The TODO list is getting short, and got short enough for me to build it up for some shakedown rides. Remaining on the list:

  • Wire guides for the headlight
  • Racks (this one is borrowed from my RB-T)
  • Paint

A couple of small details. This is how I routed the cables to the Rohloff (always a little tricky):

The wire guides are cut up and bent pieces of a spoke. I liked them better than the commercial guides that I could find. Running the cables over the bottom bracket and then around the inside of the chainstay gave me a much nicer cable run than under the bottom bracket (which is very large on this bike).

Tire and crank clearance came out just about perfectly. A 2″ or 52mm knobby fits and so do my lowish Q-Factor Ritchey cranks.

I removed the big ugly Rohloff sticker from the hub (now that my warranty is expired):

It weighs 30# as shown. A little chunky, but not too bad fora Rohloff’d bike with fenders, racks, pump, water bottle cages, etc.

I’ve named it Gifford in honor of Gifford Pinchot, since I expect that this bike will spend a good amount of time (and the most enjoyable time) in National Forest lands.

Brief set of geometry specs:

  • 55cm seat tube (actual), 58.5cm (virtual)
  • 57cm top tube (actual), 58cm (virtual)
  • 5 degree top tube angle
  • 73 degree head tube angle
  • 72 degree seat tube angle
  • 60mm fork offset, for a hair under 40mm in trail
  • 44.5cm chainstays
  • 9/6/9 True Temper Verus main frame tubing, Dedacciai COM12.5 fork blades,Nova Cycles bent/ovalized chainstays
  • Rohloff hub
  • Easton Eccentric bottom bracket
  • It will get a Schmidt 20R front hub,but right now it has a Shimano DH-3N70
  • Shimano BR-R550 Canti brakes
  • Grand Bois Hetre tires with Velo-Orange 52mm wide fenders OR
  • Pacenti Quasi-Moto knobby tires with no fenders


  1. rory says:

    this looks awesome.

    to do list addition:

  2. micah says:

    Looks great! I”ve been folowing along and am most impressed. You may look into some of fishing tackle catalogs for fly-rod guides as a cable routing option. The steel guides come in lots of sizes and have a nice twist to them. Some of them are a spring steel so may take a good bashing and bounce back.

    Enjoy the ride!

  3. AlexWetmore says:

    Rory — I”m waning on the taillight, but might change my mind. The Rohloff shift box really gets in the way of the ideal location.

    Micah — That is a great idea for the fishing wire guides. I was thinking of making my own, but that sounds much more elegant. Thanks for the idea.

  4. AlexWetmore says:

    One more thing. I”ll have the bike on tonight’’s point83 ride (which is going to Greenlake, it”ll probably be there around 8:30) and maybe on Saturday’’s point83 Christmas Disaster.

  5. AlexWetmore says:

    I think “make new stem” is going to the TODO list unless anyone knows of a 10-12 degree, 9cm long, silver threadless stem for sale. VO, Nitto, and Origin-8 don”t make them in the right angle. I want the stem angle to match the top tube angle.

  6. rory says:

    they have spacers to help get the correct stem height…

  7. Jim G says:

    Alex, the bike looks GREAT — and the white Hetres are choice! Question: with a 58cm TT, what stem length are you using? CONGRATS!!!

  8. samh says:

    Although I have a few issues with Mr. Pinchot I like that you named the bicycle after the place you hope to ride it – our nation’’s lands.

    Congratulations on building it up for the first time. It looks fabulous.

  9. AlexWetmore says:

    JimG — The stem is 9cm. On this bike I”m experimenting with a longer TT and shorter stem to get the same bar position. I think that will put less clutter over the front rack without any major changes in handling.

    SamH — I”m not in 100% agreement with Gifford Pinchot either, but I have more in common with his beliefs than Weyerhauser’’s (whose lands I also ride on). Gifford was about using the land as a resource, but I don”t believe he ever envisioned a land of clear cutting. Roosevelt was a smart man to appoint both Gifford and Muir around the same time to secure lands for both types of uses (resources and parkland).

    Since bicycles are banned from both National Parks (on trails anyway) and Wilderness I end up doing more riding in National Forest.

  10. Francois says:

    Congratulations ! A bike with EBB, Rohloff, fenders, etc, is clearly not the easiest for a first try !

  11. Jimmy Livengood says:

    Beauty! That is really, excellently sexy. I can only imagine how good it feels to ride something that you”ve made with your own two hands.

    I have a 90mm 10 deg. stem from Traitor. It’’s white, but you”re welcome to try it, then you can go get one of the polished ones from them:

    Actually, with those tires perhaps you”ll want my matching white seatpost and single-ring cranks, too?

