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  1. #1
    The Slow One.
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    New Break-Away CX Project

    A new career that will send me to remote parts of Alaska is staring me in the face. Knowing all too well what happens to me (specifically my mid-section) when I stop riding, I went on a search for a travel bike. I initially wanted a ti Break-Away, because I really like the way the material rides and holds up to the rigors of travel. However, in the months that I was looking, none popped up in my size, and those that were available were sorta pricey. I briefly looked at having Bilenky do some S&S couplers on a ti frame I already owned, but that would have ended up being a few hundred more than a new Ritchey once shipping was factored in. I was beginning to resign myself to larger pants.

    Then I found a BreakAway CX. Beat to crap and in pieces (the vast majority were there), it wasn't exactly anyone's idea of a prom date. However, it was half the price of a new one. The more I thought about it, the more the CX made sense. I had sworn off ever getting another 'cross bike, because 'cross bikes lead to racing, and racing leads to me running into trees and hurting myself. However, I realized 95% of the time it would be on a trainer, but when it did see the outdoors during a short Bering Sea summer, the roads wouldn't be paved. Not many races out there, unless you're an idiot and trying to outrun a brown or polar bear. My sprint is good. Theirs is better.

    So here's what I'm starting with:
    New Break-Away CX Project-breakaway-1.jpg

    To be honest, when I opened the case I pretty much got what I was expecting- a very well-used Break-Away. No matter, I love a good project, and I have a well-stocked inventory of parts to make this a serviceable travel bike.

    The first thing I did was start taking things apart. I'm more of a SRAM guy, so I set aside all of the Shimano and FSA bits. To that I added the canti brakes, seatpost, saddle and bars. I threw an ad on Craigslist, and within a couple hours I had couple hundred dollars in my pocket. Of the original package, what I had left was the soft case, frame, fork, wheelset (Powertap of unknown serviceability), and some small coupling bits. Now I could begin.

    The headset was trashed, so I replaced it with a sealed-bearing Cane Creek. The cantis I sold were replaced by TRP CX8.4 mini-Vs. Bars are an old set of Easton EC70 Aeros I had kicking around. Stem is probably going to be an uninspiring aluminum Bontrager until I sort the fit out. Seatpost is a zero setback Williams carbon, topped by a Specialized Power. Groupset will probably be a mix of SRAM Rival and Apex, with maybe a hint of Force thrown in for flavor. The crank is a SRM S900 compact wireless power meter. Fresh bottom bracket, of course.

    The wheels have seen better days, but they will likely work as beaters. However, for trips when I will only be on the trainer, I'll run Velocity A23s and skinny road tires to save a few pounds of luggage weight.

    Once the frame was stripped, I started sanding down all of the dings, rusty spots and decals. I wasn't looking for perfect, just a relatively smooth surface to paint. I fully expect the paint will chip and it will look like garbage again one day. However, I'll let you in on a little secret- I loathe white bikes. Worst color ever for a bike that will see rain and mud and all sorts of nastiness. Even if the paint wasn't compromised on this particular frame, it wasn't going to stay white.

    I considered taking it to the paint booth or having it power-coated, but ended up just going with a few coats of decent-quality rattle-can. Prime, 4 or 5 color coats, a couple white bands, and then a couple clear coats. Because of the temperature and humidity around here right now, the process will likely take a few days. At least it's not white anymore. The color choice was inspired by my team colors, Molteni, and my old BMC SL01 Road Racer, which I think was one of the prettier paint schemes of bikes I've owned- despite all of the white. All part of making it my own, I guess.

    The base paint is on and will cure for a couple days before I move on to the white bands and clear coat. I'm in no hurry.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New Break-Away CX Project-img_0821%5B1%5D.jpg  
    Last edited by Alaska Mike; 09-16-2018 at 07:10 PM.

  2. #2
    The Slow One.
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    ...and a couple days later the paint started cracking extensively. Despite a lot of prep work, I think the original paint had soaked up an oil-based frame protector or other lubricant, which leached out and caused the new paint not to bond. At least, that's my guess.

    So, I stripped it all off and am taking it to be sand blasted and powder coated. I have a bit more prep work to do to keep the powder coat out of threads and other close-tolerance areas, but hopefully this will last. Same basic color.

  3. #3
    The Slow One.
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    Gonna take a week to get it back, but the guy quoted me $100. He showed me a couple of his other recent bike projects, which looked pretty good. Wish I had've gone this route initially, because spray paint ain't cheap anymore. Decent quality primer, paint, and clear coat adds up, and then I had to get a couple cans of paint remover to take it all off. Then there's the mess...

    I made sure to screw in the old bottom bracket and press in the headset cups. They were trashed anyway, so they're there for protection. For the rest of the threaded holes I bought cheap screws that were longer. Then I masked them with painters tape to mark them clearly. He'll have to replace it with high-temp stuff, but at least I did everything I could to mark the critical stuff. Hopefully this will decrease post-coat cleanup significantly.

    Fingers crossed that I'll get a serviceable/durable finish out of the deal.

  4. #4
    The Slow One.
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    It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

    New Break-Away CX Project-breakaway-3.jpg
    Finished (more or less) the project tonight. Decided to use some green bar tape and hoods I've had laying around forever, instead of my usual black. Probably will dump it once the bar tape gets old and revert to my old ways, but it seemed properly seasonal.throw on some knobby tires and some ugly socks and I'd be ready for 'cross.
    Last edited by Alaska Mike; 10-05-2018 at 10:56 PM.

  5. #5
    The Slow One.
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    As shown it's about 19.5lbs, which I think is reasonable. I packed it up in the soft case, with the tools and spares I'm planning on taking, and it came out to 42.75lbs. Not much extra space in the case for random kit, so that will go in other luggage.

    Took me a while to pack it, as I don't have the divider for the case and was experimenting with padding blankets and frame positioning. Ended up completely removing the crank and covering the chainrings with electrical split loom to keep them from chewing through everything. Came out pretty nice.

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