Il Progetto: Nederaap CX-V

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 @Cyclops’ framebuilding 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.

[dmalbum path=”/velominati.com/content/Photo Galleries/[email protected]/Nederaap/”/]

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147 Replies to “Il Progetto: Nederaap CX-V”

  1. Very cool!
    A slightly easier but more expensive option to build a frame is to be taught by one of the masters, Paul Brodie. He teaches a course at one of our local colleges.

  2. @Nate

    @frank
    Which if any of your existing wheelsets has a Shimano freehub body or can be converted to one?

    Excellent question. I think the Royce freehub must be convertible, but I don’t know for sure. Other than that, all of my wheels can be converted.

  3. @cyclops: that is a fanfuckingtastic set up you sent Frank

    I have been toying with this too, in fact a friend of mine who owns the LBS 60 miles away has been seriously going into it for just low end frames to get started and touring frames.

    I have been thinking of just doing it for fun for myself and a friend or 2 if they wanted. I have the paint-guns, studied the geometries, had other buddies go to a local engineering school and literally got a masters degree in framebuilding and like you seen them do it, but I am a father, worker, busy guy and not got the formalities of training or on the job training. Here in the midwest, welders are always coming up at farm auctions, but I don’t really know which one to pick up and any details from there. which welder did you start with if you don’t mind my asking?? And how did you get set up or where did you go to learn this stuff? I would be forever grateful for a few helpful hints on that. That is just a great deal you did, and very cool.

    congrats to you on that!

  4. oh, frank, on canti’s…they are all weaker, i went with avid shorty’s

    trp’s though if your all about the strength and they are ‘euro’

  5. @cyclops: ok, i am a moron. went back and saw ‘cyclops framebuilding site’

    will be there until the superbowl is done
    thanks for patience holy merckx

  6. As others have said, the generosity is awesome, the frame is awesome. Further, this community provides some great examples of altruistic behaviour, which is totally awesome.

  7. @Souleur
    Good thinking on the Ksyriums. I like the sound of that; also, as I’ll be doing lots of graveling – it seems a sensible option.

    @napolinige
    Good thought as well, though its the only wheelset I have that I’m not sure how to convert…I’ll have to investigate.

    @all
    Also, what forks are better for CX?

  8. @Cyclops

    I wish I had something witty or smart to say here but I don’t. All I can do repeat was has already been stated and that is what an outstanding job and display of not only talent but generosity! You should be very proud at how this not only looks but turned out. I’m curious about why that color? Is it Frank’s favorite color or did you pick it out because it will look great with the V kit aboard?

    @Frank

    I can’t help out on the parts list but I agree on the wheels for the same reason as you. Hand built custom frame hand deserves built custom wheels. I would love to be around for that first race when everyone is asking about the bike to see the smile on your face as you tell the tale.

    fasthair

  9. @Souleur @all

    Dirty little secret – frame builders are glorified plumbers.
    I started with a $16 book, a $60 Mapp/Oxy torch from the Home Despot, and regular shop/hand tools. Read my blog, get the book, and buy some cheapo tubes and lugs and start brazing.

  10. @frank
    FNG here. I normally lurk and don’t post, but this frame and @Cyclop’s generosity are just so cool, I had to join in. As for your build, I’m running the Campa Centuar carbon CX group on my 6 month old cross bike (Steve’s Carbon Team). Went with that because it’s compatible with the 10 year old Chorus 10S group on bike #2 so I can also run my Proton road wheels from that on my cross bike. The Centuar has been super relaible and easy to maintain. Only bit I’m questionable on are the Campa cantis. Pain to adjust, but it’s probably just that my wrenching sucks. Haven’t riden or wrenched any others like the Avids or TRPs. As for wheels, I’d say build your on since you’ve done it once already. I’m on Fulcrum 5 CX FWIW. Definitely upgrading to tubs for next crossseason. Look forward to updates on your build. Cheers!