  12. Tarik Saleh says:

    Fantastic! This looks great. The giant white hetres don”t hurt either. Looks like the fillets came out nice as well. Great job, hope to see it one day on a visit.

  13. Alistair says:

    Alex, many congratulations on your first frameset. This is a huge achievement, especially since this wasn”t “no creampuff build”. Plenty of tricky technical challenges on this bike that are unusual for a first frameset.
    Well done.

  14. Fred Blasdel says:

    Those tires are going to look pretty weird once the sidewalls get filthy!

    I”ve got black-treaded Hetres, and at times the brake-dust-impregnated sidewalls seem darker than the tread, especially when the corners of the tread are full of brown pine schmutz.

  15. cyclotourist says:

    Everything everyone else has said, plus the fork rake in particular is beautiful!

  16. James Black says:

    Congratulations! The Gifford is fantastic, and I admire and envy your achievement.

    James Black

  17. Gareth says:

    A fabulous bike – a thing of beauty – I just wish Rohloff did a (better) shifter for drops

  18. Apertome says:

    It’’s a real beauty. I love how much attention to detail you”ve put into this, figuring out exactly how you planned to set it up, and making it so. Great work!

  19. AlexWetmore says:

    Thanks to everyone for all of the nice compliments. I”ve been riding it around for a couple of days and it really rides and handles very nicely.

    Gareth — I wish they made a better one too. Originally I planned on making my own downtube shifter for the Rohloff, but in the end I decided this one would be better when I was riding offroad.

  20. Brandon Ives says:

    Like what Alistair said you took a PITA build and did it as a first build. Once the first one is down the others follow easily enough. I think the bent spoke guides are interesting and a nice original touch.

  21. derick says:

    What color will this bike be? Clear coat would show the care you took in frame build.

  22. AlexWetmore says:

    Derick — I like having it naked for a little while, but I am going to get it painted a color. It”ll either be a dark green (like British Racing Green) or a pewter color. I haven”t decided on an accent color for the racks yet.

  23. Cary Weitzman says:

    Holy crap Alex, massive fender-line WIN! This is like the Platonic Ideal of fender-line.

    Oh yeah, bike’’s pretty sweet too. Lovely fork bend. :^)

  24. Pat S says:

    Thought you”d enjoy knowing that at John’’s weekly Spokane bike hang tonight, we were passing around an iPhone so that everyone could get a look at Gifford.

    The whole thing works really well and the first picture against the tree continues to mesmerize me. Man, those are some sweet lines. Fabulous job, Alex.

  25. AlexWetmore says:

    Just to be fair Cary, I did have to put a little spacer in a the seatstay bridge. It could be slightly closer to the tire.

    I”m still really happy with it for my first try.

  26. Larry Leveen says:

    I”m glad about the name, having shared a wonderful tour with you and John through the National Forest named after the man. It’’s obviously a tribute to that wonderous recreational gem that many PNW folks have in their back yard. Funny that more Washingtonians don”t go there (or _know_ it exists!), but all the better for bike touring I say! I never thanked you and John for your great pix and writeups (y”all should search Alex’’s blog for ”em), so THANKS! I still cherish those memories, even the challenging dirt climb on the last day, but especially that positively BOMB-ING descent from Crest campground to Carson area. BEST. EVER.

    Oh yeah, and that bike ;-) :

    - If the shiftbox is the perfect place for the taillight, then mount it there! Are you getting so caught up in attaching-via-heat that you have forgotten about your old pal glue?! You”ll undoubtedly figure it out, and probably influence scores of others in the process.

    - It _almost looks_ like internally routed cabling would have worked — staggered entry/exit of the two cables in the chainstay, and routing _through_ the upper part of the BB shell (assuming that, like my Bushnell, it is highly machined out, providing clearance), since you”ll likely do all your chain tensioning with the BB spindle in the lower half of the EBB shell. From there, into the downtube and out, right near the uppermost DT guide you have. I know that 2-D pix give the illusion that there is more room to work with than there probably is. The last SmugMug pix shows the angling in of the chainstays, which would complicate this idea. Maybe you should just, ya know, whip up a spare frame as proof-of-concept ;-)

    - Rohloff cable routing is the least lovely aspect of that type of transmission (followed by lack of shifter choice and cost!). If there was ever a system that would benefit from wireless electronic shifting, it’’s this one!

    All in all, you should be proud in your accomplishment. I”m looking forward to more tour adventures with you – perhaps that Redwoods Tour idea?