, possibly not spot on, but cranks spin fine so I'm ok with that. Finish building bike on the stand, everything done just fit the wheels. Hmm disk won't go in caliper, hang about that's not right, the nds chainstay is obviously flared out too far so post welding they have manipulated the dropout so a hub will fit in there but that's left the brake mounts wayyyyy out of line. Hmm, return frame. Get a call from CRC "whats wrong with it?" fair enough I didn't spot it straight away "try fitting a wheel" "ah, refund or new frame" well I've had to buy a headset, seatpost collar and BB/cranks to fit this and I'm still without a bike so replacement frame it is. CRC do a proper job on this, fit a brake and wheel, fit my BB cups give it a thorough once over and finally 6 weeks after ordering I get a working frame. Not bad customer service but I've got reservations about the ragley factory QC.

Anyway I finally got it out for a ride last night, first impressions too small, too stiff, too green, too loud. While a similar length and angles the frame is not as tall as the 120, a 400mm seatpost is right on the limit of minimum insert (or possibly over, minimum insert mark has rubbed off), I have 2.5" of spacers on the steerer. Going over rocks shakes me up despite using the same tyres and forks as before, shoulders and legs all battered after wildeswood. The big ali tubes amplify every sound, freehub tick, grit hitting the downtube, gear changes etc. So not going great then, however as the ride went on I started to like it, definitely stiff but maybe not as bad as I thought, I'm still used to riding the heckler and don't think my arms and shoulders have recovered yet from weekend. It's a similar length to the kinesis but lower and at the end of the ride I was starting to rip into corners, pushing harder than usual. So more punishing but more accurate, could be interesting, the jurys still out and the search begins for a cheapish >400mm seatpost.

Frame number 2, hmm theres something not quite right there. Wonky rear end

Very green isn't it? Full build, it needs a new saddle and a higher rise stem, other than that seems ok


samuri said...

bummer. That's a pity. The dropout looks like it might have bent in transit. The green is OK, you're stuck with it now anyway, although you could get it blasted and powdercoated. It's all very fast, you'd have it back in less than a week.

lowey said...

I feel sick.

Julbags said...

Thought my original 456 was "green" but that wins it really does. Not good all the faff with it but the Ragley is not for me anyway, just waiting for slot Scandals to reappear in munchkin size.

A >400mm seatpost could be interesting to find, a mate of mine used to have a Roox which was quite long but seems the frame really is too small for you.

I have a 15 degree Thomson stem lying around doing nothing but it's 100mm so may be too long, I finally took it off the green On One and replaced with an 80mm recently (what the frame was designed for!).

D0NK said...

Samuri, dont think it was bent in transit as the spacing was right for a hub, i think the chainstay was flared/kinked too far out and they bent the dropout so it lined up in a jig. 3rd frame is fine.

Lowey you have to see it in the flesh, the colour is growing on me (like mold) :-)

Julbags cheers but I'm after something like a 80mmx40degree, on-one do some. The frames the right length TT wise but yeah it may well be a smidge too short, roox are long but no layback.

Julbags said...

When I needed to change to a layback post on my mountain bikes there didn't seem to be many 400mm with laybacks. I ended up with Thomson's though would have gone for cheaper if I could.

Richard said...

What you have described in a great post is my nightmare senario, now I think I am definitly put off building my own, was also thinking of Ragley... never mind, keep going though, like to hear more when you can.

D0NK said...

I've built a few bikes, this is the first time I've had problems with a frame. I've not heard of problems with ragley stuff before so I assume I've just been really unlucky to get 2! Building your own bike is very satisfying, give it a go.