E05JRG - CX/Gravel Project

This project took its start when I decided I wanted to replace the frame of my Giant TCX SLR 1 - continuing my mission to replace the frames of all my bikes with steel counterparts.
Originally I was simply just going to replace the frame and swap over all parts from the existing bike (sans oddly shaped seat post). However, just as with the SS 29er, I ended up falling down the rabbit hole, buying a whole slew of new parts to complete the build. This was partly due to having been given the opportunity to display the completed build at the inaugural "The Makers" show in Newtown (Sydney, NSW) - a build with recycled Giant parts would not really be suitable for this project!

I approached the design of this frame much the same as with the SS 29er - basing the geo off my current frame, but making a few changes I felt would be appropriate to achieve the ride quality I was after. Compared to the TCX, I ended up with a slightly steepened headtube angle, slackened seattube angle, longer reach and wheelbase and a couple of mm more BB drop.

One of the main objectives with this build was to try out flat-mount dropouts and internal cable routing. I sourced dropouts, headtube, BB and a few other small bits from Paragon Machineworks. This time around I went for a selection of Zero Uno tubes from Dedacciai. The dropouts were modified to minimise the length of the CS and SS tabs. To achieve this I went with an asymmetric configuration of the chainstays, so the driveside stay has a shorter tab. This was purely a cosmetic design decision.

The biggest challenge and most nerve-racking part of the build was the internal cable routing. I was determined to not ruin a perfectly good downtube by messing this step up, so I made sure to make a few test bends of the copper tubing and I also did a test run soldering the reinforcement hood and copper tube to some steel tubing offcuts.
Much was learnt during this process and I believe the biggest takeaway was to make sure the internal guide tube is bowed towards the centre of the main tube to ensure it will not be able to cause noises vibrating against the inner wall of the main tube.

Once again I decided to go for a gun blue finish, but this time I added a wrap-around graphic to the down tube. I applied a die cut vinyl sticker as a mask for the gun blue treatment, leaving the masked area raw. This was something I had wanted to try for a while and I'm pleased with the end result.

Below is a gallery of photos shot by Adam Leddin of CycleEXIF from when the bike was on display at the Rapha Clubhouse in Sydney.


Build progress photos from Instagram: