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  1. #1
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    Custom aluminum road bike (made in U.S.)

    This will be my winter/bad weather GT bike. Like a GT car, it's designed to be fast, but in comfort & style...

    Frame is Easton 7005, 100% hand built in U.S. (Phoenix) by a small builder called Tsunami Bikes. They've been around a fairly long time in one iteration or another.

    Been working with Joe at Tsunami on specs and design parameters, and it will be similar to my other aluminum bike he put together (which itself replicated my former Parlee geometry), albeit with a few twists here in order to accommodate full fenders.

    Fenders will be those gorgeous Honjo hammered items, and brakes will be Velo Orange Grand Cru long reach calipers. For the brakes, I liked the idea of something unique, and the Grand Cru's unanodized aluminum/machined look will give me the chance to occasionally cramp my fingers and curse while polishing them with Simichrome...

    Frame color will be black with a pearl tint in the clearcoat. Other build kit specs will be evolving, based on parts I cobble together...

    Here's a couple of pics of the frame in its early stages.








    Frame prepped for welding and getting an idea of how/where fenders will go:





    Finally all welded up, ready for the pretty stuff...







    Got primer?





    Color at last!





    Pics before final color sanding and clearcoat, and setting fenders in proper place.





    That's all I have right now, bike is in route (can't wait!). Hopefully will finish soon on assembling parts/group. Wheels will be Velocity Aeroheads w/Phil Wood hubs. Bar/stem will be Ritchey WCS carbon.

    Cheers & thanks for looking.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Dave Hickey's Avatar
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    Very very nice.......I'm not usually a fan of aluminum but that looks great....the black paint and American flag logo looks fantastic....
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
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    Thanks. This has been an incredibly fun project. Had a minor hiccup with Alpha Q going bust (couldn't get the CS25 fork), but we found something suitable that didn't break the bank.

    Here's a pic of my other Tsunami that was built last year (spring).


  4. #4
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    Very Nice! I wish more frames had room for fenders like that. The extra 1/4" of clearance required doesn't cost you any performance, but makes the bike so much more versatile. What fork are you using?

  5. #5
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    Thanks. If you look close, the rear fender is attached to the seat tube via an H2O boss. Pretty nifty touch, I think--and a simple solution for a tight geo problem, i.e., without having to install a ridiculously tight chainstay bridge and bend (or snip) the fender at the bottom to fit.

    For final fender setting (the wheels on the bike in photos aren't mine, they're only as a placeholder for the builder since I'll be using Velocity Aeroheads w/25c tires), I'll likely use a longer bolt with a leather washer or two to "push" the edge of the fender closer to the tire. The builder didn't have my wheels to set things in place beforehand, but got things going pretty close.

    Fork is from a company called Advanced Composites in Utah. I know nothing about them other than it was a reasonably priced & immediately available option that worked out, vs. going with a Wound Up fork (which I think would've looked ugly on this frame, and cost a little over 2x as much).

    Quote Originally Posted by darkmother
    Very Nice! I wish more frames had room for fenders like that. The extra 1/4" of clearance required doesn't cost you any performance, but makes the bike so much more versatile. What fork are you using?
    Last edited by M77PT; 02-02-2010 at 03:55 AM.

  6. #6
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    How do these bikes rides?

  7. #7
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    as a custom build, it depends on the geometry that you work out with the builder. you can get as stiff & twitchy or as smooth & relaxed as you want.

    in my case, my other tsunami (which this new frame's design is based upon) rides incredibly smooth, stable, and neutral. stiff, but very, very comfy even on 100+ mi. rides. forget anything you've read about aluminum being harsh or bumpy. it's not. good geometry + proper fit + good wheels/tires (at the right pressure) + a comfy seat = happiness.

    by the way, tsunami full custom frames start around $600 (plus fork). it's an enormous value . besides, once you go custom handbuilt, there's no turning back....

    either with tsunami or elsewhere, support your local framebuilder--get a custom bike. there's nothing else like it--both literally & figuratively.

    Quote Originally Posted by raymond7204
    How do these bikes rides?

  8. #8
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    The FedEx man delivered something special today....

    More pics to come...


  9. #9
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    Paint looks like regular glossy black indoors or in cloudy outdoor light, but the pearl tinted clear should look something special in bright sunlight. Can’t wait for a sunny day…

    Enjoy the pics!

    Nice touch—small decal right under the down tube at the head tube junction, can’t see it unless you look carefully:



    From the rear:



    I like my welds plump:





    More plumpy weld goodness:



    Red, white & blue decal contrast looks great against the black frame:



    Drive side:



    Non-drive side:



    Front view:



    Rear H20 bottle boss will be where the fender mounts:


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by M77PT
    This will be my winter/bad weather GT bike. Like a GT car, it's designed to be fast, but in comfort & style...
    i really like this idea for a bike. i may have to borrow that. nice write up and bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse D Smith
    You can always tell the guy that started his day with a proper shave versus the guy who started his day slappin' it to internet porn.

  11. #11
    Slow but not so steady
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    Nice build. Doesn't Advance Composites make Wound Up forks. Functional bike but does not look functional(which is good). Can't find anything on that fork on the internet.;
    There is a fine line between a hobby and mental illness.

  12. #12
    duh...
    Reputation: FatTireFred's Avatar
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    are these built on some dude's garage? the 'color at last' pic looks like a backyard
    .


    Quote Originally Posted by mikagsd
    Fat tire Fred....you are the bike god of the universe and unless someone agrees with your reasoning they are just plain stupid

  13. #13
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    thanks all. i can't wait to get 'er built up. i don't know anything about advanced composites, sorry. fork looks decent, will let the ride do the talking if it's good or not.

    yep, like many small builders, they're built at a home workshop.

    probably makes for an easy commute to pick up lunch.

  14. #14
    duh...
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    Quote Originally Posted by M77PT
    thanks all. i can't wait to get 'er built up. i don't know anything about advanced composites, sorry. fork looks decent, will let the ride do the talking if it's good or not.

    yep, like many small builders, they're built at a home workshop.

    probably makes for an easy commute to pick up lunch.


    so are these the same tsumani frames that were sold by chucksbikes?
    .


    Quote Originally Posted by mikagsd
    Fat tire Fred....you are the bike god of the universe and unless someone agrees with your reasoning they are just plain stupid

  15. #15
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    fat tire fred: nope, not by any stretch of the imagination. these are handbuilt custom aluminum in u.s., and have been for the 15+ years they've been around (they used to be made in san diego). they offer both stock geo's and can do full custom specs as well (mine was full custom spec).

    my understanding is those chuckbikes were p.o.s. factory-produced knockoff bikes that looked like both pilfered design & logo of the original guys who started tsunami. i'm sure there's a saga to it, but who knows & who cares--it's not my worry.

    tsunami's been around a long time in so. calif. (and now arizona), and have been the team bikes for a lot of local outfits (including the club/team i ride with). they're handbuilt in phoenix. some very fast dudes have sat on their bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by FatTireFred
    so are these the same tsumani frames that were sold by chucksbikes?
    Last edited by M77PT; 02-06-2010 at 03:08 PM.

  16. #16
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    Now for some shiny bits: Velo-Orange Grand Cru long reach brakes (allows for fender clearance). These brakes are really something else in terms of looks. Machined aluminum, no clear or anodized coating. That means a lifetime of Simichrome, elbow grease (or Dremel assistance!), and mirror-like shine. Hope they perform as good as they look.






  17. #17
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    Very nice. Good write-up. I look forward to pics of the fully assembled bike.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by M77PT

    my understanding is those chuckbikes were p.o.s. factory-produced knockoff bikes that looked like both pilfered design & logo of the original guys who started tsunami. i'm sure there's a saga to it, but who knows & who cares--it's not my worry.
    Factory produced - yes, but not really a POS. I picked up a Dura Ace equipped chucksbikes Tsunami (second-hand, chucksbikes is no longer in business) for cheap and will race it this year. Nothing wrong with it - rides great. I think the name being the same was just a coincidence.

    But your USA made Tsunami is also very nice. It seems that the down tube is fatter at the head tube, and tapers down to the bottom bracket, which is the exact opposite of my Taiwan Tsunami. If I crash my Taiwan frame, maybe I'll look into a USA made. $600 is not too bad at all.

  19. #19
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    it's hard to see/take a pic of it, but the downtube doesn't actually taper--diameter stays mostly the same, it just changes shape. it's more of a teardrop at head tube (~17cm diam.), then transitions to somewhat of an ovalized shape at the bb junction (~16.5cm diam.). it's huge.

  20. #20
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    Voila! All fenders mounted. Front one took a little finessing with some creative use of rubber & metal washers, but it came out nice & aligned.







    Well that’s enough for the day…it’s time for beer!

  21. #21
    Slow but not so steady
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    Hard to believe that frameset cost you only $600. That is going to a great build.
    There is a fine line between a hobby and mental illness.

  22. #22
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    Looks great; nice write-up as well. Love the fenders...super functional.

    -D

  23. #23
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    swank barrel adjusters courtesy of kirk frameworks.


  24. #24
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    parts arrived!

    the machining on new 7800 cranks: sweet.



    teaser shot...almost done with the build...little by little it's getting there.


  25. #25
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    updated build pics!

    i swapped out the previously "homemade" rubber washers used on the front & rear fender mounts for some swank velo orange leather washers. classy touch, eh?

    changed both fender brackets to fatter (5mm hollow vs. 4mm solid), but lighter alu. ones, courtesy of velo orange. hey, weight savings!

    also changed out the front fender bracket (at the sheldon brake nut) to a much nicer & cleaner setup vs. prior (new bracket also from velo orange). there's a trimmed slab of cork ribbon underneath as a washer/cushion.

    by the way, yes that's a zip tie on the front brake which compresses the calipers, so they don't crush the fender prior to installing cables & adjusting, etc.

    almost there...





    Last edited by M77PT; 02-20-2010 at 07:28 AM.

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