  11. @fasthair

    I picked the orange because it reeks of Molteni, Merckx, The V-Kit, Velominati, the Dutch, The – V, etc. And with a carbon fork and the carbon stays it looks badass!

  12. Frank, just thought of something. This sure raises the birthday and Christmas present stakes for your VMH . . .

  13. Beautiful work @Cyclops! A masterpiece to marvel at! Love the generosity as well. Not sure if @Frank could repay this great gift.

  14. Sweet as! I LOVE how this blends the lofty goals of youth and the reality of adulthood.

    That frame looks slick! Very, very nice Cyclops!

  15. @Frank You know, for the build you could outfit it with the same setup Marianne Vos used on her last CX World Championship. Homage.

    We should seriously consider a women’s division for the Rule V award. Yeah, I’m putting this in the wrong forum, but hey…I’m typing here… /threadjack

  16. Woah, and this also means The Big Fellow can start racing cross.

    From my viewpoint, I only see bigger & better things in 2012!

    Cyclops, you are a champion! Frank, don’t overthink this – get that frame built up and let’s start racing cross! We need those Velominati skinsuits for next year.

  17. Dammit, I was hoping Frank would procrastinate on his plan to race cross and I’d have it all to myself.

    At least I’m 6 races ahead of him. And two more in the next two months. Yeah.

    My plan is to learn the wheelie and the half meter bunny hop before he starts racing in September.

  18. @Cyclops

    @fasthair
    …And with a carbon fork and the carbon stays it looks badass!

    And I completely agree! I would think your loving wife must be beyond proud of you and what you have done and accomplished here.

    I just read your complete blog and seen you used software for helping with tub angle measuring. There is a tool that race car roll cage builder use to help set miter angles on tubing for cutting. It’s called tube contour gauges. Not sure it will help or work for you but thought I would pass it along.

    fasthair

    fasthair

  19. @Cyclops

    @redranger
    If we showed it to you we’d have to kill you.

    I’ll take my chances! I’m half Sicilian, I has connections.

  20. @Cyclops

    I’m a 56cm. Road please. V-orange. No carbon stays. Cheers.

    Seriously mate, what a fantastic gesture, and a great job of building for your first time. It looks awesome!

    @frank

    Frank, you have a stalker. Keep an eye on your rabbits.

  21. +1 on the awesomeness, generosity and sheer coolness of this event.

    Since no one else has pointed it out yet, as a student of cross stuff, cyclops did you a huge style point- the “hand job” for the rear brake cable. That will eliminate brake chatter in the rear, and opens you to choose freely amongst the many cross brake options.(various canti styles or v-brake)

    For the front, especially given the crazy head tube length, you have 2 choices to avoid chatter- suspending device at bottom of head tube (look at a stevens frame for a good style/description), or v-brake. If a suspending device isnt attachable, you will want a v-brake (much more powerful stopping, less mud clearance, no chatter). Some people don’t care, some tear their hair out over chatter).

    personally I would go either v-brake or ultegra canti’s. thats just me tho.

    Congrats!

  22. @Cyclops

    @RedRanger
    I think @Frank wants to keep the video under wraps so people don’t see what a messy housekeeper he is.

    totally understandable. I’m just messing.

  23. @cyclops – good work with this frame, man!

    @frank – I can’t wait to see pix of the fully-built rig. =)

  24. @frank

    @all
    Ok, yeah, yeah, beautiful frame, yeah yeah. Whatever. Down to business. How am I building this up? I need opinions on kit so I have something to ignore when I get around to making decisions.
    SO. Do I build wheels? I’ve also been wanting to go with Firecrest wheels for the #1 (maybe tubbies) and then could move the 404″²s to either Bike #3 or the CX bike – if I move the 404″²s to the CX bike, that frees up the Ksyriums on there now for Nederaap.
    How does wheel strength figure for CX? Or, I build, since I assume I’m a badass wheel builder now. Seems kinda fitting, too, with a handbuilt frame to run handbuilt wheels. On the other hand, deep-section wheels seems to be very sensible for CX as it helps keep the shit off the cantis.
    Which begs the next question: which cantis do I go for?

    SRAM or Shimano. Easton carbon fork. Wheels? Tubs. Carbon. I don’t think it makes a shit ton of difference which brand anymore. Mavic, Zipp, Reynolds. All probably come from the same factory in China anyway (I’m sure I’ll get flack for that). You’re a big guy, so spoke up a bit. ‘Cross courses trash your gear (just ask @gaswepass).

  25. @Frank, I would strongly reconsider the Arione for cross. That posterior spike can be a loin-killer if your remount technique suffers as you tire (mine sure does). See also the fangs on the Bontrager InForm….

    I agree that 9 speed Dura Ace is perfect for cx, I’ve been using mine the past 2 plus seasons and it’s been perfect.

    As for brakes, I like the shorty ultimates and the TRP mini V brakes. Plus, the whole mini V has to have some symbolic meaning here, no?

    Wheels=dealers choice. They need to be strong. Deep carbon wheels look cool, and that’s half the battle.

    And of course, @cyclops that frame is Gor-gee-ous!

  26. @gaswepass
    I noticed that… also the top tube gear cable routing, nice.

    Ok, for the kit; Get your Frischy on… Ritchey fork, bars, stem, post and carbon tubs. Maybe even their saddle.

    Gruppo, well even though there are nice cable stops on the TT, maybe consider Di2 for the ease of shifting in the goop. Or you could man up and go singlespeed. That way you don’t have to use Shimano or Sram.

  27. @brett
    What do you think of Ritchey cranks? (for my cross bike). I saw there was a recall of some models and they don’t make them anymore, but there are some for USD$140 on ebay. They look cool and would match my Ritchey bars and stem.

  28. Very impressive work on the frame. Even more impressive is the fact that the builder did it without studying under some master and learning the process in that fashion. The lug work looks nice, as does the bright orange paint job. The completed bike will be interesting to see, but I am sure that you will be posting that at some point in the future. A bright orange frame… cool!

  29. @G’rilla

    @brett
    What do you think of Ritchey cranks? (for my cross bike). I saw there was a recall of some models and they don’t make them anymore, but there are some for USD$140 on ebay. They look cool and would match my Ritchey bars and stem.

    I was going to suggest them, but thought they were no longer around. I like em, and hadn’t heard of a recall.

    @frank

    Brakes, TRP. Pedals, Time.

  30. @Dave R

    Only bit I’m questionable on are the Campa cantis. Pain to adjust, but it’s probably just that my wrenching sucks. Haven’t riden or wrenched any others like the Avids or TRPs. As for wheels, I’d say build your on since you’ve done it once already. I’m on Fulcrum 5 CX FWIW. Definitely upgrading to tubs for next crossseason. Look forward to updates on your build. Cheers!

    I’ve been looking at these brakes for a Campa build. Anyone else have any thoughts on if these are better or worse than any other canti brakes? Or have good euro alternatives?

  31. Brakes TRP. Eggbeater or ctr pedals. And you can get a fork mounted cable hanger for chatter if you don’t go V brakes. You’ll want something other than a steer tube cable hanger though for that heartiness.

  32. @marko

    Brakes TRP. Eggbeater or ctr pedals. And you can get a fork mounted cable hanger for chatter if you don’t go V brakes. You’ll want something other than a steer tube cable hanger though for that heartiness.

    Do NOT use any Crank Bros stuff. There should be a Rule about that.

    Cable hanger problem solved:

  33. @brett

    Do NOT use any Crank Bros stuff. There should be a Rule about that

    I was actually thinking the same thing.

  34. @redranger

    @brett

    Do NOT use any Crank Bros stuff. There should be a Rule about that

    I was actually thinking the same thing.

    Funny you should mention that. I just heard that they are sponsoring a brand new team here in Oregon. I don’t know shit about the product. What’s the beef? Or, while waiting for a response, I’ll go look for myself.

