Saturday, November 22, 2014

Commuter Bikes

2014 Mosso Bike 2014 (Sold)

The big question is always WHY? Why build another when you already have more than enough. Its a tough question to answer but I always have a reason to do it. Sometimes the answer is going to sound crappy and sometimes it makes sense. Usually, it is going to be crappy so please bear with me. The MOSSO bike was created out of a need to clear excess spare parts in the bin. Crap right?

When I started the Porsche Steinerdesign bike project, the first thing I did was ordered parts. One of the worst thing is the process of a build is to find out that you have a missing part. The concept for the Steinerdesign bike was that I would retain as much of the old charm with modern parts e.g. grip shift twist shifters, SRAM (which bought over SACHS) parts, old school crank, etc. As it turned out, the plan fell through completely. I decided to re-use the original parts from SACHS and so all the parts I ordered was made redundant.

So, what do you do when you have a bin full of new parts? You build a new bike, of course! And so, this was how the MOSSO bike was born.

The concept for the MOSSO bike was to use whatever is available in the bin without buying anything new unless necessary. The Specialised 740mm handle bar was carried over from the Alero bike. The Truvativ stem was something I bought long ago because it was on sale. Its a shortie 60mm stem.

The MOSSO fork was carried over from the Miyata 10,000. By some sheer coincidence, the frame and fork came together.

The Shimano disc brake system was the only thing I had to buy.

The Oval seat matches the Oval seat post nicely.

The Control Tech Rage crank was supposed to be used on the Steinerdesign bike but ended up on the MOSSO bike.

SRAM components are used for the drivetrain. Between Shimano and SRAM, I think Shimano stuff are better.

The bike rides well. Its a rather loud bike and its presence can be readily felt thanks to a bright red paint scheme and loud hubs that you could hear miles away.

Available for sale at SGD$1,500.00

Sunday, October 19, 2014

1998/2014 Steinerdesign Porsche

Introducing the Steinerdesign Porsche bike. This build tops every other build in terms of complexity, test of patience and tenacity and every other inconvenience you can think about. It has been 9 months since I acquired it and as you can see, it is not fully completed. Those brake hoses still needs to be cut to size but before I can do that, I need to wait for the Magura specific mineral oil to arrive from the UK first. So, was it worth all the sweat, tears and curses? Look at the bike. What do you think? As the builder, my answer is a big YES. The bike is gorgeous and that's the only word I can think of to describe it. It has all the right lines, stance, presence and I am sure, a great ride on the road or trail. Putting it together really tested the limit of my patience.

The first problem I had to deal with was a deep cut at the chain stay area where chainsuck normally occurs. Although it did not affect the structural integrity of the frame, I wanted the base to be as perfect as possible. So, off to the welders and when it came back, I had to slowly file off the lump of aluminum  so that it was level. This was a painstakingly slow process as I did not want to overdo it and send the frame back to the welders. A second welding will affect the structural integrity due to the high heat. Finally, after weeks of work, the repaired area looked good enough and blend in nicely with the rest of the frame.

Next came the painting. 7 coats of plastidip were needed to give the coverage and evenness. Each can of plastidip was $25, so you can work out the maths. This is no small bike. The tubes are massive and suck up paint like nobody business. The painting took almost a week to complete because I wanted to make sure each coat dries completely before applying the next layer.

The front suspension was another issue I had to deal with. Unlike the usual suspension fork, the Votec fork had many moving parts. Moving one piece has an impact on another. Therefore, you can imagine the amount of back and forth adjustments needed just to fit the handlebars.

The Votec fork is a real piece of art. While it was a real pain to do all the adjustments but once that is done, the results speak for itself.

The bike is essentially a Porsche Bike S but I wanted to give some recognition to the person who designed and build it. His name is Jurgen Steiner. You should see his bikes at They all look nothing like the stuff that comes from Taiwan or China.

Magura HS 33 hydraulic rim brakes were used. They were a direct replacement for the original HS 22 brakes. I could have gone with V brakes but that would mean copping out and taking the easy route. Needless to say, the Magura brakes are not something you can just plug and play. Some work needs to be done before they are properly aligned and tuned. Once the mineral oil arrives, I can proceed to cut the hose to the proper length.

Syntace handle bars were specifically used because they are about one of the few that would fit the Votec fork and its weird arrangement.

A tribute and recognition to Jurgen for making a great bike way back in 1992.

This is a Colnago Sugino crankset. Its an old-school square tapered crankset but unless you can touch and feel it, you have to believe me when I say how light and beautifully crafted it is. Any other crank would look out of place.

The SACHS Plasma transmission system is completely unlike the usual Shimano stuff. Patience is highly recommended when tuning it because it is so raw. Smoothness was not a word in SACHS dictionary in those days. However, looking at the pictures, you will not think that these things are over 20 years old. Best of all, they are still working.

The rear Magura HS33 brakes. Check out the 2 braces. Typical of German made stuff, everything is over-engineered.

The Kore seat post uses the I-beam system. The color of the seat was specially selected to represent the color of a real Porsche seat in a Porsche.

So, there we have it. 9 months and still counting. Soon, it will be ready to hit the road.

And here it is, all done. Some minor tweaks and adjustments are still required but the bike is ready to hit the road.

If you are observant enough, you would have noticed that the bike has changed dramatically.

First up, the crank is a single Zee 36T. The Sugino crank just refused to work with the SACHS Plasma front derailleur. So, all the SACHS parts were removed and replaced with Shimano Zee components.

The bike now runs on a 1 x 10 drivetrain. Simple but effective.

The Magura HS33 brakes remains after the hoses were cut to its proper length.

The Shimano Zee 10 speed shifter. Very sweet.

Proper length brake hoses.

Shimano Zee 36T crank is a great piece of machinery. The MRP chain guide adds a nice touch to the front drivetrain. It also covered up the clamp mark left behind by the SACHS front derailleur.

Shimano Zee 10 speed rear derailleur mated to a Shimano HG 10 speed cassette. The rims have also been replaced with Mavic rims with Shimano Deore XT hubs front and rear. Original specifications:

Frame & Fork
Frame ConstructionTIG-welded
Frame Tubing MaterialSAE 7020 aluminum
Fork Brand & ModelVotec GS III
Fork MaterialAluminum, double triple-clamp crown
Rear ShockNot applicable

Component GroupSachs Neos
BrakesetMagura Hydraulic HS22 brakes, Magura Hydrostop levers
Shift LeversSachs Power Grip Extreme
Front DerailleurSachs Neos, top-pull/clamp-on 35.0mm
Rear DerailleurSachs Neos
CranksetSachs Neos, 24/34/44 teeth
PedalsVictor VP-105 clipless
Bottom BracketKSS, 110mm spindle
BB Shell Width68mm English
Rear Cogs8-speed, 12 - 32 teeth
ChainSachs SC-M55, 1/2 x 3/32"
SeatpostTranz X Humpert, 31.8mm diameter
SaddleSelle Italia Expedia
Handlebar ExtensionsAluminum
Handlebar StemAluminum
Headset1 1/8" threadless aluminum

HubsSachs Neos
RimsRigida DP25, 32-hole
Tires26 x 2.00" Continental Leader Pro kevlar
Spoke BrandDT stainless steel, 2.0mm double-butted
Spoke NipplesBrass nipples