Il Progetto: Nederaap CX-V

Il Progetto: Nederaap CX-V

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Building a frame has been, since childhood, a dream which always seemed a little bit out of reach. Aside from not being sure how not to do it wrong, I’ve always assumed that, in addition to nunchuck and computer-hacking skills, my lacking of welding skills would render any would-be frame unridable at best and lethal at worst. Not to mention the associated downgrade to my living conditions, based on the assumption that a house is less comfortable after being burned down in whole or in part, and that said burning would terminate abruptly and with little warning the relationship with my VMH.

Unbeknownst to me, @Cyclops has harbored a similar dream. Fortunately for him, having only one eye doesn’t give depth perception in foresight, and as such he wasn’t hampered by my aforementioned concerns. Instead of dreaming, @Cyclops took action: he bought himself a book, a welding set, some cheap tubing, a fireproof suit (I assume), and busied about practicing the basic skills required to build a frame. Once he was sure he had it pegged, he picked up a good set of Columbus tubing, and set about building his first official frame.

For reasons that I hope don’t include “if it falls apart, a face-plant can’t make him uglier”, @Cyclops decided to pay me the great honor of building his first frame for me, serial number FS0001. I had no idea, of course, until I got an email saying he was shipping something to me and would I be home to receive a package. Yeah, sure, no problem, whatever – @Cyclops is a bit of a craftsman and sends me his creations occasionally. A few days later, I get a considerably more worried email, saying that bad weather delayed the package and it would arrive a day later – would I still be home. No, sorry, can’t be – I’ve meetings that I can’t move – one must occasionally do their job, after all.

Worried emails turned into worried voicemails until eventually @Cyclops seemed intense even on a scale adjusted for his usual intensity. But thanks to UPS being late in delivery, I was home by the time the box arrived and I sent a text message saying all seemed well. I opened the door to find a bike-sized box on my porch, and my curiosity was piqued. It’s a funny thing, how used we get to seeing boxes that contain bike parts; my first thought was, “Oh, that looks like a frame” but immediately dismissed the notion as impossible. When I dragged the box inside, my VMH‘s reaction was similarly tuned, “Did you buy a frame you didn’t tell me about?”

As I unpacked the box, I migrated through a confused web of impressions and apprehension as removal of packing and wrapping material revealed first an orange frame and then a custom orange frame bearing the designation Nederaap – a play on “DutchMonkey” combining the Dutch words for the Netherlands (Nederland) and Monkey (Aap). Further inspection revealed a beautiful, steel cyclocross frame with carbon wishbone seat stays, handbuilt by @Cyclops himself.

The amazing thing about this frame is how absolutely Fantastic it looks, despite being built by a crazy person. Anyone looking at the frame would have no idea that some dude in Idaho bought a book and blowtorch and built it from scratch.

I’ve been planning on getting into CX for a few seasons, but among the various reason’s I’ve not done so is the fact that I’ve not been able to track down a frame in a geometry that I’m satisfied with. But ‘Clops had a master plan there as well, as he matched the dimensions on the frame to those of my beloved Cervélos – adjusted for CX. Problem solved.

In addition to this being an incredibly kind gesture – and one I really don’t know how to (a) explain or (b) repay, @Cyclops has breathed new life into my dream to someday build frames myself. I look forward to the day he becomes my Framebuilding Sensei, just as Oli recently became my Wheelbuilding Sensei. What a cool, generous community we have here.

With that, I officially start Il Progetto: Nederaap CX-V. For various reasons including that I’d like to move Bike #3 from Shimano to Campa, my plan is to move my 7701 group over to the CX-V. In addition to wanting the same kit on all three road bikes, I like the idea of the ultra-reliable 9-speed Shimano group being the one to be dragged through the mud and the crud. The next order of bidniz is to figure out what finishing kit goes on. 3T Rotundos and Fi’zi:k Arione are no-brainers for the contact points, but the rest is pretty much up for grabs. I’ve always been a fan of Alpha-Q forks, though @Cyclops designed the frame with a Richey in mind. Alpha-Q’s are still available if you know where to look; but surely there are other options, and I like the idea of getting the fork for which the frame was designed. There is the question of wheels as well – do I build up a set, buy complete, or repurpose wheels I already have? Then there are the matters of brakes, chainrings, seatpost, and stem. I can’t think of a better way to spend the next several months but pondering these serious problems at length.

Check out @Cyclopsframebuilding site for documentation of the process, and start making plans for your first Factory Five frame. @Cyclops: thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

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// Il Progetto // La Vie Velominatus // Nostalgia // Technology // The Bikes // Tradition

  1. @frank

    How crazy am I to go with my usual 177.5mm cranks?

    Cervelo says that crank length doesn’t affect power. Go with whatever crank length you find comfortable.

  2. If the CX-V has a low b/b the 177s might give you a bit more pedal strike on rough or sidling courses – you’d be amazed how much difference a few mm can make – but that’s a pretty minor consideration in the scheme of things. You’ll most likely be fine.

  3. @cyclops very nice.
    Book ordered yesterday via Amazon.
    Inspiration taken and will apply!!

  4. @Cyclops
    Really impressive work Cyclops.All the best for future projects!

  5. Another vote here for making the gruppo compatible with at least one of your road bikes. I have Force 10-speed on my cross bike, 105 10-speed on my do-it-all bike. Running Hutchinson Bulldogs in 34 on the cross bike, Continental 4Seasons in 28 on the other.

    It’s very nice to be able to throw on some road wheels and take my cross bike out on rainy days or when I just feel like riding it, but don’t want knobbies.

    Hopefully you can make it compatible, but if not maybe a budget road wheelset to have on hand if you want to swap out your cross wheels.

  6. @Ron
    Good advice, but that Shimano group is the last one in the household…everything has inexorably migrated to Campa. But point taken, and between how easy it is to swap cassette bodies and/or tires, I don’t see it being a massive headache either way.

    Realistically, though, with the EV2 moving to around-town bike and three road bikes, I’m not sure I’d ever find the need to ride the CX bike on slicks. I’d even consider doing the various gravellers I’m thinking of doing on the R3 with the 25mm FMBs. But never say never, and if I need slicks on there, I’ll just have to deal.

  7. @Oli
    Exactly what I was worried about. I think I’ll try it, though. I’ll probably be crashing in those conditions with or without the 2.5 mils! I’m so used to that length, unless someone tells me I’ll die and am crazy, I’m inclined to try it then…thanks!

  8. @frank
    Seems like you are better off with the small additional pedal strike risk than messing with the Magnificent Stroke.

  9. Fantastic looking frame – awesome. Don’t fret too much about the build kit, anything decent will work. If you do race ‘cross, it’s all gonna get pretty mud battered anyway. Not racing ‘cross with that frame would be a crime. Hit the MFG or Seattle ‘cross series next fall. You’ll dig it. I promise.

    Here’s my low bucks Ibis Hakkalugi rebuild I did for ‘cross this season. I totally suck, but a newer bike won’t make me any faster…
    http://yoeddy.blogspot.com/2011/09/project-hakkalugi-rolls-again.html

    Frank – check out the Seattle ‘cross scene next fall. Great stuff.

  10. @frank:

    crank length does matter…everything in cycling matters, less we all ride hipster stylin
    as tall as you are, you may even go 180, since my feeling is cross riding and all is like mtn biking to some degree, and the ‘souplesse’ of the spin is not as critical, also due to the temps and all, your cadence will be a bit slower, so longer cranks do help…leverage. I run longer on my rigid SS mtn bike and its real man.

    and ditto to Otoman, he nails it on what he said, so good points on brakes and all. V brakes are by far stronger, but if your gonna run them with STi, I understand canti’s are easier unless you run a ‘thing-a-ma-jig’. So i run canti’s, since i am new and will go to Vbrakes after the mandatory crashing and cursing and regret

    and pedals: I run the simple double sided SPD’s, xtr’s. Pick’m up cheap, and easy.

    @cyclops: I have done my fair share of sweatin copper, so that’s a go! I am all over it, thanks for the inspiration, truly good stuff.

  11. Outstanding work!

  12. oh, and forks: mine is surly, steel, heavy and well…indestructable

    Buddies run Ritchey, and I have faith in that as well, as every single Ritchey item i have ever had (minus some GD V3 pedals) were great, the pedals weren’t worth a sheeeeit. Anyway, Ritchey is pretty much great. Consider wound-up as well and Eastons. Really, they are all good IMHO. I personally, for this application like aluminum steerer tubes…ala Hincapie

  13. I say go full on Ritchey. Including fork.

  14. @Cyclops- that frame is a work of art, but I cannot get over your generosity and thoughfulness. Truly special and worthy of praise. That rear triangle is fucking beautiful. Well done my friend, well done!