  35. @scaler911

    @redranger

    @brett

    Do NOT use any Crank Bros stuff. There should be a Rule about that

    I was actually thinking the same thing.

    Funny you should mention that. I just heard that they are sponsoring a brand new team here in Oregon. I don’t know shit about the product. What’s the beef? Or, while waiting for a response, I’ll go look for myself.

    K. I’m picking up what you’re laying down. Not cheap or anything. Just: Meh.

  36. @Frank – Great post as usual. Can’t wait to see the bike all built up.

    @Cyclops – Amazing job on the frame. I own a copy of Lugged bicycle frame const. myself but have yet to dive in. Want to build a singlespeed cross bike to go along with the geared setup, you’ve definitely re-stoked the fire!

    @Scaler, @Redranger, @Brett – re: Crank Brothers – I use crank brothers egg beaters on both my mountain and cross bikes and have had nothing but good results. Not to mention that their role as the main title sponsor of the USGP of Cyclocross from ’05 to ’08 helped that series raise both the level of awareness and competition in the sport here in the states. Not saying they’re the best brand in the world, but there are definitely some things to like.

  37. @redranger

    @brett
    Belt drive?

    Raleigh and gates are gettin aggressive w/ single speed cross tekmology, super cool stuff. The gates stuff was also being used in tandems.

    wrt egg beaters- use em myself, mud clearance awesome. can’t tell if the absence of problems so far is just luck and lack of use- have definitely had teammates have pedals disintegrate on warm up laps; name a pedal system that hasn’t at some point worn out or failed… xtr pedals have been popular and used by some pretty seasoned people i respect; just can’t bear to add yet another pedal system to my collection…

    that ritchey drop-in (unless used w/ v-brakes) is a set-up for annoying chatter w/ cantis as far as I can tell from the pic- it looks like it goes at the top of head tube (far away on that size frame). I have a colleague on a carbon ridley similarly proportioned head tube (another who obsesses on detail- both aesthetic and functional) w/ the long distance- drives him bat shit. Just sayin.

  38. Sick Frame. Awesome story.

    My 2 cents re Build:

    If you plan to ride that bike properly then Tubs are a must. Running clinchers at pressure low enough to get the traction you need will result in pinch flats. Tubeless is no go, burping whilst railing corners is bad news. Build another wheelset of two if you need to. Similar to the nemisis build but cheaper would be the go. If you intend to race you’ll want/need them.

    If it is muddy where you live then I’d go cantis, if not and like to be able to stop then look into the Mini V option from TRP. I’ve run an Arione on MTB and Cross without to many issues with it catching my shorts. If you’re worried about this than go a MTB version such as the Tundra.

    Nothing really to add regarding Forks. Whatever tickles your fancy and is within budget. Enve do a cross Fork that would be pretty Bling. As Cyclops said, a carbon fork would look good with the carbon seat stays. Might want something with a 3k weave like the stays though.

    Cheers

  39. @Cyclops
    Great work on the frame and the generosity in building for Frank!
    Yep, I’m one of those, “one day I’ll braze myself a frame”.
    As a kid, I collected bikes thrown out on the nature strip for the yearly local council clean up. I’d cut them up to build up a collection of lugs, ends and tubes to “one day” practice brazing and build “that frame”. I’m now going to go into the depths of my shed & parents shed/garage to see if I still have the lugs get some gas, and have a go!
    Another kid dream, (~16 years old), was to get my self to England and find a builder wanting an apprentice. Way back then my LBS owner said “there’s no money in frame building!” So I ended up a apprentice fitter & turner/toolmaker.
    Later on I got into CNC/CAD/CAM and was approached by Sal Sansonetti (~1995) of BT frames in Melbourne to tool up some new carbon fibre frame dies and parts.
    That little voice from my LBS owner “there’s no money in frame building” fell on my ears and said “thanks Sal, but no thanks!” D-OH!

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