Be your own brand.

Olivier’s ‘Raw Label’ XACD frame

Olivier got in touch with me from Switzerland a little while back saying he was having a frame made by XACD. He’d been inspired by the number of French companies who also have frames made there (if you’ve done your research you might notice his frame is similar to the HBicycles ‘FlexTi’ model).

After sweating over the details – and getting a few other bits made to match – it’s finally here, and doesn’t it look good?

Olivier's 'Raw Label' XACD frame

Olivier's 'Raw Label' XACD frame

 And here’s the drawing that it came from – probably one of the most detailed I’ve seen from XACD!

Frame drawing is nice and complicated reflecting the frame design!

Frame drawing is nice and complicated reflecting the frame design!

 

But what we really want to know is what Olivier thinks about it – I asked him what he had in mind when he designed the frame:

  • Stiff front for precision in the steering
  • Standard designed “elastic” rear for a real Ti ride feeling
  • Very sloping
  • Make a nice looking L-XL frame (usually always ugly) with a small front triangle, “optical illusion” made with the gusset, bent tube and brace, big sloping too.
  • Geometry for a real all mountain hartail (67/73 with a 150mm fork)
  • Cable routing under tubes
  • Optimal position with the ti custom stem

…and was he pleased with the final result?

My big baby weighs 1.88 kg = 4.14 lbs,  quite heavy,  but it’s L-XL and well renforced. The bike is excellent to ride, geometry is just what I wanted. Negative polished logo design was really perfectly made as was the engraving on headtube.

Bike was really well made, nice weldings for that price! Unbeatable quality/price ratio, a very good experience. I definitely would do it again, maybe later for a road bike or XC, when I will get older! Maybe another all mountain frame, but only in 2-3 years, my wallet hopes 🙂

…and finally the most tricky question, would he do anything differently next time?

What I would change ???? mmmmhh

  • Make the CNC gusset smaller, definitely too big…
  • Reduce the distance between bottom of headtube and downtube, I didn’t notice It was that big !!!
  • Will sell my ti custom stem because it is not the right material for that kind of bike, not stiff enough, especially when you want a stiff front frame…
  • Try to make it lighter, 1880 grams is a bit high…

Huge thanks to Olivier for taking the time to tell us how he got on with XACD. He’s worried about the re-enforcing plate being too big but I’m quite warming to it now – I think it helps that I’ve got a friend with a Dialled Bikes Kobe Ti which has large plates around the head tube!

I can see what he means about the large gap between the down tube and the bottom of the head tube though, it doesn’t need to be so high for clearance and could come down by 15mm or so, it’s just a bit strange that they’ve done that…

One thing to note is that Olivier’s bottom bracket is unusualy low for running a 150mm fork, he likes it that way to keeep things stable on the downhills. For a frame this size it would normally be about 20mm higher – but that’s the beauty of having a custom bike, you can have exactly what you want!

As Olivier says the frame is a large size and designed for ‘All Mountain’ use so it was bound to carry a little weight. You could probably get away without the re-enforcing gusset under the down tube as the tubes are pretty large, plus we’ve got the other plate in there which should keep the front end solid. That might save a little weight but double butting the main tubes would be the key to making it lighter without losing too much strength.

Have you had a frame made by XACD? Let me know as I’d love to feature it in the ‘Gallery’!