I was cruising the forums over on Singletrack World a little while back and spotted Josh’s post about a 29’er he’d had made by XACD. Not wanting to miss documenting someone else’s experiences I got in touch to find out more. Here’s the post that started it all off:
I am very very happy with this bike, so just though I would show it off
Anyway, it is a custom titanium frame made by Porter at XACD. I used the Specialized S-Works 29er Geometry, exactly as it was on the website. The frame came in at 3.6lbs. Which i think is pretty wicked for a 29er.
Forks are RS Recons just for the moment, got some rebas on order, but waiting about a month for those. The Recons are a good fork, but not quite light enough for my weight weenie side
Wheels are Hope Pro II on DT Swiss X470 again built up really nice, bomb proof wheelset, but I am waiting for a pair of AM Classic 29er wheels, purely for the weight and bling element. And because I love the MTB 26’s I have on the normal mountain bike.
Then the groupset, its full XTR M980 with the race brakes. (Apart from the cassette which is Ultegra) So far very impressed with this, the shifting is perfect, and the brakes are great. Only downside i have found so far, is the levers are very small. Took some getting used to.
And afterwards in response to a few questions:
Epicyclo – There is plenty of clearence. Works fine.
>You weren’t tempted by their matching titanium ‘bars, stem and seat post then ?
Nahh, didnt think the bars and stems looked that good. I thought they might be abit on the flexy side.
Kaiser – I dont mind saying at all. Frame with shipping to the UK came to around the £600 mark. I didnt pay import duty, so it could have been more.
Thanks for all the comments.
As always I got in touch with Josh and asked him more about his project and the experience of ordering from XACD:
In terms of the project. I import carbon frames and wheels as a small business/project, I am only 18, so it’s nothing overly serious. But I have always liked the idea of a custom titanium frame. So I thought it was definitely worth a go.
I also work at a bike shop here in Derby, and had ridden the S-Works 29er that my custom frame was designed around, so I knew exactly what I wanted, and really just left it up to Porter and his ‘mates’ to do everything else.
And so far it seems very good. The quality is great, and it rides perfectly. The one thing I would change, is I would spec a removable/replaceable dropout, just for the peace of mind really.
And yep, I am a little bit addictive, I race cyclo-cross pretty seriously (Ride for ProBikeKit.com) so I feel a few cross frames coming on.
Regarding the dealing with Porter. I found him very easy to deal with, very helpful. And he seemed to know what he was on about. The one thing I would say, is there tended to be a few hidden costs. For example he decided to put the bend in the down tube in, and didn’t tell me till right at the end, that it was a $90 cost. Overall though, it was a pleasure, and something I would recommend in a heartbeat!
Once again praise be for manufacturers who publish their full geometry charts on their websites! Just keep an eye out for what fork length and how much sag they’ve been working to – you can always check the difference that fork length changes have on the angles etc. over on the ever handy Geometry Calc website.
It’s interesting to compare the geometry of Josh’s bike, based on the Specialized S-Works 29’er and Andy’s bike that was based on the On-One Scandal 29’er. The angles and measurements are pretty similar but the Specialized has a much lower bottom bracket height – over 30mm lower! This is going to make the bike much more stable at speed but with the potential issue of the bars being proportionally a little higher – it’s also going to be slightly more prone to pedal hits over the technical stuff. It would be interesting to try the bikes back to back and see the difference it makes. But as with everything on a custom bike so long as you make your frame match your current favourite you can’t go wrong!
Looks like Josh has made himself a very tidy frame there, stripping a bit of weight out using some 0.7mm double butting in the main tubes has made a real difference – 3.6lbs is good for a 17.5″ frame.
Not much more to add really, other than that if he needs the front end lowering (often an issue on 29’ers) it’s always possible to take 10mm or so from the headtube length or even swap to an integrated headset tube which would save even more stack height.
Tube diameters are pretty standard but if Josh had any problems with flex then upping the top tube/down tube sizes to something like 34.9/44.5mm diameter would do the trick. He could even try taking the double butting down to 0.6mm in the centre sections to shave an extra few grams off!
Just for reference here’s the original post from Singletrack World:
Have you had a frame made by XACD? If so I’d love to hear about it and maybe feature it in the Gallery so drop me a line via the contacts page.