Be your own brand.

Andy’s TIXXIX 29’er frame by XACD

Andy contacted me the other month as he’d been exchanging emails with Porter for a little while and just wanted a second opinion on the 29’er frame that he was looking to have built. Sadly I wasn’t a huge amount of help as I’ve not much experience of big wheel frames! Luckily Andy was taking the sensible approach of basing his frame on his favourite bike, an On-One Scandal 29’er:

Andy's singlespeed 29'er made by XACD. Nicely proportioned for a 29'er and love the finish too!

Over to Andy for his first impressions:

It arrived last Friday. It took about 4 days to build the frame and a week to ship it. Anyway it’s currently built up as a singlespeed as I hadn’t got any spare gear cables when I built it and I couldn’t wait to ride. The frame is brushed with the logo TIXXIX sandblasted on the head tube and down tube. I’ve ridden it for about an hour round my local tracks and it feels pretty good sort of springy, not as harsh as my Scandal.

I heard from Andy again after he’d had a bit more of a chance to ride it, had the honeymoon period ended?

Having ridden the bike now for a month or so I really love it. What I have done is lowered the fork travel down to 80 mm to bring the angles in line. The bike now rides as I wanted it to. It’s 10.6kg (23.4lbs) in singlespeed mode, which by my reckoning is not bad for a clown bike.

My experience with Porter was a fairly painless. However the first drawing I got was for a 26er. I’d also say the price can be flexible, I originally wanted sliding drop outs but I ended up deciding against it. When I said the the drop outs were too expensive at $185 Porter offered them for $135, but ultimately it was still too much.

There’s a couple of things I’d change, mainly ‘cos I missed them on the drawing. The bottle bosses on the seat tube are too low as I like to run a top clamp front mech and I wouldn’t have the bolt hole on the seat stay brace.

Would I do it again? Yes, definately! I’m already thinking about my next TIXXIX!

Sounds like Andy got his first design pretty much spot on! The bottle bosses are in XACD’s ‘standard’ position on the drawing which is the same as my frame. With mine I can get away with a top clamp front mech, although the clamp is right up against the boss and you have to space out the bottle cage with a few washers if you want to fit one. You could move the bosses up a little, say 20mm or so, but you’d just have to keep an eye on the bottle catching on the underside of the top tube, small bottles would probably be OK though.

Andy's TIXXIX 29'er XACD frame based on On-One's Scandal.

People often ask me how much a typical frame costs – Andy said he didn’t mind letting on how much the various options were, so here are some details for those that are interested:

Approx £645 delivered.
The price breaks down like this. All prices in USD.
495 for the frame.
50 for the brushed finish.
95 for the sandblasted logo on DT
55 for the sandblasted logo on HT
80 to bend DT
150 for shipping
40 for Chinese bank changes.

Given the finishing options that Andy went for I think the overall cost of £645 is pretty decent. It certainly looks very smart with the brush finish and the sandblast logos. I’m quite tempted to splash out one some of the extra finishing options on my next build now…

Close up of the headtube showing the overall brush finish with sandblasted logos.

It’s worth noting as well that Porter was open to offering a bit of a discount when Andy said that the sliding dropouts were too expensive to start with. It’s probably worth trying this approach with any fittings they have to order in specially, like sliding dropouts or eccentric bottom brackets, as you could save a quid or two.

Andy went with standard sized tubing all round, if he finds it too flexy then mark two could feature larger diameter top and downtubes, something like a 31.4/42mm for example. Opting for double-butting would then take a bit of weight out and maybe going with CWSR (Cold Worked, Stress Relieved) tubing to make sure the thin sections of the double-butting would be strong enough.

Either way I’d be interested to see what he comes up with next! Has Andy’s frame inspired you to have a frame made? Or maybe you’ve already had a frame made by XACD – let me know if you have as I’d love to feature it in the Gallery section.