  15. Legend! That frame is the SEX. Love the look of the lugwork going up into the seatclamp.

    MMMm. New projects are magnificent. I’m into 1st N+1 of married life (barely caused a ripple, curiously) and am having similar parts selection dilemmas. Moreso, as it’s an MTB and the last time I had an MTB, suspension forks were the new hot shit, and DH was still ridden on bicycles rather than MX Bikes with the engines removed. Speaking of which, they have 4 pot, opposing caliper disc brakes on BICYCLES now? My first race motorbike had 1 sliding, 2 pot and that did 130mph! Think I’ll stick to the Vs.

    It’s confusing, but wonderful.

  16. @Joe

    Speaking of which, they have 4 pot, opposing caliper disc brakes on BICYCLES now?

    Six…

  17. @chris….that has capsized my mind. Somewhere, there must exist a magical co-efficient where grip, weight distribution and speed allign to give purpose to such a device…but on a bicycle? really? That said, it looks a lot like a 6pot version of the calipers yamaha used to fit to the R1 – good brakes.

    Next up….RADIAL calipers, mark my words.

    In the meantime, I’m off to borrow Frank’s toolkit and go for a smoke.

  18. Incredible act of generosity Cyclops…

  19. I recently got this thing on the road. Handbuilt by me. Double oversize slant 6 (actually more like slant 5 due to steeper HT and ST angle). A real Portland special with stainless bottom bracket and head tube for corrosion resistance and painted to match VO fenders (and frame pump). Murdered out!

  20. @Oldschooly


    I recently got this thing on the road. Handbuilt by me. Double oversize slant 6 (actually more like slant 5 due to steeper HT and ST angle). A real Portland special with stainless bottom bracket and head tube for corrosion resistance and painted to match VO fenders (and frame pump). Murdered out!

    That’s is gorgeous! Wish I would have seen it at the Cogal!

    @Joe

    @chris….that has capsized my mind. Somewhere, there must exist a magical co-efficient where grip, weight distribution and speed allign to give purpose to such a device…but on a bicycle? really? That said, it looks a lot like a 6pot version of the calipers yamaha used to fit to the R1 – good brakes.
    Next up….RADIAL calipers, mark my words.
    In the meantime, I’m off to borrow Frank’s toolkit and go for a smoke.

    Mountain bikes – maybe. Cross bikes, possibly. Road bikes? Fuck off. What you say is absolutely exactly what I’ve been thinking about these things. Seems like such craziness. And then you get the fun job of trying to get the fucking disk to stop rubbing. Good luck. There’s like a 1mm tolerance.

  21. @oldschooly – love the painted mudgaurds. The whole bike is proper.

    @frank – parts are beginning to arrive for n+1 at project hq. I’ve been pillaging for sale forums of the internet like a rabid, magpie fed, Ghengis Khan. Middleburn cranks, phil bb, Pace carbon forks and a glitterati of titanium skewers..not that I need all these, of course, but once you get locked into a serious build there’s a tendency to push it as far as you can…

  22. @Joe

    @oldschooly – love the painted mudgaurds. The whole bike is proper.
    @frank – parts are beginning to arrive for n+1 at project hq. I’ve been pillaging for sale forums of the internet like a rabid, magpie fed, Ghengis Khan. Middleburn cranks, phil bb, Pace carbon forks and a glitterati of titanium skewers..not that I need all these, of course, but once you get locked into a serious build there’s a tendency to push it as far as you can…

    Report back, please! Will we see this beauty on Keepers Tour?

  23. I picked up 10 back issues of Cyclocross Magazine at a new LBS that just opened. That’s 2 1/2 years worth! It will keep me occupied for a while.

  24. Can’t recommend the Gates belt highly enough, especially for ‘cross ‘cos it doesn’t need much maintenance beyond a quick hose down after each ride. Bit like me. Thanks to Spot for making me a one-off Mod SS with Avid discs. Works a treat and has me laughing through the pain of an hour in the gloopy stuff.

  25. Hi Frank, how far are you with building the Nederaap?
    How is the riding on it?

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