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Martin’s custom titanium XACD ‘Yorkshire Rose’ hardtail

 

Martin's first XACD frame - now running as a fully rigid singlespeed.

 

Martin recently got in touch with me to let me know about an XACD frame that he had made a little while ago and about his plans to have ‘frame 2.0’ produced. I asked him about what he had in mind for his first design:

I originally had a Cove Hummer back in 2007 but had to sell it due to ill health and needed the money to pay the bills etc. and always wanted another Ti frame without the £1500+ price tag.  I’m not sure how I come across XACD but anyway I did and am glad I found them.  I ride an On One Inbred SS in the winter and used to ride a Santa Cruz Blur in the summer but wanted HT for summer, so my idea was to have Ti Frame that was sort of a cross between the Hummer/Inbred that can take a 100mm – 140mm fork.

Lovely job of the Yorkshire Rose engraved on the headtube - I'm tempted to do something similar myself next time!

I ride mainly XC but also like rocky technical descents/singletrack so needed a bike that can do both for summer riding.  Porter at XACD was very good and patient with me as I did change the design several times.  I finally agreed on a design, and after that it took about 8 weeks for the frame to arrive.

So I built it up with 130mm fork and 1 x 9 gears and it’s been everything I hoped for, I was over the moon with the headtube engraving of the Yorkshire Rose.  It’s solid at the front end and the wishbones make the back end very forgiving like my Inbred but even better at high speed. It rides better than the Hummer ever did.

Here's Martin's MK I frame - note the wishbone chainstays, ultra dropped top tube and rather funky head tube engraving.

And of course the killer question – what would you do differently next time?

If I could design it again (which I am doing as this current frame is going to be my single speed instead of the Inbred) I am going to make the top tube longer by 10mm, put a bend in so it doesn’t slope so much but still gives lots of standover height and raise the BB by 10mm and seat tube by about 15mm.  Even though wishbone seat stays are my favourite I might alter those to.
But overall I was happy with build and ride quality provided by XACD.  I’ll send you a copy of my latest frame when Porter’s finished it ;-).

Got to agree with Martin there, his head tube engraving came out very sweet indeed! Checking out the rest of the frame I think he’s hit the nail on the head with the changes he planned for Mark Two:

The drop of the top tube on the seat tube is pretty extreme, it’s below the sleeve that’s put in the seat tube to get the correct seat tube size and could put quite a twisting load into that junction. Having the seat post clamp slot at the back will help but lining up the tubes would be better all round.

Looking at the headset spacers and length of exposed seat post it looks like going ‘up a size’ is a good plan too.

Something else that was interesting, check out the wall thickness on the tube the seat stays attach to; 1.55mm is pretty chunky. I guess it’s taking a rather concentrated load there.

Martin shows us how the changes come together with his plans for mark two – looks just about perfect!

Martin's Mark Two with tweaked dimensions which sadly just stayed as a drawing.

Sadly Martin found a 2nd hand Ragley frame going for a good price and decided to go for that instead. Still, let’s hope that he gets the custom itch again soon and decides to order another frame so we can see what this one would look like in the flesh!

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.